Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Stupid Lieutenant

Seems somewhat redundant to put stupid in front of the term lieutenant. Since time immerorial it has been the lieutenants that have been the bane of platoon sergeants because nine times out of ten it seems they never posses the common sense G_d gave puppies.

Then we get to the case of Ehren Watada. Joins ROTC in college and snags a commission as a 2d Lt in the US Army as an infantry officer. Does a deployment to South Korea, one year unattached hardship tour is the norm, and comes back to CONUS just in time for his new unit at Ft. Lewis to be tasked to deploy to Iraq. In the meantime Watada has been promoted to 1st Lt which means his company commander thinks Watada can actually walk and chew bubblegum at the same time.

But wait, a deployment to Iraq Watada asks? Well sorry sir, he says to his shocked CO, but I think Iraq is an immoral war and I refuse to go. Well says the CO then lets run you down to the JAG since you are being charged with insubordination, But but splutters Watada how about I do a tour in Afghanistan instead? No dice says the Army since you can not pick and choose your assignments. Well exlcaims Watada to the media I am a conscientious objector and President Bush is wrong. So the Army slaps conduct unbecoming an officer charges against Watada since his statements about the President border on insuborniation and the undermining of lawful authority.

On February 5th, 2007, Watada goes to trial in a military court to determine if he is guilty of the charges leveled against him. He can try to justify his cowardice in not deploying to Iraq in conscientious objector terms but reading the Selective Service System page on how to be classified as a CO, Watada's come lately claims well come too late. His offer to deploy to Afghanistan will further damage his claims. And as a serving member of the United States military, Watada's First Amendment right to free speech are severly proscribed because Watada, when he indentifies himself as an Army officer, assumes a mantle of credibility that wraps around anything he says, hence can mislead other people into thinking what he says is official policy or cause confusion as to what the actual policy or orders are.

Watada needs to have his sword snapped, all badges of rank and distinction ripped from his uniform, and to be unceremoniously kicked out with a dishonorable discharge because he has no honor.

Of course Watada could have avoided this self-inflicted destruction by resigning his commission when notified he was deploying to Iraq. It would have aborted his career in the military of course. And Watada would have probably been forced to repay the money the US Army spent on his education. But Watada would have not deployed to Iraq and he would not be staring at the complete destruction of his entire life. As I said at the start, a stupid lieutenant.

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