Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Contempt toward officials?

For military officers, it's not just a bad idea, it's against the law. From the Manual For Courts-Martial of the United States
Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
I've considered McChrystal's public relations end runs around his superiors borderline insubordination for awhile. The insubordination is now explicit. This is a Truman-MacArthur moment. One of the Constitutional principles that McChrystal and I and every soldier is sworn to uphold is civilian control of the military. It the General ever had the integrity to merit his commission, he should resign it now and save his Commander in Chief the trouble of relieving him.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Seane-Anna said...

So you're a Shaun? Your name is the same as the first part of mine, yet our politics couldn't be more at odds. Maybe the difference in spelling has something to do with that, huh?

Anyway, I'm borderline on the McChrystal thing. I was wondering about the insubordination issue and whether or not McChrystal crossed the line. On the other hand, didn't we CONSTANTLY hear during the Bush years that dissent was the highest form of patriotism? What happened to that song and dance?

If McChrystal were some pfc who accused his superiors of fighting an unjust war I suspect you'd be all for him. But in that case the dissent would be FROM your side rather than AGAINST your side. Only then, it seems, is dissent or "insubordination" honorable in the eyes of the Left.

Happy blogging to a fellow Shaun!

7:55 PM  
Blogger Shaun said...

Thanks for the comment and good wishes, Seane-Anna, but I think you misread me here. This isn't really a political question for me, except to the degree that all flag officers are creations and creatures of the peculiar world of military politics.

It's a matter of military decorum and military law. It's about the oath that all of us who served have taken to preserve and defend the Constitution, which makes the military subservient to civilian authority. It's about the integrity of the chain of command at every level.

It's true enough that my standard might be different for the grumbling of a PFC. That kind of thing was handled by the assignment of sh*t details back in my day, and probably still is. You'll not, of course, that the relevant portion of the UCMJ treats officers differently. They are, it's true, held to a higher standard, and richly rewarded for that extra measure of expectations.

Partisanship, though, isn't really a factor here. Usually is, so I suppose your suspicions aren't completely off base, but not here.

Thanks again!

12:43 PM  

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