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Smedley Butler and Official Policy

Smedley Butler clearly did not know that discretion is the better part of valor. General Sullivan says: "The oath that a commissioned officer of the US military taks is " I, (state name) solemnly swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies foreign and domestic. That I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. That I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, So help me God."

No other oath or allegiance is administered or required. However, loyalty and trust are major leadership traits expected and demanded of the officer ranks. There are several DOD orders and individual Service's orders that deal with actions such as public comments. Those officers (active duty and reserve) who speak out publicly against the President or military policies do so at their own peril. As an example, in the past few years there was an Air Force Colonel in Spain who severely criticised President Clinton at a Mess Night. He was immediately given the opportunity to retire by the Air Force Chief of Staff. Had he resisted they could have court-martialed him on several charges under the Universal Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), such as failure to follow a DOD or Service order, disrespect to a senior, conduct unbecoming an officer, breeding disloyalty or even sedition. The military lawyers would have had a slam-dunk case against him".

Ronald Hilton - 2/16/02