Day by Day

Friday, February 14, 2014

It's a horrible time to blog

I'm tired, I'm half-soused on scotch, and I'm pissed off.  So naturally, I'm going to type away.

Ann Barnhardt has a letter up from a Staff Sergeant who is leaving the US Army because of the various flaws that he sees in the leadership

I can no longer wear the uniform knowing that I am lending my skills to this government which directly attacks the Constitution that I swore to uphold.  I told one of my friends recently that my ‘problem’ was that I was giving the regime legitimacy every time I put the uniform on.  Every senior person I have talked to about this thinks I am either nuts, anti-social, prejudicial to good order and discipline or something of that stripe.  All of them are waiting on their precious pensions or are too afraid to have THEIR commanders come down on them.  I pointed out that we swore to do this at the cost of our own lives, so what is a promotion, or a career or a pension compared to that?  Is any of those things worth your soul?  I had the opportunity to double my pay and pension and cover myself in glory one more time, but I have chosen to really tork off my chain of command by asking to rescind my application to WO School and not reenlist.  To many of my friends and co-workers, this is a complete 180 and hard to understand.
All emphasis in the original. 

Now let me state up front:  I do not have any disagreement with the problems that he lays out.  The civilian government is, on it's face, a tyrannical dictatorship.  We have a President who violates the Constitution on a daily basis.  We have a Senate who has assumed as it's main duty the blocking of any bill that might attempt to reign in the President's action.  And we have a bureaucracy who attacks the portion of the country who just wants to be left alone, and is aided and abetted by the dictator in the Oval Office and his flunkies in the Legislature.  We have a Supreme Court who waves their hands and magically turns a mandate into a tax, and who twists itself into pretzels in order to find the unconstitutional to be constitutional. 

In short, this country is fucked.  And I'm not even approaching this from the moral angle

The Staff Sergeant writing Miss Barnhardt goes on to describe a young Lieutenant making one of the stupidest statements I've ever heard from a commissioned officer, and that's saying something.  All in all, he can no longer support the government that controls the military that he loves.  I get it.  Lord, do I ever understand where he's coming from. 

So why haven't I done what he has, and walked away from the military?  I mean, if I no longer believe that my government is a constitutional government and is instead a collection of tyrants all jockeying for position in the new banana republic, why am I still here?

Because someone has to limit the damage.  Someone has to be damage control. 

I truly wish I could sit this Staff Sergeant down and lay it out for him.  Yes, Obama is a dictator.  Yes, this country is fucked.  Yes, shit will hit the fan.  And when that shit hits the fan, and when Obama or the next tyrant orders the military to fire on Americans who simply want to protect their rights and their liberties, who will be there to tell them "NO!"?

You want to know why I'm still in?  There's your reason.  Because for every stupid Lieutenant there needs to be a Senior NCO to pull him aside and tell him exactly how much of an idiot he is.  Because when that stupid young Lieutenant passes along the order to fire on Americans, there needs to be a Non-Commissioned Officer to pull him aside, pull his head out of his ass, and proceed to remind him of his Oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC.  There needs to be people to remind the younger Soldiers that unconstitutional orders are ILLEGAL ORDERS, and you have an OBLIGATION TO DISOBEY THEM, just as you have an obligation to disobey orders to commit war crimes or violations of the Geneva Convention.

And I also need to be one of the people teaching the new Soldiers exactly what their duties are, and what constitutes an illegal and unconstitutional order.  Someone has to try to make sure that the military doesn't turn into just another wing of the Democrat American Communist Party, Enforcer Branch. 

And that Staff Sergeant who's turning down a WO spot and getting out is leaving behind his opportunity to do that teaching as well.  

And should it come to it, there needs to be people to stand up to the Field Grade and Flag officers, who can and will look them in the eye, and tell them that what they are doing is wrong, and illegal, and immoral, and unconstitutional.  And if I get cashiered out for doing so and lose my precious pension, which may or may not be worth the paperwork it's written on, then so be it.

Where is it easier to effect a change, outside or inside?  Why would I leave when I still have the opportunity and the ability to make sure that my troops, the Soldiers that I lead, will choose the right path when the time comes?  And make no mistake, that time is coming.  We're too far gone to go back now.  We're on the downhill slide, and increasing speed.  But as long as I can make sure that my troops follow the Constitution, and live up to the values that the military claims to stand for, then I'm going to be there.

