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Birther airman discharged: exact reason unclear

Air Force Staff Sergeant Daryn Moran is being discharged from the Air Force rather than tried for being AWOL or for making disparaging remarks about the President. Moran had made a YouTube video in which he, in uniform, described President Obama as “the enemy of the entire country.”

 

According to Stars and Stripes, Air Force spokesperson Mike Kucharek wrote:

We can confirm that Staff Sgt. Moran is not being discharged because of his recent public comments that have appeared on various Web sites

The Air Force further indicated that he wasn’t being discharged for his views on the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell.” Citing privacy concerns, the Air Force wouldn’t go further into the case, not even to the point of indicating whether the discharge was honorable, or dishonorable – although Moran claims it was honorable. His refusal to report for duty came apparently after his discharge was approved. The discharge may be related to religions harassment of fellow co-workers in the office where he worked.

According to Stars and Stripes:

Moran said he started doing research online about Obama after he was put on leave and after two airmen were killed in March in a shooting in Frankfurt, Germany.

Moran also appeared in a radio interview with Pastor James David Manning.

Learn more:


This article has been updated to remove a discussion about provisions of the UCMJ that only apply to commissioned officers.

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60 Responses to Birther airman discharged: exact reason unclear

  1. avatar
    Joey August 18, 2011 at 2:46 pm #

    The are birthers claiming that sSgt. Moran’s honorable discharge is a huge victory for the birther movement. (yeah, I don’t understand it either).
    The spin is that Obama needed to get rid of Moran as quickly as possible to shut him up.
    Hmmm, wouldn’t releasing him from UCMJ restrictions and restoring FULL First Amendment rights as a private citizen give him MORE ability to speak out as a birther?

  2. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 18, 2011 at 3:00 pm #

    According to press reports, Moran’s discharge was approved August 4.

    Joey: The are birthers claiming that sSgt. Moran’s honorable discharge is a huge victory for the birther movement. (yeah, I don’t understand it either).

  3. avatar
    BatGuano August 18, 2011 at 3:10 pm #

    LBJ was discharged for criticizing FDR ?

  4. avatar
    JoZeppy August 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm #

    Lucky for him. At least Lakin had the common sense not to be in uniform while making his stupid Youtube video. The could have been nailed for that (now not being knowledgible on the UCMJ, my question is can they still go after him after discharge for violations while still serving?).

  5. avatar
    Tarrant August 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    Also note that enlisted personnel are not as bound by the restrictions not to criticize the President and others; many of those regulations specify officers, and NCOs like this SSgt are generally not included in that lot. That does not, however, mean that going about such wouldn’t be destructive to one’s career, just that one doesn’t always get the UCMJ thrown at you.

    Since this guy had already, at least according to his own admission – been judged to be mentally unfit to continue service, and his discharge was already approved, the Air Force would have little reason to delay that disharge or change its conditions in any way.

  6. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 18, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    In the single case where a soldier was discharged under Article 88, he was was not in uniform and was only carrying a sign at a rally.

    JoZeppy: Lucky for him. At least Lakin had the common sense not to be in uniform while making his stupid Youtube video

  7. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 18, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    I couldn’t tell whether a non-commissioned officer was an “officer” for purposes of Article 88, but it didn’t matter since Moran wasn’t being charged.

    Tarrant: Also note that enlisted personnel are not as bound by the restrictions not to criticize the President and others; many of those regulations specify officers, and NCOs like this SSgt are generally not included in that lot.

  8. avatar
    Sean August 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    So, he can’t demand to see Obama’s Long Form birth certificate, he just says “well, it’s gotta be forged.”

  9. avatar
    Sean August 18, 2011 at 3:58 pm #

    Get a brain, Moran!

  10. avatar
    Critical Thinker August 18, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    Birthers are also spinning this as a victory by saying that people high up in the military respect Moran’s birther stance and don’t think he should be prosecuted for telling the truth. They have apparently not yet figured out that he wasn’t even AWOL when he made his first birther statements. He was already on his way out the door.

