Stephen D. Abney, the chief public affairs official for the Army’s Joint Munitions Command, recently sent a message to all 6,000 employees he speaks for: Don’t criticize President Barack Obama or any political party to members of the press. The message was received by civilian contractors as well.
“It’s not meant for contractors… It wasn’t intended for contractors,” said Abney of the email, which details how folks should deal with the press because of sequestration (mandatory spending cuts).
But, Abney conceded, he “can’t swear” that contractors—that is, civilians—did not receive the message either. In fact, at least some of the 6,000 contractors that work with JMC received the message.
The message was “intended to remind our employees that they are not spokespersons for the government,” said Abney on the phone today.
Abney says he was just reminding employees that the commander in chief—President Barack Obama—is their boss.