Benghazi - Massive Coverup

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Re: Benghazi

Postby fadedpsychosis on Mon May 13, 2013 1:46 pm

so as this topic treads perilously close to stuff I'm legally not allowed to have a public opinion on, I will simply say this: through my life, things didn't seem near as F***ed up as they do now until W came into office, and it hasn't gotten better since...
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Postby 2dimes on Mon May 13, 2013 1:58 pm

I've never met him so I won't go as far as to say, "Shoot, don't blame my boy Dubya, he's terrific!"

I will absolutely say that the guys doing evil things that the potus de jour is partially taking the blame for, have been getting away with most of it far less detected, up until him.

I assure you there's a reason B.K. Barunt and many other fellows, several veterens become, how should I word it? Less than patriotic after service.

Dick, Don and a few others are just working in a time when it's too easy for some random Canuck to get information.
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Re: Re: Benghazi

Postby Woodruff on Mon May 13, 2013 5:50 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Dukasaur wrote:
2dimes wrote:Now that they are just concentrating on taking out the perceived "bad guys" that are at the root of things like the gulf war etc. people are still complaining
.

If they wanted to take out the bad guys at the root of the gulf war, there would be drone strikes at places like 5959 Las Colinas Boulevard, Irving, TX and 5 Houston Center, Houston, TX.


Indeed.

Dukasaur wrote:Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan nor Libya nor Syria has made sense


I'm going to quibble a bit. I agree regarding Iraq, Libya and Syria. But I do feel that our actions in Afghanistan were justified. I also believe we badly fumbled our opportunity to improve the situation while we were there, however.


I'd want to agree with you on AFG, but given the certainty of the underlined, I wouldn't advocate for war. It is to be expected that the US cannot transport democracy or improve countries by invasion (and/or foreign aid).


But we have done so in the past. I remain convinced we could have done so in the case of Afghanistan.
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Re: Benghazi

Postby Woodruff on Mon May 13, 2013 5:53 pm

2dimes wrote:I assure you there's a reason B.K. Barunt and many other fellows, several veterens become, how should I word it? Less than patriotic after service.


To be honest, I actually consider them to be QUITE patriotic. Certainly their brand of patriotism is different than what most think, but they're much more interested in the IDEALS of this country than most of the jingoistic, unrepentant fucktards who claim to be patriotic.
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Re: Benghazi

Postby Phatscotty on Mon May 13, 2013 6:35 pm

ooge wrote:The only part of Ron Pauls Ideology that I agee with. Its sad to think a lot of past interventions were done to protect some corporations interests.right now the US navy protects shipping lanes it seems to me China benefits greatly from this,why not charge them a fee?


I think almost all Americans agree with this part. My only question is, why do we only elect people who disagree with this part?
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Re: Benghazi

Postby Dukasaur on Mon May 13, 2013 7:02 pm

Phatscotty wrote:
ooge wrote:The only part of Ron Pauls Ideology that I agee with. Its sad to think a lot of past interventions were done to protect some corporations interests.right now the US navy protects shipping lanes it seems to me China benefits greatly from this,why not charge them a fee?


I think almost all Americans agree with this part. My only question is, why do we only elect people who disagree with this part?






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Re: Re: Benghazi

Postby BigBallinStalin on Mon May 13, 2013 7:21 pm

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
Dukasaur wrote:
2dimes wrote:Now that they are just concentrating on taking out the perceived "bad guys" that are at the root of things like the gulf war etc. people are still complaining
.

If they wanted to take out the bad guys at the root of the gulf war, there would be drone strikes at places like 5959 Las Colinas Boulevard, Irving, TX and 5 Houston Center, Houston, TX.


Indeed.

Dukasaur wrote:Neither Iraq nor Afghanistan nor Libya nor Syria has made sense


I'm going to quibble a bit. I agree regarding Iraq, Libya and Syria. But I do feel that our actions in Afghanistan were justified. I also believe we badly fumbled our opportunity to improve the situation while we were there, however.


I'd want to agree with you on AFG, but given the certainty of the underlined, I wouldn't advocate for war. It is to be expected that the US cannot transport democracy or improve countries by invasion (and/or foreign aid).


But we have done so in the past. I remain convinced we could have done so in the case of Afghanistan.