  11. avatar
    Thrifty August 18, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    UCMJ Article 88, which makes it a crime for an officer to use contemptuous words against the president, the vice president, Congress, the secretary of defense, the secretary of a military department, the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, or the governor or legislature of any state, territory, commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present.

    I kinda sorta get the logic behind that rule, but how is that legal? A crime to disparage elected officials? Sounds like a violation of the first amendment.

  12. avatar
    Laura August 18, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    Birther staff sgt. not AWOL, leaving Air Force
    By Scott Fontaine – Staff writer
    Posted : Wednesday Aug 17, 2011 12:51:28 EDT
    A Germany-based noncommissioned officer who claimed he went absent without leave amid doubts about President Obama’s citizenship isn’t actually AWOL — but he is leaving the Air Force.

    Staff Sgt. Daryn Moran had called for a citizen’s arrest of Obama, taunted Air Force officials to arrest him for going AWOL and demanded the president provide “a birth certificate which stands up to professional examination” in an audio interview and in several emails that have been posted on websites aligned with the birther movement, which believes the president isn’t a U.S. citizen.

    There’s just one hitch: Moran, an ophthalmology technician assigned to the 86th Airlift Wing at Ramstein Air Base, is actually on an approved leave status, according to a statement released by U.S. Air Forces in Europe.

    “He is currently outprocessing for discharge from the Air Force which was previously approved by his commander on August 4th,” the statement reads. “While we are aware of the comments that appear on various Web sites attributed to Staff Sgt. Moran, officials with United States Air Forces in Europe will not discuss nor characterize those comments.”

    More here http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2011/08/air-force-birther-staff-sergeant-not-awol-081711/

  13. avatar
    obsolete August 18, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Obvious mental illness is no barrier to becoming a birther hero.

  14. avatar
    jayHG August 18, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Joey: The are birthers claiming that sSgt. Moran’s honorable discharge is a huge victory for the birther movement. (yeah, I don’t understand it either).The spin is that Obama needed to get rid of Moran as quickly as possible to shut him up.Hmmm, wouldn’t releasing him from UCMJ restrictions and restoring FULL First Amendment rights as a private citizen give him MORE ability to speak out as a birther?

    If Moran had been court martialed, the birthers would have declared a HUGH VICTORY!! Now he’s going to court and EXPOSE PRESIDENT OBAMA………birthers are crazy.

  15. avatar
    jayHG August 18, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    Critical Thinker: Birthers are also spinning this as a victory by saying that people high up in the military respect Moran’s birther stance and don’t think he should be prosecuted for telling the truth. They have apparently not yet figured out that he wasn’t even AWOL when he made his first birther statements. He was already on his way out the door.

    Do you notice how birthers always say “someone high in the military…” There’s never anyone they can name and this “high” level person never comes out and says so because…..drum roll…….he’s been threatened and he wants to protect his family.

    Birthers are crazy.

  16. avatar
    JJ August 18, 2011 at 5:30 pm #

    He was likely discharged “For the Convenience of the Government.” That is used for malcontents who the command just wants to get rid of, kind of like a no fault divorce.

    Sounds like he was nuts and, rather than a spectacle or politically charged proceeding over his contempt for Muslims, they just threw him out.

  17. avatar
    J.Potter August 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Others here are more expert on this point, but military personnel (who are under contract), and in particular commissioned officers, are not the same as private citizens, and subject to the military’s judicial and legal systems.

    Thrifty: I kinda sorta get the logic behind that rule, but how is that legal?A crime to disparage elected officials?Sounds like a violation of the first amendment.

  18. avatar
    Sean August 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Thrifty: I kinda sorta get the logic behind that rule, but how is that legal? A crime to disparage elected officials? Sounds like a violation of the first amendment.

    It’s just a whole different ballgame in the military.

  19. avatar
    Sean August 18, 2011 at 6:05 pm #

    JJ:
    He was likely discharged “For the Convenience of the Government.”That is used for malcontents who the command just wants to get rid of, kind of like a no fault divorce.

    Sounds like he was nuts and, rather than a spectacle or politically charged proceeding over his contempt for Muslims, they just threw him out.

