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Monday, December 24, 2018

Military writer does not understand chain of command

Tara Copp is the Pentagon Bureau Chief for Military Times, which is owned by Gannett. She wrote a column over the weekend, "What checks are left on the president’s military power now that Mattis is gone?"

She has a master's degree from Georgetown, was an embedded reporter in the Iraq War, and has 15 years experience covering the Pentagon.

Despite all this, she never learned what the chain of command is.

At the top of the command is the president. The Constitution makes him the commander in chief of the military.

We used to have a secretary of war who came next, but we re-branded that as a secretary of defense. The president nominates the secretary who once confirmed by the Senate serves at the will and pleasure of the commander in chief.

This allowed President Trump to fire Jim Mattis after he publicly denounced Trump's foreign policy.

Nowhere in the law -- and certainly not in the Constitution -- is the secretary of anything a check or a balance on the president. His checks and balances are called Congress and the Supreme Court.

In fact, disobeying lawful orders is insubordination. Working to oust the president is mutiny.

But Copp is part of the Washington press corps that cannot be bothered with facts when it comes to President Trump. They all become Claas Relotius when they hear the name Donald Trump.

Her column is here.

27 comments:

  1. There is one other check on the President's power, and when it gets challenged, we are at war.

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  2. Barbarian "can be dangerous business. Honest and popular don't go hand-in-hand."

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  3. Masters from Georgetown means she is a product of the swamp and a lover of Democrats. Obama and other democrats are above the constitution so her logic fits.

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  4. Just another Democrat with byline to ignore.

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  5. "Nowhere in the law -- and certainly not in the Constitution -- is the secretary of anything a check or a balance on the president. "

    Except for that little thing called the 25th Amendment hidden in the Constitution.

    If/When it is determined that Trump is unable to fulfill his duties, you'd better be sure the Secretary of Defense will be a part of that "check".

    Again, not sure if ignorance or dishonesty.

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    1. Dishonesty. Got to follow the proclaimed narrative.

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    2. In your case, delusions of grandeur tempered by timidity that stops you putting your name to such vile dreck.

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    3. Grasping at straws.

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    4. Yes, part of the check that requires a majority of the cabinet and the VP. But that would not be the end of it.
      "Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

      Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

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    5. Honestly. The 25th Amendment is toothless, an inert function that isn't worth the Congressional votes that passed it.

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    6. The amendment in no way designates a a constitutional reason for a coup, which is what you and most Democrats are calling for.

      "unable to dischsrge powers" is a direct reference to the various instances of when we had Presidents physically unable to function, such as FDR being an invalid for the last year and a half of his presidency, Grover Cleveland lying in coms after being shot by an assassin, or when Nixon resigned (note Nixon could have legally fought his upcomig impeachment).

      A removal of a president due to political reasons was not contemplated and stretches the amendment to make the Constitution turn us into a real banana republic.

      What you state is reprehensible, dishonest, and seditious.

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    7. Grover Cleveland had a secret operation on his mouth but nobody ever attempted to assassinate him.

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    8. Yep, messed up the Cleveland thing.

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  6. The chain-of-command is the chain I beat you with when you step out of line!

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  7. Where were the checks on Obama's power when he literally sent skids of cash to our sworn enemy and the world's #1 exporter of Islamic terrorism for the last 40 years?

    Maybe HE should've be "25th-ed" for that, huh? Sure sounds crazy to me.
    --Burnsie

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  8. You are blatantly misrepresenting Copp's position. Nowhere in her article does she reveal an ignorance of the chain of command, which is why you don't quote any such passage in your article. In fact, she explains the chain of command quite clearly. She also makes it clear that she is using the term "check on the president" informally, in contrast to her explanation about what kinds of checks Congress can put on the president. Your critique of Copp would be more convincing if you didn't have to lie about what she wrote.

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    1. Uhm, ya sure?

      The President is the Chief of the military. Head honcho. El Heffe. Numero Uno.

      This is clearly spelled out in the Constitution. Enlisted takes an oath to defend the Constitution, Officers, the same.

      At what point has Trump issued an order contra to law?

      Why would the military be a check on Trump.

      Effin liberal splooge self pleasure fantasies.

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    2. Nothing in the article contradicts the fact that Trump is the head honcho of the military. Nothing. Nor does she claim that Trump has issued an illegal order--she simply details the process that could ensue if he ever did. Again, you are arguing with a strawman.

