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I Don't Owe the Military Anything
Lewrockwell.com ^ | January 29, 2004 | Brad Edmonds

Posted on 01/29/2004 6:28:15 AM PST by dixiepatriot

I Don't Owe the Military Anything

by Brad Edmonds

I get impassioned emails from readers who are military veterans or relatives of military veterans, saying, in essence, "You go ahead and say your terrible things. The men and women of the armed forces will continue risking their lives to defend your right to say it." These readers claim that the only reason I'm free to say the things I do, and the reason I owe the military all sorts of my money, is because the military has for 200 years defended my freedom all over the world.

I say, Hogwash!

First, let me distinguish between "the military" and "the men and women." The "military" is the administrative unit that constitutes the careers of millions in the US, and gobbles up a huge chunk of our federal budget. The "men and women" are individuals, all of whom entered the military for personal reasons. Such people are often honorable individuals. My father served 25 years in the Air Force, running accounting and finance operations, and was so successful that even as a lowly major, two- and three-star generals sought his advice and ignored his bosses. Yes, I'm proud of my dad, and of his record.

I still don't owe the military anything, and my case is based on two facts: (1) That these men and women served does not create a positive obligation on my part to pay for their medical care or anything else (it is dishonorable, by the way, when women are involved in any way in combat; chivalrous men would not have women serve except in administrative and medical positions, far away from combat). (2) The military has failed in its duty to protect our freedoms.

With regard to (1): Most, probably nearly all, in the military entered for personal reasons, not just to "protect our freedoms." I entered the CIA for adventure, an income, and federal benefits. This would apply to most, particularly those in the most dangerous and glorified jobs (Seals, Rangers, etc.). I did not ask these people to serve, just as nobody asked me to serve in the CIA; and the only people whose report of self-sacrifice I believe are those who accept salaries far below their potentials. How many Wharton MBA or Harvard law graduates run to the military? I'm prepared to accept the self-sacrifice testimony of careerists in the Salvation Army and the YMCA. Anyone else enjoys too many personal benefits for me to accept much of the "selfless" claim.

With regard to (2), I have three questions:

If the military is supposed to be defending our freedoms in the US, why is all the action in other countries? The only foreign action the US has seen is Pearl Harbor, into which the Japanese were goaded by FDR with his full knowledge and intent, as has been declassified only recently; and 9/11, which was most plausibly retaliation for 40 years of bombing women and children in the Middle East. I would be more willing to believe that the military was about defending our freedoms if they would limit themselves to defending our borders, and if they would do so successfully. Remember, on 9/11, the military couldn't even defend the Pentagon.

It is much more plausible that the military is merely a tool for Congress and the White House to enact their foreign-policy desires. "Defending American interests abroad" explains the last 200 years far better than "defending freedoms at home." Unfortunately, Congress and the White House lost track of the fact that entangling alliances with none, and free trade with all, furthers individual Americans' interests more successfully than the policy we've embraced since Jefferson: Entangling alliances with whomever, free trade only with those with whom we have entangling alliances.

Second question: If the military has done such a great job of defending our freedoms at home, why do we need a Department of Homeland Security? Wasn't the Department of Defense supposed to provide defense? Instead, the Department of Fatherland Defense is an open, if unwitting, admission that the Department of Defense is in reality the Department of Offense, going abroad to force Congressional and White House foreign policy on whomever they want, whether the foreign party is willing or not. Just as one example: Hussein is accused of killing some 185,000 of his own countrymen. The Sudan is accused of killing perhaps 2 million. Why select Hussein for regime change? The 9/11 connection and WMDs (the only ones of which Hussein ever had he was given by the US to begin with) have both proven false. Oil interests are a much more plausible explanation.

Finally, if the military were doing such a great job of defending our freedom, why do we have so much less of it than we had in 1787? In 1865? In 1912? In 1932? In 1960? Our freedoms, particularly our property rights (specifically, our right to our own earnings) have been eroded dramatically. Our tax burden, approaching 50% for those of us who pay taxes, is monstrously larger than it was in each of those other years. The military has done nothing to keep Congress and the White House from treating us as chattel slaves. Again, that the military exists for the benefit of the White House and members of Congress explains military events and outcomes of the last 200 years far better than "defending our freedom" does.

An additional note: It is by this point uncontroversial that our freedoms would have been better defended without a standing military. The founders knew it; and Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto knew it, saying, "You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind each blade of grass." He didn't say you should not, or that it would be costly or difficult. He said "you cannot." The gun rights we had then have only been eroded since, hence the military has done nothing for the real power of the US to defend itself.