    Saves a lot of money and time and robs Moran of the attention and martyr status he craves.

  20. avatar
    J.Potter August 18, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    …”started doing research online” … and wound up involved with Manning. Yikes. The importance of keeping your online and offline worlds intertwined cannot be overstated. Without bouncing your thoughts off of another person, weird things happen to your headspace, especially when flooded with unfiltered, unconsidered cyberspace. Poor guy.

  21. avatar
    Tarrant August 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm #

    Thrifty: I kinda sorta get the logic behind that rule, but how is that legal?A crime to disparage elected officials?Sounds like a violation of the first amendment.

    The military of any country throughout history has always been different – tell you boss to go jump in a lake at work, get fired. Tell your commanding officer to do so, and you get sent to jail. The military doesn’t work well if other options are available.

    That said, enlisted soldiers/airmen/etc. are given wider latitude – the statute that prevents comments like that applies to commissioned officers, not enlisted/NCOs. That said such comments could be considered insubordination for any soldier.

    A commissioned officer is considered a direct and in-person representative of the President of the United States. An officer disparaging the President is thus disparaging the entire military and dishonoring themselves. They don’t haw to vote for the man, nor like him in private, but as long as they continue to represent the military as an officer they must represent the President and the country honorably. Hence the restrictions.

    If they have completed their initial term of service and feel like they can no longer do so, the honorable option is to resign their commission (the choice Lakin should have taken).

  22. avatar
    Stanislaw August 18, 2011 at 7:06 pm #

    obsolete:
    Obvious mental illness is no barrier to becoming a birther hero.

    Not only is it not a barrier, it’s damn-near become a requirement.

  23. avatar
    aarrgghh August 18, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    as i’ve said before, on the interwebs good research and bad research sit only a mouseclick away from each other (for example, see doc’s blogroll below), which means that relying on bad research requires ignoring good research. it is at best intellectual laziness, at worst, an act of willful ignorance.

    J.Potter:
    …”started doing research online” … and wound up involved with Manning. Yikes. The importance of keeping your online and offline worlds intertwined cannot be overstated. Without bouncing your thoughts off of another person, weird things happen to your headspace, especially when flooded with unfiltered, unconsidered cyberspace. Poor guy.

  24. avatar
    Daniel August 18, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    aarrgghh: which means that relying on bad research requires ignoring good research. it is at best intellectual laziness, at worst, an act of willful ignorance.

    It’s the difference between…

    “This seems odd, I’d better do some research to find out if this bears greater scrutiney”, and

    “This HAS to be the truth. I’d better look really hard to find someone else to say so too.”

  25. avatar
    Yushud Givaschitt August 18, 2011 at 9:48 pm #

    Hmmm….I wasn’t aware that Staff Sergeants were Officers, to whom Article 88 of the UCMJ pertains….

  26. avatar
    J. Potter August 18, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

    Oh, if it were only so simple. The echo chambers, with the easy answers, emotional appeals, and strident certainty, can be oh so tempting, comfy. It is absolutely laziness, cowardice, but they encourage it, reward it. Quick affirmations and group identity. Instant gratification!

    Rational thought, objective thought, critical thinking, require effort and the fortitude to stand in the face of uncertainty. It’s scary and confusing for someone looking for easy answers.

    I’m suggesting that the seductive appeals of birtherism and related phenomena work strongest in a vacuum. Surfing is a solitary activity. If you can, without embarrassment, discuss your online activities with offline friends and family, you’re less likely to get sucked into unhealthiness. Unwise, destructive decisions-come-addictions (gambling, “romances,” porn, birtherism) are born and grow in a headspace/cyberspace vacuum. Keep the airlock open!

    aarrgghh:
    as i’ve said before, on the interwebs good research and bad research sit only a mouseclick away from each other (for example, see doc’s blogroll below), which means that relying on bad research requires ignoring good research. it is at best intellectual laziness, at worst, an act of willful ignorance.

  27. avatar
    Adam August 19, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    This piece of scum was actively calling for the overthrow of the president. I’m no lawyer, but it would seem to me that for a member of the military, that’s treason. Or at the very least, sedition.

