Thursday, August 01, 2013

Open letter to Jay Carney and his superiors

To: James "Jay" Carney, White House Press Secretary, and your boss(es)

From: Dave Thul, combat veteran, 21 year member of the Army National Guard

Re: Your description of Benghazi as a 'phony scandal'


Since you have never had the honor of serving in uniform in the United States military, you may be unfamiliar with a few basic tenets of military life.  Take for instance the Soldier's Creed, a set of mottos that captures some time honored principles of military duty.  Foremost among the Creed we swear to uphold is this; (emphasis throughout this letter is mine)

I will always place the mission first.
I will never accept defeat.
I will never quit.
I will never leave a fallen comrade.

None of these principles were foremost in either yours or your chain of command's minds when, on the night of September 11th, 2012, the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by a coordinated, brazen enemy of our country.  Instead of responding with shock and awe, as should be the US response to such an event, or even a proportional response, the favored option of presidents who also did not have the honor of serving in uniform, you and your superiors choose to do absolutely nothing.

I mention this absence of action because, given your unfamiliarity with the US military, you may be unaware of the fact that had a US military member chose to act as the administration did, doing nothing, they likely would have been court martialed.

No seriously,  the Uniform Code of Military Justice requires court martial of any member of the armed forces who:

(2) shamefully abandons, surrenders, or delivers up any command, unit, place, or military property which it is his duty to defend;

That sure sounds like what the administration did that night, allowing what is held by international law to be United States soil overseas, the US Embassy, to be overrun by terrorists, and four Americans to be killed, along with dozens injured. 

So, Mr Carney, you might respond by saying, as you have in fact said, that there was no way to rescue the Americans under fire from such a sustained onslaught.  I'm tempted to say fair point, but unfortunately the UCMJ says that it is a high crime for any member of the military who:

(3) through disobedience, neglect, or intentional misconduct endangers the safety of any such command, unit, place, or military property;

So the UCMJ is clear, it was your administration's responsibility for keeping American embassy personnel safe from such an obvious attack in the first place, and the failure to do so is laid at your feet.  Also, no matter what the situation on the ground was on Sep 11th, 2012, you and your bosses had a DUTY to respond.  The UCMJ says that if I did what you did, which was NOTHING, I would be guilty of a high crime. Any member of the armed forces who:

(9) does not afford all practicable relief and assistance to any troops, combatants, vessels, or aircraft of the armed forces belonging to the United States or their allies when engaged in battle;

is guilty of a high crime.  As we come closer to the 1 year anniversary of this debacle, it's important to note that your boss promised to bring the guilty parties to justice.  Yet, we find just today that those suspected of carrying out the attack are being interviewed by American new outlets while your administration does nothing to apprehend them.  Again, the UCMJ weighs in on this, saying that any member of the armed forces who:

(8) willfully fails to do his utmost to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy any enemy troops, combatants, vessels, aircraft, or any other thing, which it is his duty so to encounter, engage, capture, or destroy

 is guilty of a high crime.  How can I look at you, Mr Carney, and your bosses, and not deduce that your lack of any action in Libya would get me court martialed for similar actions?

All right, Mr Carney, I think we have covered this issue enough, and I hope you have learned a thing or two about the military that you seem to know so little about.  But I would be remiss in my job of instructing you on military principles of I didn't finish this letter with one very important point.  All of the sections of the UCMJ I quoted above are from Article 99, which is entitled "Misbehavior Before the Enemy"

I mentioned several times that if I were to have done the same things your administration has admitted to have done on Sep 11th, 2012, I would be subject to court martial.  But I left out the best part-misbehavior before the enemy is a capital crime, punishable by death.

I could be facing the death penalty, while you are complaining about calls to investigate what actually happened, and acting like it is an unbearable burden for you.  Can you possibly understand the utter contempt this old soldier holds you in because of your comments?

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