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Re: Brin: General's career ended for criticizing Iraq War

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  • David Brin
    ... The utter hypocrisy of so-called conservatives who are unable to grasp that the GOP has been seized (again) by monsters, is simply staggering. For eight
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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      --- Nick Arnett <narnett@...> wrote:

      > Unceremonious End to Army Career
      > By Tom Bowman
      > The Baltimore Sun
      >
      > Sunday 29 May 2005

      The utter hypocrisy of so-called "conservatives" who
      are unable to grasp that the GOP has been seized
      (again) by monsters, is simply staggering.

      For eight years they hounded a DLC moderate who
      offered his hand in negotiation during his entire
      presidency and ran a trim, efficient and transparent
      administration, reducing govt payrolls, deficits and
      secrecy. Why? Fundamentally, out of a deep inner
      yearning to give the other side a "Watergate".

      That trauma (highlighted today by the Deep Throat
      revelations) has embittered the Right since the 70s.
      Deep down, it is the root of Limbaughism. And the
      fact that THIRTEEN YEARS AND A BILLION WASTED DOLLARS
      have resulted in one indictment and zero convictions
      will never be perceived as evidence that they were
      wrong.

      It is only seen as evidence that "evidence" does not
      matter.

      Hence the more recent neconservative campaign against
      science itself. Featuring the staggering sight of
      grown men actually saying "we need more research" in
      order to confirm Global Warming... while savagely
      cutting the research budget.

      What will it take? The worst political purge of the
      US Officer Corps in three generations? Skyrocketing
      deficits & oil prices and plummeting military
      readiness? A grotesquely divided nation and alliances
      in ashes?

      The appointment of screeching maniacs as "diplomats"
      and SaudFamily bodyguards as head of Homelandsecutity?

      What will it take?

      A few bright men like George F. Will - true
      conservatives with that old Goldwater-libertarian tilt
      and a grounding in Locke-Burke-Hume-Hayek - are
      capable of seeing these facts. They complain about
      them individually, one at a time, frantically trying
      not to see the pattern. Peering closely at smoldering
      spots in order not to realize that they are standing
      in a conflagration.

      One that will do to the GOP what Watergate did. What
      The Depression did.

      Men like Will have got to stand up. If they do it
      now, BEFORE the hanchmen and new Deep Throats start
      emerging, then conservatism will have its voice and
      men with clean hands to pick up the pieces.
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    • David Brin
      ... Actually, I am not surprised. The military is a hothouse environment. Mariages are its bedrock. What is unfair, of course, is uneven enforcement. But
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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        --- Dave Land <dland@...> wrote:

        > Am I the only one surprised to find adultery on this
        > list of "most
        > serious offenses"

        Actually, I am not surprised. The military is a
        hothouse environment. Mariages are its bedrock. What
        is unfair, of course, is uneven enforcement. But if
        you are a general, you should have learned to keep
        your pants zipped.

        As Clinton should have.

        As should the majority of GOP "prosecutors" who
        hounded him during impeachment, whose messy divorces
        made BC look like a choir boy.


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      • Ronn!Blankenship
        ... Have you ever been in the US military? -- Ronn! :) _______________________________________________ http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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          At 11:47 AM Wednesday 6/1/2005, Dave Land wrote:
          >On Jun 1, 2005, at 8:57 AM, Nick Arnett wrote:
          >
          >>Little-Used Punishment
          >>
          >>A senior officer's loss of a star is a punishment seldom used, and then
          >>usually for the most serious offenses, such as dereliction of duty or
          >>command failures, adultery or misuse of government funds or equipment.
          >
          >Am I the only one surprised to find adultery on this list of "most
          >serious offenses" for which this sanction can be applied? I can see that
          >it's a problem if it leads to a dereliction of duty, command failure, or
          >misuse of gov't funds or equipment or so forth. I realize that this is
          >just the article author's list, but I suspect that he didn't make it up
          >out of whole cloth. I would be willing to bet that other serious
          >offenses, such as murder, drug abuse, prostitution and so forth would
          >qualify as well.
          >
          >Far be it from me to minimize the personal costs of adultery, but I'm
          >not sure how that one (serious, but personal) failing rises to the same
          >level as, for example, dereliction of duty.
          >
          >Thoughts?


