Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Shut Up and Soldier

(Source)
As a rule I dislike most peace-time generals and admirals. They got their stars by not rocking the boat, by following the rules, in essence, by being a "company man," (or woman in these modern enlightened times). I seem to recall that in the Air Force, getting a new Air Force Chief of Staff brought uniform changes "just because." (I'm a general, I think our officers should all wear Royal Air Force type rank. Also, make the uniform look like a poorly cut business suit, not a military uniform. Yes, I lived through Merrill McPeak.)

As an enlisted guy I seldom got to hobnob with the star-bedecked upper echelons of the Air Force, but from a distance we all carefully noted their behavior, both on and off duty. FWIW, one of those flag officers in that opening picture is known personally by a member of my immediate family. An honorable guy, a likable guy, still and all, there was much he could have done (according to some) during his tenure on the Joint Chiefs, which some have argued he did not. I won't judge him by that, you do what the boss wants as long as it's Constitutional. FWIW, Obama was the boss for most of his tenure on the Joint Chiefs.

A further point I will make is that, unlike the enlisted oath, the oath sworn by officers in the Federal service makes no mention of the President of the United States.
I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.
One should, however, bear in mind that the President is the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, Article 2, Section 2 -
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.
So you flag officers work for that guy in the White House, irrespective of how you personally feel about him (or her). If the occupant of that office bugs you that much, resign your damned commission.

I would also note that the Constitution dictates precisely how the President of the United States is chosen and what the qualifications are for holding that office. Also the circumstances under which a President can be removed from said office before the expiration of his or her term.

Recently a retired admiral (Navy, not Coast Guard, and whose name I will not mention) had an opinion piece in the New York Times (yes, it's behind a pay wall but you should be able to get a "one time good deal" for one article a month without signing anything) which, as they say, went up my ass sideways. (Pardon my French, though in French that would be roughly monta mon cul de côté.)

Seems the admiral has decided that the legally elected President of the United States needs to be shown the door. Primarily (as I read it) because the President no longer wishes to keep troops scattered around the world (though in this particular instance I gather that the esteemed admiral is really concerned about the Kurds, in Syria) fighting someone else's war. There I said it.

The admiral mentions the Greatest Generation -
We were reminded that the Greatest Generation went to war because it believed that we were the good guys — that wherever there was oppression, tyranny or despotism, America would be there. (Source)
Nope, they went to war because the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. They didn't really give a crap that the Japanese had been killing Chinese by the thousands since the 1930s, nor that the Nazis were busy killing Poles, Czechs, Slovaks, Danes, Norwegians, Belgians, Dutch, British, Russians and others for quite some time before the Japanese fleet had even sortied to attack Hawaii. That whole "we're the good guys" shtick gets old after a while. We're not the world's policeman nor should we be.

Lyndon B. Johnson (hack-ptooie) once said "We are not about to send American boys 9 or 10 thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves." Perhaps the only thing he said as a politician which made sense.

And yes, of course he was lying. (58,220 Americans can attest to that, or would if they were still alive.)

I have no problem with the admiral's personal opinion of what the country should (or should not) do when it comes to fighting other people's wars, but the implication that he and certain other flag officers feel that the President is "destroying the Republic" and should be removed from office is sedition, pure and simple.
These men and women, of all political persuasions, have seen the assaults on our institutions: on the intelligence and law enforcement community, the State Department and the press. They have seen our leaders stand beside despots and strongmen, preferring their government narrative to our own. They have seen us abandon our allies and have heard the shouts of betrayal from the battlefield. As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!” (Source)
 Sedition, which is conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of a state or monarch, is a pretty serious crime -
18 U.S.C. § 2384 - U.S. Code - Unannotated Title 18. Crimes and Criminal Procedure § 2384. Seditious conspiracy 
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both. (Source)
What the Hell is going on at the upper echelons of our society?

Seems like a Federal investigation might be in order, to look at actual crimes (like sedition) as opposed to imaginary ones. Oh, that oath you swore? Doesn't expire and I do recall that retired military members can still be court martialed for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Article 94 bro, you should read it.

