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Our Stained, Muzzled Military
Townhall.com ^ | May 10, 2013 | Mark Davis

Posted on 05/10/2013 4:15:21 AM PDT by Kaslin

It is hard to point to one thing as the worst element of the current scandal over the Benghazi cover-up. But there’s something that belongs on the list that has not been mentioned enough.

Obviously, it is a consuming matter to absorb the deaths of four Americans and a subsequent campaign of deceit designed to protect those in power now and those who may seek it later.

But politicians have a long history of lying to protect themselves. What is different here, and disturbing to a whole new level, is the capacity of this administration to plow well beyond its own corruption to corrupt others.

There is no more distressing victim of this phenomenon than the hierarchy and culture of the United States military.

This White House has very little use for our men and women in uniform, and no proper instinct for the respect they deserve.

They become useful props when it’s time to crow again about the killing of Osama bin Laden, but the war that made that possible is a cancer the Obama team is radiating into obscurity, as we cut and run from Afghanistan, Iraq and every theater where we had a chance to boost democracy with our stabilizing presence.

There is little doubt that the Benghazi terrorists were energized by this American surrender. Does anyone believe they would have pulled this off if we had maintained a strong presence throughout the Middle East?

But even with our Obama-depleted ranks in the region, we now know we could have mounted some response to minimize the damage done by the Benghazi terrorists.

But those response teams were told to stand down. Reaction throughout the ranks apparently ranged from fury to disbelief.

Both are warranted, among our armed forces and across the American landscape. How in God’s name were responding forces restrained? And by whom?

If Democrats can stifle their chant that all questions have been answered, they might work on that one. And then they might join the chorus of curious souls wondering how officials who knew better could continue to parrot that stupid story about a YouTube video as the catalyst for the Benghazi attacks.

But again, much has been written about that. Not enough light has been directed at the last shred of dignity stripped from our military by this White House. The intimidation of whistleblowers, the attempted muzzling of witnesses who might have more to tell, the stunning disregard shown to the forces who were begging to be loosed to help their countrymen-- this is the work of a wholly unfit Commander-in-Chief.

And yet because of that title, the aggrieved troops cannot speak truth to power. This tragedy demands answers from various military levels on questions about how their trust was trampled by the current President and the former Secretary of State who may wish to be his successor.

This is just the latest dishonor foisted on our armed forces by this regime. Here in the season of sequester, The budgetarily minuscule Blue Angels and Thunderbirds are grounded, silencing their ability to create goodwill. But far more seriously, a carrier group that should be patrolling treacherous Persian Gulf waters is stuck in port, all because this President chooses to strand them there so that an inattentive public can think this is what spending cuts do.

This cries out for a military hero to step forward to proclaim, “Enough!”

I can imagine the testimony of such a valiant figure. “The air shows did not need to be cancelled. Our ships certainly do not need to be shackled to their docks. This is pure politics.”

But this will never happen. The hierarchy of military power precludes all ranks from publicly highlighting the duplicity of the President, a rule which probably serves us well.

But we need more. We need military heroes to step forward with details of any effort by Barack Obama to spread lies about Benghazi and its aftermath. And we need for even more courageous voices to share any measures undertaken by Hillary Clinton to obscure the truth, including the question of who ordered the silencing of Benghazi survivors and key players.

I am dreaming, of course. This would be the height of insubordination.

The Benghazi hearings, thorough as they were, merely scratched the surface of what people did at the highest levels of power, to keep power.

They simply could not have witnesses spilling out with a story of a terror hotbed that Obama somehow had not fixed.

So the cover-up began, and it continues to this day, a corruptive stain that spreads across multiple figures.

Military personnel are not used to being caught up in political self-protection games. But they surely are now, and it sickens them. Or it should


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: benghazi; obama

1 posted on 05/10/2013 4:15:21 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

“But they surely are now, and it sickens them.”

Obama’s cowardly bullsh*t sickens a lot of people.


2 posted on 05/10/2013 4:18:08 AM PDT by Jack Hammer (American)
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To: Kaslin

Look for more enlisted to call it quits once their time in the military is done.


