Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I'll have to stop

calling spades spades, apparently.

Article 88 of the UCMJ states:

“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.”

The official or legislature against whom the words are used must be occupying one of the offices or be one of the legislatures named in Article 88 at the time of the offense. Neither “Congress” nor “legislature” includes its members individually. “Governor” does not include “lieutenant governor.” It is immaterial whether the words are used against the official in an official or private capacity. If not personally contemptuous, ad-verse criticism of one of the officials or legislatures named in the article in the course of a political discussion, even though emphatically expressed, may not be charged as a violation of the article.

Similarly, expressions of opinion made in a purely private conversation should not ordinarily be charged. Giving broad circulation to a written publication containing contemptuous words of the kind made punishable by this article, or the utterance of contemptuous words of this kind in the presence of military subordinates, aggravates the offense. The truth or falsity of the statements is immaterial.

Since this is a neither a purely private conversation, and I have made personally contemptuous comments about some of the less "honorable" actions of some members of the congress, I am still okay because I never call the whole of congress on the carpet. I select members based on their individual actions and hold them up to the light. (Unlike many members of congress have done with individual actions to represent the entire military.)

I have always been of the impression that this blog is one of personal (and not official) opinion, and that any commentary I make here is done as a private citizen, exercising free speech rights. I never say anything disparaging about my command, or commander in chief, because they are in charge. I've long held the belief that congress was fair game, because they just pay the bills, as it were. I understand now that the individual members of congress are fair game, but I cannot call them out for stupidity as a whole organization.

So I will continue calling select members of congress asshats, douchebags, cocksuckers, etc. when they show blatant disrespect for the armed services, ask for resolutions to surrender, waste our tax dollars on frivolity, and try to play hide the pickle in the men's rooms. I can call them out individually, but cannot use the collective "congress."

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