    This guy should have had the book thrown at him. I’m very dissapointed the military didn’t do that.

  28. avatar
    Lupin August 19, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    If they start discharging all the crazies out of the army, you’re going to be very short staffed soon.

    Reminds me of the “I want to kill” scene in ALICE’S RESTAURANT. Except less funny.

  29. avatar
    Joey August 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

    Yushud Givaschitt:
    Hmmm….I wasn’t aware that Staff Sergeants were Officers, to whom Article 88 of the UCMJ pertains….

    And that’s why he wasn’t court-martialed under Article 88. The enlisted/non-commissioned officer version of an Article 88 is an administrative discharge. In this case, for a “personality disorder.”
    For enlisted personnel, it is often an Article 134 (General Article) if the offense is serious enough.
    “Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special, or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.

    Elements.

    The proof required for conviction of an offense under Article 134 depends upon the nature
    of the misconduct charged. If the conduct is punished as a crime or offense not capital, the proof must establish every element of the crime or offense as required by the applicable law. If the conduct is punished as a disorder or neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, or of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, then the following proof is required:

    (1) That the accused did or failed to do certain acts; and
    (2) That, under the circumstances, the accused’s conduct was to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces or was of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

    Explanation.

    (1) In general. Article 134 makes punishable acts in three categories of offenses not specifically covered in any other article of the code. These are referred to as “clauses 1, 2, and 3” of Article 134. Clause 1 offenses involve disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces. Clause 2 offenses involve conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. Clause 3 offenses involve noncapital crimes or offenses which violate Federal law including law made applicable through the Federal Assimilative Crimes Act, see subsection (4) below. If any conduct of this nature is specifically made punishable by another article of the code, it must be charged as a violation of that article. See subparagraph (5)(a) below. How-ever, see paragraph 59c for offenses committed by commissioned officers, cadets, and midshipmen.

    (2) Disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces (clause 1).

    (a) To the prejudice of good order and discipline. “To the prejudice of good order and discipline” refers only to acts directly prejudicial to good order and discipline and not to acts which are prejudicial only in a remote or indirect sense. Almost any irregular or improper act on the part of a member of the military service could be regarded as prejudicial in some indirect or remote sense; however, this article does not include these distant effects. It is confined to cases in which the prejudice is reasonably direct and palpable. An act in violation of a local civil law or of a foreign law may be punished if it constitutes a disorder or neglect to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces. However, see R.C.M. 203concerning subject-matter jurisdiction.
    (b) Breach of custom of the service. A breach of a custom of the service may result in a violation of clause 1 of Article 134. In its legal sense, “custom” means more than a method of procedure or a mode of conduct or behavior which is merely of frequent or usual occurrence. Custom arises out of long established practices which by common usage have attained the force of law in the military or other community affected by them. No custom may be contrary to existing law or regulation. A custom which has not been adopted by existing statute or regulation ceases to exist when its observance has been generally abandoned. Many customs of the service are now set forth in regulations of the vari ous armed forces. Violations of these customs should be charged under Article 92 as violations of the regulations in which they appear if the regulation is punitive. See paragraph 16c.

    (3) Conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces (clause 2). “Discredit” means to injure the reputation of. This clause of Article 134 makes punishable conduct which has a tendency to bring the service into disrepute or which tends to lower it in public esteem. Acts in violation of a local civil law or a foreign law may be punished if they are of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces. However, see R.C.M. 203 concerning subject-matter jurisdiction.

  30. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    Reminds me of the court martial scene in the Firesign Theater album, Don’t Crush that Dwarf:

    “Sir, you never told me I’d have to go out there and kill anybody.” “… We will not tolerate the use of prohibited language in these courts-martials …”

    Well it’s funny in context.

    Lupin: Reminds me of the “I want to kill” scene in ALICE’S RESTAURANT. Except less funny.

  31. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm #

    This article has been updated to remove a discussion about provisions of the UCMJ that only apply to commissioned officers.