Our success rate is about 33% in the past 100 years--with "democracy" at least meaning something equivalent to modern day Iran (+4 on the Polity IV index).*

Check out After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy.

book review/summary:
http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/file ... 9n1-16.pdf

Chapter 1:
http://www.ccoyne.com/Coyne_-_After_War_-_Chapter_1.PDF


*If we raise the standard of democracy to +8 (France, GER, US, etc.), then the US' success rate is about 1% or 5% (I forget the source of that study though. :/
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Postby 2dimes on Mon May 13, 2013 9:22 pm

Woodruff wrote:
2dimes wrote:I assure you there's a reason B.K. Barunt and many other fellows, several veterens become, how should I word it? Less than patriotic after service.


To be honest, I actually consider them to be QUITE patriotic. Certainly their brand of patriotism is different than what most think, but they're much more interested in the IDEALS of this country than most of the jingoistic, unrepentant fucktards who claim to be patriotic.

Well, that is why I am at a loss for preferred wording.

Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure. End up involved in the wrong operation and experience some corrupt comanding officers or maybe some operation some in the chain of command would rather you just agree with, and...
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Re: Benghazi

Postby patrickaa317 on Mon May 13, 2013 9:37 pm

This topic is all just out of control. Remember it was spontaneous riots that caused this attack on the embassy. The CIA report even said that, and there is no way this transparent administration would edit the talking points behind what truly happened.
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Re: Benghazi

Postby rishaed on Mon May 13, 2013 11:55 pm

patrickaa317 wrote:This topic is all just out of control. Remember it was spontaneous riots that caused this attack on the embassy. The CIA report even said that, and there is no way this transparent administration would edit the talking points behind what truly happened.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Anybody else see what is funny with this statement? :roll: ](*,) :ugeek:
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Re: Benghazi

Postby Phatscotty on Tue May 14, 2013 12:00 am

the sarcasm?
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Re:

Postby Woodruff on Tue May 14, 2013 12:33 am

2dimes wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
2dimes wrote:I assure you there's a reason B.K. Barunt and many other fellows, several veterens become, how should I word it? Less than patriotic after service.


To be honest, I actually consider them to be QUITE patriotic. Certainly their brand of patriotism is different than what most think, but they're much more interested in the IDEALS of this country than most of the jingoistic, unrepentant fucktards who claim to be patriotic.

Well, that is why I am at a loss for preferred wording.

Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure.


Actually, I don't think it's important in any way. Not necessary at all. What IS necessary is that active duty member support the policies of the President anyway, regardless of their agreement, as long as nothing criminal is directed. As well, the active duty member needs to maintain the impression of propriety, as the US military is highly interested in public appearance.
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Re: Benghazi

Postby Woodruff on Tue May 14, 2013 12:33 am

rishaed wrote:
patrickaa317 wrote:This topic is all just out of control. Remember it was spontaneous riots that caused this attack on the embassy. The CIA report even said that, and there is no way this transparent administration would edit the talking points behind what truly happened.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Anybody else see what is funny with this statement? :roll: ](*,) :ugeek:


Having seen Patrick in this forum enough, I'm quite certain that was intentional.
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Re:

Postby fadedpsychosis on Tue May 14, 2013 4:08 am

2dimes wrote:Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure. End up involved in the wrong operation and experience some corrupt comanding officers or maybe some operation some in the chain of command would rather you just agree with, and...

it's not that we blindly agree with the president, it's that we are supposed to (and in fact are legally obligated) to keep our private opinions private
Woodruff wrote:Actually, I don't think it's important in any way. Not necessary at all. What IS necessary is that active duty member support the policies of the President anyway, regardless of their agreement, as long as nothing criminal is directed. As well, the active duty member needs to maintain the impression of propriety, as the US military is highly interested in public appearance.

yeah, what he said
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Re: Benghazi

Postby patrickaa317 on Tue May 14, 2013 7:38 am

Woodruff wrote:
rishaed wrote:
patrickaa317 wrote:This topic is all just out of control. Remember it was spontaneous riots that caused this attack on the embassy. The CIA report even said that, and there is no way this transparent administration would edit the talking points behind what truly happened.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
Anybody else see what is funny with this statement? :roll: ](*,) :ugeek:


Having seen Patrick in this forum enough, I'm quite certain that was intentional.