I'm sorry that so many honorable military men and women have been misled. I'm sorry that so many believe they fought for our freedoms. I'm sorry that a smaller, but significant, percentage of those believe that I personally owe them an involuntarily-taken chunk of my income. Morally, I do not owe them this. I did not ask them to do what they did; they already have been, and are being, paid; I believe my freedom has only been eroded, not enhanced, by their presence; and I believe my actual personal safety is more threatened by their existence, not less, as a result of how they have been used by Congress and the White House.

I don't idolize, but I do admire those 99% of the members of the armed forces who have served honorably. But I owe them nothing.

January 29, 2004

http://www.lewrockwell.com/edmonds/edmonds177.html


TOPICS: Editorial; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: bradedmonds; dontdelete; lewsers
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When George Orwell wrote "1984", he described the endless shifting of foreign enemies. This was a tactic used by the government to focus public hatred abroad in an effort to make them ignore tyranny at home. The practice works. It works in part because Americans are willing to shift their hatred here and there, depending on the latest government list of proscribed enemies. Meanwhile, their liberties are being eroded in front of their very eyes all compliments of their own government.
1 posted on 01/29/2004 6:28:15 AM PST by dixiepatriot
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To: dixiepatriot
Brad Edmonds in an example that not all ignorance is preventable by military parents.
2 posted on 01/29/2004 6:31:24 AM PST by af_vet_1981
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To: dixiepatriot
Another monkey at Lewrockwell demonstrates that he can play with his own feces.

What a perverse audience they have.

3 posted on 01/29/2004 6:34:33 AM PST by mrsmith
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To: dixiepatriot
"It works in part because Americans are willing to shift their hatred here and there, depending on the latest government list of proscribed enemies."

Some of us have a mind of our own.
4 posted on 01/29/2004 6:34:41 AM PST by philetus (Keep doing what you always do and you'll keep getting what you always get)
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To: dixiepatriot
Meanwhile, their liberties are being eroded in front of their very eyes all compliments of their own government.

Just a temporary condition. All will be restored when we defeat "Goldsteinism".

5 posted on 01/29/2004 6:34:55 AM PST by steve50 ("There is Tranquility in Ignorance, but Servitude is its Partner.")
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To: dixiepatriot
Some good points mixed in with some pure idiocy.
6 posted on 01/29/2004 6:37:02 AM PST by Sloth (Why fight foreign enemies if we are surrendering to the domestic ones?)
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To: dixiepatriot
There's some good points in there.

Unfortunately, this probably won't be allowed to stand. Instead of addressing the issues brought up in the article, people will summarily dismiss it as "hogwash".

7 posted on 01/29/2004 6:37:18 AM PST by TonyBanks (To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the loyal opposition.)
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To: dixiepatriot
My father served 25 years in the Air Force...

And I'm sure his father is very proud of this screed from his son's feverish brain.

8 posted on 01/29/2004 6:38:02 AM PST by ladtx ( "Remember your regiment and follow your officers." Captain Charles May, 2d Dragoons, 9 May 1846)
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To: dixiepatriot
"and 9/11, which was most plausibly retaliation for 40 years of bombing women and children in the Middle East.

"Fat drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son."

9 posted on 01/29/2004 6:38:12 AM PST by KantianBurke (2+2 does NOT equal 5)
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To: dixiepatriot
Without reading more a couple of paragraphs of this amaturish crap, I agree with him in one sense. Brad made no deal with the military and is free to give nothing back. I made a bumper sticker with a phrase that I read here on Free Republic:
Pacifists are Parasites on Freedom
A Cuban woman came up to me in the parking log 3 days ago and asked where I got it. I had to tell her that I had it made and as far as I knew it wasn’t sold. She relied, “It’s so true” and walked away.
10 posted on 01/29/2004 6:38:33 AM PST by elfman2
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To: TonyBanks
Even the lunatic standing on the corner preaching the end of the world brings up a good point here and there, but it's not worth listening to the rest of the rants.
11 posted on 01/29/2004 6:39:31 AM PST by ladtx ( "Remember your regiment and follow your officers." Captain Charles May, 2d Dragoons, 9 May 1846)
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To: dixiepatriot
Where was the barf alert? Supposedly the Twin Tower attack was all some Orwellian tactic in order to make us accept taking off our shoes at airports.

[By the way, the new Homeland Security Bill has passed. Things will be different now. Internet surfing will be tracked by the FBI with a non-intrusive method. The FBI says you will not notice anything different. For a demonstration Click on the link below...]

