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Friday, November 01, 2019

Court-martial the spy Vindman

Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman ignored a direct order from the commander-in-chief. A court may decide whether Vindman broke the military code of justice.

President Donald John Trump ordered him not to appear before a House committee.

The Military Times played down Vindman's insubordination.

The newspaper reported, "He is likely protected from legal ramifications from showing up to testify, a former Army judge advocate told Military Times on Thursday. But it remains to be seen whether what he told legislators could get him charged with a crime ― and, of course, how his choice to rebel against his White House chain-of-command will affect his career."

The story also said, "It comes down to whether Trump’s order was lawful, he said. If Trump was trying to prevent Vindman from sharing sensitive information, it could be. If he was trying to prevent testimony, period, it’s not.

"The Military Whistle Blower Protection Act prohibits government officials from interfering with a member of the military in communicating with Congress or an inspector general. Adding to the complexity is that the president gets to determine what is and isn’t classified."

But was he a whistle blower or a spy?

He did not report any wrongdoing. He did not follow the chain-of-command with his reporting.

The story said he may get an Article 15 for his Seven Days in May defiance of the president. Article 15 is a step below court-martial.

But he spied on the president. He was not part of the telephone call the president made. He had no reason to access the record of the phone call. Indeed, he tried to alter the transcript.

Also, there is evidence he worked for the Ukrainian government, at least as a lobbyist.

President Trump likely will face a military that will literally close ranks behind Vindman. The price of a large standing army is measured in more than dollars. We have military officers in the White House who are working to bring down the president.

An impeachment requires a crime. Acquittal would mean there was no crime, which means far from being a whistle blower, Vindman was a soldier who failed to obey a legal order.

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