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
JimWhiteGNV @bmaz Muschamp is available late tomorrow.
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bmaz Goodbye Devils. Thanks for a great season despite Graham's horrid coaching.
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bmaz @laRosalind Told you ASU should have stuck with Becovici long ago. Todd Graham sucks.
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bmaz The hallmark of Todd Graham: Disappearing, and being outcoached, in huge games. @michaelcrow @DougHaller
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bmaz @laRosalind Hey, YOU are doing your job. But ASU sucks.
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JimWhiteGNV Who let Bobby Knight wander out of the old folks' home again?
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bmaz RT @dakine100: @bmaz @brianstelter @MLauer @TODAYshow It's only real when it is on an owned network/TV show. If from competition, doesn't e…
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JimWhiteGNV And the SEC East clown car just keeps rolling along...
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bmaz Little late after Graham screwing it up so totally RT @DougHaller ASU going with Mike Bercovici.
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bmaz .@brianstelter So, what you are saying is @MLauer @TODAYshow are over three weeks behind ESPN's Jemelle Hill?
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bmaz @alexisgoldstein that is ignorant, even for Fox.
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bmaz Let's be honest, Rich Rodriquez is outcoaching the hell out of pathetic Todd Graham. Maybe Florida will "steal" Graham. #DevilsOnlyHope
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