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Old 06-15-2004, 17:02   #16
Ferratus
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I personally do not have a problem with a former (such and such/so and so) saying anything, either pro or con. This Republic was built on the ability of it's citizens to criticize not only the government, but specifically the CinC.
I agree, Sigi.

I don't see any difference between this group speaking out against Bush and anti-Clinton groups rallying against our former President in 1996. To say that these men are ill-informed because they are merely former administrative officials is debatable, but I'll yield that for the moment. However, if the press only printed the opinions of truly knowledgeable individuals, we might be lucky to see one article a year discussing politics.

Ultimately it is the responsibility of the reader to filter fact from fiction. To be honest, I do harshly criticize Bush's foreign and domestic policies. That said, I certainly did not see any worthwhile information presented by the 26 signatories in the article that NDD posted. As it stands, I'll have to wait until the statement is actually released before I can try to assess its validity. And I'm certainly not going to rely on any reporter's interpretation of it - liberal or conservative.
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Old 06-15-2004, 17:53   #17
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I personally do not have a problem with a former (such and such/so and so) saying anything, either pro or con. This Republic was built on the ability of it's citizens to criticize not only the government, but specifically the CinC.
Quote:
Originally posted by Ferratus
I agree, Sigi. I too am a lib.

The difference, you two, is that they aren't saying "I am Joe Blow, US citizen and I have an opinion on this matter and have a right to express it just like every other citizen."

They are saying "I'm FORMER GENERAL/UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NORTH POLE AFFAIRS and I demand you listen because I am somebody more important than the rest of you."

You think anybody would write an article about your or my opinion - either pro or con on ANYTHING? They are politicians using their FORMER positions for political and personal gain. They are not average citizens expressing their right to exercise free speech and discuss issues. When you assume the mantle of responsibility you accept the conditions that go along with it. Once you receive the trust and accept the compensation (no, not just financial) of the public and swear an oath, you don't get to back and be Joe Blow again when your time is up.

They want to be recognized as FORMER - they have to accept the conditions that go along with it. Not to mention they are implying, by the use of their fancy titles and FORMER, that they have some kind of insider knowledge which weights their opinions over everyone elses.

They are either FORMERS who should keep their mouths shut and contribute or Joe Blows who's opinion holds the same weight as yours or mine - not both.
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Old 06-15-2004, 18:34   #18
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OK, as much as I hate to disagree with my friend SOTB, I don't have a problem with these people using their former titles. Like it or not, resumes affect the weight of one's opinions. For example, I've never met Jack Moroney, but I value his opinions because of what I understand is on his resume. I have no problem with him letting people know why they should care about what he says. Same goes for libs.

Just my .02.

YMMV.
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Old 06-15-2004, 19:00   #19
NousDefionsDoc
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I don't have a problem with these people using their former titles.
Of course not, you're a lib too. If they want change, they can go vote like everybody else. They don't need to "issue statements".

The Colonel didn't come in here "issuing statements" calling for change and I haven't heard him call himself anything but his name. The deference we show him is our choice, not because he calls himself the FORMER COMMANDER OF XYZ.

Are you going to call yourself "RL - FORMER ATTORNEY AT LAW" when you retire and issue statements calling for the removal of judges? Or are you going to vote for the President and officials that will nominate and approve the kind of judges you feel should be on the bench?

Apples and oranges and you know it.
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Old 06-15-2004, 19:29   #20
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They are saying "I'm FORMER GENERAL/UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE FOR NORTH POLE AFFAIRS and I demand you listen because I am somebody more important than the rest of you."
I agree with this NDD. I do not believe that because someone served that they apply for inteligence status.

I may not like former so and so belittling my President, but that is not his CinC anymore.

He should show respect. I agree.

But thier political influence is why they are so vocal. And a lack of consequence for their view is protected by the Constitution.

I am a lib, NDD.

But agreeing that I both hate thier rethoric and agree to their right of hate speeech, if that makes me a lib, than you must agree that we are fighting for this liberty.
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Old 06-15-2004, 19:34   #21
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And a lack of consequence for their view is protected by the Constitution.
Where? Where in the hell does it say there are is a lack of consequences for their views in the US Constitution?
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He knows only The Cause.

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Old 06-15-2004, 19:39   #22
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It is a right that is expected.

Not only is this right expected, it is beyond protection in the Bill of Rights. It is assumed in the Constitution.

Kind of like the 2nd Amendment. The US Government should not even be discussing this issue.

NDD, I meant that the right to oppose the Executive Branch is protected by the Constitution. (I do not know ch. and verse.)

Sigi

Last edited by Sigi; 06-15-2004 at 19:42.
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Old 06-15-2004, 19:51   #23
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You mean the 1st Amendment?

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

There is a big difference in "Congress shall make no law"

And

"There is a lack of consequences for their views"

There are ALWAYS consequences for running your suck. May come later in the form of karma, but they come.

The US government isn't discussing this issue, you and I are. Those people are probably all receiving a pension or something else. You take the money, you accept the conditions - implied contract no counselors? I don't have a problem with them either using their FORMER titles or expressing their views. I have a problem with them doing both and forming a PAC to do it. And I don't care which side of the aisle they sit on either.

WTF does the former Ambassador to the Soviet Union know about Iraq anyway?

"Well, he must know something, he's a FORMER Ambassador."

BS.
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Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon and he made his web gear. He doesn't worry about what workout to do - his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him. This True Believer is not concerned about 'how hard it is;' he knows either he wins or dies. He doesn't go home at 17:00, he is home.
He knows only The Cause.

Still want to quit?
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Old 06-15-2004, 20:04   #24
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There is a differrence, and yes, you and I are discussing this. I agree with what you say, NDD. But if I wish too hard for censorship it applies to me.

