This week President Donald Trump released his initial budget document which outlines his funding priorities for the federal government. President Trump has made it his objective to increase defense discretionary funding by $54 billion while identifying cuts in the budget to non-defense discretionary spending agencies and programs.
Just as a note of edification, the discretionary side of our budget comprises less than 40 percent of the federal budget; the rest is on the mandatory spending side of Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and net interest on our exploding debt. There will come a time when the revenues of the United States will not cover the mandatory spending side, unless we have economic growth to get more Americans off Medicaid, and replenish the depleted Social Security trust fund, of which the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) will soon be bankrupt.
There are already debates about whether or not the $54 billion increase in our defense budget is enough, while some believe we spend too much on defense. I would recommend you tell that to our ground combat, aviation, and ship maintenance crews, or the combat troops buying their own gear. Needless to say, we do need to provide for the common defense, but in a fiscally-responsible manner, which means a serious analysis in the reduction of bloated defense civilian bureaucracies. However, there is a growing cancer, a problem in our military that no amount of money can fix. It is a cultural blister that is festering and can easily become an open wound rendering our military combat ineffective.
As reported by the Marine Corps Times, “The Naval Criminal Investigative Service has identified hundreds of Marines who are members of the Marines United Facebook group, where some members allegedly shared nude photos of female troops, veterans and civilians, a Democratic House lawmaker said on Thursday. NCIS is investigating whether Marines shared the nude photos without the women’s consent and harassed them online.
So far, investigators have 1,200 members of Marines United, including 700 active-duty Marines and 150 Marines in the Reserve, Rep. Jackie Speier, of California, said at a news conference. About 500 of Marines United’s roughly 30,000 members are believed to have viewed the nude photographs, Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller told senators on Tuesday.
Neller said he did not know what motivated Marines to cyberbully the women whose pictures were shared. “I’ve heard it described as the dark humor of veterans, but that’s a cop-out,” Neller said. “But we also know that there are Marines that are participating in this, who have never been shot at in their lives. So they’re just trying to get credibility — I don’t know.”
There is one major legal issue prosecutors may face: If the pictures shared online were originally taken consensually, the strictest penalties under the Uniform Code of Military Justice may not apply to Marines who shared them without permission.
That’s why Speier has proposed a bill that would allow service members to be prosecuted for sharing revealing pictures that “a reasonable person would know or understand” are intended to remain private without permission of the people depicted in the pictures. “Clearly the antiquated language of the UCMJ must be fixed to address this national scandal and to restore the reputations of not only our brave service members, but the Marine Corps itself,” Speier said at Thursday’s news conference.
Gloria Allred, an attorney who represents two women whose pictures were shared on Marines United praised Speier’s proposed bill and said Congress needs to take further action.”
It is not my intent to try and investigate or litigate this case involving Marines United. I prefer to focus on the sickness, not the symptom, and the sickness is a cultural degradation of values that permeates our nation…and now does so in our military.
Once upon a time, our military was all about standards, principles and values that set it above civilian society. For whatever reason, there has been a wholehearted goal to align our military with civilian society, but in doing so, hold the military to a higher level of accountability — with their hands tied. I disagree with Rep. Speier, who is on her own little crusade against our military, and also with Mrs. Allred.
What we have happening in our military does not require more laws from Congress, many of whom have never served. What is required for our military is strong uniformed leadership, and I mean old school tough love — no more “stress card” mentality.
The Marines United scandal is just a part of a growing cancer that is metastasizing all over the body of our armed services. No, I’m not talking about a return to the culture of “Tailhook” but the return to a military that separates itself from the truly deplorable standards of character we see in our American society.
How can it be that we have White House Rose Garden ceremonies for the parents of deserters while we shun the parents of warriors who we imprison, such as Army 1LT Clint Lorance? When did we attack with vitriolic monikers those we send into hell’s half acre to safeguard our freedoms and liberties? What is happening when we spend more time and resources to develop training manuals and programs for transgender individuals, while our troops are run ragged?
What is happening when we are willing to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars for surgeries on troops suffering from a mental condition called gender dysphoria, while we have combat aircraft grounded? What are we becoming when a traitor who released over 700,000 classified documents — who suffers from gender dysphoria — leading to deaths of those supporting our efforts in combat gets released HIMself from military prison, due to some insidious sense of benevolence?
Once upon a time, this nation produced generals who had a fire in their belly. They were not afraid to talk about killing the enemy. Today we have three and four star generals who cannot utter the words “militant Islamic jihadism/terrorism.” We have generals who talk about the weather — yes, climate change — being a national security issue. We have generals seeking to line their pockets with monies from foreign countries, and not fully disclosing their actions.
We have generals using government credit cards — taxpayer funds — to visit places of ill repute, or using their positions for sexual inappropriate behavior. This is happening all while true warrior leaders are vilified or forced to retire, because they’re not towing the “politically correct” line.
Let me remind y’all, there is no political correctness on a battlefield. Now, there are going to be progressive socialist detractors who will attack yours truly, and that is indicative of the lack of clear understanding of what is the priority in a combat zone. It’s not about giving the enemy a “binky” but protecting those you are entrusted to lead.
But ask yourself, where was the liberal progressive outcry when an Army Special Forces Sergeant beat down an Afghan police officer who was raping a young Afghan boy and beat his mother? How was it that we had to share that story here and fight for the retention of the sergeant whom the Army, along with his captain, punished and was to involuntarily separate.
This is what I mean by a serious issue with our military culture. The motto of the U.S. Army Green Beret is “De oppresso liber”, to liberate the oppressed, so why would the Army punish someone who kicked the crap out of someone guilty of child sexual abuse? SFC Martland should have been the recipient of a medal and promoted, not punished. I have to ask Rep. Speier, do we need a new law from Congress in this case?
President Donald Trump wants to increase the defense budget, but there is a deficit that he needs to address in our military — a deficit in character. We Americans trust and honor our men and women in our Armed Services, but we also want them to be a cut above the civilian society. That means a cultural restoration, and that is the real investment we need for our military.
And President Trump needs to nominate and appoint civilian leadership that will support that reformation. Sadly, the last commander in chief cared little for our military beyond a photo op, implementing disturbing social egalitarian programs, and anyway, who can follow someone that abandons Americans to die in a combat zone, and lies about it?
Truly, it’s not just our military, but our nation that needs a cultural reformation. Needless to say, when we allow a President to conduct a sexual act in the Oval Office…and we excuse that abhorrent behavior. Then we should come to understand why there are naked pictures of female Marines floating all over the internet.