      "Why would the military be a check on Trump."

      I already explained this, so you're being disingenuous. Mattis was seen by many on the left AND right as an informal check against Trump's worst foreign policy impulses. That's why so many on the left AND right are reacting with such dismay over Trump's actions and Mattis' resignation. You can't have missed this.

      "Effin liberal splooge self pleasure fantasies."

      He said, while arguing with a fantasy version of an opponent's argument.

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    3. Again, liberal splooge fantasies.

      No one in the cabinet is ever a check on the President, period. They may give differing views, but an outright check?

      So, again, liberal splooge fantasies.

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    4. Moreover, if the SecDef used the military or other means to stop a President, it would seditious and a coup. We would truly be in uncharted territory.

      Trump has never gave any indication he would issue an illegal order or commit an illegal act.

      Sorry, but paying off women is not illegal. Even a jury couldn't convict Democrat John Edwards who used campaign money to support a mistress he fathered a child with.

      Hell, a Republican Senate told us that Bill Clinton pefuring himself and attempting to suborn perjury twice is not grounds for removing a President from office.


      All this is liberal fantasy and it is truly disgusting.

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    5. We're at an impasses here because you're insisting on the formal, constitutional definition of the word "check" when it's already been pointed out to you that's not the meaning under discussion. Again, the conventional wisdom--on both the left and right--during Trump's presidency has been that guys like Kelly and Mattis could serve as a "check" on the president by guiding him in a less impulsive direction, stopping him from outrageous actions through their influence, not a "coup." Again, unless you've been living in a bubble, you can't have missed this.

      No one has suggested that they defy direct orders, as long as those orders aren't illegal.

      "Trump has never gave any indication he would issue an illegal order or commit an illegal act."

      He did that several times during the campaign, most notably here:

      https://www.mediaite.com/tv/trump-the-military-would-not-refuse-my-orders-even-if-they-consider-them-illegal/

      And more recently:

      https://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/ny-oped-mattis-must-reject-trumps-illegal-order-20181102-story.html

      "Sorry, but paying off women is not illegal."

      This is a wildly off-topic diversion, but since you seem preoccupied by this subject enough to bring it up here, it would serve you to actually be informed on said subject.

      Paying off a women as unreported personal campaign contributions, as Michael Cohen and his co-conspirators at the National Enquirer have admitted, is illegal. That's why Cohen pleaded guilty. People, especially wealthy, well-connected people, do not plead guilty to non-crimes. Judges do not accept guilty pleas for "liberal spooge fantasies." Believing that Cohen's payments to Daniels and McDougal did not violate campaign finance laws was defensible before the guilty pleas; now, it is simply delusional.

      "Even a jury couldn't convict Democrat John Edwards who used campaign money to support a mistress he fathered a child with."

      You are ignorant about the facts of each case. Edwards did not use "campaign money." The money was from private donors. He was not convicted because it could not be proven that the payment was made to influence the election rather than to hide the affair from his wife. Clearly Cohen's lawyers felt there was much more damning evidence that his payments to Daniels and McDougal were made to influence the election, hence the guilty plea.

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/trumps-john-edwards-defense-further-dissipates

      "Hell, a Republican Senate told us that Bill Clinton pefuring himself and attempting to suborn perjury twice is not grounds for removing a President from office."

      OK. I think Clinton should have resigned. And I haven't even argued that Trump should be impeached. You seem to be arguing with someone else other than me, just as this article and you are arguing with a version of the Copp article that just doesn't exist.

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  9. Moreover, the President can order every swinging di*k and tit to domestic bases and there is not a damn thing Congress can do about it, period, end of Constitutional story!

    We do not run the military by Congressional committee or vote. They have no say except funding.

    Thus, Mattis was never a check on Trump nor will any other SecDef.

    So, this writer demonstrated a clear lack of not just chain of command, but fundamental civics.

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  10. Lastly, she shows her ignorance with the very first sentence of this piece.

    Mattis, along with all other top level officers serve at the pleasure of the President. There has never been one deigned to check the President only if the President wanted it tat way. The only example crosswise is how we first elected President and Vice President, but even then VP was superfluous.

    Surber did not need to give an example, the entire thing, from thesis to last word is it.

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  11. Copp's article is fiction, pure and simple.

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