Skip to comments.Seven Days in April -- Generals Prepare to 'Revolt' Against Rumsfeld
Posted on 04/18/2006 5:28:03 AM PDT by conservativecorner
Consider two hypothetical situations. In the first, a United States Army general officer in a theater of war decides by himself that he strongly disagrees with the orders of the secretary of defense. He resigns his commission, returns to private life and speaks out vigorously against both the policy and the secretary of defense.
In example two, the top 100 generals in the Army military chain of command secretly agree amongst themselves to retire and speak out -- each one day after the other.
In example one, above, unambiguously, the general has behaved lawfully. In example two, an arguable case could be made that something in the nature of a mutinous sedition has occurred in violation of Article 94 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice procedure. When does an expanded version of the simple honesty and legality of the first example cross over into grounds for a court martial?
More specifically, can a series of lawful resignations turn into a mutiny? And if they are agreed upon in advance, have the agreeing generals formed a felonious conspiracy to make a mutiny?
This may sound far-fetched, but in Sunday's Washington Post the very smart, very well-connected former Clinton Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Holbrooke published an article entitled "Behind the Military Revolt." In this article he predicts that there will be increasing numbers of retired generals speaking out against Sec. Rumsfeld. Then, shockingly, he writes the following words: "If more angry generals emerge -- and they will -- if some of them are on active duty, as seems probable . . . then this storm will continue until finally it consumes not only Donald Rumsfeld."
Mr. Holbrooke is at the least very well-informed -- if he is not himself part of this military cabal intended to "consume ... Donald Rumsfeld." Mr. Holbrooke sets the historic tone of his article in his first sentence when he says this event is "the most serious public confrontation between the military and administration since . . . Harry Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur."
He takes that model one step further later in his article when he compares the current campaign against Rumsfeld with the MacArthur event and with Gen. George McClellan vs. Lincoln and Gen. John Singlaub against Carter, writing: "But such challenges are rare enough to be memorable, and none of these solo rebellions metastasized into a group, a movement that can fairly be described as a revolt."
A "revolt" of several American generals against the secretary of defense (and by implication against the president)? Admittedly, if each general first retires and then speaks out, there would appear to be no violation of law.
But if active generals in a theater of war are planning such a series of events, they may be illegally conspiring together to do that which would be legal if done without agreement. And Ambassador Holbrooke's article is -- if it is not a fiction (which I doubt it is) -- strong evidence of such an agreement. Of course, a conspiracy is merely an agreement against public policy.
The upcoming, unprecedented generals' "revolt" described by Mr. Holbrooke, if it is not against the law, certainly comes dangerously close to violating three articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice:
"Article 94 -- Mutiny and sedition (a) "Any person subject to this chapter who -- (1) with intent to usurp or override lawful military authority, refuse, in concert with any other person, to obey orders or otherwise do his duty or creates any violence or disturbance is guilty of mutiny; (2) with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of lawful civil authority, creates, in concert with any other person, revolt, violence, or other disturbance against that authority is guilty of sedition; (3) fails to do his utmost to prevent and suppress a mutiny or sedition being committed in his presence, or fails to take all reasonable means to inform his superior commissioned officer or commanding officer of a mutiny or sedition which he knows or has reason to believe is taking place, is guilty of a failure to suppress or report a mutiny or sedition."
"Article 88 -- Contempt toward officials "Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."
"Article 134. General Article. Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court."
Certainly, generals and admirals are traditionally given more leeway to publicly assess war policies than is given to those in lower ranks. But with that broader, though limited, discretion comes the responsibility not to be seen to in any way contradict the absolute rule of civilians over the military in our constitutional republic.
The president has his authority granted to him by the people in the election of 2004. Where exactly do the generals in "revolt" think their authority comes from?
A lot of resignations can not turn into a mutiny.
All it can turn into is a protest.
In the military it is step up and fill the void. If a general resigns his command/post/position falls to someone else and then they control the troops under them.
I bet you the retired generals are looking for work as DNC/MSM consultants, thats all.
Six retired generals, 3 of whom have been retired for some time,including Wes Clark, does not a conspiracy or a revolt make.
And they will???
Smells like a set up to me
These Generals disgrace us all who wear the uniform. It is one thing to privately disagree and go into a room where you tell the Boss what you think and why...its quite another to do so in a fashion that has the public thinking you are trying to get a consulting job with the liberal media.
Like Rush said yesterday:
"Rumsfeld couldn't resign now if he wanted to"
These generals just sured up his position for the President....wtg generals....see what happens when you open your mouth before thinking things thru.....
I love Rummy!!!
BTW .. interesting title
Oooooops, the planned revolt is exposed.
If the USA actually prosecuted for sedition, the ACLU would be in jail, as would several congress persons. My first question would be whether there is any substance in the complaints of the generals about the Secretary of Defense? Second, what is the context, timeline, and background of the complaining generals? Are they Clinton appointees? Were they asked to resign? I suspect that the military has many "moles" from the Clinton administration carrying out their havoc of political correctness (irrational decisions). Are they opportunists or is this just a feeding frenzy?
If there is substance what is it? Is it valid and rational?
How does Karl Rove come up with these ideas? / sarcasm on!
I think he is over-analyzing this whole thing.
How can one story have so many errors? Easy, this is a pipe dream by the defeatist, military hating media.
Army retirements are all done on the last working day of the month, not staggered all month.
Thinking these Generals want to be associated with the party of defeat is not too bright. While Wes Clark, William Crowe and a few others sold their souls for 15 minutes of fame, most others are far more proud of themselves and their troops.
American Generals and Admirals lead the greatest military in the world. They didnt get appointed to their positions because of family connections or payments. They worked their way up a demanding and tough ladder of promotions. There is very little chance they will throw it all away to play lapdog to the media. Afterall, most, including me (not a General or even a Colonel) hate the media more than any other entity in America.
Not too smart, or at least not too trustworthy, to throw in with aconvicted liar, perjurer, a known thief, a known rapist and, imo, a murderer -- William Clinton.
And "what" connections! A mob lieutenant is well-connected, and even as well-connected to the same type of folks!
Yeah, he "knows" the best of the best of the officer corps. Not!
The left got a taste for bringing down Republicans with Gingrich, but didn't follow through. They did it again with DeLay and now want more. They have tasted blood and won't stop. They will pound Rumsfeld every day until he quits. And when that happens, they will go after someone else.
This is left wing politics as usual.
Rumsfeld made the choice to browbeat and publicly humiliate three and four star subordinates who warned him, in private, about the problems to come in Iraq after his "transformed" conquest.
That's fine, he ranked them.
But when you choose to run your office that way, you have to always be right, and Rumsfeld was not.
He should have left a year ago.
He's an awesome Secretary of Defense, and this nation is blessed to have him at the helm.
Ok, when I start hearing of conspiracies I start thinking a klintoon is puppet master.
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