Griffs Notes 2/26/07

Did you see the 60 Minutes piece last night that featured active duty service members speaking out against the war in Iraq?

Too bad the very attractive Lara Logan wasn’t interviewing the countless thousands of active and retired service members who have served or are currently serving with great pride in Iraq. But as usual, I sometimes forget that there’s another war going on – the war in the media against the war in Iraq.

If President Bush’s effort for a “New Way Forward” is to be given even a chance, it certainly isn’t going be on 60 Minutes.

Logan’s two main subjects were Marine Sgt. Liam Madden, who fought in the first battle of Fallujah, and Navy Petty Officer Jonathan Hutto, who serves on the USS Theodore Roosevelt.

Madden and Hutto are part of a petition called an “Appeal for Redress,” which uses a DOD directive (known as the Military Whistleblower Protection Act of 1995) to allow service members to send a message to their respective members of Congress letting them know that these individuals believe “staying in Iraq will not work,” and that it’s time to end the war.

Here’s what Madden and Hutto had to say to Logan:

Hutto: “I’m not anti-war. I’m not a pacifist. I’m not opposed to protecting our country and defending our principles. But at the same time, as citizens it’s our obligation to have a questioning attitude, you know, about policy.”

Madden: “Just because we volunteered for the military, doesn’t mean we volunteered to put our lives in unnecessary harm, and to carry out missions that are illogical and immoral.”

I think as a member of the most successful democracy on Earth, Hutto’s comments were appropriate. But as a member of America’s most honorable tradition, he ironically missed the point of joining it altogether.

But Madden’s comments were both out of line and highly inappropriate. They have a saying in the military known as “unit cohesion.” It is the very basic glue that holds their Espirit de Corps together. Second guessing his commanders with outrageously judgmental comments is the stuff that mutiny is made of and I expect to hear it from the likes of Cindy Sheehan or Jack Murtha – not a Marine sergeant.

Apparently Mr. Madden needs a Latin lesson – it’s Semper Fidelis, not Aliquando Fidelis (“sometimes faithful”).

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