FBI internet tracking demonston

12 posted on 01/29/2004 6:40:06 AM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: dixiepatriot
FU, Brad.

signed,
20 year vet.
13 posted on 01/29/2004 6:40:33 AM PST by j_tull
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To: af_vet_1981
Sadly I must agree . The "gentleman" & I use that term rather loosely seems to think that it is the military's job to keep the elected officials honest it is not! It is the job of you & me ! The job of the armed forces is to break things & kill people in the name of the people & govt. of this nation. As for not oweing those who have served & have been cripled/disabled in the line of duty the fellow is a ungrateful louse & unworthy of the service of the members of this nations armed forces.
14 posted on 01/29/2004 6:43:27 AM PST by Nebr FAL owner (.308 reach out & thump someone .50 cal. Browning reach out & crush someone)
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To: dixiepatriot
Somebody (Safire, Novak ??) described Hillary as a congenital liar.

This writer also has some congenital defect I'm at a loss to diagnose.

Perhaps he was rejected by the military and has been angry ever since ??

Maybe he's just jealous.

This is such a broad attack against so many different elements of a big picture (opening with military health care, then headed to Pearl Harbor, then gun control) that it is incoherent.

If he's got a point to make, not only does he fail to make it -- we don't even understand what it is.

Claiming not to owe the military establishment anything is bizarre, who said he did ??

It's just a rant.

15 posted on 01/29/2004 6:43:59 AM PST by skip2myloo
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To: dixiepatriot
This hatred of and contempt for the military is why I can not stomach these people.

As to the "1984" accusation, this is a common tactic used by totalitarian governments that can control their people's access to information. (Think Soviet Union or China.) It absolutely will not work in a free society in which the common people have open access to the news as we do. I will grant that much of the so-called news is propaganda, but it is not controlled by the government and thus does not work as in "1984."
16 posted on 01/29/2004 6:44:04 AM PST by RebelBanker (Deo Vindice)
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To: Cultural Jihad
Supposedly the Twin Tower attack was all some Orwellian tactic in order to make us accept taking off our shoes at airports.

You didn't say it with the proper hysteria. Thats why you it sounds so lame.
17 posted on 01/29/2004 6:46:59 AM PST by Arkinsaw
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To: dixiepatriot
Brad Edmonds might make a better point if he could get his facts straight:

The only foreign action the US has seen is Pearl Harbor

At the time, Hawaii was a territory and not a state (just like the Philippines and Wake Island that the Japs invaded). How about the the War of 1812 when the Brits burned Washington? The Civil War? Mexican-American War? Indian Wars?

I don't idolize, but I do admire those 99% of the members of the armed forces who have served honorably. But I owe them nothing.

Spoken by someone who lives in a safe neighborhood, works in a safe building and does not worry about heat, food or clothing. Wonder how he would change his tune if he lived in the constant fear of an invading army that would execute him if they won (Israeli) or would sell him into slavery (Sudan) or force him to convert to Islam (Nigeria).

Most, probably nearly all, in the military entered for personal reasons, not just to "protect our freedoms."

Maybe pre 9/11. Not post 9/11. He needs to actually go visit and talk with some of our troops...

18 posted on 01/29/2004 6:47:23 AM PST by 2banana
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To: Cultural Jihad; MJY1288; prairiebreeze; Miss Marple; Dane; Texasforever; deport; Amelia; ...
OMG, that is so dang funny!

Spread it around!
19 posted on 01/29/2004 6:48:05 AM PST by Howlin
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To: dixiepatriot
What an ass.
20 posted on 01/29/2004 6:48:58 AM PST by Bluegrass Federalist
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To: ladtx
Obviously has unresolved attention-deficit issues between father and son.
21 posted on 01/29/2004 6:49:38 AM PST by sarasota
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To: ladtx
Well said,ladtx!
22 posted on 01/29/2004 6:51:35 AM PST by MEG33 (America will never seek a permission slip to provide for the security of our country)
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To: dixiepatriot
And I don't think that Americans truely hate foreign countries, we feel sorry for them, pity them, hold them in contempt, disdain, scorn, and a variety of different shades along the same theme. Americans are bone deep convinced that they are the best of the best, and the rest of the world is in a sorry state of affairs, because they are not American. When Americans learn to hate en masse, then we will be in trouble.
23 posted on 01/29/2004 6:51:48 AM PST by NotQuiteCricket (~maybe I'm bitter, and maybe I'm not....)
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To: dixiepatriot
This was a tactic used by the government to focus public hatred abroad in an effort to make them ignore tyranny at home.

I see...so 9/11 was part of this diabolical plot and was really an expression of the "tyranny at home"?

Ye Gods!

Lord, grant me patience with idiotic rantings and ravings from the clinically insane.