As we conservatives often say to those in the entertainment industry espousing their political opinions, "Just shut up and sing." In this case, "Just shut up and soldier."

I worry about our future.

Your thoughts?





Yes, I used to respect that admiral. No more. And yes, I am livid about his opinion. YMMV

46 comments:

  1. If there is any justice, Schiff; Nadler; Pelosi; Schumer, and sundry toadies and operatives, Clapper, etalia, will be charged with sedition. Admiral Buzzard among them.

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  2. I remember reading on another site where the site owner was commenting on how the WWII 90 Day Wonder program generated the business world equivalent - called the MBA program. He thought that what passes for leadership has gone downhill every since. This would filter into all aspects of life in the U.S., and we now get to see non-leaders holding leadership positions. The 90 Day program worked because they knew what leadership potential looked like, whereas today leadership consists of going to the right schools, taking the right classes, and having the right tickets punched. Compare this to war, where there is an immediate feedback loop that shows success or failure.
    Frank

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  3. There's nothing that I can add because you're expressed it perfectly!! Great post and I hope you don't mind
    it I borrow it.

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    1. Borrow, steal, copy, and spread the word! 😁

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    2. I agree, Russ. I have the same thoughts and feelings but am unable to express them quite as eloquently as Sarge.

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    3. Things are getting more insane each day.

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  4. [Sigh......................]

    And I have invoked his graduation speech to his Alma Mater several times when dealing with recalcitrant and otherwise ill-motivated adolescents of the stupid kind...

    WTF is in the Kool-Aide in that swamp?! Is there something that happens to brains when 5-pointed devices get stuck on epaulets or collars? And yeah. There seem to be a lot of people who have Alzheimer's, when it comes to Oaths of Office.

    P.s, Admiral: Your combination cap was a little crooked the night you gave that splendiforously marvelous speech. Maybe you need to go back and make your bed.

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    1. It's awful. What is it about that circle? So high up maybe there's not enough oxygen in the air?

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  5. A good number of the swamp really like their perks, that monthly government salary/pension/health plan, the title they have, the deference others in the swamp show them, the same SJW virtue signaling they share. As that mantra goes, the best defense is a good offense, well that's what has been happening since 2015. Remember when the Democratic Socialists said Trump wouldn't accept an election defeat? How prescient of them......they've been trying to overturn that 2016 election ever since. The upper echelons of this country want to order the lower echelons how to live and they're willing to do anything in order to accomplish that. I share your thoughts 100% Sarge, I'm way less confident of our future than I was ten years ago.

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  6. Ditto all the above - they fight so hard to maintain their privilege and status, to maintain the adulation of their peers, to continue to think of themselves as our betters. They don't get that that is precisely why we elected DJT to office - he doesn't fit that mold, he has convinced us that he is on our side by both promises and actions taken to fulfill those promises. The upper military/intelligence community/political class is feeling the heat and are deparate to go back to what was their comfy and profitable status quo ante.

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    1. I think it would be wise to make those flag officer positions, in peace time, brevet ranks. When you retire you revert to O-6, maybe that would get their attention. Also term limits, term limits, term limits. Also find a way to uproot the entrenched upper echelon bureaucracy in DC, they are the real problem.

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    2. The whining and moaning from the folks that are having their positions moved outside the beltway is very telling. For example, the Dept Ag moving people to the wilds of Kansas City - it's horrible they are relocating the jobs closer to - Agriculture!

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  7. This is what you get when you let a SEAL loose.Yeah, I liked the "Make your bed" speech, but he should have learned to STFU when out of his lane; or maybe someone made him a monetary offer he couldn't refuse?

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    1. Couldn't agree more Cap'n.

      I'm assuming someone crossed his palm with silver.

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  8. On the 36th anniversary of a not so subtle reminder that the United States has both the right, and moral imperative to choose the time and place of its involvement in foreign conflicts, the distaste in the intellectual/flag class at our President amuses me.

