Thoughts about Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) Gen. Martin Dempsey comments that even retired military should, to paraphrase his comments, keep their mouths shut with regards to political commentary. I know he doesn’t use those words, but when he says he is “disappointed” in the group of former CIA agents, Navy SEALs and other military members and their long-form political ad that takes the President to task for taking credit for the killing of Obama and for national security leaks in the WH, there really isn’t any any question what he means.
For me? I think his comments are BS. Pure. Unadulterated. The quick answer is, of course, you do not give up your first amendment rights to free speech as a retired military or former national security government employee. Yes, while in uniform your speech is restricted to a degree by UCMJ regulations and similar restrictions, but afterward? When you have served your nation, deployed, sacrificed, risked life, limb, family, friends, everything, and are now John Q. Citizen, US Military, (ret)? If anything you should have *more* of a right – AND a responsibility! – to voice any opinion you may have, in any way or venue, via any media, at any time, anywhere.
The deeper discussion could get into where is the line drawn with regards to keeping one’s mouth shut. When you perceive real damage to our constitution and nation is or could occur through a political ideology in power or vying for power that would seek to fundamentally change or alter our nation’s founding principles, do you keep that trap shut? So as not to become, what General Dempsey believes, “just another special interest group”?
How could you stay silent! I don’t care if you think Obama is the second coming of Chesty Puller. Speak. Up. John Adams…”Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.” Do not give that up. You are not a “special interest group”. You are an American – a veteran. Don’t let anyone – 4 stars or whoever it may be – talk you out of the inherent and God-given rights you have.