    I appreciate the comments from knowledgeable visitors on the topic.

  32. avatar
    Joey August 19, 2011 at 1:17 pm #

    Birthers are all a-twitter (no pun intended) today. Phoenix area sheriff Joe Arpaio has promised the Tea Party to investigate Obama’s birth certificate.
    Here we go again!

  33. avatar
    Daniel August 19, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

    Joey:
    Birthers are all a-twitter (no pun intended) today. Phoenix area sheriff Joe Arpaio has promised the Tea Party to investigate Obama’s birth certificate.
    Here we go again!

    Wow, a small time Arizona sherriff from the middle of “not the brightest bulb in the union” state is going to investigate.

    I’ll bet the Whitehouse is just a-shakin’ and a-quakin’

    Bwahahahaha

  34. avatar
    Majority Will August 19, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Reminds me of the court martial scene in the Firesign Theater album, Don’t Crush that Dwarf:

    Well it’s funny in context.

    “We’re bringing the war back home
    Where it ought to have been before!
    We’ll kill all the bees
    And spiders and flies
    And we won’t play in iceboxes lying on their sides.
    We’ll wash our hands after wee-wee.
    And if we’re a girl, before!
    And we’ll march, march, march, et cetera!
    ‘Til we never do march no more!
    (All together now, boys!)”

    (excerpt – “We’re Bringing the War Back Home” – The Firesign Theatre)

  35. avatar
    charo August 19, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    Lupin:
    If they start discharging all the crazies out of the army, you’re going to be very short staffed soon.

    I suppose because Lupin opposes birthers, this becomes an acceptable comment.

  36. avatar
    Obsolete August 19, 2011 at 6:13 pm #

    I don’t believe the Army is overflowing with crazies.

  37. avatar
    Majority Will August 19, 2011 at 10:23 pm #

    Sean:
    Get a brain, Moran!

    Classic! =>

    http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20060707071041/uncyclopedia/images/d/de/Moran.jpg

  38. avatar
    John Reilly August 20, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    Charo, there was a time when disobeying a direct order would get you shot. Simply calling someone “crazy” is a lesser punishment for a soldier who has had no trouble the last two plus years taking the taxpayers’ money. On the eve of his discharge, apparently for being a fairly disagreeable sort around the base, he mouths off that now he has doubts about thePresident, doubts which were resolved by the civilian formerly known as Lt. Col. Lakin.

    S/Sgt. Moran is a seditious traitor. People like him put others at risk. He deserves no defense.

  39. avatar
    charo August 20, 2011 at 12:57 am #

    John Reilly:
    Charo, there was a time when disobeying a direct order would get you shot.Simply calling someone “crazy” is a lesser punishment for a soldier who has had no trouble the last two plus years taking the taxpayers’ money.On the eve of his discharge, apparently for being a fairly disagreeable sort around the base, he mouths off that now he has doubts about thePresident, doubts which were resolved by the civilian formerly known as Lt. Col. Lakin.

    S/Sgt. Moran is a seditious traitor.People like him put others at risk.He deserves no defense.

    That is not the point, John. He clearly said that the whole army is filled with a bunch of crazies, as obsolete noted by his response. Shame, shame for disparaging our military members who suffer so much already. Yes, many are suffering from PTSD, but it was simply a cheap shot at those who have given life and limb, as well as sacrificed time from their loved ones.

  40. avatar
    Lupin August 20, 2011 at 2:17 am #

    charo: Lupin:
    If they start discharging all the crazies out of the army, you’re going to be very short staffed soon.

    I suppose because Lupin opposes birthers, this becomes an acceptable comment.

    Spoken as someone who strikes me as not knowing the military.

    Obviously I can’t speak about YOUR military, but let me say that my dad, my two grand-fathers, my uncle and my godfather were all in the military (as well as other relatives or ancestors I never met) and I grew up an army brat, so if I say the military is full of crazy people, I know what I’m talking about.