3 posted on 05/10/2013 4:18:38 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Biggirl

When you sign up for the U.S. military, you do Uncle Sam’s bidding no matter how objectionable it may seem. Frankly, I’m kind of surprised so many people have a problem with this.


4 posted on 05/10/2013 4:29:13 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: Kaslin

I’m afraid our senior military leadership has gone the way of the liberal democrat.


5 posted on 05/10/2013 4:36:21 AM PDT by ryan71 (The Second American Revolution)
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To: Alberta's Child

Not quite true. You obey the orders of your superiors no matter how much you disagree with them, so long as they are legal orders. You have a duty to disobey illegal orders. Will you be court-martialed for doing so? Definitely. That doesn’t affect your duty to disobey them one bit. If the officers of the court-martial are honest and honorable men, they’ll consider the legality of the order disobeyed and will decline to convict if the order is illegal.


6 posted on 05/10/2013 4:44:16 AM PDT by Doug Loss
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To: Jack Hammer

Cowardice is exactly what we are witnessing here, not just with Benghazi, but with everything that is going wrong. We are telegraphing a message of weakness, and it is inviting the enemy to strike.

There will be more attacks.


7 posted on 05/10/2013 4:48:29 AM PDT by wayoverontheright
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To: Doug Loss
If the officers of the court-martial are honest and honorable men, they’ll consider the legality of the order disobeyed and will decline to convict if the order is illegal.

That's a big IF at the beginning of that sentence, isn't it?

8 posted on 05/10/2013 4:49:25 AM PDT by Alberta's Child ("I am the master of my fate ... I am the captain of my soul.")
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To: Alberta's Child

You are wrong. You don’t sign up to be a robot. The wonder of our military and what made it strong was that each was charged with exercising judgment and initiative in performing his/her duties. Now, brilliance is costly. This is sad


9 posted on 05/10/2013 4:52:52 AM PDT by yldstrk (My heroes have always been cowboys)
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To: Alberta's Child
When you sign up for the U.S. military, you do Uncle Sam’s bidding no matter how objectionable it may seem.

The hell you do.

Its:

"I do solemnly swear 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; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

It's not:

"I swear to to do Uncle Sam’s bidding no matter how objectionable it may seem."

10 posted on 05/10/2013 5:04:37 AM PDT by agere_contra (I once saw a movie where only the police and military had guns. It was called 'Schindler's List'.)
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To: Doug Loss
Not quite true. You obey the orders of your superiors no matter how much you disagree with them, so long as they are legal orders. You have a duty to disobey illegal orders. Will you be court-martialed for doing so? Definitely. That doesn’t affect your duty to disobey them one bit. If the officers of the court-martial are honest and honorable men, they’ll consider the legality of the order disobeyed and will decline to convict if the order is illegal.

While it is your duty to disobey an illegal order, there is a catch-22. You can still be punished for disobeying the order. Most legal folks will tell you to obey the order under protest and then report it after the fact. IOW, don't expect to come out of it unscathed even if it was a really bad order.

11 posted on 05/10/2013 5:09:53 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: Kaslin
including the question of who ordered the silencing of Benghazi survivors and key players.

...this particular question is starting to get annoying....it's as though we have to dig through tons of s**t to find the rose. WHEN IN FACT, there is only one person that is responsible. OBAMA. others are culpable. BUT THIS REST AT HIS FEET. He is the Commander in Chief...THE PRESIDENT...POTUS....stop giving the media the out to protect him

12 posted on 05/10/2013 5:14:29 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: Alberta's Child

...please keep in mind that over the last year or so GATES has fired or removed a lot of Generals that have had “problems” instituting Odungo’s agenda. Those generals have been replaced.


13 posted on 05/10/2013 5:18:06 AM PDT by Doogle (USAF.68-73..8th TFW Ubon Thailand..never store a threat you should have eliminated))
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To: Kaslin

Anyone in uniform that parroted that horsecrap about a Youtbe vid needs to be very publicly Court Martialled. Pronto. I can’t imagine a faster, more sure way to completely destroy our defense than to let high raining officers blatantly lie in public.