We already know that there are military leaders who would target Americans who want liberty instead of government tyranny.  So who is going to stop those leaders when they're told to attack the people in this country who actually believe in the Constitution and the rule of law?  We need good people in the Army.  Yes, the government is an unlawful group of criminals.  That means we need Soldiers with integrity, honor and loyalty even more than ever before.  We need people who will resist becoming political pawns.

It's a hell of a lot easier to influence people from the top, rather than the outside looking in.  THAT is what I would tell that Staff Sergeant.  He is in a position to have a huge affect on his Soldiers.  Leaving now means that leadership disappears.  And that would be the real crime.


Rivrdog said...

In your Army, how many others with your mindset are still active?

One of my assumptions is that the coming conflict would be very short: most soldiers WILL refuse to fire on their fellow citizens, and the cops don't have the discipline to take sustained casualties, especially after being trained that "going home to mama" is job one.

My associations with field grade types tell me that there is a rapid changeout of responsible leaders for Obama yes-men. I'd guess that this malaise will be substantially complete within 5 years.

If Obama thinks he can get away with loyalty oaths for business, he has to KNOW that he can force one on the military. Company-grade officers are most likely to follow that Constitution-denying oath, but it must be noted that the changeout has started with field-grade and flag officers first.

When the day comes for The Oath, there will be little warning of it in advance. Unless you plan on resisting that Oath from inside the stockade, you need to be ready for action or ready to boogie on very short notice.

Ragin' Dave said...

There are quite a few active folks with my mindset. You don't hear much about them, because most military folks don't get politically active for obvious reasons. But they're there.

Obama might have his flag officers, but they don't pull the triggers.

MauserMedic said...

If there's going to be a wholesale attempt to indoctrinate the force into a North American PLA, someone needs to be the subversive instigator who monkey-wrenches and makes the young troops wonder about the official party line.

And maybe pull a trigger at a crucial point, if it comes to that.

Ragin' Dave said...

I worry less about pulling triggers, and more about making sure the triggers don't get pulled. At the risk of sounding crass, shooting people is easy. That's why every dictator can have it done at a moment's notice. It's NOT shooting people that takes discipline and control, and that is what I want to ensure happens.

The best thing that the military can do when it all falls apart is protect the innocent, uphold their oath to the Constitution, and make sure that they aren't used by politicians to punish political enemies. In short, they have to learn to not pull the trigger without justifiable, constitutional and legal orders.

MauserMedic said...

Agree with triggers as a last resort. My thought run towards when someone, be it an E8 or E3,is given an order that crosses the line between ethically questionable ("once you've finished searching the homes for guns, separate the families and put the men in that barn") and undeniably wrong ("have those detainees count off and pull every fifth one out here. You'll be manning the M240 when we shoot them as a lesson on what happens when they allow caching of illegal weapons in this area").

At this point, there's three options: comply, peacefully refuse to comply and accept the consequences and moral responsibility for allowing the act to go forward or refuse to comply and attempt to stop the act.

There will come a time when doing the right thing will more than likely cost the individual their life. But the individual needs to be able to evaluate when an act is morally wrong in the first place, and for many it will be those E5s through E8s that may provide the first consistent guidance.

MauserMedic said...

For the record, I'm not stating I'm a moral paragon. I've been present at times where I could have spoken up and said "this is wrong" to someone who outranked both me and the individual committing the act, and didn't. It wasn't near the level of what I used as an example, but I'll always remember that I failed to speak up when I should have. That incident has led to me refusing to obey direct orders later in life that risked my job (didn't lose it, and neither did the person I was supposed to fire for no good reason). I'm not perfect, but I try harder to do things my conscience approves of.

Ragin' Dave said...

Well, I think the default setting should start at "peacefully refuse to comply". Should the non-compliance fail to stop the illegal and unconstitutional act, then you move up from there.

If I'm given an illegal order to pull the trigger, and I refuse to do so and tell my troops to refuse to do so as well, that should be the end of that particular action. Should the person giving the illegal order then find someone else who will comply with an illegal order, I try to convince those people to stop using reason. Should reason fail, then action becomes the next step.

At this point it all depends on the situation that I'm in. Can I prevent the illegal act by arresting the person giving the order? If so, then that's what I do. Does it require a trigger to be pulled at some point? God help us, I hope not. But if that is what it takes, then that is the action that will occur.

It's not a pleasant thought. That's why teaching Soldiers is so important; so that when the time comes, you don't NEED to pull a trigger.