Not exactly a bold, controversial statement, right? Even the most ardent supporter will agree that the military lies during its day-to-day mission of "defending" the country, in part to confuse the enemy de jour. But the far greater deceit lies in justifying the reasons for this organization's mere existence.
My recent piece asked honest, logical questions disputing certain rationalizations pertaining to the military. The response from readers was overwhelmingly positive and the vast majority of those respondents were veterans! Among the small minority of dissenters, only a few made polite, thoughtful rebuttals. Not surprisingly, their arguments failed to convince me. However, their points did cause me to realize that the military's claim of "defending my freedom" was not only untrue but an impossible task for the military to accomplish.
Military supporters certainly claim the organization "protects my freedom." Does the military make identical, documented claims? The Army sees itself as "protecting America's freedoms at home and abroad, securing our homeland, and defending democracy worldwide." The Soldier's Creed for the Army and Army National Guard claims "I am a guardian of freedom and the American way of life."
The Airmen's Creed for members of the Air Force maintains themselves to be a "Guardian of Freedom and Justice."
The Creed of a United States Marine seems more about a love affair with their rifle (their rifle is human?) than a claim of protecting anyone's freedom. However, one of their numerous websites does explain the motto, "Semper Fidelis" and how "this phrase defines the honesty and dedication of the Marines for their work of protecting the U.S.A." The Marine's recruiting literature also mentions their search for "men and women to join their organization who are ready to fight for their country and protect their people."
The Sailor's Creed, for those in the Navy, remembers "those who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world."
And let's not forget the US Coast Guard whose stated mission includes "protecting" the public and boasts of it role in the Homeland Security apparatus.
Although their defense claims are rather broad, I think it can be accurately stated that the military professes to protect my person and my freedom. But is this reality?
Lie #1: The military protects your freedom.
Imagine that I have a conversation concerning this assertion with a member of the military or a supporter:
Militarist: "The military protects your freedom from those who would take it."
Me: "I disagree. More and more of my freedoms are disappearing through actions initiated by the government that claims to represent me." [Numerous examples are given including illegal assaults by state and federal law enforcement, denial of habeas corpus, spying on American citizens, being searched without warrant or probable cause at airports, etc.]"
Militarist: "I stay very well informed on such matters and I agree many areas of the government have overstepped their constitutional authority and damaged or taken some of your freedoms. However, the military did not take those illegal actions. Other areas of the government did."
Me: "Agreed. But earlier you claimed, unequivocally, that the military protects my freedom. You have agreed with my assertion that my freedoms are quickly disappearing. Therefore I can conclude that the military, despite their claims to the contrary, is not protecting my freedom. The military may not have the authority to counter other rogue elements of the government that threaten my freedom, but that fact is irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that my freedom is not being protected and you claim the military is protecting my freedom. I'm not so much upset that the military canu2018t (through legal restrictions) defend my freedom as I am that they claim they do protect my freedom. When the military claims to protect my freedom they do so without listing any qualifiers or exceptions. Therefore, the military and its supporters are promoting a lie."
Lie #2: The military protects and defends the US Constitution
Again, imagine that I have a conversation concerning this assertion with a member of the military or a supporter:
Militarist: "The military protects and defends the US Constitution in obedience to its member's pledge to defend it "against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
Me: "I disagree. Many areas of the government have damaged, taken, and continue to threaten my liberties guaranteed under the US Constitution. You have previously agreed to this claim. But the military makes no effort to protect or rectify these abuses. It cannot do so because it lacks the legal authority to interfere in the activities of other areas of the government. Yet, the military claims it does protect the US Constitution and therefore protects the individuals safeguarded by that document. Clearly, as these examples prove, the military does not and can not. The military is telling a lie."
"In addition, the military continues to execute acts of war against other states without the declaration of war required for such action by Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution. By doing so, the military actively participates in an illegal, unconstitutional action. How can the military be defending the Constitution at the same time it is actively violating it? The military may be excused for not having the authority to question or refuse participation in such illegal actions. It is, in effect, impotent. But by not having this authority to refuse participation it is clearly unable to take steps that would stop such an action. The military claims to defend the Constitution without offering any qualifiers or exceptions. Therefore, this unequivocal, categorical claim is a lie."
"To top it off, members of the US military swear an oath to defend the Constitution "from all enemies, foreign and domestic." They obviously violate this oath for the reasons stated above. Strict Constitutionalists may consider this offense "treasonous." More importantly, this fact exposes one of the weaknesses of such a document. Members of the US military swear an oath to defend a rule of law (the US Constitution) even though they don't have the Constitutional authority (in many cases) to defend it! How bizarre is that?"
The military does not and cannot, protect my freedom. It is in fact a threat to my freedom by protecting or ignoring those "domestic enemies" from which they claim to protect me. It is a threat to my freedom by claiming it protects me when it does not even have the authority to defend me from the most immediate threats; those of the "domestic" variety originating from numerous areas of the federal government. The military is a threat to my freedom by protecting and defending that very entity that is the greatest danger to my safety and freedom the United States Federal Government and the regime that controls it. There is no "foreign" threat that can equal it, particularly since so many perceived foreign threats wind up being manufactured. Personally, I have more faith in the protection offered by two large oceans than a trillion dollar/year "defense" agency that can't protect its own building.
To some, my analysis may be viewed as nit picking. But I refuse to apologize for demanding accountability from an organization that fraudulently claims to provide a service while pointing a gun to my head forcing me to finance it.
Why don't the military and its supporters revise their claim to, "The military "tries to protect your freedom?" Such a statement might actually be grounded in honesty, though no more convincing than the original claim. Or how about, "The military protects your freedom when it is legally allowed to do so?" Somehow, that statement just does not have the sound-bite simplicity necessary to excite supporters, reassure the masses and continue the deception.
Knowing that the military and its supporters can be proud of failure (despite any valid excuses), they should have no problem taking pride in the fact that they "tried." However, if they have tried and still failed, how does that benefit me?
And please, cease and desist the strident demands that I be "grateful."
August 6, 2008