Saturday, September 01, 2007

The Military Is The Latest Target For Administration Politicization

There have been several alarming signs lately which I believe prove that the officer corps of the U.S. Military has been purged of independent thinkers in favor of officers who toe the administration line politically.

What we are seeing is a dangerous blurring of the lines between the military mission of these officers and the political needs of the Bush administration. Straight forward factual assessments by impartial officers is not in the best interests of this President. Thus we have seen a long line of officers end their careers by giving honest advice rather than echoing the happy talk we have heard during the entire course of the war from this administration.

The current crop of officers leading the effort in Iraq appears to have learned the lessons provided by the treatment of their predecessors all to well. There is simply no other explanation that can justify the recent opinions issuing from General David Petraeus. Despite the demonstrable evidence contradicting him, the General is announcing that violence is down, attacks against coalition forces are decreasing, security is improving and so on and so forth. Unfortunately, simply saying it is so does not make it so, and we know it is not so by looking at the raw numbers.

Petraeus has turned into a virtual uniformed Bush shadow, using deceit, half truths and even opposition research memo's against Democratic Congressmembers visiting Iraq to spread a demonstrably overly optimistic take on events in Iraq. If nothing else, it is clear that the lead General in Iraq is determined to not follow his predecessors out the door, after having committed the sin of telling the truth.

What we are seeing in the Defense Department is the exact same pattern we saw in the Justice Department. Those who do not toe the line are pressured to conform to administration policy or shown the door, even if faced with evidence which supports a different point of view.

But the mission of the Defense Department, just like that of the Justice Department, is not to support and defend the Republican party. And we have seen the absolute denigration of the Justice Department due to this overtly political drive to oust independent thinkers from the rank and file. Why should we expect anything different to flow from the Bush administration drive to seed the ranks of the Defense Department with loyal Bushies?

The job of these officers is to use their best independent judgement and clear headed thinking to lead the U.S. Military. This nation can not afford to have our military follow our Justice Department into institutional failure.

I think we as citizens need to recognize the problem of the overt politicization of our military and start speaking out against it. So that's what I'm doing from my obscure little blog. I don't care if an officer is a Republican, Democrat, Green or apathetic. I do care that our officers are allowed to be independent of the political whims of the day as they lead our military.

The Station Agent has been reporting on conversations that he's had with military friends in the Navy. ?The upshot being that in the rush to prepare ourselves for bombing Iran, combat officers that question the administration line on why we're doing this are immediately replaced.

Politicization indeed!
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