Wednesday, May 21, 2008


(Creepy image is from the National Guard)

I was listening to Adam Hochberg's report this morning about the (mainly) faculty revolt against Pres. Bush being the invited commencement speaker at Furman University. Seemed like a decent enough report with airtime given to those opposed to and in support of Bush's coming address. However at the tail end of the story came this:
"In addition to speaking at Furman, President Bush is scheduled to deliver another commencement address this month, but it's very unlikely there'll be protesters at that one. It's at the Air Force Academy where students and most faculty members take an oath to obey the Commander in Chief."
Interesting...only yesterday I read Ray McGovern's "Open Appeal to Admiral William Fallon (USN ret.)" published on Common Dreams on Tuesday. In it he notes:
"Two years ago I lectured at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. I found it highly disturbing that, when asked about the oath they took upon entering the academy, several of the “Mids” thought it was to the commander in chief. This brought to my mind the photos of German generals and admirals (as well as top church leaders and jurists) swearing personal oaths to Hitler. Not our tradition, and yet…..

I was aghast that only the third Mid I called on got it right — that the oath is to protect and defend the Constitution, not the president."
The Constitution, not the president! As he points out, the semantics carry weighty implications - especially when the Commander in Chief has shown such contempt for the Constitution. I looked at the oath at the Naval Academy and wondered if the Air Force Academy has one in which obedience is sworn to the Commander in Chief. Definitely not; here it is, right from the Air Force Academy's website:
"I, (name), having been appointed an Air Force cadet in the United States Air Force, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God."
No Commander of Chief anywhere to be seen (even West Point's Cadet Oath makes no reference to the Decider).

I'm planning to write a polite letter to NPR, urging them to issue an on the air correction. We'll see...


Anonymous said...

Not only did Nationalist Propaganda Radio's president come from CIA/State Department's propaganda org, Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, even the former All Things Considered host, Sanford Ungar, was recently head of Voice of America.

Are we seeing a pattern here?
The CIA has specialized in managing the left and intelligentsia (frequently - ahem- the same demographic) with safe media that stays within safe boundaries that don't threaten the status quo.

That's NPR and PBS.
CIA for American readers who might know more than Tony Danza.

Porter Melmoth said...

My god, he looks like Warren G. Harding!

Porter Melmoth said...

I come into contact with quite a few young upstanding ROTC officers, particularly in the Air Force, and I have yet to encounter any of them who take the Commander-in-Chief 'thing' all that seriously. Their immediate higher-ups are who they pay attention to, and beyond that, Colonels are important, but I've heard plenty of chuckling from bright, non-idiot military people who are happy to obey orders, but the C-in-C/President thing isn't viewed as someone to say 'sieg heil' to. Especially this one.

Anonymous said...

The oath of enlistment for all branches of the service is as follows:

I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

This in in addition to the oath that cadets swear to at the academies.