    For the record, the President was right in berating the dog. Said ex-general, now ex SecDef wanted two years to relationship build our way into a few thousand more graves at Arlington, rather than expediently killing the genocidal set that ravaged its way across Iraq into Syria.

    Every one of these so-called "educated" losers love to talk about how we made friends with Germany and Japan, while utterly skipping over the fact that friendship was demonstrably the only option we left on the table for them.

    I'm tired of making friends that only exist to keep our fingers in the wrong traps and getting our men and women killed. I am not such a failed student of history that I don't realize violence has solved more conflicts in the course of human history than it has not, but being the shining city on the hill doesn't entail global gentrification using our blood as the currency every damned time somebody gets hurt.

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  9. In the only nation on the planet and in the history of mankind to codify the sovereignty of the individual as the highest law, I would argue that the solution to our present crisis -- and it is indeed a crisis -- is already in our grasp. Just as it has always been. None of us can compel our fellows. We own and operate only ourselves. I believe we can only argue successfully if we argue from the self evident truth of solid foundational principle, and our best and only useful arguments follow from not only words, but more importantly, from deeds. What am I doing, today as I go about my boring personal business, to demonstrate the path of thoughtful and grounded principle?

    If it comes to it, I'm of an age to be more useful as a bullet sponge than anything else. Such an effort would be completely wasted though if today and every day I'm not doing my best to hew to solid foundational principle.

    Just my personal take.

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    1. You have to act locally, but when someone of this admiral's stature steps out of bounds, he needs to be called on it.

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    2. I would argue against using the word " stature" he lost any stature long ago defending that commie traitor brennan.
      I know ( or thought I did) the guy. I am ashamed of him. He has indeed sold out to the left. The timing of this piece to say nothing of his other efforts smack of rank opportunism; the dude's jockeying for a position in the junta, nothing less.
      Boat Guy

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    3. Guy lost any "stature" he had defending that commie traitor brennan.
      I know the guy ( or thought I did) I am ashamed of him and disgusted by this writing.
      I'll note the timing of the piece; this is rank opportunism; he's jockeying for a place in the junta.
      Boat Guy

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    4. Boat Guy #1 - Yes, "stature" is the wrong word. Brennan is indeed a Commie.

      Opportunism, aye.

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    5. Boat Guy #2 - A disgrace to the uniform he once wore...

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    6. Sorry for the double tap
      BG

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    7. No problem Boat Guy. 'Twas a good comment in both instances.

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  10. AMEN! One of your best.
    And that "sedition" stuff. The statute of limitations has not run on the deep-staters who were conspiring to stage a coup. We can only hope that the laws are upheld and faithfully executed. Pour encourager les autres.
    John Blackshoe

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  11. Ifn this is the turd-burglar I am thinking you are talking about, he's touting his rank amongst the DNC's finest as a potential run for 2024, or maybe sooner depending on how quickly the wheels fall off the current candidate bus (which they look like they're losing all 6 wheels just... about... now... and talk has already seriously begun about the First Wookie stepping up and rescuing the DNC, which I predicted over a year ago, might I add. Weird loose analysis, it's what I do...)

    Now, here's the thing. I don't mind it if he shoots his fat trap off as Mr. Dumbass. But to invoke his rank the way he does seems to me to violate the rule of Cincinnatus. (When in uniform, shut your trap about politics.) He's waving his shoulderboards around like he's still wearing the uniform. Uncool, dude, totally uncool.) If he was first a loudmouth yappy shinfornicator who happened to be an admiral, cool. But he's besliming the legs of many of the media and the party elite as an admiral, totally not cool.

    As to joint chiefs, well, they serve at the pleasure of the President, at the time. So, mayhaps your naval example stayed in to try to slow the stupidity of the CinC. One hopes. Though it does seem like when they get to that rank, their brains get removed and a unibrain is installed. (Mattis, though a good general, was an example of this. Got to a high place, acted stupid just like the rest of them, and he's now learning that he can make money off of talk shows not as a man, but as General, and is starting to speak out against the President, not as a man, but as a General. Grrrr...)