14 posted on 05/10/2013 5:22:05 AM PDT by wastoute (Government cannot redistribute wealth. Government can only redistribute poverty.)
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To: Kaslin

“The Democrats knew how to play us......they used the budget. ‘Go along with us on this, or we’ll cut your budget.’ They acted like they don’t care about our country’s safety, and I guess they don’t.”


15 posted on 05/10/2013 5:32:12 AM PDT by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: trebb
Most legal folks will tell you to obey the order under protest and then report it after the fact.

Yeah; as it creates more work for THEM!

16 posted on 05/10/2013 5:35:06 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: wastoute

“Contemplate the mangled bodies of your countrymen, and then say 'what should be the reward of such sacrifices?'

 

Bid us and our posterity bow the knee, supplicate the friendship and plough, and sow, and reap,

to glut the avarice of the men who have let loose on us the dogs of war to riot in our blood and hunt us from the face of the earth?

 

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace.

We ask not your counsels or arms.

 

Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.

May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!”

 
 

 

 

Samuel Adams quotes (American patriot and Politician of the American Revolution. 1722-1803)


17 posted on 05/10/2013 5:38:17 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Elsie

“........please keep in mind that over the last year or so GATES has fired or removed a lot of Generals that have had “problems” instituting Odungo’s agenda.”.

IMO, removing the leadership of our militray only fits into Odumbo’s goal of becoming “dictator” once he decides the timing is right. Who would be there to lead a coup against him?


18 posted on 05/10/2013 5:48:00 AM PDT by DaveA37 (I'm for HONEST government)
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To: trebb
While it is your duty to disobey an illegal order, there is a catch-22. You can still be punished for disobeying the order. Most legal folks will tell you to obey the order under protest and then report it after the fact. IOW, don't expect to come out of it unscathed even if it was a really bad order.

That's why I left after 8 years. After a series of "disagreements" with my CO, I was handed an efficiency report that ensured I would never make Major. When I filed my resignation paperwork, I was required to be counseled by the first O-6 in my chain of command, who happened to be the Base Commander. I didn't have a "normal" unit to command, as my battery included the Commanding General's staff and five directorates, all headed by full bird colonels. On the items I could be measured on, my unit had a stellar record, to include a 99.5% pass rate on the PT test, and CG's Best Mess Hall.

I wouldn't have done anything different. I learned as a young butterbar that everything my unit did, or failed to do, was my responsibility. So, if it falls on my shoulders, then I'm going to do it my way. I was often brash and a PITA, but we got the job done in often difficult environments.

There was one time I deliberately disobeyed an order, and I got hammered for it. I never took that personally...my superior did what he felt should have been done. Six months later, the Battalion Commander & XO realized that he was wrong, and I was right.

The other times, it was a matter of executing an order for which I had a different "understanding" of what the superior meant. LOL. My application of Jesuit teachings to military science created some conflicts from time to time. I never had a problem with my superiors that demanded imagination and independence from their officers. Unfortunately, I served too few of these men. But it was my experiences with them that remain the best memories I have of serving my country.

19 posted on 05/10/2013 6:01:37 AM PDT by Night Hides Not (The Tea Party was the earthquake, and Chick Fil A the tsunami...100's of aftershocks to come.)
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To: Progov
“........please keep in mind that over the last year or so GATES has fired or removed a lot of Generals that have had “problems” instituting Odungo’s agenda.”. IMO, removing the leadership of our military only fits into Odumbo’s goal of becoming “dictator” once he decides the timing is right. Who would be there to lead a coup against him?

The Colonels and Majors and Captains and Lieutenants. All the orders the Generals issue do not mean a damn thing unless the lower ranking officers follow those "illegal orders." They wont.

20 posted on 05/10/2013 7:22:53 AM PDT by cpdiii
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To: Kaslin
Congress should question David Petraeus, John Allen, Carter Ham, and Charles Gaouette under oath.
21 posted on 05/10/2013 8:37:44 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: Night Hides Not
I never had a problem with my superiors that demanded imagination and independence from their officers. Unfortunately, I served too few of these men. But it was my experiences with them that remain the best memories I have of serving my country.

