In recent comments about pending legislation defining exactly what American troops and intelligence operatives can and can NOT do to extract information from terrorists, retired General and former Secretary of State Colin Powell said that "as a soldier" he opposes the Bush administration's efforts because they would make things worse for our troops in combat.
I'm not sure how anything can get much worse than someone trying to kill you by any means possible, or the torture that American troops have been subjected to for more than a century of warfare against enemies who don't have rules, but that is his opinion and he's stuck with it.
What I am stuck with is the image evoked by the phrase "as a soldier." Gen. Powell obviously still considers himself a military man even though he is retired and has served the administration as a civilian. But since the general brought it up, I have another question I'd like to see him answer, 'as a soldier.'
Recently it was revealed that after two years of constant barrages at the Bush Administration over the alleged leaking of the identity of a CIA desk jockey, the "leaker" was not a member of the White House inner circle as widely claimed, but was Richard Armitage, US Deputy Secretary of State, second-in-command at the State Department, working directly for Powell.
It was then revealed that Powell himself knew Armitage was the leaker, and had known it all along. But Powell kept silent even though a federal prosecutor was named to investigate whether laws against revealing the identities of undercover spies were broken; even though a grand jury was convened to assist the federal prosecutor; even though the reputations of administration officials were dragged through the mud; even though members of the media were jailed for upholding their interpretations of the First Amendment; and even though one administration member who had nothing to do with the issue is now facing federal charges arising from the investigation.
My question is: Did General Powell, 'as a soldier' violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice by not informing his commander in chief, President Bush, of what he knew, as soon as he knew it? Since a federal investigation was launched, did the general have an obligation to fess up immediately, and did he violate regulations on obstruction of justice by keeping mum?
I don't pretend to be an expert on military law. I lived and worked under the dictates of the UCMJ for eight years, but that was long ago. However, I can still read and interpret and one thing I found that strongly indicates the general is subject to the provisions of the UCMJ is the following:
802. ART. 2. PERSONS SUBJECT TO THIS CHAPTER
(4) Retired members of a regular component of the armed forces who are entitled to pay.
So, even though he is retired, since he draws retirement pay, the general apparently still has some obligations.
I have no animosity toward Colin Powell on any level, and I have the highest respect for all he has done, and all the sacrifices he has made for our country. But nobody gets a free ride here.
Scooter Libby, the Chief of Staff for Vice President Dick Cheney lost his job and has been charged with lying to a grand jury that never should have been convened in the first place. He could face jail time if convicted.
Former New York Times reporter Judith Brown already has gone to jail and lost her job over her refusal to name her source on the issue, even though she never published a word about it.
Karl Rove has been attacked across the spectrum as the supposed engineer of a dastardly plot to destroy the reputation of an administration opponent, Joe Wilson, husband of the hobbit who was so aggrieved by the revelations on her key placement in the defense of the free world that she was forced to flee to the media and pose for cover photos. Hopefully, her fragile psyche has been shored up by all the media hugs she has received since. Otherwise, maybe the settlements from all the lawsuits she has filed against God and everyone else will do the trick.
It is clear from here that the American people deserve an explanation of the general's role and responsibilities in this matter. If one is not forthcoming we deserve an answer to whether the general should have to face the same type of disciplinary action that I am sure he would order for any soldier in his command.
Bush Has a Moment in the Sun
President Bush gave a terrific speech before the UN Tuesday and I would say that even if the losers I now can compare him to hadn't been born.
Bush went to the greater populations of the countries around the world where the leaders are opposed to the US. He called out the leaders by country, and by executive style, and let the general populace know we want a world at peace.
He spared no dictators and he offered comfort to every populace. He made it clear that the US will not tolerate terrorism, Islamo-facists, or any other form of repression. He offered hope, and tolerance, and peace to those countries that will join us in working for those goals.
Bush showed that he has grown considerably over the years in office and that he has mastered the podium on the world stage. He gave a speech that all Americans can be proud of, and for once it would be great to see the World Terrorist Media's subsidiary, the American Terrorist Media, report it as it was, not as their political masters wish it would be.
Green Bean at the Untied Nations. HO-Hum
Several hours after President Bush stood at the UN's General Assembly podium and called Green Bean Almandine, the titular head of the Iran, the Country Formerly Known as Persia, and his henchmen in Syria and the Wide World of Terrorism on the carpet for attempting to impose their Culture of Cowardice on the world, Green Bean also appeared at the Untied Nations.
I don't know what Green Bean said, even though the World Terrorist Media was gushing all over him, because I have better things to do than listen to the insane rants of a deranged Hitler wannabe. The man is a pathological liar, has made no secret of his intent to develop a nuclear bomb and vaporize Israel, and nothing he could ever say would make up for the level of vitriol he has launched on the world in the past three decades.
So I took a cue from the comedian Lewis Black and spent the evening shoving sharpened pencils into my eardrums because dealing with that level of pain was still better than listening to the filth spewing from that terrorist jerk.
But Chavez is a Fanatic Freak!
On the other hand, this generation's Che Guevara wannabe, Huey Chavez, Grand Poobah and Ruler for Life of Venezuela was an absolute hoot and I recommend his speeches for any serious student of international politics.
He started out by calling President Bush the devil and went on to claim that he could still smell the sulfur from Bush's appearance at the same podium a day earlier. He continued that Americans are racist, hypocritical, and tyrants.
I say he should be required listening because first, Venezuela wants to be on the Security Council. Then, and far more importantly was the reaction of the assembled UN minions and cocktail slurpers. They applauded! They applauded this madman's ravings loudly and enthusiastically!
This is the Untied Nations! This bunch of losers couldn't find their own rear ends with both hands and a map, and they break into sustained applause for Chavez!
They clapped! They clapped enthusiastically for this jerk! Toss those SOBs out and toss them out right now!
That moron calling Bush the Devil tells us again and again and again and again and again that we no longer have any reason to be a part of that slime pit. The UN is nothing more than a welfare job for brain dead, coke-sniffing, bottom-feeding, mouth-breathing Neanderthals and we gain absolutely nothing from letting them hang out in a great city like New York.
Want to see the IQ of New York City increase by a factor of 10? Throw out all the foreign UN reps, except our allies of course.
But for their sake, our allies that is, we should get the rest of those losers out of here so the good guys don't get tainted by the idiocy of the rest. I don't know if idiocy is contagious but why take a chance?
Get that bunch of freaks the hell out of New York and do it yesterday!
Lamont Supporter Sighting
Seen on Rt.10 in suburban Connecticut, West of Hartford recently, a guy dressed like Osama Bin Laden, looking exactly like a recruiter for the Taliban.
This guy in full terrorist uniform, robes, beard and all was holding a sign. Upon closer inspection it was revealed to say:
Support Lamont. We Do!
Wednesday, September 20, 2006