April 18, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
I happen to think that the retired generals speaking out against Bush's war is a problem. It threatens the American principle of civilian control of the military. But this is a special time in our history. We are supposed to have other democratic controls and checks and balances in place -- including Congressional and Judicial oversight, a functioning opposition and an investigatory media -- that keep things from reaching the point we have reached. These have eroded to the extent that these retired Generals have been left with little choice if we are to be diverted from complete disaster.
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This is an oddly Huntingtonesque situation where the military is a liberalizing social force, something that is only supposed to happen in 2nd and 3rd world countries. When the military is the most moderate institution, we're beyond screwed.
Posted by: Pacific John at April 19, 2006 9:04 AM
Once a General Officer is retired, he or she is just as much an ordinary citizen like you or me. Ordinary citizens aren't required to give up their constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech just because of their previous occupation. Therefore, the statement: "It threatens the American principle of civilian control of the military." appears to reflect either a misunderstanding of the constitution or an inordinate fondness for Rummy's talking points kool-aid.
Aaron is right, once anyone leave the military, regardless of rank they are free and clear to speak thier minds. Funny how this idea of damaging the civilian control of the military only come up when negative opinions are voiced, not when Gen Meyers says GWB is dong a great job.
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