Thank you Woody, you are correct.
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Postby 2dimes on Tue May 14, 2013 9:30 am

Ok you two, that's enough of that. "But if the troops are blind how will they aim their weapons?"
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Re: Re:

Postby BigBallinStalin on Tue May 14, 2013 11:39 am

fadedpsychosis wrote:
2dimes wrote:Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure. End up involved in the wrong operation and experience some corrupt comanding officers or maybe some operation some in the chain of command would rather you just agree with, and...

it's not that we blindly agree with the president, it's that we are supposed to (and in fact are legally obligated) to keep our private opinions private
Woodruff wrote:Actually, I don't think it's important in any way. Not necessary at all. What IS necessary is that active duty member support the policies of the President anyway, regardless of their agreement, as long as nothing criminal is directed. As well, the active duty member needs to maintain the impression of propriety, as the US military is highly interested in public appearance.

yeah, what he said


Just wondering: I don't think the underlined is true.

What about the president ordering the extrajudicial killing of that American citizen? Wasn't that illegal?

I certainly can't do it--even if I can demonstrate that the victim was telling others to kill 'my people' (i.e. my family).


Or what of GITMO, Bagram, and that whole mess? Surely, the Law was vague then... perhaps, if the president operates within the gray areas of the law, then... somehow it's "legal," so everyone will simply keep their head down and do nothing lawful?
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Re: Re:

Postby Woodruff on Tue May 14, 2013 12:04 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
fadedpsychosis wrote:
2dimes wrote:Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure. End up involved in the wrong operation and experience some corrupt comanding officers or maybe some operation some in the chain of command would rather you just agree with, and...

it's not that we blindly agree with the president, it's that we are supposed to (and in fact are legally obligated) to keep our private opinions private
Woodruff wrote:Actually, I don't think it's important in any way. Not necessary at all. What IS necessary is that active duty member support the policies of the President anyway, regardless of their agreement, as long as nothing criminal is directed. As well, the active duty member needs to maintain the impression of propriety, as the US military is highly interested in public appearance.

yeah, what he said


Just wondering: I don't think the underlined is true.


The underlined is ABSOLUTELY true. In fact, we are trained that way.

But see...here's the problem. If you're going to maintain that an order you've been given is an unlawful order and so you're not going to follow it, you damn well better be right, because if it is eventually determined NOT to have been an unlawful order, you will pay the price and the price for disobeying a direct order can be pretty serious, particularly given a wartime circumstance.

So basically it comes down to your level of confidence not just in the situation, but also as to how well you can prove what the situation was and your reaction to it.

BigBallinStalin wrote:Or what of GITMO, Bagram, and that whole mess? Surely, the Law was vague then... perhaps, if the president operates within the gray areas of the law, then... somehow it's "legal," so everyone will simply keep their head down and do nothing lawful?


Most of the time when we find out about those sorts of things, it is due to individuals who didn't just keep their head down. Many times, sadly, they do take a LOT of heat for it, but generally speaking the heat they take is from their peers or direct line of supervision (Lieuteant Colonel and below), rather than the higher leadership of the military.

The reason it may SEEM that this isn't the case is because too many yokels "buy into" the idea of whatever's being done, whether that is abusing prisoners or shooting innocents or whatever, instead of kepeing their integrity.
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Re: Re:

Postby BigBallinStalin on Tue May 14, 2013 3:03 pm

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
fadedpsychosis wrote:
2dimes wrote:Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure. End up involved in the wrong operation and experience some corrupt comanding officers or maybe some operation some in the chain of command would rather you just agree with, and...

it's not that we blindly agree with the president, it's that we are supposed to (and in fact are legally obligated) to keep our private opinions private
Woodruff wrote:Actually, I don't think it's important in any way. Not necessary at all. What IS necessary is that active duty member support the policies of the President anyway, regardless of their agreement, as long as nothing criminal is directed. As well, the active duty member needs to maintain the impression of propriety, as the US military is highly interested in public appearance.

yeah, what he said


Just wondering: I don't think the underlined is true.


The underlined is ABSOLUTELY true. In fact, we are trained that way.

But see...here's the problem. If you're going to maintain that an order you've been given is an unlawful order and so you're not going to follow it, you damn well better be right, because if it is eventually determined NOT to have been an unlawful order, you will pay the price and the price for disobeying a direct order can be pretty serious, particularly given a wartime circumstance.

So basically it comes down to your level of confidence not just in the situation, but also as to how well you can prove what the situation was and your reaction to it.


