Sunday, February 28, 2016

Unlawful Orders


For John, BLUFYou pays your money and you takes your chance.  Nothing to see here; just move along.



From Politico and Reporter Nick Gass we have "Former CIA director:  Armed forces would ignore Trump".

Here is how the article starts out:

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden blasted Donald Trump's rhetoric in a recent interview, saying that the U.S. military would refuse orders from him, even as commander-in-chief, to kill the families of terrorists, as Trump has pledged to do.

Appearing on HBO's "Real Time with Bill Maher" to promote his latest book, Hayden expressed concern about Trump's language, including the Manhattan real-estate magnate's vow to bring back waterboarding and worse because "they deserve it."

“I would be incredibly concerned if a President Trump governed in a way that was consistent with the way that candidate Trump expressed during the campaign," Hayden said.

Actually, "ignore" is the wrong word in the headline.  It is disobey.  The military is taught to not follow orders that violate the Geneva Conventions.  On the other hand, some do.  They are wrong to do so.  The lesson learned from the Nuremberg Trials is that following orders does not excuse one.

The Instapundit thought this was the key exchange:

Maher brought up Trump’s pledge to kill family members of Islamic State terrorists. “That never even occurred to you, right?” Maher deadpanned.

“God, no!” Hayden exclaimed.  “Let me give you a punchline:  If he were to order that once in government, the American armed forces would refuse to act.”

Maher responded incredulously, “What? Well, that’s quite a statement, sir.”

“You cannot—you are not committed, you are not required, in fact you’re required to not follow an unlawful order,” Hayden replied.  “That would be in violation of all the international laws of armed conflict.”

“You’ve given us a great reason not to support Trump.  There would be a coup in this country,” Maher cracked.

Hayden said he was not sure about “a coup.”

“I think it’s a coup that you said it,” Maher said.

I would think that General Hayden should have drawn a strong line for Mr Maher.  He should have said something like "We aren't talking about Reporters and Talk Show Hosts here, but about members of the US Armed Services."

So, on the one hand you have a candidate who encourages (orders?) her subordinates to violate Federal Laws, and they do, and on the other hand you have a Candidate who says he will order violations of the Law of Armed Conflict and he immediately gets pushback from a retired four star.  Is there a gripping hand and what does it hold?

Oh, and the punchline from the Instapundit is:

See, if a black (or female) Democratic president gave an unlawful order, they’d follow it anyway so as not to be called racist or sexist.  So if you’re worried about executive misbehavior, you’ve got to vote for the white male Republican.
Yes, politics can be convoluted.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

PS:  Congrats to Ms Clinton for winning South Carolina so decisively.

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