    Whether they were crazy before joining the army or the army made them crazy is open for debate, but it’s a survival mechanism that serves them well. The army couldn’t survive without them. I have, in fact, the greatest respect for these people. Which is why I truly loathe Lakin and his ilk and would have no problem seeing them thrown into the slammer for 30 years or so.

    I recommend reading CATCH-22 (a genuine masterpiece) or watching the movie THE KING OF HEARTS for more on the subject.

  41. avatar
    Keith August 20, 2011 at 2:58 am #

    Joey: And that’s why he wasn’t court-martialed under Article 88. The enlisted/non-commissioned officer version of an Article 88 is an administrative discharge. In this case, for a “personality disorder.”
    For enlisted personnel, it is often an Article 134 (General Article) if the offense is serious enough.

    So was Klinger’s attempts to get a “section 8” discharge a misdirection then?

  42. avatar
    Keith August 20, 2011 at 2:59 am #

    Lupin: I recommend reading CATCH-22 (a genuine masterpiece) or watching the movie THE KING OF HEARTS for more on the subject.

    Or iM*A*S*H of course, or any one of a number of Vonnegut books, especially Slaughter House 5 maybe.

  43. avatar
    Lupin August 20, 2011 at 4:53 am #

    Keith: Or M*A*S*H of course, or any one of a number of Vonnegut books, especially Slaughter House 5 maybe.

    M*A*S*H definitely — in any version. A classic. Though I think CATCH-22 is superior. Heller’s commentary is truly superb. (My own dad was a little like Major Major.)

    I should also add Kubrick’s PATHS OF GLORY.

    I like SLAUGHTERHOUSE-5 but it is more about *war* itself, than it is about the military, ie: how a human being can adapt & survive war.

    Our own Voltaire once wrote (I’m quoting from memory): “It is a good thing to execute a general once in a while to keep all the others in check.”

  44. avatar
    charo August 20, 2011 at 8:03 am #

    Lupin: Spoken as someone who strikes me as not knowing the military.

    Obviously I can’t speak about YOUR military, but let me say that my dad, my two grand-fathers, my uncle and my godfather were all in the military (as well as other relatives or ancestors I never met) and I grew up an army brat, so if I say the military is full of crazy people, I know what I’m talking about.

    Whether they were crazy before joining the army or the army made them crazy is open for debate, but it’s a survival mechanism that serves them well. The army couldn’t survive without them. I have, in fact, the greatest respect for these people. Which is why I truly loathe Lakin and his ilk and would have no problem seeing them thrown into the slammer for 30 years or so.

    I recommend reading CATCH-22 (a genuine masterpiece) or watching the movie THE KING OF HEARTS for more on the subject.

    My comment had nothing to do with Lakin and his ilk. Your comment, as written, made it sound like Moran was simply crazy, like all the others, and you can’t start kicking crazy people out because you would have nobody left. You actually made a case for keeping him in. You provided no context other than what you said. Just because there is good literature (and there are reality based television series) that show the reality of being a soldier, doesn’t infer that I should understand you weren’t being insulting.

  45. avatar
    Lupin August 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm #

    charo: My comment had nothing to do with Lakin and his ilk. Your comment, as written, made it sound like Moran was simply crazy, like all the others, and you can’t start kicking crazy people out because you would have nobody left. You actually made a case for keeping him in. You provided no context other than what you said. Just because there is good literature (and there are reality based television series) that show the reality of being a soldier, doesn’t infer that I should understand you weren’t being insulting.

    Simply: no.

    You don’t understand that to thrive, even survive, in the military, you have to be a little crazy, especially if combat is involved, and you think I’m being insulting because (I suspect) you have no real first hand experience of being in the military.

    What would make me throw Moran or Lakin in a cell for 30 years (if I was in charge) is the nature of their own brand of craziness, which I find loathsome and dangerous, not the mere fact that they are a little crazy, which is perfectly fine.

  46. avatar
    charo August 20, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    Lupin: Simply: no.

    You don’t understand that to thrive, even survive, in the military, you have to be a little crazy, especially if combat is involved, and you think I’m being insulting because (I suspect) you have no real first hand experience of being in the military.