Gee, one would have to be a legal expert to justify disobedience. How many military personnel hold law degrees in military affairs? :P

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Or what of GITMO, Bagram, and that whole mess? Surely, the Law was vague then... perhaps, if the president operates within the gray areas of the law, then... somehow it's "legal," so everyone will simply keep their head down and do nothing lawful?


Most of the time when we find out about those sorts of things, it is due to individuals who didn't just keep their head down. Many times, sadly, they do take a LOT of heat for it, but generally speaking the heat they take is from their peers or direct line of supervision (Lieuteant Colonel and below), rather than the higher leadership of the military.

The reason it may SEEM that this isn't the case is because too many yokels "buy into" the idea of whatever's being done, whether that is abusing prisoners or shooting innocents or whatever, instead of kepeing their integrity.


That's interesting. If the "CEO" and executive board can keep themselves clean of the mess they create, then I don't see how any punishment of the lower-level "management" will correct the fundamental problems.

It's strange. The most powerful positions in the world are in certain areas incapable of being prosecuted, and who would have the guts to call for an investigation and carry through with it--fully? I recall the Bush 2.0 administration deleting all their emails. The war on Iraq, based on terrible intelligence (or rather, bullshit), is a great example.

It's weird. If a company indirectly kills people (e.g. a chemical spill), and even though it's been paying billions for years to workers' salaries and into the local markets, people nevertheless become enraged (and rightly so). The company usually is held to some degree culpable. But, when such words like "government" or "national security" become involved, and when the government steps into that vague area beyond the Law and kills many innocent civilians, then what? Where's the outrage? Where's the distrust? Where's the serious pursuit of justice within the government?

The dissociation with government intervention is amazing. It also goes back to the electorate. Many of them supported a war in Iraq, voted (ir)responsibly, and none were held culpable for their actions. Whether or not they should, is another matter, but if one can easily ignore/avoid the costs of one's decisions, then the possibility of attaining good outcomes (for more than oneself and friends) seems miniscule.
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Re: Re:

Postby Woodruff on Tue May 14, 2013 5:26 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
fadedpsychosis wrote:
2dimes wrote:Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure. End up involved in the wrong operation and experience some corrupt comanding officers or maybe some operation some in the chain of command would rather you just agree with, and...

it's not that we blindly agree with the president, it's that we are supposed to (and in fact are legally obligated) to keep our private opinions private
Woodruff wrote:Actually, I don't think it's important in any way. Not necessary at all. What IS necessary is that active duty member support the policies of the President anyway, regardless of their agreement, as long as nothing criminal is directed. As well, the active duty member needs to maintain the impression of propriety, as the US military is highly interested in public appearance.

yeah, what he said


Just wondering: I don't think the underlined is true.


The underlined is ABSOLUTELY true. In fact, we are trained that way.

But see...here's the problem. If you're going to maintain that an order you've been given is an unlawful order and so you're not going to follow it, you damn well better be right, because if it is eventually determined NOT to have been an unlawful order, you will pay the price and the price for disobeying a direct order can be pretty serious, particularly given a wartime circumstance.

So basically it comes down to your level of confidence not just in the situation, but also as to how well you can prove what the situation was and your reaction to it.


Gee, one would have to be a legal expert to justify disobedience. How many military personnel hold law degrees in military affairs? :P


No, not really. Again, we do receive training on things like the Geneva Convention and similar other directives regarding the "rules of war", so there really is no excuse for violating them.

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Or what of GITMO, Bagram, and that whole mess? Surely, the Law was vague then... perhaps, if the president operates within the gray areas of the law, then... somehow it's "legal," so everyone will simply keep their head down and do nothing lawful?


Most of the time when we find out about those sorts of things, it is due to individuals who didn't just keep their head down. Many times, sadly, they do take a LOT of heat for it, but generally speaking the heat they take is from their peers or direct line of supervision (Lieuteant Colonel and below), rather than the higher leadership of the military.

The reason it may SEEM that this isn't the case is because too many yokels "buy into" the idea of whatever's being done, whether that is abusing prisoners or shooting innocents or whatever, instead of kepeing their integrity.


That's interesting. If the "CEO" and executive board can keep themselves clean of the mess they create, then I don't see how any punishment of the lower-level "management" will correct the fundamental problems.


No, in all sincerity, it is not the higher leadership of the military that is typically the problem. Almost universally, it is an individual in a lower command position that creates the messes. It really isn't the problem you seem to be implying it is.

