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My first diary entry.  I am a liberal attorney on active duty in the USAF.  I was enlisted in the Navy, but am now a commissioned officer in the AF.  Once upon a time, I was fairly conservative and voted for Reagan and the current president's father - twice.  Then I voted for Clinton (2nd term), Gore and Kerry.  I find myself a bit of an oddball - liberal in a conservative bastion - the military.

Still I am a big supporter of the military.  To use a phrase from my defense counsel days, I may be workin' for the man, but in doing so, I'm trying to effect change from the inside.

And, of course, in my diaries I will always be cognizant of the prohibition of Article 88, Uniform Code of Military Justice..."Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct."

Originally posted to A Liberal JAG on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:50 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  asdf (none)
    Well, welcome!  

    But.. um... gee...  that final paragraph excerpted from UCMJ doesn't leave much room to talk about much does it?  ;)

  •  More vets here... (4.00)
    than the chickenhawks would like to think.  When I was on active duty in 2000, we realized that of the dozen or so of us who worked together every day, we had six registered Dems, four registered Repubs, and two not registered at all.

    Welcome, and a big ex-Army Hooah! (even if you are an Air Scout).

    "In war: resolution. In defeat: defiance. In victory: magnanimity. In peace: goodwill." - Churchill

    by William S Martin on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:56:04 PM PDT

  •  welcome aboard (4.00)
    just what we need here, another lawyer.
    so did you go to school & get your j.d. while in the navy?

    i'm an agnostic, i'd be an atheist if it weren't for mozart

    by rasbobbo on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 08:57:21 PM PDT

  •  Spose that depends on how you define contemptous (4.00)
    but welcome (again).  Actually there is plenty of room to express opinion without being contemptous - that is unless someone defines the very act of disagreement as contemptous, as it seems this crew is wont to do.
    •  Oops (none)
      Shoulda read the whole thread of comments before posting bout the same thing upthread....although I posted the actual definition from American Heritage Dictionary :-p

      George W. Bush, Resign NOW.

      by tlh lib on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 10:40:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Welcome (4.00)
    There are a lot more former conservatives and centrists around here than you'd imagine...
  •  Don't ask/don't tell (4.00)
    Question: I've heard that young JAG attorneys can wind up spending much of their time prosecuting don't ask/don't tell violations - what I'd imagine is the military equivalent of misdemeanor night-court, only with a much more drastic effect on defendants' lives.

    If you are able to discuss this, is there any truth to this claim?

    •  Don't Ask, Don't Tell (none)
      Actually, young AF JAGs are usually up to their eyeballs in legal assistance (wills, bankruptcy and other minor legal advice), courts (mostly drug use), and legal reviews for AF units.  DA/DT cases, at least in the AF, are few and far between.  Our discharge reg requires a discharge (honorably) if you commit a homosexual act, make a statement of intent to commit a homosexual act or engage in homosexual marriage.  Only a homosexual act would be prosecuted as a crime - under Article 125, Sodomy.  We do charge sodomy, but it is almost always the forcible variety.  Sometimes non-forcible sodomy is charged, but it would almost always be of the heterosexual variety (male/female) and accompanying a more serious crime.   Our definition of sodomy is any combination of genital, anal, oral or animal - except genital/genital.
  •  Welcome. (none)
    Can you tell us how you came to a more liberal view and what drew you here?


  •  Welcome (none)
    I've got a zillion questions for you, but I'll wait until you've had a chance to meet everyone!


  •  asdf (4.00)

    ...voted for Reagan and the current president's father - twice.  Then I voted for Clinton (2nd term), Gore and Kerry.  I find myself a bit of an oddball - liberal in a conservative bastion - the military.

    Still I am a big supporter of the military.

    Your in very good company!. Your voting record is much the same as a certain General, many of us support and respect...who hopefully will be the next President of the USA....and your Commander-in Chief

    In Jan 2009 it will be the "Wes Wing"

    by Best in Show on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:20:50 PM PDT

  •  As a liberal on active duty... (none)
    ...what do you think of my ribbon magnet?

    I want to make a positive statement, but I am sensitive to those whose lives are on the line.

  •  Fucking JAGoff... (none)
    Just kidding...AD Navy here and welcome.  

    "You cannot defend freedom abroad by abandoning it at home."

    by calipygian on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:34:08 PM PDT

  •  USAF Liberal JAG? (none)
    I suspect you're not alone in that department.

    I was just talking with someone about Brig. Gen. Dunlap the other day, and based on some of his writings, I suspect he could be a liberal too.