First, God Bless for your service and you sound like they type officer I would have been proud to serve under. There are even fewer who want those under them to use their own brains and initiative - doing so is a sure career killer. It's also politically uncool to try to take care of your troops - you get more scooby points for showing a willingness to slam them than to stand up and protect them. I had more control over my people as a E-7 in the 90s than my current commander does over the folks in the squadron (I'm a DoD Civ now). The Group CC micromanages the squadrons and they have no choice but to carry it down the ranks - really sad to see the deliberate dumbing down of the ranks and attempt to instill a blind followership without effective leadership.

22 posted on 05/11/2013 3:00:22 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: trebb
...and attempt to instill a blind followership without effective leadership.

That's an overall American culture issue, IMO, and is not unique to the military. Effective leadership is becoming like "common sense"...not so common as we used to expect it to be.

23 posted on 05/11/2013 5:02:53 AM PDT by T-Bird45 (It feels like the seventies, and it shouldn't.)
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To: trebb

Actually, on several occasions I told my commander, “Put it in writing. I’ll get it cleared by Legal, then obey it.”

The handful of times I said that, my commander backed down. Fast!


24 posted on 05/11/2013 5:06:03 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (Liberals are like locusts...)
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To: Mr Rogers; trebb
Actually, on several occasions I told my commander, “Put it in writing. I’ll get it cleared by Legal, then obey it.”

I was pretty lucky...I never had to resort to that.

There was a 2-3 week period I let it all hang out. I was the Maintenance Officer for a Chaparral/Vulcan ADA battery in Germany. The Friday prior to our ARTEP (Tac Eval), the Group Cdr visits our tac park, a 90 minute drive from Group HQ. I'm the only officer out there, and my mechanics are exhaused from several weeks of 80+ hours. If just one of my Vulcans or Chaps goes down, we fall below 75%, the minimum acceptable level.

I suck it up and ask the Group Cdr for a 2 week extension...he knew our maintenance status, too. He said, "LT, you know this is going to bring the entire world down on you, don't you?" I replied, "yes sir."

Two weeks later, we underwent the evaluation with 6 Chaparrals and 7 Vulcans. I had to assume the role of XO as well, as the XO was scheduled for a Security Officer class at Vilseck, and Battalion didn't want to send a replacement. My 1SG was new to the unit: he comes up to me and says, "LT, I don't know anything about ADA". He was 26 years Infantry with 3 tours in Nam. My reply? I laughed, and said "Top, you know how to run a company CP? You handle that, and I'll take care of the ADA BS."

The second of 3 days was an unmitigated disaster. One of my Vulcan platoons missed their morning mission time by 30 minutes...completely unforgivable. I was called out of the field to get my butt chewed by the Battalion XO over our unit's maintenance status. After about 5 minutes, I start tapping the receiver, "Major? Major? You're breaking up...click"

When I get back to the CP, the 1SG is sitting down with his head in his hands. When he sees me, he says "It's over, it's over." Apparently, the BC improperly encoded the coordinates to a mission for one of the Vulcan platoons, and the Platoon Leader didn't challenge him. First time in the history of ADA that a Vulcan platoon provided a 10 KM long route defenxe. Pretty tall feat, considering the max effective range of a towed Vulcan was 1000 meters.

The BC was catatonic during our evening meeting...I was already piSSed. I was allowed to speak after his monologue, and I lit into the Platoon Leaders for a good 10 minutes. I told them what they would do the following day, down to what each of their squads would do when visited by the evaluators. I knew exactly what needed to be done, as I had passed 4 ARTEPS as a Platoon Leader, more than the current platoon leaders combined.

Those of you who had been in ARTEPs knew that, to pass, all you had to do was show significant improvement by the end of the third day. Considering our first two days, that was a slam dunk.

As I left the CP, who should I meet 10 feet outside the CP? None other than the Chief Evaluator. I thought, "crap". Instead, he gives me a big smile, and said "LT, that was beautiful!"

We passed, thanks to the efforts of the NCOs and EMs that worked for us. For my effort, I received the worst OER of my career.

25 posted on 05/11/2013 12:13:54 PM PDT by Night Hides Not (The Tea Party was the earthquake, and Chick Fil A the tsunami...100's of aftershocks to come.)
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