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May 04, 2010

Obama "Coldly Reprimanded" Military Brass For Daring to ... What?

During the Bush administration, wasn't it Democrats and progressives who screamed bloody murder about how Rumsfeld brutally crushed dissenting voices in the military brass? And wasn't it Democrats and progressives who loudly demanded that George Bush "listen to the Generals"?

What a difference an election makes:

The book says Obama laid into Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen in an Oval Office meeting in October.

Obama was irked by the leak of a confidential report by Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, calling for an expanded military presence there, and by McChrystal saying he could not support a strategy relying on special forces and unmanned drone attacks.

Obama was conducting a lengthy review of operations in Afghanistan at the time.

Let me get this straight: our Commander in Chief, who has so little experience with the military that he doesn't even know how to pronounce "Corpsman", specifically asks his new General to report to him on our options in Afghanistan.

McChrystal does so.

Some asshat leaks the report to the media (a move, by the way, that did nothing but bring down a heap of condemnation on the military complete with shrieks of "Insubordination!" and "Military Revolt!" along with wild eyed accusations that the senior commander in Afghanistan was defying the civilian leadership). Of course once these folks had gotten their petticoats smoothed down again, it turned out that it was all a tempest in a teapot, but why let a good opportunity to accuse a dedicated career officer of serious crimes on no evidence go to waste? Let's face it - these folks haven't had so much fun since General BetrayUs came to Washington.

And never mind that during the Bush administration, military officers who openly opposed the Bush administration's policies were lauded as brave, truth telling heroes. Back then, they were all that stood between The Republic and the jackbooted jackboots of fascism.

But that was then. This is now.

It turns out that the fierce urgency of "now" makes it hunky dory for the Commander in Chief to ask for feedback and then, when it is leaked by some brave, truth telling patriot who mustn't be prosecuted for breaking the law, lest we feel the jackbooted jackboots of Executive Branch repression upon our collective necks responds by "coldly reprimanding the military brass for insubordination"!

What insubordination? Did Obama seriously believe Gates or Mullen were behind the leak? Really? And whatever happened to the "whistleblowers are a vital safeguard of democracy" mantra so popular with the anti war left when the BushReich and Barney the White House Terrier were publicly shredding the Constitution?

I guess the urgent need for accountability and transparency only applies during Republican administrations. And all that blather about leakers brave truth to powerers and the vital role they play in government oversight?

Never mind.

Posted by Cassandra at May 4, 2010 01:43 PM

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Comments

When did a Lib ever let a little hypocrisy stand in the way of being intellectually dishonest?

Posted by: BillT at May 4, 2010 04:16 PM

"Hypocrite" is a word that would describe a "lib" who lauded a leaker in the Dubya adminstration, but who now condemns one in the Messiah's administration.

If you mean that GWB praised leakers in his administration so that in fairness to leakers BHO ought to praise them when they leak, I'd respectfully ask that you remind us of the names of leakers during his administration whom he praised.

Let's keep the "innies" of the two adminstrations separate from the "outies", if we can, Mkay?

Posted by: I Condemn Baloney Stuff at May 4, 2010 04:37 PM

"Hypocrite" is a word that would describe a "lib" who lauded a leaker in the Dubya adminstration, but who now condemns one in the Messiah's administration.

Which is why I used the word.

Problem is, in condemning the leaker, the wrong people were blamed.

Posted by: BillT at May 4, 2010 04:52 PM

"Hypocrite" is a word that would describe a "lib" who lauded a leaker in the Dubya adminstration, but who now condemns one in the Messiah's administration.

Which is exactly what happened here.

FWIW, a leaker would also be a conservative who condemned leaks when Bush was president but likes them when they embarrass Obama. I don't recall seeing that happen with the McChrystal story but that doesn't mean it didn't happen - just that I didn't see it on any of my RSS feeds.

If you mean that GWB praised leakers in his administration so that in fairness to leakers BHO ought to praise them when they leak, I'd respectfully ask that you remind us of the names of leakers during his administration whom he praised.

Bush didn't praise leakers.


Posted by: Cassandra at May 4, 2010 05:00 PM

If you mean that GWB praised leakers in his administration so that in fairness to leakers BHO ought to praise them when they leak, I'd respectfully ask that you remind us of the names of leakers during his administration whom he praised.

You need a course in remedial reading. The hypocrisy citeded was in the differences in *media* reaction -- praising leakers during GWB's administration and condemning them in Obie's.

Posted by: BillT at May 4, 2010 05:08 PM

That course was paid for by the government, Bill.