    I assume that as a USAF JAG, you've probably read his story in Parameters from several years back?

    link for those who have no idea what I'm talking about.

    congratulations on your foreskin -- osteriser

    by bartman on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 09:34:57 PM PDT

  •  Pleasure to meet you (none)
    I was at first surprised, and then quite impressed, by the JAGs who are litigating against the president's military commissions. That takes guts.

    I'm looking forward to your perspectives on the military, the justice system, and the fight against terrorists.

  •  Oddball (4.00)
    I find myself a bit of an oddball - liberal in a conservative bastion - the military.

    Let me introduce you to my father.  He was a lifer in the Air Force.  During WWII, he started his involvement in military matters by trimming steel plate at a shipyard in Baltimore.  He then joined the Army Air Corps and was sent to Europe to participate in the D-Day at Anzio.  After several months of artillary bombardment, his unit moved inland. My Dad's job was to wire up communications and lighting at Italian airfields as they were overrun by the Americans.

    He was on a troop ship two days west of the Panama Canal when the ship turned back east on word of Japan's capitulation.

    He left the military briefly after the war, but because of the economy re-enlisted and served during Korea and through part of Vietnam, retiring in 1968.  Among his assignments were manning listening posts for Soviet communications in Turkey and Greenland.  When he was stateside, he maintained the communications equipment for intercontinental ballistic missiles in the Great Plains.

    He was away for much of my childhood.  

    Of course, he's retired from both the military and his post-military jobs now.  He's an old man.

    But he's liberal.  Always has been.  He told me once what a failure Eisenhower was as president.  How Ike tried various coupon gimmicks to encourage people to buy durable goods like appliances.  He disliked Nixon, was embarrassed over Reagan, and is still puzzled as to how in the hell Bush apparently won the 2004 election.  

    He told me one time: "The Republicans always try to tell you they're better for the economy.  Don't believe it.  The economy always does worse when the Republicans are in charge."

    And you know what?  If you do the research, you'll find he's right.  His anecdotal observations of over three-quarters of a century of American politics is dead right.

    He's liberal.

    He's military.  

    There are more of his type than you might think.  

    Perhaps not in the officer corps, but among the NCOs and the enlisted you will find them.

    Despite his brains -- which kept him out of the infantry in WWII and landed him a job doing electrical wiring under artillary bombardment -- he never went to college.  He wasn't an officer.

    Maybe that's what kept his mind open.

    Well - sorry to bore you with his story.  I'm glad your thinking has evolved to the side of truth, justice, and -- dare I say it?? -- the American way.  I think you'll find more military types here than you originally expected.

  •  Welcome! (none)
    The only knowlege I about JAG is from watching that CBS show - you are legit! Glad you found your way to Kos.
  •  Contemptuous (none)
    ...the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation...

    It amuses me that you could, like, slag the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary of State, but DON'T FUCKING MESS WITH NORM MINETA.

  •  Welcome (none)
    What do you think about Paul Hackett running for Senate in Ohio?
    And please don't worry about not being able to say anything against any Numero Uno person who shall remain nameless.  I take it you can't be held responsible for what comments appear in your diaries?  I hope?  Or should we all just put <insert snarky, contemptuous comment here> tags on our comments?

    War is not an adventure. It is a disease. It is like typhus. - Antoine De Saint-Exupery

    by Margot on Mon Oct 17, 2005 at 11:50:54 PM PDT

  •  Taadaaa (none)
    here you are.

    Is speaking the truth exculpatory against a charge under Article 88 UCMJ?

    (And a little razzing: From a squid to a zoomie?  That's real progress, but don't pick up bad habits from your Air Force mates.  Try to maintain a military bearing, even though you've been in the two branches that don't have a clue about that... and above all keep your hands out of your pockets while in uniform... Ok?)

    The most important thing about life is to stay amused by it.

    by Paulie200 on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 02:19:39 AM PDT

  •  It's Good To Have You (none)
    I think we all support the military here. I know I do. One of the chief ways I express this is trying to prevent them from getting unnecessarily hurt or in a position where it is necessary to do things that would later be regretted.

    Pro-war people seem to think "supporting the troops" implies that anything the troops were ordered to do was their idea, their fervent desire, and should be supported like a straight-A student's summer abroad, or something. Not so.

    9/11 + 4 Years = Katrina... Conservatism Kills.

    by NewDirection on Tue Oct 18, 2005 at 08:37:45 AM PDT

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