Monday, March 06, 2006

Using the Military for Nefarious Purposes

I'm sure you're all aware that Republican Representative Musgrave had a couple of Marines, in uniform, on stage with her at a GOP event. Some of you may even be aware that this is in direct violation of military regulations. I point you to section 4 of Department of Defense Directive 1344.10 and the thrilling Enclosure 3, which you may read for yourselves. I'll just point you to the parts where it says:
4.1.2. A member on active duty shall not: Participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions (unless attending a convention as a spectator when not in uniform). E3.3.3. Participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions (except as a spectator when not in uniform), or make public speeches in the course thereof. E3.3.8. Speak before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause. E3.3.18. Attend partisan political events as an official representative of the Armed Forces.
As Josh Marshall points out, Bob Novak told us this was coming.
At the same time, the Bush administration is going directly to the public with its war message. Raul Damas, associate director of political affairs at the White House, has been on the phone directly to Republican county chairmen to arrange local speeches by active duty military personnel to talk about their experiences in Iraq. To some Republican members, this unusual venture connotes a desire to go directly to the people to sell the president's position without having to deal with members of Congress.
I cannnot even begin to talk about the black humor inherent in the situation where an administration that seems to sit around dreaming up ways both to put our armed forces in untenable situations and to break the law in the name of patriotism managing to do both at the same time. It's almost brilliant. I'm sad I'm missing out. To that end, I will be holding a Democratic political event in my bedroom this evening. Members of the armed forces should come in uniform and be ready to speak directly to their audience in hushed, grumbly whispers, very close to the audience's ear. The audience also asks that members of the armed forces bring with them something for dinner--as the audience is running low groceries--and beer, and condoms. God Bless America!


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