          Have you ever been in the US military?


          -- Ronn! :)


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        • Dave Land
          ... I was in the US Coast Guard Academy in 1976. Class of 80 -- the first one that included women cadets. I lasted about four months before I processed out,
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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            On Jun 1, 2005, at 3:22 PM, Ronn!Blankenship wrote:

            > At 11:47 AM Wednesday 6/1/2005, Dave Land wrote:
            >> On Jun 1, 2005, at 8:57 AM, Nick Arnett wrote:
            >>
            >>> Little-Used Punishment
            >>>
            >>> A senior officer's loss of a star is a punishment seldom used, and
            >>> then
            >>> usually for the most serious offenses, such as dereliction of duty or
            >>> command failures, adultery or misuse of government funds or
            >>> equipment.
            >>
            >> Am I the only one surprised to find adultery on this list of "most
            >> serious offenses" for which this sanction can be applied? I can see
            >> that
            >> it's a problem if it leads to a dereliction of duty, command failure,
            >> or
            >> misuse of gov't funds or equipment or so forth. I realize that this is
            >> just the article author's list, but I suspect that he didn't make it
            >> up
            >> out of whole cloth. I would be willing to bet that other serious
            >> offenses, such as murder, drug abuse, prostitution and so forth would
            >> qualify as well.
            >>
            >> Far be it from me to minimize the personal costs of adultery, but I'm
            >> not sure how that one (serious, but personal) failing rises to the
            >> same
            >> level as, for example, dereliction of duty.
            >>
            >> Thoughts?
            >
            >
            > Have you ever been in the US military?

            I was in the US Coast Guard Academy in 1976. Class of '80 -- the first
            one that included women cadets. I lasted about four months before I
            "processed out," but I did get to spend a week on the Eagle during the
            tail end of the Bicentennial "Operation Sail" program of tall ships
            visiting US ports.

            It *almost* made all the other BS of being in a military academy worth
            it. Almost.

            But, in direct answer to your question, no, I haven't.

            After asking the above question, I realized that people lose their
            security clearance for things like adultery, because it makes them
            susceptible to blackmail and such-like. And I guess you don't get to
            have any stars at all if you don't have pretty solid clearance.

            Dave

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          • Ronn!Blankenship
            ... That s okay. My point was just that the military is different in many ways from civilian society, even to the point of having a different set of laws for
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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              At 06:05 PM Wednesday 6/1/2005, Dave Land wrote:

              >On Jun 1, 2005, at 3:22 PM, Ronn!Blankenship wrote:
              >
              >>At 11:47 AM Wednesday 6/1/2005, Dave Land wrote:
              >>>On Jun 1, 2005, at 8:57 AM, Nick Arnett wrote:
              >>>
              >>>>Little-Used Punishment
              >>>>
              >>>>A senior officer's loss of a star is a punishment seldom used, and then
              >>>>usually for the most serious offenses, such as dereliction of duty or
              >>>>command failures, adultery or misuse of government funds or equipment.
              >>>
              >>>Am I the only one surprised to find adultery on this list of "most
              >>>serious offenses" for which this sanction can be applied? I can see that
              >>>it's a problem if it leads to a dereliction of duty, command failure, or
              >>>misuse of gov't funds or equipment or so forth. I realize that this is
              >>>just the article author's list, but I suspect that he didn't make it up
              >>>out of whole cloth. I would be willing to bet that other serious
              >>>offenses, such as murder, drug abuse, prostitution and so forth would
              >>>qualify as well.
              >>>
              >>>Far be it from me to minimize the personal costs of adultery, but I'm
              >>>not sure how that one (serious, but personal) failing rises to the same
              >>>level as, for example, dereliction of duty.
              >>>
              >>>Thoughts?
              >>
              >>
              >>Have you ever been in the US military?
              >
              >I was in the US Coast Guard Academy in 1976. Class of '80 -- the first
              >one that included women cadets. I lasted about four months before I
              >"processed out," but I did get to spend a week on the Eagle during the
              >tail end of the Bicentennial "Operation Sail" program of tall ships
              >visiting US ports.
              >
              >It *almost* made all the other BS of being in a military academy worth
              >it. Almost.
              >
              >But, in direct answer to your question, no, I haven't.



