Skip to comments.When To Shoot The Colonels
Posted on 07/20/2010 1:18:37 PM PDT by VR-21
At ease, Marines, and be seated" orders the gruff Gunnery Sergeant. "Now turn to Chapter 8 in your Military Constitutional Law text," he continues. "Today we discuss the appropriate conditions for shooting a colonel who is issuing an order which would violate the Constitutional rights of American citizens. Our first scenario involves gun seizures..."
Absurd, isn't it, to think that this sort of education is conducted among our armed forces? Yet, millions of citizens indulge this unspoken fantasy each time they imagine that the military exists to preserve our freedoms.
When I was at the Naval Academy in the mid-80s, and a Marine officer in the late 1980s and early 1990s, discussion of such issues was considered taboo. One fellow junior officer even scoffed that "Congress can change that Constitution any time they like." This isn't to say that there wasn't an undercurrent among most of the warfighters that issues such as gun control and preservation freedom of speech might one day pose a crisis of command. Yet this undercurrent was kept carefully concealed, and tended to become a more and more uncomfortable subject as the ranks of one's company became more elevated. Fortunately, with the Soviets and the threat of global thermonuclear war, these issues seemed far removed and safe from serious discussion.
Not so today. In the aftermath of Katrina, armed and uniformed soldiers patrolled the streets and disarmed Americans. Some uniformed soldiers were captured on film lamenting that "I can't believe that we're doing this to Americans." Yet, they did it anyway, lamentations notwithstanding. But why?
(Excerpt) Read more at webwarrioronline.com ...
Your post is interesting as I have also wondered the same thing.
Not only is there the dichotomy I mentioned, I think there’s often a fork in the road where ideals and human nature can part.
It's not there, but it is understood. I once briefed that very subject, as the most junior officer in my Air Guard E&I squadron.
Whiskey Rebellion was before the Posse Commitatus act, and the perfectly lawful use of troops, mostly militia, was led in the field by President Washington himself.
Bonus Army action was shameful and likely illegal, but there were unintended results from what was supposed to be merely a crowd control action. I'd blame MacArthur mostly.
Kent State was national guard acting under *state* orders, where their use to enforce the law is perfectly legal and exempt from Posse Commitatus. (See Art. 1 section 8 which reads in part: Congress shall have the power ... To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions
Waco was Texas Guard equipment operated (mostly) by FBI, under false pretenses. (IOW the governor was lied to by the FBI, who was lied to by the BATFE).
This is the one issue that I’ve had a real difficult time getting a handle on. Yes, the military can jack their hand up and take an oath. A real important oath.
But during my 20 years in uniform, I received ZERO training on the practical application of that oath. That includes formal Professional Military Education and non-formal. No discussions, no case studies: nothing.
I seriously doubt there will be an extreme example on the horizon, but if history is any example, the erosion of freedom happens gradually until it reaches a point of unreversable momentum.
From a practical standpoint (we can talk about problems until we are blue in the face), but how do conservatives push the issue so that it does get into service academies, up to and including the non-commissioned officers? Name the PACs and other orgs that have skin in the game.
I understand your concern - my point was that we (officers) take an oath to support and defend the Constitution, not the President, and having represented both the government and a bunch of defendants, and advised commanders, intel folks and civilians, I have a great affection for, and loyalty to, the Constitution, not any particular President. Unfortunately, there are too many who become senior officers by concentrating upward, rather than protecting those below. That’s careerism, not leadership.
If the JAGs are doing their job, there is instruction at every level of PME (now DE, developmental education) about the Law of Armed Conflict, which specifically includes the circumstances under which an order is considered unlawful and must be disobeyed. We don’t just parrot what the mucky-mucks want us to teach, we use the UCMJ, the Hague Convention and the Geneva Convention as our guide. There’s a reason JAGs are officially authorized to have “non-conversations” with each other - to discuss the legal ramifications of any particular action, whether of a JAG or of a commander, and to seek and give advice on how to handle a commander who states that he intends to give an unlawful order or pursue an unlawful course of action.
