James Mattoon Scott

Military Encroachment On Civilian Authority & Seven Days In May

Via Digby comes this unsettling article by David Wood in Politics Daily about the growing militant contempt among military leadership for civilian authority and control.

The military officer corps is rumbling with dissatisfaction and dissent, and there are suggestions from some that if officers disagree with policy decisions by Congress and the White House, they should vigorously resist.

Officers have a moral responsibility, some argue, to sway a policy debate by going public with their objections or leaking information to the media, and even to sabotage policy decisions by deliberate foot-dragging.

This could spell trouble ahead as Washington grapples with at least two highly contentious issues: changing the policy on gays and lesbians in the military, and extricating U.S. forces from Afghanistan. In both cases, senior officers already have disagreed sharply and publicly with Defense Secretary Robert Gates and President Barack Obama, and in some cases officers have leaked documents to bolster their case.

…..

“The military officer belongs to a profession upon whose members are conferred great responsibility, a code of ethics, and an oath of office. These grant him moral autonomy and obligate him to disobey an order he deems immoral,” writes Marine Lt. Col. Andrew R. Milburn in Joint Forces Quarterly, an official journal published by the National Defense University under the aegis of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

That is especially true if his civilian leaders are incompetent, writes Milburn, who currently is assigned to the U.S. Special Operations Command in Stuttgart, Germany.

….

“When the results of bad decision-making are wasted lives and damage to the Nation; when the customary checks laid down in the Constitution — the electoral voice of the people, Congress, or the Supreme Court — are powerless to act in time; and when the military professional alone is in a position to prevent calamity, it makes little sense to argue that he should not exercise his discretion,” Milburn writes.

Read the entire article; please.

Now, there is no sense of any direct coup type of trend afoot in all this so much as an accelerating trend to the militarization of government and resigned acceptance by the Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
emptywheel And if you don't like all that and talk about it 10 years in the pokey for you.
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emptywheel And that "amicus" has to do what the FISC says. FISC: Argue for retention. Steven Bradbury: OK, Boss.
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emptywheel But if I'm reading this right, when Apple challenges having to retain iMessage data, FISC can put THEIR OWN amicus to argue for Apple.
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emptywheel The Judge appointed by John Roberts (Bates) wrote wish list for "amicus" that may deprive providers of their own lawyers, right to challenge
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emptywheel @englishm_ 1AM vote.
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emptywheel Also, someone call @steve_vladeck (who I don't THINK is at reunion this weekend like I should be) so he can rip this amicus to shreds.
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emptywheel @PGEddington The White House runs the IC? This is a new development, no? @joanneleon
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emptywheel Another name for this bill: The American High Tech Destruction Act.
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bmaz Well that narrows it down https://t.co/Tsp19ntIab
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emptywheel @PGEddington I disagree. This is 1) what the goal has been all along 2) what NSA needs to be able to do what they want. @joanneleon
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emptywheel Someone also call @MJZwills (if he wasn't already called as a VZ or Apple lawyer) bc this MAY try to replace provider lawyers a/amicus.
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emptywheel Burr's bill strongly suggests there have been 702 violations (which USA F-ReDux already did, gently, but this does more aggressively).
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