Legality/Ethics of (US) Commissioned Officer Commentary - Page 2




 
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July 1st, 2004  
Iraq n Baq
 

Topic: Re: Legality/Ethics of (US) Commissioned Officer Commentary


Quote:
Originally Posted by bush musketeer
bad orders should be criticzed and so should bad commanders. especially if it save some of your fellow sodiers from getting shot by not following an order exactly. got to be flexible with orders because battleplans are subject to change without notice at times
There is a difference between bad orders and illegal orders. While a soldier has duty to challenge illegal orders, any order given lawfully shall be followed regardless of the soldier's personal opinion or political state-of-thought.
July 1st, 2004  
RnderSafe
 
 

Topic: Re: Legality/Ethics of (US) Commissioned Officer Commentary


Quote:
Originally Posted by bush musketeer
haven,t seen the movie but might to see what the gist of the argument is?
bad orders should be criticzed and so should bad commanders. especially if it save some of your fellow sodiers from getting shot by not following an order exactly. got to be flexible with orders because battleplans are subject to change without notice at times
Ahhh .. ::wiping tears::
July 1st, 2004  
Gunner13
 
 
A couple of comments to Redneck's posting, which is correct in the essentials, but might give some people the impression that members of the US Armed Forces are mindless slaves (which is not true by a long shot!).

1. Members of the US Armed Forces still have rights under the First Amendment to the US Constitution regarding freedom of speech, although it is, as Redneck noted, severely restricted for reasons of military discipline. What the soldiers in question did on camera for Fahrenheit 911 was 100% wrong as they voiced their criticisms publicly (on film) and in uniform, which infers that they are doing this in their capacity as members of the US Armed Forces. However, we can voice concerns or criticisms privately (to each other or to family members) or in an unofficial capacity (particularly if you are an off duty reservist) and, of course, we can always express our opinion by voting.

2. On a professional basis, it is proper to question, thru the chain of command, orders which you feel may be illegal, do not make sense, or which you do not agree with. That does not mean that you do not have to follow/carry them out (unless they are illegal), but you do get to have your say. I point out that you must use care when doing this, particularly during wartime, but it is allowed. As an aside, I have often referred to the US Army, in jest, as a Representative Dictatorship - we get to have our say, but have to follow (legal) orders and directives


"When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen" George Washington
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July 8th, 2004  
blockwood
 

Topic: Re: Legality/Ethics of (US) Commissioned Officer Commentary


Quote:
Originally Posted by Iraq n Baq
I'm in the process of writing something for my webpage in response to Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 7-11 propaganda film. This movie features a handful of uniformed (U.S.) Army officers and enlisted men bad-mouthing their command, the president and openly questioning our actions in Iraq. (Disgraceful if you ask me) I am under the impression that any such political speech is forbidden from a commissioned officer (possibly anyone wearing a uniform?) in the United States military. I cannot, however, find anything specific to that effect in any regulation or the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Does anyone know where I might be able to find a quotable reference for this? Am I wrong?

Help me to fight the liberals!!!!

Also, what are your thoughts on this? Should members of the military have an obligation to support their chain of command? Or should they be allowed to openly criticize their orders and their commanders that gave those orders?

I feel that the military, and those serving in it, should be free of any partisan politics, and simply do their jobs. If they disagree with an action being taken, they can resign their commission, get queer and get out, or go to Canada. I don't want those in my Army who will openly question the orders they receive. Such people jeopardize the mission, their brothers and sisters in arms, and the support of the civilian populace. I want to depend on my fellow soldiers, and my subordinates to operate as ordered, and without concern for their own partisan position. After all, service is still voluntary - no one is forcing these men and women to serve. If they don't like it, they can get out.

____________
Sgt Slaughter
I happened to stumble on this forum after a google search - I'm a former Infantry Officer (1LT) who served prior to Gulf War I. I disagree with a lot of what this administration has done.

To be honest I am shocked by the attitudes and ignorance I'm seeing displayed on this forum.

This poster wants to be in a non-partisan Army while "fighting the liberals" ??? If you don't want to be in a military where the chain of command is questioned - go fight for the People's Republic of China or perhaps you can serve with Castro.

