February 3, 2006
Rep. Mark Green
700 East Walnut Street
Green Bay, WI 54301
A few days ago my good friend and editor brought to my attention an article alleging that you may have been involved in some online vandalism. I will inform you of the story and then tell you how I feel.
An online encyclopedia, the Wikipedia, contained peer-edited information about a variety of topics. The assumption is that such a service would be unreliable, but thanks to devoted users and editors the Wikipedia is actually more reliable factually than an Encyclopedia Britannica and covers a wider range of topics. Wikipedia also links to a variety of websites, including my own, that pertain to the article topics they present.
It has recently been discovered that a variety of congressmen have had their profiles altered on the Wikipedia from IP addresses indicating the people responsible for the vandalism work from the Congress computers (the IP addresses are computers owned by the government). One of those congressmen was you.
According to the news article found on Slashdot, "Congressman Mark Green (R-WI 8th) removed any mention of his ties with the recently indicted Tom DeLay and generally removed any unflattering or scandal related information." Some of this unflattering information included a mention that you have previously lied about your military experience.
Erasing information on Wikipedia is not only vandalism but is a suppression of free speech. Representative Green, did you or any of your aides alter the Wikipedia entry? I can understand your need to present a positive image of yourself in the coming months, but this tactic is low and undemocratic. I sincerely hope the vandalism is not traced to your office.
Gavin C. Schmitt
209 E. 17th St.
Kaukauna, WI 54130