For John, BLUF: The law is supposed to inform us, guide us.nbsp; Just ask George. Nothing to see here; just move along.
The other day, on Democracy Now, Ace Reporter Glenn Greenwald disputed the assertion by retired Air Force Four Star Michael Hayden that US military officers would reject unlawful orders from a President Trump. Here is the link to the video and the transcript.
This issue came up, this morning, in a conversation. Someone suggested that the good ol' boys would do what they were told, I started to tell some war stories, but my experience was boring and was flowing counter to the meme.
Lets face it, the military is, to some degree, a cross section of society. There are some exceptions. There are more Blacks than in the overall population. Perhaps folks are better educated. Promotion is more meritocratic than in your average government office in Massachusetts. Women get equal pay for equal work. A slightly larger number of folks from the South and Southwest. But, still, fairly average.
Would some obey "illegal orders", order that violate the law of armed conflict? Would some waterboard and think it was OK?♠ Of course, but today's Service member is pretty bright, pretty well educated and steeped in the concept of the junior's responsibility to give his or her boss a "But sir" response when appropriate.
I don't think that a President Donald Trump, if he stepped across the line, would find it easy sledding with the Military, This is not to say political appointees and civilian bureaucrats wouldn't go along with such illegal orders. Look at DOJ under President Bush in the early days after 9/11.
UPDATE: Typo corrected, thanks to observant spouse.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Actually, some—not me—have in fact been waterboarded during survival training. If your own people have done it to you, why would you think it is wrong to do it to the enemy? But, to be clear, waterboarding is not considered, by interrogation experts, to be an effective way of getting information.