BigBallinStalin wrote:It's strange. The most powerful positions in the world are in certain areas incapable of being prosecuted, and who would have the guts to call for an investigation and carry through with it--fully? I recall the Bush 2.0 administration deleting all their emails. The war on Iraq, based on terrible intelligence (or rather, bullshit), is a great example.


Ok, but that's not a situation of disobeying an unlawful military order.

BigBallinStalin wrote:It's weird. If a company indirectly kills people (e.g. a chemical spill), and even though it's been paying billions for years to workers' salaries and into the local markets, people nevertheless become enraged (and rightly so). The company usually is held to some degree culpable. But, when such words like "government" or "national security" become involved, and when the government steps into that vague area beyond the Law and kills many innocent civilians, then what? Where's the outrage? Where's the distrust? Where's the serious pursuit of justice within the government?


I don't disagree with you here at all. In fact, I very much agree. But I'm not sure what you're driving at, as far as this aspect of the conversation.

BigBallinStalin wrote:The dissociation with government intervention is amazing. It also goes back to the electorate. Many of them supported a war in Iraq, voted (ir)responsibly, and none were held culpable for their actions. Whether or not they should, is another matter, but if one can easily ignore/avoid the costs of one's decisions, then the possibility of attaining good outcomes (for more than oneself and friends) seems miniscule.


Are we talking about something different now?
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Postby 2dimes on Tue May 14, 2013 7:56 pm

Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure. End up involved in the wrong operation and experience some corrupt comanding officers or maybe some operation some in the chain of command would rather you just agree with, and...[/quote]
it's not that we blindly agree with the president, it's that we are supposed to (and in fact are legally obligated) to keep our private opinions private
Woodruff wrote:Actually, I don't think it's important in any way. Not necessary at all. What IS necessary is that active duty member support the policies of the President anyway, regardless of their agreement, as long as nothing criminal is directed.
Nothing to add I just felt like quoting this huge thing and writing in the middle of it.
As well, the active duty member needs to maintain the impression of propriety, as the US military is highly interested in public appearance.

yeah, what he said

Just wondering: I don't think the underlined is true. [/quote]

The underlined is ABSOLUTELY true. In fact, we are trained that way.

But see...here's the problem. If you're going to maintain that an order you've been given is an unlawful order and so you're not going to follow it, you damn well better be right, because if it is eventually determined NOT to have been an unlawful order, you will pay the price and the price for disobeying a direct order can be pretty serious, particularly given a wartime circumstance.

So basically it comes down to your level of confidence not just in the situation, but also as to how well you can prove what the situation was and your reaction to it.[/quote]

Gee, one would have to be a legal expert to justify disobedience. How many military personnel hold law degrees in military affairs? :P[/quote]

No, not really. Again, we do receive training on things like the Geneva Convention and similar other directives regarding the "rules of war", so there really is no excuse for violating them.

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Or what of GITMO, Bagram, and that whole mess? Surely, the Law was vague then... perhaps, if the president operates within the gray areas of the law, then... somehow it's "legal," so everyone will simply keep their head down and do nothing lawful?


Most of the time when we find out about those sorts of things, it is due to individuals who didn't just keep their head down. Many times, sadly, they do take a LOT of heat for it, but generally speaking the heat they take is from their peers or direct line of supervision (Lieuteant Colonel and below), rather than the higher leadership of the military.

The reason it may SEEM that this isn't the case is because too many yokels "buy into" the idea of whatever's being done, whether that is abusing prisoners or shooting innocents or whatever, instead of kepeing their integrity.


That's interesting. If the "CEO" and executive board can keep themselves clean of the mess they create, then I don't see how any punishment of the lower-level "management" will correct the fundamental problems.


No, in all sincerity, it is not the higher leadership of the military that is typically the problem. Almost universally, it is an individual in a lower command position that creates the messes. It really isn't the problem you seem to be implying it is.

BigBallinStalin wrote:It's strange. The most powerful positions in the world are in certain areas incapable of being prosecuted, and who would have the guts to call for an investigation and carry through with it--fully? I recall the Bush 2.0 administration deleting all their emails. The war on Iraq, based on terrible intelligence (or rather, bullshit), is a great example.


Ok, but that's not a situation of disobeying an unlawful military order.

