Thursday, May 22, 2008

Stupid or Dishonest?

I was all set to give a nod of praise to NPR on Thursday morning when they noted that they made a mistake regarding the oath that cadets and faculty take at the Air Force Academy (see my post below). But there was a little problem with their "correction." Renee Montagne said:
"...we mistakenly said cadets quote 'take an oath to support the Commander in Chief.' Members of the military wrote to point out that their oath only calls for them to obey the President not support him."
That's completely untrue. Wednesday morning's NPR report said nothing about an oath "to support" the Commander in Chief. Here's the exact segment in question (again):
"at the Air Force Academy where students and most faculty members take an oath to obey the Commander in Chief."
That's curious, don't you think. Kind of odd to misquote yourself, apologize for the misquote - and then offer a correction that restates what was actually said in the first place!

My reason for posting on this below was two-fold:
  • First, cadets DO NOT take the same oath as enlisted members of the military. There is simply nothing in their oath about the Commander in Chief.
  • Second, the explicit emphasis in the cadet oath - and for that matter in the enlistment and officer's oath - is to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
And there's the rub. The soul of all military oaths is to support and defend the Constitution (not a person) and anyone with even a bit of brain activity knows who qualifies as the Constitution's greatest enemy - foreign or domestic. One has to admit that it does put active military personnel in a bind: they are sworn to defend the Constitution against its enemies and also to obey the person who is out to gut it - a situation the founders would have found rather shocking.

That brings us back to NPR. Why in God's name would they make such a mind-numbingly stupid error? Either their staff and host are utter incompetents or the "mistake" wasn't an error at all, but a tactic for reinforcing the anti-Constitutional Commander in Chief worship/allegiance that has so run amok of late.


Porter Melmoth said...

I think this is why the term 'fascist' has come up when considering the Bush Administration. In the past, these issues wouldn't be brought up because most people assumed a soldier's loyalty was to country (manifested in the Constitution), rather than to one (fearless) leader. Neocon strategist probably think that soldiers need a person to focus on rather than an idea. Sounds like shades of fascism, to me. If citizens do not understand this issue, our democracy is indeed imperiled.

NPR seems comfortable with the 'leader' option.

Porter Melmoth said...

Correction: for 'strategist' read 'strategists'

big!pink!fuzzy!bunny! said...

Sloppy, sloppy, sloppy. Swear you get more accurate reporting from 'Kid's News.' But they're only on Saturday mornings.

Anonymous said...


My vote is for stupid and dishonest.

Neocon Propaganda Radio never misses an opportunity to allude to Bush, who is only Commander in Chief for the armed services and not the citizenry, by grandiose militaristic terms.

Now if only Congress had spine to recall their oath to protect and defend the Constitution maybe we'd have some impeachment hearings!