    What would make me throw Moran or Lakin in a cell for 30 years (if I was in charge) is the nature of their own brand of craziness, which I find loathsome and dangerous, not the mere fact that they are a little crazy, which is perfectly fine.

    Maybe it is a language barrier here. You didn’t differentiate Moran from any other soldier in your comment “If they start discharging all the crazies out of the army, you’re going to be very short staffed soon.” Many vocations require a certain brand of “crazy” if that is your preferred term.

  47. avatar
    Keith August 20, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

    Lupin: I like SLAUGHTERHOUSE-5 but it is more about *war* itself, than it is about the military, ie: how a human being can adapt & survive war.

    True.

  48. avatar
    Wile E. August 21, 2011 at 12:04 am #

    charo: Maybe it is a language barrier here.You didn’t differentiate Moran from any other soldier in your comment“If they start discharging all the crazies out of the army, you’re going to be very short staffed soon.” Many vocations require a certain brand of “crazy” if that is your preferred term.

    If you try reading Lupin’s comment in the voice of Yossarian, you may find it less offensive. Irreverent, yes…but not really offensive.

    “””Yossarian: Let me see if I’ve got this straight: in order to be grounded, I’ve got to be crazy and I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I’m not crazy any more and I have to keep flying. “””

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln81Y87DHQA

  49. avatar
    Lupin August 21, 2011 at 3:18 am #

    charo: Maybe it is a language barrier here. You didn’t differentiate Moran from any other soldier in your comment “If they start discharging all the crazies out of the army, you’re going to be very short staffed soon.” Many vocations require a certain brand of “crazy” if that is your preferred term.

    Let me see if I can make it easier for you to understand what I meant by scandalously overgeneralizing:

    Most people in the army are crazy, but there are different types of crazy: crazy-blue, crazy-red, crazy-green and crazy-yellow.

    Moran is crazy-red.

    What I said is, you should — actually not discharge, but throw in the slammer — crazy-red, but not all crazy-, because otherwise you’d lose crazy-blue, -green and -yellow who are well adapted, loyal and useful members of the service.

    Clearer, now?

    And yes, my point of view (at least when it comes to the French army and navy) is very much like that of Yossarian. In fact, in my first-hand experience, the most savage and irreverent satires of the army come from within the service.

  50. avatar
    Jules August 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    Of course, soldiers can and should form their own political views and vote based upon those views. It is, however, quite different when a soldier’s views lead him to attempt to use his status as a soldier to place himself in a position to test the qualification of elected officials. There are constitutional and legal procedures in place to challenge the eligibility of a candidate. Media coverage and public debate may lead voters to question the eligibility or desirability of a candidate for any reason. However, the military is not part of the process of choosing elected officials in the United States. Countries where the military has such a role are usually considered military dictatorships or regimes where there is a high risk of a coup d’état. I find it disturbing that birthers wish to convince members of the military to try to bring such a situation to the US.

  51. avatar
    AnotherBird August 21, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    obsolete:
    Obvious mental illness is no barrier to becoming a birther hero.

    Poor disillusioned fool is more like it. Birthers use people like him to legitimize their arguments. The sad reality is one too many people are damaging their careers over nothing but a conspiracy theory. Do I feel sorry for him? No. Why? Only by him realizing that he is wrong will he change his mind.

  52. avatar
    charo August 21, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Lupin: Let me see if I can make it easier for you to understand what I meant by scandalously overgeneralizing:

    Maybe I can make it easier for you. It’s not that I didn’t understand your subsequent points: none of what you said can be gleaned from this initial comment without further clarification:

    “If they start discharging all the crazies out of the army, you’re going to be very short staffed soon.”

    Here is your first assumption:

    Lupin: Spoken as someone who strikes me as not knowing the military.

    My father served in the military. I live in a military town and know people in the military. I have not served myself, so if that is your standard, then President Obama doesn’t know the military either, or many others.

    Your next point:

    Lupin: Obviously I can’t speak about YOUR military

    If you weren’t speaking about MY military (although I wouldn’t say that it is ‘mine,’), then your comment as written is totally irrelevant.

