Thursday, August 09, 2007

Retired Colonel Weighs In on Tillman Case

This morning, the New York Times published an Op/Ed article by retired Colonel and MSNBC military analyst Jack Jacobs. After mentioning that his own units in Viet Nam were “occasionally victims of errant rifle fire, mortar rounds and bombs,” Colonel Jacobs says, “Sadly, Corporal Tillman’s death comes with another unhappy legacy: a ludicrous change in the Army regulation that deals with reporting casualties. With this change, the Army now requires a formal, independent investigation into the death of every American in a hostile area." In theory, Jacobs says, “The rule sounds commendable. Life is precious, and if one is cut short in combat then we owe the soldier and his family as full a report as possible. Having experienced more than enough combat, I understand this sentiment. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s the motivating force behind the revised regulation. In my view, the provision is there for one reason and one reason alone: to put in place a protocol to prevent commanders from lying about the cause of their soldiers’ deaths.” And, what’s wrong with that? Jacobs asks. “Well, it’s beyond insidious", Jacobs says, "because it is an admission that the Army has determined it can’t trust anyone in the combat chain of command — that the actions of General Kensinger (Lt. Gen. Philip R. Kensinger Jr was responsible for the cover-up) are the rule, not the exception, and that this kind of malfeasance among soldiers is expected to be so common that it requires regular policing.” Dear Colonel Jacobs: The reason the military is expected to lie is because the Commander in Chief of the military, George W. Bush, lies every time he opens his mouth. And in addition to that fact, which is a verifiable fact, the commanders in the military under George W. Bush have continually lied about every aspect of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. You see, Colonel Jacobs, the recent change in Army regulations has been occasioned by the fact that the executive branch of the United States government and the military always lie. Ergo, it is rightly assumed that as long as the military Commander-in-Chief is George W. Bush, lying and distorting the truth will be the modus operandi of every quote and every news release that comes out of the United States executive branch and/or the military. Colonel Jacobs ends his article by saying, “We don’t need better regulations. We need better leaders.” That is true, Colonel Jacobs. But the advent of the US getting better leaders is still far in the future and may not happen at all. Therefore, we have to rely on regulations.

1 comment:

Barry Schwartz said...

You are wrong that Bush always lies. It's just wrong, for instance he was not lying when he said he spied on us and would do it again. You cannot convince Colonel Jacobs or anyone attentive that Bush always lies, because there are counterexamples to that hypothesis.

What we _can_ safely say is that Bush's words are without meaning, and neither truth nor falsity may be inferred from them. He says whatever seems expedient at the moment, whatever he thinks will get him his desired result.