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 →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @PhilPerspective @Atrios @emptywheel @adambonin McCoy does not look done to me. But we shall see.
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emptywheel Prolly not though: They'd have to leak some FAR more sensitive secrets to catch up to Petraeus and his unlocked desk drawer.
11mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Wondering if @wikileaks rebranded under moniker "David Petraeus' Unlocked Desk Drawer" whether Assange could get probation?
12mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz The Iggles traded Shady McCoy to the Wagon Circlers?? WTF??? cc: @Atrios @emptywheel @adambonin
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emptywheel @caidid Just make sure you're back parked and unavailable. when he needs to get in to jump his car.
22mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @dnvolz Apparently some people can't find enough other news today.
41mreplyretweetfavorite
bmaz @Pedinska @emptywheel Good fences make for good llamas!
45mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @armandodkos I mean if you still consider guy who stored crown jewels in unlocked desk drawer good on NatSec you don't deserve to be on SSCI
47mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel @armandodkos Right, when 1st reax fr most people was "OMIGOD THAT'S WHAT HE LEAKED!?!?!" Fucking crown jewels in his unlocked desk drawer
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emptywheel I'm no hawk on Espionage prosecutions, but collective yawn fr official DC reveals how BS most leak prosecutions are. http://t.co/wu7665p4PR
50mreplyretweetfavorite
emptywheel Apparently leaking multiple covert officers' IDs now classified as "a very silly chapter." http://t.co/wu7665p4PR Why give anonymity here?
51mreplyretweetfavorite
March 2015
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