Political Correctness: Cancer Eating the U.S. Military

I can speak from personal experience to back up and expand on this story.  The political correctness forced upon the military by the politicians over the last two or three decades has all but paralyzed the military when it comes to policing its own ranks.  An atmosphere of fear has been created where service members are afraid to bring up concerns about fellow service members because of the well founded fear that it will be seen as as discrimination in one of the areas of “race, creed, sex, (sexual preference), religion, or national origin.”  If you voice a concern, you become the criminal and the person whom you complain about becomes the victim.  I have seen this many times, and seen the careers of officers and NCO’s ruined over nothing more than an unfounded accusation.  Granted, there are some sleaze bags out there who need to be dealt with, but in the Military Equal Opportunity arena you are guilty until proven innocent, and then you are not innocent, they just couldn’t prove you did whatever you were accused of.

So, rather than policing our own ranks and doing our job as military men and women, what do we do?  We waste countless hours in “sensitivity training,” various forms of anti-discrimination briefings, and an ever increasing barrage of material and briefings that teach that white males of Angl0-Saxon descent are oppressors.  We can’t have an open, honest discussion about our differences that might actually help us learn about one another.  We are forced to remain silent and simply accept what we see lest we potentially OFFEND someone.

I’ve read the entire constitution, and I can’t find anywhere in the document that says you have the “right not to be offended.”  By the nature of the institution, freedom of speech is somewhat curtailed in the military, but I’m pretty sure there is still no “right” in the military “not to be offended.”

I will remind everyone what the mission of the military is SUPPOSED to be.  The United States military’s job should be to be ready, willing, and able to kick anybody’s butt, anytime, anywhere in the defense of America and her interests.  There is no room for political correctness or the other extraneous crap that is forced upon the military when politicians decide to use us as their “social laboratory” when they can’t get the public to buy into their idiotic social programs.  As good a military as we STILL are in spite of the interference, we would be so much more effective for a given size if we didn’t have all of the extraneous crap to deal with.

Now let’s talk about the “accountability” that is suddenly being thrust upon the military for the failure to identify and stop Nidal Hasan.  As I’ve highlighted in orange in the article below, the head cutting in this case will likely stop at the rank of colonel.  Why is this important?  Unless it is politically expedient for the president, any president, you will seldom if ever see anyone above the rank of 1-star (brigadier general) be punished for anything.  These officers are confirmed and appointed by the president, so embarrassing them embarrasses him.  The ranks of general officers are kind of like the mafia.  a 1-star is a “wise guy,” trying to make a name for himself.  He’s still expendable.  2-stars and above are “made men.”  They haven’t necessarily been picked for their leadership ability, although once in a while a general has managed to hide the fact that he can lead until AFTER he gets promoted.  Generals are usually picked for their compliance and lack of political backbone.

Here are a few examples of the “wise guy” analogy.

  • The Beirut barracks bombing. The 1-star in charge warned of the dangers and begged for the resources and permission to protect his men.  He was told to “shut up and color,” and then punished and made a scape-goat when the barracks were actually attacked killing dozens of marines.  No one above 1-star was punished.
  • The shoot down of two Blackhawk helicopters by F-15’s in northern Iraq. The Blackhawks weren’t squawking as per the theater SPINS (transmitting the proper Identification Friend or Foe codes prescribed by special instructions). The flight of F-15’s intercepted them and IMPROPERLY identified them as Mi-24 Hind attack helicopters.  There were several breakdowns in operations as crews tried to adhere to an extremely complicated, politically driven and designed set of ROE (Rules of Engagement).  Several of the front line folks were strung up, but no one above 1-star was touched, including Lt. Gen. Charles Heflebower who was in charge at the time, or any of those responsible for putting the rules in place and signing off on them.
  • The CT-43 crash in Dubrovnik, Croatia in which then commerce secretary Ron Brown was killed. Brig. Gen. William E. Stevens, the 1-star wing commander, was fired because he pushed the VIP airlift planes and pilots to break rules in order to please the VIP’s whom the wing served.  He had higher headquarters guidance that would have severely hampered operations, but he sat on it so as not to take heat from VIP’s who would be unable to get to their destinations.  His deputy, Col John Mazurowski, was also fired because he knew of this guidance but said nothing.  Maz was a good guy who regrettably failed to do the right thing.  Stevens, the 1-star, was the tallest tree to get clipped.  Remember Heflebower?  He was in charge during this debacle as well.  Untouched.  An excerpt from this article (http://www.nytimes.com/1996/06/08/us/air-force-cites-command-failures-in-brown-crash.html?pagewanted=all) summarizes Heflebower’s leadership (or lack their of) role in the incident, and in general.