              That's okay. My point was just that the military is different in many ways
              from civilian society, even to the point of having a different set of laws
              for its members (the UCMJ), and some of the differences are hard to explain
              to someone who's never been part of it and who may think that it is just
              like civilian life except that everyone wears the same years-out-of-style
              suit every day (and some of them get to fly really hot planes and shoot
              really big guns). I expect you had some taste of the difference during
              your time at the USCGA . . .



              >After asking the above question, I realized that people lose their
              >security clearance for things like adultery, because it makes them
              >susceptible to blackmail and such-like.



              The same argument has been made about homosexuals: that, particularly if
              they were still "in the closet", they could be subject to blackmail by
              anyone who discovered their secret and threatened to reveal it. And even
              today when that is more acceptable to many in society in general, there are
              many who in particular do not want their parents or someone like that to
              find out, and so are thought to be susceptible to blackmail



              > And I guess you don't get to
              >have any stars at all if you don't have pretty solid clearance.



              And a few other things. People who don't care about it put in their 20 and
              retire as O-5s (Lt. Col. in the Army, Air Force, or Marines, Cmdr. in the
              Navy). Those who make O-6 then are concerned with whether they will get
              stars or not, so they are really concerned with what their superiors think
              about them. And then one-stars worry about getting a second star, and
              two-stars worry about getting a third, and so on . . . People who want to
              rise as far as possible in the Pentagon start early on worrying about what
              their superiors think of them and what goes into their records folders.

              (Me? As I've said before, when I determined that remaining in the Air
              Force was not likely to get me any higher than the troposphere or at best
              the lower stratosphere, I decided to go a different way. As it turned out,
              even if I'd been successful in getting into the astronaut program, I would
              probably have only gotten started by the time my health decided to go
              downhill . . . though I suppose that had I been in Houston or Florida at
              that time rather than where I was, maybe I wouldn't have caught whatever it
              was. Or not . . . )


              -- Ronn! :)


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            • David Brin
              Dave s point about blackmail is hugely significant. For many years discrimination against homosexuals was defended based upon their susceptibility to coercion
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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                Dave's point about blackmail is hugely significant.
                For many years discrimination against homosexuals was
                defended based upon their susceptibility to coercion
                vs being outed.

                To this day, SECRET homosexuality is considered
                worrisome by the State Dept. Alas, that is the only
                kind allowed in the military, a really weird decision.

                In a more general sense, of course, this is about the
                cleansing power of Transparency. When it is mixed
                with a general rise in tolerance of non-harmful human
                eccentricity and diversity.

                Darkness and skulking favor our civilization's enemies
                over the long run. (The SHORT run can feature many
                advantages to short term secrecy, of course. I am not
                a fanatic and I want our side always to have the
                tactical advantages that information superiority
                provides.) Alas, the temptation that lures ALL human
                leaders is to rationalize why THEY should be allowed
                to evade accountability.

                Clinton benefited us - and himself - when he reduced
                overall secrecy. When he lied, he harmed us and
                himself.

                None of which compares to today's lie and secrecy
                fest.

                The deep scandal is subbornation. How many officials
                are subborned by enemies of the republic? How high
                does it go? What methods were used? Blackmail.
                Pictures from wild parties?

                This was NOT considered an unreasonable question
                during our adversarial relationship with the soviets
                and nazis, so why is it so today?

                Can anyone come up with another explanation for Bolton
                and Kerrick? Any other even REMOTELY possible
                explanation for the appointment of a shrieking
                hysteric as a diplomat and a saudfamily bodyguard to
                head homelandsec?

                Really. Is Limbaughism so far along that college
                educated and supposedly patriotic americans cannot
                even see their country being sold out from under them?



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