Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Battle Buddy

The one fatal thing is to be a zombie,
and I think we're all in danger of
living that way
--Sister Wendy, Chiles High School

[H]e realized at once that he shouldn't
have spoken aloud, and that by doing so he had,
in a sense, acknowledged the stranger's right
to oversee his actions
--The Trial, Franz Kafka

This is surely the main problem of the twentieth century:
is it permissible merely to carry out orders
and commit one's conscience to someone else's keeping
--The Gulag Archipelago,
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

We have many friends and acquaintances here at RangerAgainstWar whom we have never met, save in the ether world. Among these is one each, Peter Van Buren, a true American patriot and razor sharp thinker.

We first heard Mr. Van Buren in an NPR interview regarding the topic of his book, We Meant Well -- How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People (2011), and were impressed with his cogency and wit. It convinced us that at least one person in the State Department uses his head as something other than a hat rack. To the Department's shame, he seems to be in the minority.

Peter was fired by State this week in a confusing welter of accusations suggesting improper leaks, but it looks like a simple case of bullying an employee for exercising his right of free speech -- Oh, yeah, that thing that Peter was supposedly spreading at the behest of the U.S. with those Provisional Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). He has laid the situation and players out well over the past several weeks at his blog, WeMeantWell. com.

Bottom line: The State Department (DoS) cannot brook free speech, and in that way is not unlike the Department of Defense (DoD), or any federal agency. So the U.S. spends Trillions of dollars exporting fanciful democratic ideals, all the while stomping on those very same concepts here in The Homeland ™.

The treatment of the Branch Davidians during the Clinton White House might reveal Secretary of State Clinton's proclivities when dealing with a DoS whistleblower. She will attempt to roll over him like an Engineer Assault vehicle crushing the Branch Davidian compound. Peter needs our support if that still has relevance in our democratic scheme.

His case is similar to that of Bradley Manning's in many respects, except Manning (being DoD) has less rights. At least Van Buren has not been charged with espionage (at least, not yet!)

Ranger finds it curious that there at least three Constitutions: One for domestic consumption, one for export, and one for DoD and DoS. We just presume that the military does not have free speech because they cannot criticize the Commander in Chief and Chain of Command (even if what they say is correct and factual.) If Van Buren is fired (following appeal), then free speech will not be tolerated in any government office, obviating the need for federal whistleblower laws.

Men who march in lock step to their next promotion talk the talk but don't walk the walk, and sadly, they will be the ones judging men like Van Buren, who do. Screw the War on Terror -- it's time to defend freedom over here.

Our best wishes go out to Peter Van Buren who is stuck out on point without a battle buddy.

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