You can guess what happened then.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 4, 2010 07:12 PM

It will be interesting to read exactly what is written, when that becomes generally available (in a couple of weeks, apparently). Then we will see what Alter's account of the "dressing down" and/or Presidential complaints of "insubordination" actually amount to. In the meanwhile, there follows here one commentary from roughly that time frame, which apparently addresses, at least roughly, what was going on at the time . . .
http://www.slate.com/id/2231647/pagenum/all/#p2

Posted by: pond at May 4, 2010 07:43 PM

You need a course in remedial reading. ...
Posted by: BillT at May 4, 2010 05:08 PM

I am re-reading, remedially, I assure you, the Captain's Log from Star Date 20100504, and will have my report ready before Stardawn on Star Date 20100506, Greenwich Mean Time.

Posted by: I Condemn Blowhards Spitting at May 4, 2010 08:13 PM

It will be interesting to read exactly what is written, when that becomes generally available (in a couple of weeks, apparently). Then we will see what Alter's account of the "dressing down" and/or Presidential complaints of "insubordination" actually amount to.

I agree, Pond.

Insofar as Kaplan, I rarely agree with him when he writes anything about the military so he's probably not the best guy to refer me to. I will say that he certainly seems to have changed his tune about the war since the election :p Imagine that.

That said, I read that article when it came out. All in all, it wasn't bad - he surprised me a bit, in a good way.

As far as "what was going on at the time", I'm in a bit of a pickle because I happen to know a lot of "things that were going on at the time" that I can't talk about. I'm not saying that to sound important or to suggest that no one can argue with me, because that's ridiculous.

What I am saying is that I'm pretty much hamstrung as far as responding to you. I read an awful lot and then I hear things because of my husband's job. Keeping everything straight as to source isn't easy, especially months later. So in general (pun fully intended) I think it's best I say nothing.

I agree that McChrystal was skirting the edge a bit but what I don't think Kaplan knows (because if he did I can't imagine him leaving it out) is the nature of the command environment McChrystal is responsible for and must operate in.

There's a lot more going on here than just Obama and his second "grand strategy review" in under a year.

Let me just say this, since it's my thought. Over and over again folks have intimated that it was somehow in the military's interest to leak the report.

I could not disagree more. The person the leak benefited was Barack Obama. The leak took the lion's share of the pressure off him - it allowed him far greater latitude of action than he would have had otherwise.

The military never really had any options, and besides it was widely reported after Obama's FIRST "comprehensive strategy review" in March that the military wanted about 40K extra troops. So this was not new information.

I will leave you to think on that for a while.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 4, 2010 08:56 PM

Hopefully the American voting public has learnt their (apparently much needed) lesson by now.

Posted by: camojack at May 5, 2010 03:53 AM

Leaks are a Leftist fetish.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 5, 2010 04:30 AM

I dunno. There's nothing quite like a good ass-chewing to focus the military mind. Right, Gunny?

Posted by: spd rdr at May 5, 2010 01:58 PM

"The book says Obama laid into Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen in an Oval Office meeting in October."

I would hazard to guess that most assuredly ADM Mullen, and possibly Mr Gates have both had better ass-chewings for lesser reasons by better men.

The current pee-resident, IMNSHO, is not worthy of receiving the perspiration from any service member's or public safety officer's nether regions on an August day in the western provinces of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia if he were suffering from thirst in an extreme manner! His rants would simply roll off the back of a seasoned E2 or rookie police officer or fireman.

Let him show us how it's done, eh? As was said long ago.....

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Our dear leader will never know greatness. He has no understanding of anything beyond his petulant needs and wants.


On a side note...has anyone heard anything new about LTC Lakin?

Posted by: kbob in Katy at May 5, 2010 08:19 PM

I haven't, Kbob

Posted by: Cassandra at May 6, 2010 09:47 AM

Kinda makes ya go "hmmmmmm". I know when I had people in my unit who were up on charges and going the CM/GCM route, it was swiftly executed.

Personally, I expect the good LTC to get bounced out administratively for a traffic charge or he will fail a urinalysis or something ridiculous like that.

It would be so much simpler if 0 would just stand and deliver and end the contoversy, but with (reputedly) about $1,000,000.00 spent hiding his history, maybe it's not worth it to him. I shudder to think of the consequences if he is proven to be a usurper, but this is my country and I will defend it. He may be the CiC, but that is only a temporary condition.

May God Bless America. Any time I get sad about it, I read your 4th of July essay and some of Bill Whittle's essays about America. I feel better then....for a while.

VR

kbob

Posted by: kbob in katy at May 6, 2010 02:09 PM

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