Sunday, March 29, 2009
Two weeks ago, former VP Cheney remarked during a CNN interview that he believed that the Obama administration's announced changes in U.S. interrogation policies "raise the risk to the American people of another attack."
When asked today on CNN about that statement, General David Petraeus said, “I wouldn’t necessarily agree with that.”
Gen. Petraeus and Sec. Gates were on Sunday morning talk shows to discuss the announced troop deployments to Afghanistan. Gen. Petraeus has a job to do, recognizes the chain of command, and supports his Commander in Chief, President Obama.
I wonder if MoveOn.org will send him a letter of apology now, or flowers or something, for the whole "Betray Us" thing 18 months ago. No hard feelings, Dave, we were just trying to rally the base.
Cheney's remark, besides being alarmingly inpolitic, was outrageous. The top commanders under Obama including Secretary Gates, General Petraeus, General McKiernan, General Odierno, Admiral Mullen and General Jim Jones. nowhead of NSA, all served under Bush! Does the former VPOTUS really think these brave commanders are putting the country at risk, now that they "work" for Obama. He either thinks very little of these Generals and military men, or he thinks way too much about himself. Or both.
Good for Petreus for speaking up.
Hah. Petraeus said nothing. He declined to offer an opinion. Of course, that says something too ... serving military officers would never be criticized for defending the current president's policy. Instead, he characterized it as a "good debate," which says nothing at all.
Hah. Petraeus said nothing. He declined to offer an opinion
Ray, did you watch the show? Obviously not, because if you did you would have heard that he most certainly did offer an opinion. When asked if American were less safe, he clearly stated he didn't agree with Cheney's comments:
"I wouldn't necessarily agree with that," said the general, who has served under both administrations. "I think that there is in fact a good debate going on about the importance of values in everything we do. If one violates the values we hold so dear, we jeopardize [our troops]."
@ Anon 06:30
Don't over-analyze Petraeus' comments. I'm sure he likes his job as much as anybody else. He WILL say what the president tells him to say...or he gets to retire...simple as that.
Whether one of Mr. Obama's employees chooses to agree with him or not is not the issue. The issue is whether we should be using all means at our disposal to extract strategic information from our enemies.
Personally, I think the answer to this question is such a valid, stunningly simple "YES!" that I have a VERY difficult time understanding how anyone who is realistic and rational can conceive of any other plan.
And there, my friends, is the rub...realistic and rational.....
I would think a lot less of any of the serving officers mentioned above if they publicly gave President Obama guff about his policies. That's strictly against the UCMJ and everything that is taught in the military about following Constitutional civilian leadership.
If they feel strongly enough that the President is wrong and cannot express it through channels, then they should resign and go public with their criticisms.
That was part of the problem with some of what General Shinseki said back in 2002 as Army Chief of Staff. He wasn't insubordinate, but he didn't show much enthusiasm or "can do" attitude for leadership that is expected of the top officers. And General Shinseki is/was a fine man and soldier, as I was told by a friend who served under him in the 90's.
Don't expect professional soldiers to go political while on active duty. It's bad for them and bad for everybody else. That's poison to the system.
DoD Directive 1344.10
Spirit and intent of Directive prohibits any activity that may be viewed as directly or indirectly associating DoD with partisan politics. “Some activities not expressly prohibited may be contrary to the spirit and intent of . . . this Directive . . . . In determining whether an activity violates the traditional concept that Service members should not engage in partisan political activities, rules of reason and common sense shall apply.
Any activity that may be viewed as associating the Department of Defense . . . or any component . . . directly or indirectly with a partisan political activity shall be avoided.”
Thank you, Cassandra, for the language from the reg., which an officer such as Gen. Petraeus (or any other officer) would follow. That was really the point of my post -- that of course Gen. Petraeus would support his CINC. The snarkiness about MoveOn.org, which supported the current CINC during the 2008 campaign, was just too hard to resist.
Regarding Cheney, I generally agree with TigerHawk's thoughts on Cheney's comments of a few weeks ago, and was surprised that he made them. Whatever his sucesses and failures as VPOTUS, he always struck me as a traditionalist -- someone who would respect the pre-Carter/Gore unspoken rule that a former POTUS/VPOTUS doesn't publicly criticize sitting a POTUS.
Don't over-analyze Petraeus' comments. I'm sure he likes his job as much as anybody else. He WILL say what the president tells him to say>...or he gets to retire...simple as that.
Well, that helps explains his behavior under the previous administration....
Condi Rice showed real class when she was asked about the Obama administration:
"My view is we got to do it our way; we did our best. We did some things well, some things not so well. Now, they get their chance. And I agree with the president. We owe them our loyalty and our silence while they do it. Because I know what it's like to have people chirping at you when they perhaps don't know what's going on inside.
These are quality people. I know them. They love the country. And they won't make the same decisions, perhaps, that we did. But I believe they'll do what they think is best for the country and I'll give my advice privately and keep it to myself."
Bravo Secretary Rice.
I to thought of Cheney as a traditionalist who would maintain the no comment rule. However, the Obama Administration is enacting radical change so quickly that someone had to speak up and just maybe that is why he said what he did.
WRT to Rice. I feel that when she moved to State she adopted State's views instead of ensuring State adopted the administration's agenda.
Rice would probably agree with a lot of what the new administration is doing. It is easy to say what she did if you agree.