I joined the military to fight for my country (and EVERYBODY in it) - not conduct witch hunts against my fellow officers EXCERCISING THEIR FREEDOM OF SPEECH protected by the U.S. constitution.

You hate Michael Moore and liberals - but yet it it YOU who are trying to turn the U.S. Army into something like the Soviet Army with political commissars attached to each unit to monitor "correct speech"

We spent 40 years of the cold war fighting the Soviets by proxy exactly because they thought like this and wanted to crush freedom. Doesn't this mean anything to anybody anymore?

To be fair I have just gotten into this forum and read only a few posts - I have replied to one. If this is indicative of the way people feel in our military today I'm said to see it. If this is not indicative I would hope some leaders in this forum would remind people what the Hell our troops are fighting and dying for in Iraq right now.

Here's a news flash - we don't fight for conservatives or Republicans or George Bush - we fight for this country and the principles it stands for including freedome of speech. If you have a problem with this concept my suggestion is that YOU leave the military and join a militia.
July 8th, 2004  
RnderSafe
 
 
Blockwood .. as a former infantry officer, I am suprised that you have let your situational awareness slip. It seems, in your reading of this forum, you would have come across the forum rules at least once. Since it seems you have not, I suggest you read them and then report to the Welcoming Center to post an introduction and short bio of your military career.

Now that that is out of the way, in response to your post: I would suggest that you read the UCMJ. You do remember it, do you not? There is a little part in there on the conduct of officers especially when commenting or questioning those above them in the food chain.

Quote:
888. ART. 88. CONTEMPT TOWARD OFFICIALS
Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
Quote:
889. ART. 89 DISRESPECT TOWARD SUPERIOR COMMISSIONED OFFICER
Any person subject to this chapter who behaves with disrespect toward his superior commissioned officer shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.
Quote:
809. ART. 90. ASSAULTING OR WILLFULLY DISOBEYING SUPERIOR COMMISSIONED OFFICER.
Any person subject to this chapter who--
(1) strikes his superior commissioned officer or draws or lifts up any weapon or offers any violence against him while he is in the execution of his officer; or
(2) willfully disobeys a lawful command of his superior commissioned officer; shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, and if the offense is committed at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.
I could continue, but I am sure you can get the point by now.
July 8th, 2004  
Gunner13
 
 
I second RnderSafe comments! If they are not crystal clear to you, see the discussion points raised by myself, Redneck and bush musketeer on the previous page.

While you raise some good points, you seem to have missed the point of our discussion! The actions of the soldiers in question in Moore's film are unethical and very likely illegal under the UCMJ. There is no way that you can say that their actions are in keeping with the traditional, publicly non-political stance of the US Armed Forces.

While all members of the US Armed Forces are free to have opinions and voice their views privately, they are not permitted to do so publicly in the manner that these soldiers did.
July 8th, 2004  
Shadowalker
 
 
While all members of the US Armed Forces are free to have opinions and voice their views privately, they are not permitted to do so publicly in the manner that these soldiers did.[/quote]

Did these men know they were going to be in a film? Moore might just of lied to them about what he was doing and them being in the film is the first they know about!

As long as the men do there duty then i wouldnt be overly bothered, if there views were reflected in there actions then i would want them out but if they do there duty without problems, theres no sense in persecuting the men just because of there private views!
July 8th, 2004  
RnderSafe
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by skywalker
As long as the men do there duty then i wouldnt be overly bothered, if there views were reflected in there actions then i would want them out but if they do there duty without problems, theres no sense in persecuting the men just because of there private views!
Not really private once they share them with the world, now are they?
July 8th, 2004  
Shadowalker
 
 
I know but as i said at the top of my first post did these men know there comments were going to be put into a major film? I havent seen the film but if these men are professionals and (as some of the other posters have pointed out that there are rules and regs about the comments they made) know about the rules and regs they would surely not give out there views so openly!
July 8th, 2004  
Iraq n Baq
 
I'm not sure it really matters if they knew they were going to be in a big box-office "lets-hate-on-Mr-President" crockumentary or if they thought they were going to be in someone's home movies. They were wearing the uniform of a United States Army officer, and there was a camera present (that they proceeded to talk into). I'm on the lower end of the enlisted ranks, but I'm smart enough to know that what goes into a camera, probably comes out on the other end somewhere.