BigBallinStalin wrote:It's weird. If a company indirectly kills people (e.g. a chemical spill), and even though it's been paying billions for years to workers' salaries and into the local markets, people nevertheless become enraged (and rightly so). The company usually is held to some degree culpable. But, when such words like "government" or "national security" become involved, and when the government steps into that vague area beyond the Law and kills many innocent civilians, then what? Where's the outrage? Where's the distrust? Where's the serious pursuit of justice within the government?


I don't disagree with you here at all. In fact, I very much agree. But I'm not sure what you're driving at, as far as this aspect of the conversation.

BigBallinStalin wrote:The dissociation with government intervention is amazing. It also goes back to the electorate. Many of them supported a war in Iraq, voted (ir)responsibly, and none were held culpable for their actions. Whether or not they should, is another matter, but if one can easily ignore/avoid the costs of one's decisions, then the possibility of attaining good outcomes (for more than oneself and friends) seems miniscule.


Are we talking about something different now?
Last edited by 2dimes on Tue May 14, 2013 8:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Re:

Postby Symmetry on Tue May 14, 2013 7:59 pm

BigBallinStalin wrote:
fadedpsychosis wrote:
2dimes wrote:Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure. End up involved in the wrong operation and experience some corrupt comanding officers or maybe some operation some in the chain of command would rather you just agree with, and...

it's not that we blindly agree with the president, it's that we are supposed to (and in fact are legally obligated) to keep our private opinions private
Woodruff wrote:Actually, I don't think it's important in any way. Not necessary at all. What IS necessary is that active duty member support the policies of the President anyway, regardless of their agreement, as long as nothing criminal is directed. As well, the active duty member needs to maintain the impression of propriety, as the US military is highly interested in public appearance.

yeah, what he said


Just wondering: I don't think the underlined is true.

What about the president ordering the extrajudicial killing of that American citizen? Wasn't that illegal?

I certainly can't do it--even if I can demonstrate that the victim was telling others to kill 'my people' (i.e. my family).


Or what of GITMO, Bagram, and that whole mess? Surely, the Law was vague then... perhaps, if the president operates within the gray areas of the law, then... somehow it's "legal," so everyone will simply keep their head down and do nothing lawful?


Plus the drones.
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Re: Re:

Postby BigBallinStalin on Wed May 15, 2013 2:06 am

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
fadedpsychosis wrote:
2dimes wrote:Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure. End up involved in the wrong operation and experience some corrupt comanding officers or maybe some operation some in the chain of command would rather you just agree with, and...

it's not that we blindly agree with the president, it's that we are supposed to (and in fact are legally obligated) to keep our private opinions private
Woodruff wrote:Actually, I don't think it's important in any way. Not necessary at all. What IS necessary is that active duty member support the policies of the President anyway, regardless of their agreement, as long as nothing criminal is directed. As well, the active duty member needs to maintain the impression of propriety, as the US military is highly interested in public appearance.

yeah, what he said


Just wondering: I don't think the underlined is true.


The underlined is ABSOLUTELY true. In fact, we are trained that way.

But see...here's the problem. If you're going to maintain that an order you've been given is an unlawful order and so you're not going to follow it, you damn well better be right, because if it is eventually determined NOT to have been an unlawful order, you will pay the price and the price for disobeying a direct order can be pretty serious, particularly given a wartime circumstance.

So basically it comes down to your level of confidence not just in the situation, but also as to how well you can prove what the situation was and your reaction to it.


Gee, one would have to be a legal expert to justify disobedience. How many military personnel hold law degrees in military affairs? :P


No, not really. Again, we do receive training on things like the Geneva Convention and similar other directives regarding the "rules of war", so there really is no excuse for violating them.


I really don't see how a grunt would possess enough knowledge of military law and the Law of the USG in order to even know if their superiors are doing something wrong. I don't see how the incentive structure of "doing what you're told" + limited knowledge of the law and higher-up information would create an environment where the soldier would consistently 'do the right thing'.

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Or what of GITMO, Bagram, and that whole mess? Surely, the Law was vague then... perhaps, if the president operates within the gray areas of the law, then... somehow it's "legal," so everyone will simply keep their head down and do nothing lawful?


Most of the time when we find out about those sorts of things, it is due to individuals who didn't just keep their head down. Many times, sadly, they do take a LOT of heat for it, but generally speaking the heat they take is from their peers or direct line of supervision (Lieuteant Colonel and below), rather than the higher leadership of the military.

