- The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation - http://blog.heritage.org -

Shoot the Messenger

Posted By Conn Carroll On October 7, 2009 @ 11:30 am In Security | Comments Disabled

There are cries on the left [1] that General McChrystal violated article 2 of the Constitution when he publicly and candidly responded to questions about the military advice he has offered to the president of the United States.

The problem may be that the general’s accusers may be reading a different constitution. They certainly can’t be reading the US Constitution.

Under the US constitution, and the oath that military officers swear, they are obligated to obey the lawful orders of their superiors. You would have to twist reality into a different dimension to craft an argument the General McChrystall violated orders passed down his superiors.

First, the Obama administration approved of both his appearances on 60 Minutes and speaking at the IISS Conference in London to begin with.

Second, unless they told him to lie, there is nothing wrong with officers there candid opinion on military matters. After all, it was the president that charged him with making an honest assessment of the situation.

Third, the general was offering his judgment on military matters which is perfectly appropriate. Admittedly, the choice of military strategy has political implications, but that does not mean the general should not talk on military matters. He is not usurping the president’s authority to pick a strategy…he is just saying what he honestly believes….which the White House never told him he could not do. With all the heat on the president now, likely as not they will tell the general to stop talking to the press, likely as not he will follow orders….because he is a good soldier and good soldiers follow lawful orders.

If generals ever get a lawful order they can’t live with they resign. If presidents don’t like what their generals do or say they can fire them. Its just that simple…no supreme court decision need be applied.

Demonizing generals for being honest about what they tell their president was not something ever envisioned by the framers of the Constitution.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/10/07/shoot-the-messenger/

URLs in this post:

[1] cries on the left: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/06/pelosi-mcchrystal-shouldn_n_310863.html

Copyright © 2011 The Heritage Foundation. All rights reserved.