Blaming Clinton for the Revolt of the Generals

Via Mark Thoma comes Paul Krugman on how often the Bush crowd plays the treason card. In a somewhat similar vein, Jed Babbin has a Karl Rove pre-approved discussion of “Fiasco: The American Adventure in Iraq” by Tom Risen:

The Clintons – and the plural is more accurate than the singular – picked generals for their political fealty rather than military prowess. The worst public examples were Wesley Clark (a Friend of Bill from their Oxford Rhodes scholar days), and Anthony Zinni … The least public and most political general is former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric Shinseki.

Wesley Clark used to be a Republican. I think Anthony Zinni still is. I have no clue whether Eric Shinseki is a Democrat, Republican, or independent and quite frankly I don’t care. All three men served our nation with distinction for many years. Babbin’s smear jobs of these three patriots stand in stark contrast to the facts regarding the careers of each.

It is not surprising that Babbin cites an op-ed by Tony Blankley:

Consider two hypothetical situations. In the first, a United States Army general officer in a theater of war decides by himself that he strongly disagrees with the orders of the secretary of defense. He resigns his commission, returns to private life and speaks out vigorously against both the policy and the secretary of defense. In example two, the top 100 generals in the Army military chain of command secretly agree amongst themselves to retire and speak out – each one day after the other. In example one, above, unambiguously, the general has behaved lawfully. In example two, an arguable case could be made that something in the nature of a mutinous sedition has occurred in violation of Article 94 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice procedure. When does an expanded version of the simple honesty and legality of the first example cross over into grounds for a court martial?

Blankley tries to smear these former generals as deserving a court martial but in every case, he has the facts wrong. Clark and Zinni both retired in 2000 and Shinseki did publicly air his differences with Secretary Rumsfeld. It is now clear that Shinseki got it right about how many troops would be needed in Iraq and Rumsfeld was horribly mistaken. This is clear to most people but not to Jed Babbin or to Cliff May who seems to want to blame all of Bush’s numerous failures on Bill Clinton.

As Cliff May and Jeb Babbin try to defend Bush’s decision to invade Iraq without a real plan for the aftermath, might they try to blame this on Clinton as well:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s prime minister urged the U.S. military on Thursday to keep “reckless” troops from serving in Iraq in order to prevent abuses like the alleged rape and murder of a teenager and her family by U.S. soldiers in March.

Congresman Murtha is correct – it’s time to bring our soldiers home.