Perhaps the most explosive deposition taken by the investigators came from Lieut. Col. James A. Albright, former commander of the squadron to which the doomed plane belonged.

In his testimony, Colonel Albright described an atmosphere in which safety concerns may sometimes have been secondary to on-time performance, and in which pilots were required to fly jets with outdated equipment into airports that offered only the most primitive navigational aids.

Powerful Government officials  and their staffs, Colonel Albright said, often demanded that Air Force planes on which they traveled fly through dangerous weather or to airports with poor navigational equipment. (i.e. Ron Brown and various senators, congressmen, and other staff flunkies.  I experience this pressure SEVERAL TIMES 1ST HAND.)

“I think there is an atmosphere of fear,” said Colonel Albright, who was removed from his command five days before the crash because of differences with General Stevens, his superior. “In the matrix of safety versus mission, Stevens is mission first.” (Absolutely true, from 1st hand experience.)  (Albright was a gifted leader, but lacked enough tact to survive in the extremely political environment.  He and Stevens had a history, and Stevens was looking for an excuse to fire him.  Albright called Stevens out on an issue in front of various other commanders in a staff meeting, giving Stevens the excuse he was looking for.)

Colonel Albright also said that Maj. Gen. Charles R. Heflebower, the commander of the 17th Air Force, the parent command of General Stevens’s 86th Airlift Wing, had a “reputation for intimidation and pushing pilots to do things that are blatantly illegal” from a safety standpoint and that General Heflebower himself had made illegal and potentially dangerous maneuvers while flying Air Force planes. (Again, absolutely true, witnessed 1st hand by me, and reported to my chain of command prior to the accident, and during the investigation.)

In their own depositions, both General Heflebower and General Stevens denied Colonel Albright’s accusations.

And now you have the Fort Hood debacle.  No one will speak the truth because of the oppressive atmosphere of fear of reprisal for speaking out.  We are not allowed to call the enemy the “enemy.”  We are not allowed to say anything potentially offensive about the people who want to kill us.  In the 80-90 page report that Secretary Gates released on the incident, the word “islam” was not mentioned ONCE.

In general, not discriminating because of race, creed, religion, sex, or national origin is a noble practice.  However, when one or more of those categories are attempting to KILL YOU, it may be time to make an exception.


http://www.foxnews.com/printer_friendly_story/0,3566,583083,00.html

Officers May Be Punished for Fort Hood Rampage

Friday , January 15, 2010

FC1

As many as eight Army officers may be punished for failing to heed warning signs and take action against suspected Fort Hood gunman Maj. Nidal Hasan, a U.S. official said Thursday.

First reported in the Los Angeles Times, an official familiar with a Pentagon review of the case, which will be discussed at a briefing Friday, said the officers who face discipline hold ranks of colonel and below.

The review reportedly found that superiors allowed Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, to advance within the ranks despite his failings to meet physical and professional standards. Hasan avoided physical training, was overweight and frequently late, but was seen by superiors as a rare medical officer and thus avoided corrective action.

“Had those failings been properly adjudicated, he wouldn’t have progressed,” the official told the Times.

Additionally, the Pentagon review into the deadly rampage that killed 13 found that the Defense Department does not do an adequate job of sharing information about internal personnel, and it focuses more on hunting spies than ferreting out extremists.

The Defense Department made public its own review of the rampage earlier this week and found that doctors overseeing Hasan’s medical training repeatedly voiced concerns over his strident views on Islam and his inappropriate behavior, yet continued to give him positive performance evaluations that kept him moving through the ranks.

Both reviews seem to point to the fact that supervisors failed to heed their own warnings about an officer ill-suited to be an Army psychiatrist.

Recent statistics show the Army rarely blocks junior officers from promotion, especially in the medical corps.

Hasan showed no signs of being violent or a threat. But parallels have been drawn between the missed signals in his case and those preceding the thwarted Christmas attempt to blow up a Detroit-bound U.S. airliner. President Barack Obama and his top national security aides have acknowledged they had intelligence about the alleged bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, but failed to connect the dots.

Hasan remains under guard at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, where he is paralyzed from the upper chest down, his lawyer John Galligan told Fox News. Hasan also has “several other medical issues” related to his gunshot wounds, Galligan said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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One Response

  1. Gadget,

    A very interesting website. I think we know each other. Please don’t publish my email address, but I would be interested in exchanging thoughts.

    James

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