Date: May 10th., 2005
Sent to but not published in the Boston Globe

There is an interesting juxtaposition in your pages today. In the main section Peter Cannellos discusses the geographic localization of military values and culture (page A3). This culture includes "loyalty to the chain of command, its patriotic sense of the rightnesss of Americas mission in the world, its commitment to retaining a supportive home front." Then on the op-ed page we have James Carroll's devastating indictment of the Bush administration's betrayal of each of those values.

Bush and his team show no loyalty to the chain of command. There is no accountability; not for Abu Ghraib; not for the torture in Guantanamo Bay; not for the intelligence failures prior to 9/11 nor for the misinformation on Iraq; not for under-armored troop carriers in Iraq; not for the failure, despite the advice of seasoned professionals, to provide sufficient troops to provide a peaceful aftermath to the invasion of Iraq.

The Bush administration is not doing the right things. It began an unjust war; just where were those weapons of mass destruction? It continues that war with no end in sight. It has withdrawn from the International Criminal Court because, in the words of Colin Powell "We are the most accountable nation on earth." No Longer! It withdrew from the Koyoto accords and has failed on every measure of environmental conservation. It has even abrogated the Optional Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations that ensures that jailed foreigners have the right to talk to consular officers.

The Bush administration is undermining the home front with its attempt to privatize Social Security; with its failure to fully fund the expanded need for homeland security, education, and Medicare.

I wonder how long those military values with last once it is realized how badly they have been betrayed by the people who were expected to embody them in their actions: the President and the Administration Team.