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Administration Backtracks on JAG Proposal:

Today's Boston Globe reports "The Bush administration is dropping a plan to take control over the promotions of military lawyers, following an outpouring of alarm over the independence of uniformed attorneys who have repeatedly objected to the White House's policies toward prisoners in the war on terrorism." Among other things, the story notes that the proposal was exceedingly unpopular with retired JAGs, who led criticism of the policy change.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Administration Backtracks on JAG Proposal:
  2. Politicizing the JAG Corps:
Anderson (mail):
Good news - thanks for the update!
12.19.2007 4:38pm
Pub Editor:
Good. Damn good.
12.19.2007 5:03pm
Cornellian (mail):
Clearly those old retired JAG's must hate America.
12.19.2007 7:14pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
Looking only at the surface of things in politics guarantees wrong conclusions. In particular, you people can't see the forest for the trees. You focus on events while ignoring process. Politics, particularly institutional politics, is not one damn thing after another. You assume here that this proposal won't be renewed.

The proposal was a direct threat to the autonomy of the officer corps as a whole, not merely the JAGs, and was intended as such. Look at my posts in the previous thread. Political vetos of field and company grade JAG promotions would not have stopped with the JAGs.

The political objective here was to force the armed forces' promotion boards to start doing the job they should have been doing in the first place, and deny promotions to JAG officers who use their positions as vehicles to flog their personal political objectives.

The JCS now knows good and well that, if their promotion boards don't do this job, first JAG promotions at company and field grade ranks will be subject to political vetos, and then officer promotions in general will be, at which point the armed force's autonomy will be gone.

This is not a partisan issue. No President will tolerate an autonomous officer corps which challenges civilian authority. This is an issue of civilian supremacy. The JAG corps has become politicized and the officer corps as an institution has just been told to fix this themselves or it, and they, will be neutered the hard way.

You people clearly have no idea how President Bill Clinton made the armed forces deeply regret their challenge to his Balkan policy.
12.20.2007 1:09am
Oren:

The political objective here was to force the armed forces' promotion boards to start doing the job they should have been doing in the first place, and deny promotions to JAG officers who use their positions as vehicles to flog their personal political objectives.

I assume "personal objectives" = "ethical responsibilities"

This is not a partisan issue. No President will tolerate an autonomous officer corps which challenges civilian authority. This is an issue of civilian supremacy. The JAG corps has become politicized and the officer corps as an institution has just been told to fix this themselves or it, and they, will be neutered the hard way. You people clearly have no idea how President Bill Clinton made the armed forces deeply regret their challenge to his Balkan policy.

The President has the right to set military policy and initiate operations and whatnot (with Congress, War Powers, blah blah blah). He does not have the right to eviscerate prisoners' right to counsel or to force that counsel to do anything less than their best for their clients.
12.20.2007 1:08pm
Thomas_Holsinger:
Oren,

Your opinions are based on many assumptions which you might not have adequately considered.

The degree of menace to the armed forces in this proposal was amazing to those familiar with such matters. Some expertise is necessary here, of the general variety necessary to decode officer efficiency reports. You also have to consider the role Vice-President Cheney played in this matter, because he had been Secretary of Defense.

This was the most drastic threat that a President has made to the armed forces since 1947, and it was made publically. That it was public adds far, far more emphasis to it than all but a few commentators are capable of recognizing.

There is a great deal going on here below the surface. Consider developing the expertise to properly analyze it.
12.20.2007 2:24pm
DC_JAG_Guy:
The political objective here was to force the armed forces' promotion boards to start doing the job they should have been doing in the first place, and deny promotions to JAG officers who use their positions as vehicles to flog their personal political objectives.

As was debated on the previous post, I disagree. I think the political objective was to threaten denial of promotion to JAG officers who fulfill the obligations of their positions (i.e., who actively defended their clients as bound by both their ethical obligations to their clients and the military obligation to support and defend the Constitution), but who in so doing create many headaches in federal court for the OGC.
12.20.2007 3:23pm
PersonFromPorlock:
In two threads on this subject, TH has given all of us 'policy' based on his experience, without ever describing what that experience is. It might improve his arguments-from-authority if he did so.
12.20.2007 5:51pm