    I tire of quoting anymore but suffice it to say, you assumed that I had not read any “war” literature and I would go so far as to say that you assumed I had not read much of anything, much like you would view S. Palin. Given the down slide of education in our country and probably not knowing my age and most assuredly ignorant of what books were required during my educational years or what I chose to read on my own, that was still an unfair assumption. The same would be true regarding any television series I may have watched.

    A more affable gent maybe would have reviewed the comment and countered with, “I can see that my words convict me as written (smiley or some appropriate icon inserted), so let me expound on that statement.

    I- in all probability- would have accepted your explanation, probably concurred in part and dissented in part, and the topic would have been redirected to further dehumanizing the group of people known as “birthers.”

  53. avatar
    G August 21, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    The birthers are quite capable of doing that all on their own and they do that all the time with their own statements.

    charo: and the topic would have been redirected to further dehumanizing the group of people known as “birthers.”

  54. avatar
    charo August 21, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    Let me add that my father-in-law served in the military as well as three of my uncles, one of whom was a POW in Germany.

  55. avatar
    Lupin August 22, 2011 at 3:07 am #

    charo: Let me add that my father-in-law served in the military as well as three of my uncles, one of whom was a POW in Germany.

    All well and good, but you’re not disputing my point, you’re just being obtuse about it.

  56. avatar
    Bovril August 22, 2011 at 9:23 am #

    To throw a little petrol/gasoline/thermite on the Charo-Lupin discourse…. 😎

    Being a soldier in the military, specifically in those arms and specialities that will or are very likely to see combat requires a wholly different mind set to those who will not likely see combat.

    These skills, attitudes, approaches to life, death and mortality are by their very nature “un”sane from the perspective of the rest of society.

    If you took a group of waiters, handed them a firearm and said they were required to run over open ground which may or may not have small explosive masses buried in it, clamber over razor wire, burst through buildings, kill people they have never met all whilst being shot at and with a 25% chance of being killed or maimed….what do you think their “Sane” response would be…?

    Being in the military means that you voluntarily waive large swathes of your societal rights, train for acts, actions and activities that are anathematic in a civilian context, wholly subordinate your needs, wants and desires to individuals and groups whose goals may lead to your death or injury and all whilst holding yourself and being held to cultural morals and aspirations that are almost impossible to achieve.

    So yes, many many soldiers are “un”sane in the context of society as a whole.

    Oh and as has been mentioned before I served my country and thank DoG I’m now too old and lardy to be likely to have to revert to a previous mind set…Although I still miss my old teams terribly, those of them still with us.

  57. avatar
    Daniel August 22, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

    Bovril: thank DoG I’m now too old and lardy to be likely to have to revert to a previous mind set

    That’s exactly why I got fat after I retired from the Army.

    Well that and the food.

  58. avatar
    Bovril August 22, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    I blame it all on “she who must be obeyed”…..20 years shackled as of last week.

  59. avatar
    Keith August 23, 2011 at 12:11 am #

    Bovril: If you took a group of waiters, handed them a firearm and said they were required to run over open ground which may or may not have small explosive masses buried in it, clamber over razor wire, burst through buildings, kill people they have never met all whilst being shot at and with a 25% chance of being killed or maimed….what do you think their “Sane” response would be…?

    Guess it sorta depends on their motivation, I suppose.

    If they are American waiters they’ll probably ask if their tip is automatically added to the bill.

    If they are Australian waiters they’ll probably ask if their colleagues graduated from Flagstaff or Box Hill TAFE.

    If they are French waiters they’ll probably reserve the right to ignore anybody who is lactose intolerant or speaks English.

    It they are Libyan, they will certainly drive back and forth across the desert 5 or 6 times getting practice with all that hardware until NATO can wear down the Loyalists enough for their amateur rag-tag army can walk in Tripoli.

    Amazing how the Libyan war followed the WWII pattern of Montgomery and Rommel chasing each other back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, along the Libyan coast.

  60. avatar
    Daniel August 23, 2011 at 4:35 pm #

    The ground dictates the tactics, not the weapons