Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dear President Obama: Are you the one responsible for this obvious violation of Army Regulations?

I get that you've never served or sacrificed for your country. But you ARE Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, so I apologize in advance (not) for taking you to task for using Servicemembers of the United States Army as illegal stage props for your "I lied to you before and it worked, so I'm gonna lie to you again," tour.

Please note the picture, Mr. President:

It appears there are at least three soldiers sitting directly behind you in an abortive effort to... what? Gain support from the military that loathes you? Make a fake effort to actually try to get us to believe that the MILITARY supports your idea of porkulus, which includes a 10% cut to the military's budget in the middle of a war?

Regardless, Mr. President, the presence of soldiers in uniform at a political rally is a black-letter violation of Army Regulations.

to wit:

From AR 600–20 (18 March 2008), Para. 5-3:

a. Obligations as a citizen. Soldiers are expected to carry out their obligations as citizens.

However, while on active duty, Soldiers (including full-time National Guard) are prohibited in certain cases from engaging in certain political activities. The following principles apply:

(1) A Soldier on active duty may—

(a) Register, vote, and express his or her personal opinion on political candidates and issues, but not as a representative of the Army.

(b) Make monetary contributions to a political organization.

(c) Attend partisan and nonpartisan political meetings or rallies as a spectator when not in uniform.

This picture shows clear violations of that regulation.

The reasons for such a regulation are clear: It is to keep people like you and other groups and organizations from using servicemembers like you did, as what amounts to stage props misrepresenting Army support.

Now, I also get that your actions to date have shown a decided lack of concern for the troops. One need go no farther back than to the days of yore, when you blew off the wounded in Landshtul so you could go shot some hoops while they lay bleeding... and in some cases, dying.

But this is a major violation of both common sense and military protocol. While not impossible, I find it hard to believe that no one on your staff was aware of these prohibitions against this type of activity.

So, I'm left with one of two alternatives:

You knew, but didn't give a damn, or that you or your people did NOT know, and you were too incompetent to find out.

The troops in question should have known to ask the question: why are we here? Based on my service, it's fairly clear that they go to great lengths to explain the rules to you when you enlist. So, at the end of the day, what we have here is yet another screw up by you, this time compounded by the scam you're pulling on the American people as you foist this unconscionable waste of trillions of dollars in pay offs and pay backs onto our backs and the backs of generations to come, thus my renaming of this porkulus program to the Generational Indebtedness Act.

That said, someone is responsible for this blatant violation of Army Regulations. The questions are these: Who, and what are you going to do about it? I'm sure that, given your concern over any double standard, you won't merely ignore my letter and let it all go, right?


We'll chat again, real soon.

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