The reason it may SEEM that this isn't the case is because too many yokels "buy into" the idea of whatever's being done, whether that is abusing prisoners or shooting innocents or whatever, instead of kepeing their integrity.


That's interesting. If the "CEO" and executive board can keep themselves clean of the mess they create, then I don't see how any punishment of the lower-level "management" will correct the fundamental problems.


No, in all sincerity, it is not the higher leadership of the military that is typically the problem. Almost universally, it is an individual in a lower command position that creates the messes. It really isn't the problem you seem to be implying it is.


Really? The Bush adminstration pursued a war in Iraq because some lowly analyst in the National Reconnaissance Office (or whatever) misinterpreted a pile of rubbish as WMDs? I really don't find that convincing--especially if there's conflicting reports and for some odd reason the administration keeps harping on the rubbish 'intelligence'.

That's the degree of the mess I'm talking about, so maybe that would clear the misunderstanding here. Stuff like drone strikes, GITMO, Bagram, torturing, etc. These are executive-level decisions, which the executives are not later held accountable for. That's the problem I'm talking about here (to be clear).


Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:It's strange. The most powerful positions in the world are in certain areas incapable of being prosecuted, and who would have the guts to call for an investigation and carry through with it--fully? I recall the Bush 2.0 administration deleting all their emails. The war on Iraq, based on terrible intelligence (or rather, bullshit), is a great example.


Ok, but that's not a situation of disobeying an unlawful military order.


Maybe that's the problem. It's not illegal to go to war on faulty intelligence and not be held accountable for the costs. I bet plenty of politicians would vote for that kind of law...

Then again, all kinds of illegal wiretapping were conducted--but (right, that's not about military personnel). Actions like that get on my nerves anyway. Government officials can commit crimes with little repercussion, yet non-government actors usually experience greater consequences--even for minor crimes (possessing a gram of weed, or yelling at an officer).

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:It's weird. If a company indirectly kills people (e.g. a chemical spill), and even though it's been paying billions for years to workers' salaries and into the local markets, people nevertheless become enraged (and rightly so). The company usually is held to some degree culpable. But, when such words like "government" or "national security" become involved, and when the government steps into that vague area beyond the Law and kills many innocent civilians, then what? Where's the outrage? Where's the distrust? Where's the serious pursuit of justice within the government?


I don't disagree with you here at all. In fact, I very much agree. But I'm not sure what you're driving at, as far as this aspect of the conversation.

Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:The dissociation with government intervention is amazing. It also goes back to the electorate. Many of them supported a war in Iraq, voted (ir)responsibly, and none were held culpable for their actions. Whether or not they should, is another matter, but if one can easily ignore/avoid the costs of one's decisions, then the possibility of attaining good outcomes (for more than oneself and friends) seems miniscule.


Are we talking about something different now?



Well, this is me going on about the incentives faced by the electorate on deciding on matters of US foreign policy. I wonder why we get into such crap, and it shouldn't be too surprising. Just a tangent.
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Re: Re:

Postby BigBallinStalin on Wed May 15, 2013 2:10 am

Symmetry wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
fadedpsychosis wrote:
2dimes wrote:Blindly agreeing with the president is potentially important for an active duty member of the armed forces at the lower levels for sure. End up involved in the wrong operation and experience some corrupt comanding officers or maybe some operation some in the chain of command would rather you just agree with, and...

it's not that we blindly agree with the president, it's that we are supposed to (and in fact are legally obligated) to keep our private opinions private
Woodruff wrote:Actually, I don't think it's important in any way. Not necessary at all. What IS necessary is that active duty member support the policies of the President anyway, regardless of their agreement, as long as nothing criminal is directed. As well, the active duty member needs to maintain the impression of propriety, as the US military is highly interested in public appearance.

yeah, what he said


Just wondering: I don't think the underlined is true.

What about the president ordering the extrajudicial killing of that American citizen? Wasn't that illegal?

I certainly can't do it--even if I can demonstrate that the victim was telling others to kill 'my people' (i.e. my family).


Or what of GITMO, Bagram, and that whole mess? Surely, the Law was vague then... perhaps, if the president operates within the gray areas of the law, then... somehow it's "legal," so everyone will simply keep their head down and do nothing lawful?


Plus the drones.