I wish there were people who combusted when they said something stupid. Actually self destructed before they could disrespect and sabotage our President.

I agree that BTDT's should show restraint, but for how long? What if Kerry is President in 2008 and we are pushing a Republican?

Is it OK for our side of the Military (Republican) to speak on behalf of our candidate?
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Old 06-15-2004, 20:20   #25
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And I don't care which side of the aisle they sit on either.
I'm not talking about cecnsorship Sigi. I'm talking about a lack of professionalism and them needing to wind their own necks in. I am not advocating the government pass a law silencing dissent, even from the FORMERS. And if I thought for one minute it was honest, I wouldn't get so wound up about it.

They are using a priviledge - the sacred trust of the people given public servants when they are chosen for the job and the fame that goes with that - for their own political ends. If Kerry wins, will they all still be FORMERS? I doubt it.


That is the difference between a Quiet Professional and a FORMER.

I've said all I'm going to say about this.
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Somewhere a True Believer is training to kill you. He is training with minimal food or water, in austere conditions, training day and night. The only thing clean on him is his weapon and he made his web gear. He doesn't worry about what workout to do - his ruck weighs what it weighs, his runs end when the enemy stops chasing him. This True Believer is not concerned about 'how hard it is;' he knows either he wins or dies. He doesn't go home at 17:00, he is home.
He knows only The Cause.

Still want to quit?
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Old 06-15-2004, 21:14   #26
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Originally posted by Ferratus


(1)... if the press only printed the opinions of truly knowledgeable individuals, we might be lucky to see one article a year discussing politics.

(2) Ultimately it is the responsibility of the reader to filter fact from fiction.
Ferratus ,

(1) The only problem I have sometimes is that most "uneducated" citizens usually tune to ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC. Sometimes the press prints the only "knowledgeable individuals" it thinks is, well, uh, ....."knowledgeable." That doesn't make their judgement any better than mine.
(2) It is the reader who must filter the message, yes. Some readers need guidance. Some writers are bias. It takes time to figure out the difference.
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Old 06-16-2004, 00:57   #27
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In my opinion, the actions of these 'Formers' is not wrong in the slightest, although personally I would have liked to see more support for the incumbent government in times like these. On the other hand, it would be far less harmful for the govt. if the press did its job and actively critiqued, from BOTH sides what these Formers were saying and if they had the expertise to do so.

People listen to the media: it would 'mediate' the effects of these Formers.

JMO,

Solid
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Old 06-16-2004, 11:02   #28
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Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
WTF does the former Ambassador to the Soviet Union know about Iraq anyway?
Most of the discussion here has focussed on the propriety of these former officials using their titles to advance their agendas. Wihtout getting into that, I would use NDD's question here to open a little discussion of the other aspect of this - the substance of their argument.

I don't know much about Amb. Hartman, but I do about Amb. Matlock. Matlock was Ambassador to the USSR from 1987 to 1991, the period when that regime collapsed. Matlock was one of the principle architects of the approach, made infamous in Pres. Bush's 1991 "Chicken Kiev" speech, that placed stability in the Soviet Union ahead of the aspirations for independence of the various republics.

The administration of the current President Bush has outlined a philosophy and a policy that says that the old policy of maintaining Middle Eastern "stability" by supporting various strongman regimes was a chimera. It did not bring real stability and became a breeding ground for the terrorist mentality we face today.

The preference for stability led us to support undemocratic regimes in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Imperial Iran and elsewhere in the region. It led us to tilt toward Iraq as a buffer against Iran. When allied forces expelled Iraq from Kuwait, rather than deal militarily with the regime in Baghdad at the time, or support the Kurdish and Shiite uprisings, we sought stability. We would have been perfectly happy with a military coup that put another, less Saddam-y strongman in power, but we couldn't tolerate instability (to be fair, there were prudent arguments for this - the threat of Iran filling the regional power vacuum being foremost - but prudence is often the enemy of justice).

These 26 officials represent the old school, and they don't like the new approach. They have many allies within the military and intelligence and diplomatic communities, too, so expect "unnamed sources" in State, the CIA and elsewhere to leak information in support of them.

Of course, the biggest irony of these people coming out of the woodwork now is that they are already winning the fight. The Administration seems to only be paying lip service to democracy-building in the Middle East and seems to be just looking for a face-saving way out of Iraq. The recent elevation of Iyad Allawi, the CIA's man in Baghdad, seems part of this, as does the ceding of so much power over the democratization process to a UN official not exactly known for his democratic credentials, Lakhdar Brahimi. The deal with Libya looks good on the short-term WMD threat front, but bad on the long-term front, as Western companies flood into Tripoli to make deals with a dictator who still supports terrorists. Even our Arabic-language radio station does more to promote Britney Spears than to promote democracy. And don't get me started on State's hostility to regime change in Iran.
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Old 06-16-2004, 12:26   #29
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Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
Of course not, you're a lib too.
F*ck you.

Last edited by Roguish Lawyer; 06-16-2004 at 12:32.
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Old 06-16-2004, 12:30   #30
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Originally posted by NousDefionsDoc
The Colonel didn't come in here "issuing statements" calling for change and I haven't heard him call himself anything but his name. The deference we show him is our choice, not because he calls himself the FORMER COMMANDER OF XYZ.
You defer to him because of his experience and because you know him. True, it's not just the title, but for someone who doesn't know who he is, hearing that he is "Retired Colonel, U.S. Army Special Forces" gives him instant credibility on a lot of issues.

I just think this is a legitimate part of political discourse in both directions. If you guys would do the same sort of thing, it just might have a positive effect.

Last edited by Roguish Lawyer; 06-16-2004 at 13:07.
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