Saturday, April 29, 2006

Once a soldier, always a soldier?

It looks like the retired generals’ outspoken criticism, of President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld and the bungled mess we call the war in Iraq, has touched a nerve, leading Rumsfeld to haul out the big guns…

According to Jeff Huber at Pen and Sword, as of April 18, 2006 (emphasis added):
“[The] life of every American citizen who retired honorably from the United States military is under the direct control of one Donald H. Rumsfeld

“[If] the Department of Defense finds retirees it wants to shut up, all it has to do is call them back to active duty [because once] retirees are back on active duty, they come under the Uniform Code of Military Justice and their constitutional rights—including the right to freedom of speech—are essentially stripped from them…

“[And, if] retirees resist a call back to active duty, they'll be in violation of federal law and subject to criminal prosecution either under the UCMJ or civilian law. This would likely lead to, at the very least, loss of all retirement pay and benefits.”

This is simply breathtaking. Does this mean that once a recruit signs up once, they’ll be subject to such orders forever? Is this made clear to new recruits? Is this the sort of “repayment” that we as a country choose to use as a “reward” to those who’ve risked their lives to protect our nation? Of what use is freedom of speech if it can be yanked so easily, and can speech be free if there is such a threat hanging endlessly over a person’s head?

My head is still spinning over the ramifications of this order. What next?


Blogger Joe Berenguer said...

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7:23 AM  

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