Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, May 02, 2005

"You Can't Handle the Truth"

The moonbats are all atwitter over reports that President Bush and Prime Minister Blair had agreed to start joint planning for war against Iraq in the summer of 2002. Imagine the nerve of these people, planning for possible military contingencies! This was even before a congressional vote (and before the invasion)... and everyone knows that the military never planned for any contingencies or met with allies about potential flashpoints between 1993 and 2000. I imagine no one would have had problems with it if the U.S. and Great Britain had held off on deciding to attack Iraq until after we invaded Iraq. {/sarcasm}
Looks like I was wrong. Someone claiming to be Congressman John Conyers of Ohio has written in DailyKos that he has written a letter to President Bush complaining about this advanced planning. Excerpts:

"We write because of troubling revelations in the Sunday London Times apparently confirming that the United States and Great Britain had secretly agreed to attack Iraq in the summer of 2002, well before the invasion and before you even sought Congressional authority to engage in military action. While various individuals have asserted this to be the case before, including Paul O'Neill, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Richard Clarke, a former National Security Council official, they have been previously dismissed by your Administration. However, when this story was divulged last weekend, Prime Minister Blair's representative claimed the document contained "nothing new." If the disclosure is accurate, it raises troubling new questions regarding the legal justifications for the war as well as the integrity of your own Administration.

The Sunday Times obtained a leaked document with the minutes of a secret meeting from highly placed sources inside the British Government. Among other things, the document revealed:
* Prime Minister Tony Blair chaired a July 2002 meeting, at which he discussed military options, having already committed himself to supporting President Bush's plans for invading Iraq...."

It goes on in that vein. I would really hope that's not an actual congressman wasting people's time with this drivel, but then I remember that Congressman Conyers is a hero among the extreme moonbats for his willingness to take up almost any wacky cause.

Now, before I provide my opinion of Congressman Conyers, I find myself in a little bit of a quandary. You see as a retired military officer entitled to pay, I'm still subject to parts of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. And Article 88 of the UCMJ talks about "Contempt for Officials" as follows:
" 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."

Now, based on some of the things Wesley Clark said about President Bush, or things Oliver North said about Bill Clinton, I don't think they've been going after retirees too much, but it is a possibility. In an interesting technical discussion on the theory and practice of Art. 88, I read:

"One large and significant body of individuals that are not beyond the reach of this provision is retirees, however. Article 2(a)(4) provides that the military has UCMJ jurisdiction over “[retired members of a regular component who are entitled to pay.” Albeit only one known court-martial of a military retiree under Article 88 or its predecessors exists, and courts martial of retirees are rare and require special permission, no legal prohibition exists precluding application of Article 88 to these members of our land and naval forces."

[The footnote discussing the previous retiree charged says: "... in 1918, a retired Army musician was charged, but acquitted, of “calling [President] Wilson and the government subservient to capitalists and ‘fools to think they can make a soldier out of a man in three months and an officer in six’”). “This was the only case discovered in which a retired member of the was prosecuted for violation of the article.” However, in 1942 charges were preferred, but withdrawn, against a retired lieutenant colonel for giving “a speech impugning the loyalty of President Roosevelt . . ." (stating that they were withdrawn because of publicity concerns.)]

A less technical but more recent discussion (from the left) of Article 88 can be found here.

So, am I in danger of prosecution if I give a disparaging opinion of Congressman Conyers? No, I'm not, because he's not the President, Vice President, Governor of the state I'm in, or random Cabinet officer protected by Art. 88. Therefore, let me state that I think Congressman Conyers, if he really is circulating that letter, is acting like an idiot.

Going deep...


Blogger Vigilis said...

Bubblehead, John Conyers (D-MI) is another law school graduate (LLB Wayne State University, 1958), and as such, has been dedicated to fabricating lies and disseminating virulent propaganda to protect the guilty. Why wouldn't any lawyer do as much to protect his profession and personal job security?!

5/02/2005 6:09 PM

Blogger CDR Salamander said...

I have danced close to that ART 88 now and then... ;)

5/02/2005 6:26 PM

Blogger Mark Tempest said...

So, as a retired reserve officer, in the "gray area" (not yet receiving pay) I can say anything I like?

Heh. Conyers is a moron.

5/02/2005 9:37 PM


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