24 posted on 01/29/2004 6:52:01 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: TonyBanks
Hogwash!
25 posted on 01/29/2004 6:52:26 AM PST by MEG33 (America will never seek a permission slip to provide for the security of our country)
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To: TonyBanks
Why don't you pluck out and highlight one of the "good points"?

26 posted on 01/29/2004 6:52:57 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: j_tull
Agreed. Speaking for my family ( sharing the same last name as this Brad Clymer, I hope there's no relation );

My father : 2 years US Army, 21 years USAF

My brother : 20 years USAF

Myself : 8 years USAF
27 posted on 01/29/2004 6:53:19 AM PST by Hillarys Gate Cult (Proud member of the right wing extremist Neanderthals.)
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To: dixiepatriot
Am I misreading or is comment 1 yours? The author of the tread and the author of comment 1 are both idiots.

CG
28 posted on 01/29/2004 6:53:27 AM PST by Conspiracy Guy (I fired my outsourced poster due to poor quality.)
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To: elfman2
I confess I didn't closely read this garbage, either, but the poster's comments...whew boy.
29 posted on 01/29/2004 6:54:33 AM PST by cyncooper
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To: dixiepatriot
You and me owe those wounded in combat Brad...you are just too selfish and greedy to pay up...without pitchin' a fit...
You ought to do some volunteer time at a VA hosptial Brad...on the spinal cord unit or with the blind vets or amputees...
Naw you are probably too self involved and arrogant to even consider such 'servitiude'
CIA ..perfumed pimp
30 posted on 01/29/2004 6:54:39 AM PST by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: ladtx
My father served 25 years in the Air Force... running accounting and finance operations, and was so successful that even as a lowly major, two- and three-star generals sought his advice and ignored his bosses.

Chit! I'd stay 25 years myself in that 'cushy' desk job. And what's 'lowly' about a major?

31 posted on 01/29/2004 6:54:45 AM PST by shiva
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To: mrsmith
Amen.
32 posted on 01/29/2004 6:54:48 AM PST by anniegetyourgun
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To: ladtx
He really does try to fit in too much, but here's the main point, as I see it.

It is much more plausible that the military is merely a tool for Congress and the White House to enact their foreign-policy desires. "Defending American interests abroad" explains the last 200 years far better than "defending freedoms at home." Unfortunately, Congress and the White House lost track of the fact that entangling alliances with none, and free trade with all, furthers individual Americans' interests more successfully than the policy we've embraced since Jefferson: Entangling alliances with whomever, free trade only with those with whom we have entangling alliances.

With that, I certainly agree.

33 posted on 01/29/2004 6:55:36 AM PST by TonyBanks (To you I'm an atheist; to God, I'm the loyal opposition.)
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To: dixiepatriot
I think this person raises some interesting points, but he does it in such a caustic manner that it can only inflame readers, not engage them.

I am curious about the "40 years" of bombing people in the Middle East. What American military operations have been ongoing in the Middle East for 40 years that involved bombing?

Is this author really that ignorant of military operational reality and history generally, or just using provocative language for its own sake?

And BTW, I served. So did lots of other people. Lots didn't. So what?
34 posted on 01/29/2004 6:55:43 AM PST by Gefreiter
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To: dixiepatriot
I'm not touching this one...
35 posted on 01/29/2004 6:59:16 AM PST by dakine
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To: mrsmith
Another monkey at Lewrockwell demonstrates that he can play with his own feces. What a perverse audience they have.

Particularly the nutters at so-called Libertarian sites where Jewhatred is rampant.

36 posted on 01/29/2004 6:59:57 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
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To: dixiepatriot
"Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You?...

My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you dont talk about at parties, you don't want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline."

-Col. Jessup (A few good men)
37 posted on 01/29/2004 7:00:01 AM PST by brownsfan (I didn't leave the democratic party, the democratic party left me.)
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To: Gefreiter
At least this guy is for tax cuts!
38 posted on 01/29/2004 7:01:56 AM PST by ChadsDad
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To: RebelBanker
Right.This article proves we are free to write anything.

It reminds me of Tim Robbins complaining about lack of freedom to speak,being muzzled, while giving a speech to the National Press Club .I was watching it on CSPAN.I really took him seriously.
39 posted on 01/29/2004 7:02:55 AM PST by MEG33 (America will never seek a permission slip to provide for the security of our country)
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To: cyncooper
I see...so 9/11 was part of this diabolical plot and was really an expression of the "tyranny at home"?

