Front and Center

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Category Archives: military

Rachel Maddow Nails the President on Indefinite Detentions–Something Even Bush Didn’t Try

Recently the President signed into law new legislation that allows suspected terrorists or terrorist collaborators to be detained in the US.  MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow addressed the subject:

Methinks the President just lost the high moral road.

Becoming President Can Make You Hypocritical

We’ve seen it many times. Candidate runs for President and says “I will do A, B, and certainly C.”  They then get into office…and suddenly, a few of those promises are conveniently forgotten.  With the recent actions in Libya, President Obama has joined the club.

First, a few quotes from then-Senator Obama about the US and military actions:

The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.

As Commander-in-Chief, the President does have a duty to protect and defend the United States. In instances of self-defense, the President would be within his constitutional authority to act before advising Congress or seeking its consent. History has shown us time and again, however, that military action is most successful when it is authorized and supported by the Legislative branch. It is always preferable to have the informed consent of Congress prior to any military action.

Then-State Senator Obama on why the US shouldn’t go into Iraq, circa 2002:

“I suffer no illusions about Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal man. A ruthless man. A man who butchers his own people to secure his own power. He has repeatedly defied UN resolutions, thwarted U.N. inspection teams, developed chemical and biological weapons, and coveted nuclear capacity … But … Saddam poses no imminent and direct threat to the United States, or to his neighbors …”

Fast forward to 2011. Quaddafi is no threat to the US. They only produce 2 percent of the world’s oil. But not only are we participating in Operation Odyssey Dawn against Libya, we did so without Congressional advice and consent. A complete 180-degree turn on both counts, no?

Links:
“Q and A with Presidential Candidate Obama”

“From Iraq to Libya, Obama Becomes a Hypocrite”

Obama Under Impeachment Threat–From His Own Party?!

Just a quick hit, from Politico, where it seems President Obama’s actions in Libya have have ticked off his own party members:

A hard-core group of liberal House Democrats is questioning the constitutionality of U.S. missile strikes against Libya, with one lawmaker raising the prospect of impeachment during a Democratic Caucus conference call on Saturday.

Further, Rep. Dennis Kucinich brought up the “i” word:

Kucinich, who wanted to bring impeachment articles against both former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney over Iraq — only to be blocked by his own leadership — asked why the U.S. missile strikes aren’t impeachable offenses.

Now, Kucinich has come up with some off-the-wall things in the past, and this is no different. But to me, this just goes to show that as Obama not only tacks to the center in terms of policy, and also becomes more agressive militarily, he risks having his own party mates turning against him. Time will tell.

Links:

Liberal Democrats in uproar over Libya action

“Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”: DADT is now D-E-A-D

Over the weekend, Congress voted to repeal the controversial “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” rule.  For those not in the know, the rule–put in place under President Clinton–prohibited gay military members from being “out” while serving.  After much fighting, screaming, kicking, and gnashing of teeth, the vote over the weekend begins  what will be a months-long process to eliminate the provision and allow people to…well, just be themselves.

Of course, there are many who don’t like what has happened.  Many of a conservative mindset when it comes to homosexuality (whether Dem or Repub) are unhappy, because this represents the idea that being gay is ok.  But the biggest blowup has come from some of the leaders of the branches of the military.  No less than the head of the Marines said that the repeal would result in soldiers losing life and limb.  Others have said it will be detrimental to morale.

Really?  Corporal Joe Doe being gay is going to completely undermine the unit?

Let’s look at reality here (no disrespect to those leaders, who have many years of serving their country under their belts).  First, other top notch militaries in the world have allowed gay soldiers to serve openly for years, and they are quoted as saying that allowing that to happen has been a non-event.  Second, Joe isn’t going to all of a sudden stop being an accurate shooter, or not want to make sure he has his fellow soldier’s back just because he’s now openly gay; likewise, other soldiers won’t assume that Joe being “out” is going to make them less effective.  Finally, one point my barber (ex-Navy) mentioned, the people in the unit probably know ALREADY that Joe is gay.

Furthermore, what people don’t realize is that there isn’t going to be this sudden increase of incidents where gay dudes (lets be real–folks usually think gay men here) start playing grab-butt in the common shower.  The Uniform Code of Military Justice is very clear and strict in regards to fraternization and harrassment (example:  in civilian life, adultery isn’t a crime.  in the military, you could end up in Leavenworth for it).  Any gay soldier is going to behave like a true, professional soldier.  Just like they were doing before.

In the end, its like this:  break it up folks, nothing to see here.

QuickHit: Shout out to Vets

Just wanted to give a special shout out to all the folks who are serving or have served in the military.  Even though I did a brief stint (in the Air National Guard) I keep forgetting that I guess I fall in that category as well.  FYI, Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day, enacted to celebrate the end of World War I.