    Good rant. Very good rant.

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    1. Thanks Beans.

      For the record, Article 94 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice reads:

      U.S. Code § 894. Art. 94. Mutiny or sedition

      (a) Any person subject to this chapter who—

      (1) with intent to usurp or override lawful military authority, refuses, in concert with any other person, to obey orders or otherwise do his duty or creates any violence or disturbance is guilty of mutiny;

      (2) with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or other disturbance against that authority is guilty of sedition;

      (3) fails to do his utmost to prevent and suppress a mutiny or sedition being committed in his presence, or fails to take all reasonable means to inform his superior commissioned officer or commanding officer of a mutiny or sedition which he knows or has reason to believe is taking place, is guilty of a failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition.

      (b) A person who is found guilty of attempted mutiny, mutiny, sedition, or failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition shall be punished by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct.

      (Aug. 10, 1956, ch. 1041, 70A Stat. 68.)

      Kinda serious, ya know.

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    2. Yep. Serious. But not applied enough.

      Nor any punishment to any congresscritter who violates their oaths of office. Grrr...

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  12. Good read and copyable! Select, copy, paste for windows users.
    Can't comment as clearly as I'd like as Jeanie and I have been celebrating her 75th!
    To quote, "58,220 Americans can attest to that, or would if they were still alive." 3 are enough to make a man's life different.

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    1. Thanks Dave. I am really worried about the future of the Republic.

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  13. BTW, oh Eagle Eyed Sarge, Did you notice that the National Guard Commander, the guy sitting to Feinstein's left is wearing his ribbons upside down?

    To be honest, neither did I, until, not recognizing him, I googled the picture. His reaction? "Well, we're all human, including me. And, as I made a final check in the mirror just before I walked out the door, I missed it... Plain and simple. I hope this is a lesson for everyone who wears the uniform, and really for anyone...They put erasers on pencils for a reason. When you make a mistake or miss a detail, own it and move on. One thing is for sure...My ribbons will NEVER be upside down again." Didn't blame his aide who put together his uniform. Just "I screwed up". Maybe there's a glimmer of hope yet.

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    1. Yes, I knew about that. It made a few headlines in some circles at the time. Nice that he owned up to it. We're all human, heck, that's how Lex got his call sign, pinned his ribbons over the wrong pocket of his khakis. Hey, looked good in the mirror! (Been there, done that, The Missus Herself corrected me before I got loose!)

      I like Admiral Richardson's minimalist look, simple, very professional. Sometimes just enough is better.

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    2. Juvat, I put my underpants on back to front last week. Thought Id lost something precious until I realised my error! But being underpants, no one else noticed. Phew!

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  14. That destroying the republic bit is a bunch of hogwash. They are just angry and upset and embarrassed by his behavior. Our republic is fine, the states still have their power, our institutions like our Congress and the Supreme Court and the postal service and our ability to raise taxes, etc are all intact,a there is no "Chicken Little the sky is falling" in our grand republic.

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  15. Well, Obama did promise to fundamentally change America. Maybe this is another part of that legacy that Trump can reverse.

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    1. Like a tornado fundamentally changes structures it hits...

      I hope he can still repair some of the damage his predecessor inflicted on the nation.

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  16. One more to pile on: https://thefederalist.com/2019/10/23/why-retired-military-officers-need-to-shut-up-about-politics/#disqus_thread

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    1. Many of the comments are damning.

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    2. “......Nope, they went to war because the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor.....”

      I’ve always believed that America, at that terrible time, was ‘the wall’ my nation had its back to after the unspeakable nazis held virtually all of mainland Europe. Just how unspeakable they were the world had yet to discover.

      I wonder what our civilisation would look like today had America continued to sit on its hands saying, ‘not our war’ and Japan had chosen a different strategic option?

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Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)