April 19, 2006

The Silencing of Dissent in the Name of Patriotism

This is really beyond the fucking pale. It is perhaps the most egregious example of mealy-mouthed, condescending, authoritarian arm-twisting I think I've seen yet out of the crew of useless bastards presently attempting to defend the policies and practices of the Adminstration's Iraq policy - and that takes effort.

Let me see if I can get their point straight. What these quisling bastards would have you, as an American, believe, is that the military officers who have faithfully executed their duty by not publicly criticizing the Secretary of Defense while still in the military are in fact skirting treason (aid and comfort to the enemy) by speaking up now. That, in fact, they had every chance in the world to 'make a difference' while they served, and that they likely could not see the 'big picture' while there. And that indeed, by speaking up now, by fomenting what even these commenting sockpuppets are forced to admit is 'reasoned public debate,' they are somehow detracting from our national security.

That's not just self-contradictory, it's damn near close to treason itself.

I offer the following quotes, directly from their editorial.

The retired officers who have criticized Rumsfeld have served their country with distinction. The military -- active duty and retired -- has a wealth of intelligent, articulate and motivated people. Their sense of duty, integrity and patriotism are of the highest order. But each of them speaks from his own copse of trees and may not have a view of the larger forest. In criticizing those with the broader view, they should be mindful of the risks and responsibilities inherent in their acts. The average U.S. citizen has high respect for the U.S. military. That respect is a valuable national security asset. Criticism, when carried too far, risks eroding it.
In other words, apparently, a military that's busy losing a war because of idiotic policy set by its civilian oversight - which is the point of these general officers - and yet keeps its mouth shut is somehow more respectable and honorable than one which takes its orders as is its job but whose members, when they are able to do so by law and tradition, offer their objections based on reason and experience. Oh, yeah, that makes a load of sense.
We do not advocate a silencing of debate on the war in Iraq. But care must be taken by those experienced officers who had their chance to speak up while on active duty. In speaking out now, they may think they are doing a service by adding to the reasoned debate. But the enemy does not understand or appreciate reasoned public debate. It is perceived as a sign of weakness and lack of resolve.
We don't want you to shut up. But shut up. Because if you don't shut up, you're helping the enemy, and besides, why didn't you say all this when you were on the job? Answer: they didn't say all this when on the job because they respect civilian control of the military much more than you do, apparently. Furthermore, they understand, as you do not, that the much larger threat to the United States' national security at the moment is the damage the administration's policy is doing to the military and the US's position - not whatever 'The Enemy' whoever he or she may be may draw from a 'reasoned public debate' in our media over our policies, which is what we're supposed to have no matter what the situation. That's why our system is stronger.

My God. If ever a case could be made for treason, this is fucking it. Crush reasoned dissent and examination of mistakes. Refuse to acknowledge the possibility of mistakes. Deny that the process which is not visible to the public is flawed, and attack those who obey every tenet, legal and traditional, while pushing for change.

You fuckers are going to be first up against the fucking wall. I promise you that. It's instructive that Mr. Laird was SecDef during the Vietnam War. Apparently he hasn't learned a damn thing.

Posted by jbz at April 19, 2006 10:41 AM | TrackBack

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