Yes! 9-11 was just the excuse Bush and Ashcroft used to place their jackboot on the neck of America!!! (/sarcasm)

40 posted on 01/29/2004 7:02:58 AM PST by veronica ("America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people." GW Bush 1-20-04)
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To: dixiepatriot
In Orwell's scenario the threats were conjured up. In today's reality, the threats are real. There happens to be an extensive clash of wills, between several foreign intrests and the intrest of Freedom.
41 posted on 01/29/2004 7:04:52 AM PST by spunkets
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To: dixiepatriot
The author turns himself into a pretzel, wanting to denounce the military and its PEOPLE, yet he has not the courage to come up front with his denouncement. He has to qualify himself by using his father as a shield. Idiot.
42 posted on 01/29/2004 7:06:04 AM PST by cynicom
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To: Gefreiter
Re: 40 years of (US) bombings in the Middle East?!

I seriously doubt that this writer is what he claims to be -- a CIA veteran -- since I'm sure that he can't point to a US "bombing" in the Middle East taking place any time between 1964 and Reagan's Libya Raid.

If you ask me, the US has shown remarkable restraint -- up till now that is...

43 posted on 01/29/2004 7:07:15 AM PST by Tallguy (Does anybody really think that Saddam's captor really said "Pres. Bush sends his regards"?)
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To: elfman2
I had a friend in high school who had most of his earlier extended family killed in the Warsaw Ghetto and another who had a 3 inch folder of the Nazi stamped identity and immigration documents from the time an American uncle undertook a dangerous and lengthy journey to remove his relatives from Nazi occupied Lithuania. Needless to say, both understood a little more about freedom that the average "young skull full of mush" at that age...
44 posted on 01/29/2004 7:09:42 AM PST by Axenolith (<tag>)
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To: dixiepatriot
Let me make sure I understand this Edmonds jackass. He says this about his service in the CIA . . .

I entered the CIA for adventure, an income, and federal benefits.

Adventure, income, and federal benefits. Okey-doke. I got it.

Now he says this about military veterans . . .

That these men and women served does not create a positive obligation on my part to pay for their medical care or anything else . . .

So . . . patrician punks like him can join the CIA for federal benefits, and expect them to be paid, but military veterans who joined the military for the federal benefits (GI Bill, health care, etc.) shouldn't expect for their country to "really" follow through with the promises the veteran was given when he or she joined?

Yup, typical socialist jackass. I only have one thing to say about or to Mr. Edmonds . . .


45 posted on 01/29/2004 7:10:27 AM PST by geedee (They who give up essential liberty to obtain temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.)
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To: MEG33

Even George Soros!

46 posted on 01/29/2004 7:11:23 AM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: skip2myloo
I bet the author can't stand to watch "Tactical to Practical" on the History channel.
47 posted on 01/29/2004 7:14:44 AM PST by muskogee
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To: dixiepatriot
I don't idolize, but I do admire those 99% of the members of the armed forces who have served honorably. But I owe them nothing.

Hmmm. Should I or shouldn't I?

Yeah, I guess I should. Listen pogey-bait, I'm speaking as one those that you owe nothing to: I didn't ask for anything from you, in the first place, you stinking REMF.

I served because I got paid reasonably well to do things that I enjoyed doing. Others may call it what they wish, I called it a job. I didn't fail at it, either. Your stinking ass is still around to spew this crap, ain't it?

Thanks for paying your taxes, so that I could be paid, but otherwise, I really don't give a damn if you live or die.

In fact, you mealy-mouthed wanna-be spook, your type is the same type that did nothing but piss me off day after day, anyway, since all you could do was postulate and present your silly-ass pipe dreams based upon your fabricated imaginings, with no other purpose than to make a pitiful attempt to justify your own job. Good and honorable men died for your Clancy imaginings.

Your type wasted my time and talents on many occasions, with your Cold War crap and the constant doom and gloom crap that never existed.

You would have been better off just keeping your idiotic mouth shut. Tis better to keep silent and be thought a fool, than to open ones mouth and verify the suspicion.

CIA, my ass. The good ones don't go around spouting this crap. If you knew half of what you think you know about why someone serves, you wouldn't be wasting your time writing your silliness for Lew Rockwell forums.

But, you, you ignorant James Bond wannabe, you don't know diddly about your subject, best you go back to writing assessments of non-existant planned invasions of Bora-Bora or whatever it is you ring-knocking, joe college CIA dipshits do.

48 posted on 01/29/2004 7:15:12 AM PST by OldSmaj
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To: cyncooper
Lord, grant me patience with idiotic rantings and ravings from the clinically insane.


49 posted on 01/29/2004 7:16:01 AM PST by geedee (They who give up essential liberty to obtain temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.)
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To: dixiepatriot

I cannot comment further and maintain civility.

50 posted on 01/29/2004 7:16:40 AM PST by Richard Kimball
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