C'mon, Sym. Drones are totes legal. It's for national security. Don't you want to be safe?
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Re: Re:

Postby Woodruff on Wed May 15, 2013 3:58 am

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:The underlined is ABSOLUTELY true. In fact, we are trained that way.

But see...here's the problem. If you're going to maintain that an order you've been given is an unlawful order and so you're not going to follow it, you damn well better be right, because if it is eventually determined NOT to have been an unlawful order, you will pay the price and the price for disobeying a direct order can be pretty serious, particularly given a wartime circumstance.

So basically it comes down to your level of confidence not just in the situation, but also as to how well you can prove what the situation was and your reaction to it.


Gee, one would have to be a legal expert to justify disobedience. How many military personnel hold law degrees in military affairs? :P


No, not really. Again, we do receive training on things like the Geneva Convention and similar other directives regarding the "rules of war", so there really is no excuse for violating them.


I really don't see how a grunt would possess enough knowledge of military law and the Law of the USG in order to even know if their superiors are doing something wrong.


They don't need to know if their superiors are doing something wrong. Although many times they DO know, in my experience. And I think you're underestimating the average grunt. Again, we receive regular training in these things.

BigBallinStalin wrote:I don't see how the incentive structure of "doing what you're told" + limited knowledge of the law and higher-up information would create an environment where the soldier would consistently 'do the right thing'.


It's called integrity, and members of the military are expected to hold it as a high standard.

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:Or what of GITMO, Bagram, and that whole mess? Surely, the Law was vague then... perhaps, if the president operates within the gray areas of the law, then... somehow it's "legal," so everyone will simply keep their head down and do nothing lawful?


Most of the time when we find out about those sorts of things, it is due to individuals who didn't just keep their head down. Many times, sadly, they do take a LOT of heat for it, but generally speaking the heat they take is from their peers or direct line of supervision (Lieuteant Colonel and below), rather than the higher leadership of the military.

The reason it may SEEM that this isn't the case is because too many yokels "buy into" the idea of whatever's being done, whether that is abusing prisoners or shooting innocents or whatever, instead of kepeing their integrity.


That's interesting. If the "CEO" and executive board can keep themselves clean of the mess they create, then I don't see how any punishment of the lower-level "management" will correct the fundamental problems.


No, in all sincerity, it is not the higher leadership of the military that is typically the problem. Almost universally, it is an individual in a lower command position that creates the messes. It really isn't the problem you seem to be implying it is.


Really? The Bush adminstration pursued a war in Iraq because some lowly analyst in the National Reconnaissance Office (or whatever) misinterpreted a pile of rubbish as WMDs? I really don't find that convincing--especially if there's conflicting reports and for some odd reason the administration keeps harping on the rubbish 'intelligence'.


The reason that doesn't sound convincing is probably because that's nowhere near what I said. In fact, it's almost the opposite of what I said. "Lower command position" does not at all equate to "some lowly analyst" (which would be more in line with the "grunt" you mentioned previously). "Lower command position" would be an officer, probably somewhere in the Captain-Lt Col range.

BigBallinStalin wrote:That's the degree of the mess I'm talking about, so maybe that would clear the misunderstanding here. Stuff like drone strikes, GITMO, Bagram, torturing, etc. These are executive-level decisions, which the executives are not later held accountable for. That's the problem I'm talking about here (to be clear).


And yet, GITMO, Bagram, drone strikes and the like are situations where individuals have acted without integrity and by following orders that were unlawful (caveat, most drone strikes would not be considered unlawful orders).

BigBallinStalin wrote:
Woodruff wrote:
BigBallinStalin wrote:It's strange. The most powerful positions in the world are in certain areas incapable of being prosecuted, and who would have the guts to call for an investigation and carry through with it--fully? I recall the Bush 2.0 administration deleting all their emails. The war on Iraq, based on terrible intelligence (or rather, bullshit), is a great example.


Ok, but that's not a situation of disobeying an unlawful military order.


Maybe that's the problem. It's not illegal to go to war on faulty intelligence and not be held accountable for the costs. I bet plenty of politicians would vote for that kind of law.


I'm not at all convinced that the US went to war on "faulty intelligence". I think the decision was made to go to war, and the "intelligence" was manufactured to support that decision. When something like that happens, that really has nothing at all to do with military members acting legally or illegally, because it is impossible for the military member to know what the intelligence contained unless they were directly involved in creating it.
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