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Friday, June 03, 2005

OK Democrat

A Democrat from Oklahoma...yep!  Hard to believe?  Read him, you'll be impressed!

First of all, I want to thank everyone at Bring It On for giving me the  opportunity to be a guest writer. I have never thought of myself as being an excellent writer but I do try my best for all it's worth. I hope my post won't disappoint and I also hope it will stir at least a little debate. Now that I am through with the traditional touch of humility, we can get down to business.

For my post, I have chosen to attack a very important but rarely discussed topic.  It involves defining the very essence of patriotism and loyalty to one's country. Very simply, it is this: Should soldiers and government agents be censored from criticizing and questioning the government?

Coming from a family with a long military history, I understand fully well the need for obedience in the chain of command. I understand also that it is against the Oath to question Congress or especially the President. On the flip side, when the government is not perfect (which no government is or ever has been), is it moral to require someone to do something that he or she knows is wrong and that even goes against the grain of what the Constitution stands for?

Before I dig in, I want to first of all point out that regarding the military, I am not discussing conscientious objectors and all that jazz.   There is a difference in not wanting to go to war because of philosophical reasons and objecting to its rationale.  Also, to prevent anyone from taking this wrong, please note that I am not attacking the military.  This debate is entirely aimed at maintaining the credibility of the U.S Armed Forces and preventing unnecessary loss of life and limb.  As a peaceful and freedom loving nation, should we not attempt to ensure that our causes are just and that we do not abuse our position and power?

Well, folks, here we go.  Consider the recent allegations of Koran desecration by guards and interrogators.  Obviously, Newsweek had a source in either intelligence or the military that said there was desecration going on.  However, as a soldier or agent it is illegal to speak against the President or Congress.  When President Bush denied the claims, it was clear that anyone speaking against his position would be considered in breach of their Oath.  Many on the right took this individual's failure to come clean with the evidence as a lack thereof when in fact it was just as likely to have been due to fear of reprisal.  Speaking against the President is a crime for anyone under the Oath after all and to continue with the allegations, even with proof, would almost certainly have led to negative reactions at  some point.  In light of events such as this, is it proper to deny soldiers or agents the right to question what is going on?   If something isn't right, shouldn't a soldier or agent be able to come forward with their concern without fear of reprisal and penalty?    

Now that we have the cat out of the bag, consider this.  What should be the course of action to deal with governmental wrongdoing?   Elections are not the answer to everything because most government employees are not elected and many among the elected have continually found ways to be above the law.  Thus, if evidence indeed found that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and President Bush were guilty of promoting prisoner abuse either intentionally or through lack of prevention, what should be done about it?  Bush was hired by the people and so was Rumsfeld by proxy.  Should we punish them for their guilt or pin everything on the soldiers and agents who actually committed the crime?  Are they above the law?  Should we have a double standard for the leadership where they take responsibility for the good stuff but are admonished for the bad?  This is the system currently in place. What should we do to change it?

In closing, I want to point out that this isn't a topic for fast exchange.   We should not rush into any law changes because the idea isn't to promote the questioning of authority, but to allow wrongdoing to be reported without fear of negative consequences for those who report on it.  Our nation was founded on a brave new attempt at moral government and leadership as defined by the people.  Because the Constitution gives us the right to point out wrongdoing in the government, should we allow the government to abuse the infamous Oath in order to prevent evidence of its wrongdoing from  leaking out?  The answer must understandably be no.

Joseph Seals- The New Oklahoma Democrat 

Posted by Sally at 01:18 AM in Weblogs | Permalink


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I wonder if the allegattions of flushing the Koran would have had any merit if the previous abuse did not make it plausible to even consider?

Posted by: sally | Jun 3, 2005 11:57:28 AM

My post seems longer now that it's actually here. It seemed very small before. Oh well, I hope it will hit a nerve or two. Cheers all!

Posted by: Joseph (OK Democrat) | Jun 3, 2005 6:12:57 PM

Joseph, I added stuff to it to fill it out... ;-)

Posted by: sally | Jun 3, 2005 8:15:00 PM


Follow the Chain of Command and your last order. That's what you signed up for. Need I say more?

Posted by: ChosenOne | Jun 4, 2005 1:55:45 AM

Wow, Joe. We usually agree - I'd say 75% of the time, or more. You're in my blogroll and vice-a-versa. But I've got to say, it's really a trip how we can agree so closely on most subjects and radically disagree on this one. I had already blogged a rant and a half on this subject, then came here to discover you are totally seeing a different point of view than I am.

Well, that's the beauty that comes with being free men in a free country with a MARGINALLY strong 2nd Amendment. That's A-OK though.

Congrats to you for your guest-stint on one of my (other, including your own) daily blogs. One thing I love about "Bring It ON!" is the fact that there are no phonies here, and you fit right in. I look forward to your thoughts in the "Balance of Power" blog on Monday (Topic: The UN's role in the 21st Century) as well.

Blog ON, bro!

Posted by: Gun-Toting Liberal | Jun 4, 2005 10:32:01 PM

Oops - should have read, "... one of my FAVORITE (other than your own) daily blogs..."

My bad.

Posted by: Gun-Toting Liberal | Jun 4, 2005 10:33:53 PM

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