Thanks for your reply Colonel. I was an enlisted aircrewman in the Navy in the early 70's, and as such I worked with a lot of officers both junior and senior. Most of them were top shelf guys. I also appreciate your distinction between leadership and careerism. I hope your ethos is the prevailing one among our modern officer corps. They're a group I desperately want to believe in. Living as we do in a time when even sports teams are politicized, it's difficult not to be paranoid.
I don’t think the founders had that in mind. They made provisions for the President to be a natural-born citizen.
I think it’s still unsettled as to whether any orders are now lawful now. At least it’s not clear to me.
That's all quite interesting. When the Clampdown comes, I'm sure I'll find it comforting that the GIs blowing my family to bits with high-powered military weapons are doing so in accordance with firm legal precedent.
I will agree with you in prayer in that regard, but be prepared for the worst and just donate everything to Good Will when things get better.
I, myself, took that very oath, but you have the emphasis in the wrong place. The first duty to which you are sworn is to the United States Constitution, which represents We, the People. The rest of the oath, including whose orders you obey, is secondary to the preservation of our nation and our freedoms. If the guys who took this oath are doing the shooting, then they have been poorly schooled in their duty to their oath. When I was in the military, the possibility of firing on the American people was discussed, and it was unanimously rejected everytime. If ordered to do so, then the military personnel had a higher duty to shoot those who gave the order, not We, the People.
Thanks for your service, VR.
The Military only has about 2 million total,,,
All the LEO’s number about 1 million total,,,
There is about 90 million gun owners in this country that
have bought up the total ammo production of this country for nearly
2 years now,,,
As you can see American gun owners seem to be the largest
land army on earth,,,
The best thing that we can do is have what we need IN the
house and just stay home for a month or two and defend it!
Large cities in the north and west coast mite have problems
but most of the red states will not,,,
They just don't have the numbers to put that “boot heel”
on the US of A...;0)
Anyone who believes that many, if not most, careerists wouldn't quickly subordinate any doubt they had about the constitutionality of an order to take an action that would violate a citizen's rights is mistaken.
That being said, there is discussion taking place about the subject. Young officers with families to feed, house payments and car payments, etc, will probably initially do what they are told to do. But, at some point in time, someone will question an illegal order or find themselves enforcing an order against their own interests -or that of their family. Then, with luck, men and women will begin to resist. They will pretend to follow their orders, but will sabotage the effort to some degree.
That there will be casualties, I have no doubt. Ultimately, it will come down to a critical few exhibiting the kind of leadership that will impell those with conscience and those who are content to go along with the crowd, to side with the people.
Back in the 1970's when the Ayatollah's revolution was going on in Iran, I recall seeing the Shah's soldiers break and begin firing on their fellow soldiers who were, in turn, firing on the crowds of anti government demonstrators. I expect that if (when) it comes down to shooting, the same will happen here.
Whatever, O website Wolverine.
PS - It’s “mortar”, not “morter”.
and most others will defend this country to the death,,,
I hoped that I could give you some peace in the fact that
Americans should feel safe in their homes no matter
what happens in this country,,,
Me and most of the guys I shoot with are “Half Milers That means we can hit our target at 880 yards,,,(1/2 mile).
You seem to be afraid to defend your family with force of
Thanks for the reminder. An oath, sworn before God, is forever. Many of us, including myself, figured we had fulfilled our obligation when we took off the uniform. Your post reminds us that our duty is not yet done.
Lately, I have been preparing my wife and I for what seems a catastrophe. I figure I’ll have one hour to GTFOOD.
One thing I’m trying to find is evacution routes - avoiding ALL major roads, as they will be jammed with the mice. Anybody got hints, other DIY on Mapquest?
I highlighted that section to show the difference between the officer’s oath and the enlisted man’s oath. My loyalty lies with the Republic.
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