Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Republicans Mock Veterans: Have they no sense of decency?

Not content with sending other people's children off to die and cutting the pay and benefits of the survivors, Republicans are now insulting veterans by wearing mock Purple Heart Band-Aids. This was the repulsive idea of GOP activist Morton Blackwell from Virginia who made and distributed 400 of them. In this photo Pat Peel of Texas is wearing one on one of her chins.

Despite their readiness to disrespect veterans who gave life and limb in their name, the Republicans are happy enough to see DOD codes of conduct broken as they attempt to exploit the presence of military personnel at their conference, as Eric Alterman notes:

Is the Republican Party in violation of the US military’s rules on the participation in party politics by active duty military?

It sure looks that way. The RNC convention week is boasting that it has 144 active duty military delegates at the convention or three percent of the total. That information can be found here.

Meanwhile, according to DOD Directive 1344.10, which can be found here this is a violation of the code of military conduct. It explicitly says:

A member on active duty shall not ... Participate in partisan political management, campaigns, or conventions (unless attending a convention as a spectator when not in uniform).

But the Republican Party itself is claiming that the active duty personnel are not spectators but delegates. What’s going on here? Why are the Republicans encouraging our soldiers to violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice and its stated rules of political engagement? And why for goodness sakes, aren’t these rules being enforced?

And while all of this goes on, ex-pow John McCain stands up and defends these people, the people who so viciously tried to impugn him and his family. Perhaps someone should counsel him about beaten wife syndrome...

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