Thursday, June 14, 2007

"Reid labels military leader 'incompetent'"

...but he supports the troops.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, "incompetent" during an interview Tuesday with a group of liberal bloggers, a comment that was never reported.

Reid made similar disparaging remarks about Army Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said several sources familiar with the interview.

This is but the latest example of how Reid, under pressure from liberal activists to do more to stop the war, is going on the attack against President Bush and his military leaders in anticipation of a September showdown to end U.S. involvement in Iraq, according to Democratic senators and aides.

More here. Also check out this AP story on the same topic which includes two Congresscritters throwing around the phrase "dereliction of duty" when referring to Gen. Pace.

Honor might not mean anything to people in Congress, but most people everyone in the military takes it very seriously. Cadets like myself live under an Honor Code. "We will not lie, steal, or cheat nor tolerate anyone among us who does." It sounds very boilerplate, something that we might say but not actually follow...let me assure you, we follow it. Cadets who cheat at the Academies (or ROTC for that matter) are kicked out. Period. There was a story that we were told during Field Training Prep about a cadet at FT a few years ago who was on profile for failing his first PFT. If he failed his next PFT, he would be sent home. He was one situp away from passing his second PFT when time was called. All his spotter and him would have had to do was change the 39 to a 40. No one would've known.

They didn't. He was sent home. But he left with his honor intact.

Words mean something to us. Words like duty, honor, and country. If we are derelict in our duties, it means we've failed our country. Accusing someone of dereliction of duty is not to be taken lightly. It's the reason Col. McMaster's book caused such a big commotion. Dereliction of duty is one of the worst slurs you can level against someone in the military, especially a senior officer. In fact, we punish dereliction of duty with a court-martial.

I'm not saying Gen. Pace didn't commit dereliction of duty (I personally don't feel that way, but that's neither here nor there). I'm simply saying that civilians in general, and Congress in particular, should take better note of what words they use when talking about the military.

I shouldn't have to, but I think I need to remind some people of what happened the last time a senior officer's honor was called into question.

As a side note, this question has been bothering me for some what point do you stop being a troop worthy of supporting and become someone able to be attacked for being a Bush yes-man? As a potential future officer in the USAF, this is of no small concern to me. I mean, I want to get in on all the troop supporting that I can before I become an evil neocon Bushbot. Is it when you make flag? When you become a field grade officer? Are all officers part of the conspiracy? What about senior NCOs? These are important questions that need to be answered. Consider this an open question...I'd just like to know.

h/t: Chap