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Anti-IED Twitter account shuttered after poor taste comment

Navy construction Mechanic Mikel Irvine, 26, of Tucson, Ariz., searches for a bomb in Zabul Province, Afghanistan in September 2010.

The Pentagon shut off the Twitter feed for its anti-IED organization Wednesday after a tweet made light of a reported bombing at a movie theater in the Philippines.

A tweet from @JIEDDO, or the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization, asked, “Were they re-showing Gigli?” before linking to a Philippine government brief on the IED blasts from Monday.

The bomb blasts were used as a scare tactic, and there were no reports of injuries, according to local police. Fighting between Muslim rebels and Philippine troops and an ongoing hostage crisis have forced almost 82,000 from their homes for emergency shelters near the major port city of Zamboanga. 

"Gigli," of course, is the infamous film starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez that did poorly in ticket sales and popular reviews, making it a "bomb" in Hollywood parlance.

The @JIEDDO tweet in question was immediately pounced upon by some in the media as poor taste. After a few subsequent tweets attempted to defend the "Gigli" tweet, the account was shuttered, and Pentagon spokesman George Little issued his own brief statement via the social media network:

 

 

JIEDDO was spawned from an Army IED Task Force in 2006 during a period of escalation in bomb attacks on U.S. troops.

Via its website, JIEDDO claims to be able to speed up the acquisition process for downrange troops, potentially making them safer.

The agency has spent tens of billions of dollars over the last decade battling the deadly and dangerous IED, but it will have to justify its budget with any future defense authorization bill, reported Leo Shane III in June.

suzuki.toshio@stripes.com
Twitter: @toshjohn

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