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William B. Fox Archive



by Major William B. Fox
First published 6 January 1992
with July 2009 update notes and references

July 2009

In this work, I explain how famous military leaders such as Col. William "Billy" Mitchell, MajGen Smedley Butler, Gen George S. Patton, Gen Douglas MacArthur, and MajGen Edwin Walker were forced to make major sacrifices while balancing their oath to serve their country and its Constitution with military constraints on First Amendment expression.

Col Grand Pre, U.S. Army (Ret)

Today we face one of the greatest needs in our nation's history for military personnel to be able to speak "truth to power." I note in my Obama Nation web page, that the question about whether Barack Hussein Obama II qualifies as a "natural born citizen" to be President under the Constitution remains unresolved. Furthermore, martial law training exercises held across America could eventually lead to a police state dictatorship, as explained in Chapter 23 of my Mission of Conscience series. I also note in Chapter 6 that, "When this author visited Col Donn de Grand Pre at his ranch in Virginia in summer 2006....the former high level Pentagon insider and author of expose books such as Viper’s Venom and Rattler’s Revenge told me that according to senior-level Pentagon contacts, [the attack on arch-Zionist neocon Paul Wolfowitz] was a counter strike planned or permitted by U.S. military personnel who viewed 9/11 as a Zionist neo-con coup against the U.S. Government and Constitution." In addition, although he would not disclose any contacts or particulars, Col Grand Pre reported rumors that senior leaders were considering launching a military counter coup against the Zionist and Bush cabals in Washington D.C. and other national power centers.
The MajGen Walker case I describe later in this article --and the Hollywood reaction-- immediately came to mind.
Military leaders have other good reasons to be concerned. Not only did former NSA Director LtGen William Odom declare that "The invasion of Iraq will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in US history," but highly respected military analyst William S. Lind has warned that the consequences of imperial American overstretch could create an American analog of Germany's Stalingrad, Xenephon's Anabasis, or ancient Athen's disastrous Syracuse Expedition. This would be especially true if over-indebted America suffers an economic implosion that has the same devastating effect on the U.S. military overseas as the Soviet collapse had on the Russian military in general.
In Chapter 14 of Mission of Conscience, I discuss the cases of Col Ted Westhusing, CPL Pat Tillman, and others who were likely assassinated for daring to speak out. In Chapter 25 I discuss an example of military "pushback" that might have averted a nuclear strike on Iran. In Chapter 13 I also discuss the call by former Army Intelligence officer Capt. Eric May for the U.S. military to arrest President Bush and his cabinet on grounds of treason following what May believed to be an aborted "9-11 to be" nuclear false flag attack on 28 July 2005 against the British Petroleum Refinery at Texas City, Texas.
Without question this article, first published in 1992 (and inspired by my own experience, having successfully dealt with a "thought crime" Board of Inquiry in 1990), has taken on a whole new sense of timeliness. I have added illustrations and update notes at the very end of this work. To obtain important background on exactly what it is that military personnel are sworn to protect and defend, I recommend as a companion work Dr. Kevin Gutman's The Politically Incorrect Guide to the U.S. Constitution.


The First Amendment of the Constitution reads: "'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press or the right of people peaceably to assemble. and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

Some people argue that, "In the final analysis, military people have no First Amendment rights --after all, the First Amendment means a skeptical approach to life, dissent, partisan politics, individual rights, and the open dissemination of ideas, and the right of political, religious, and ethnic affiliation. In contrast, "military" means obedience, an avoidance of politics, moralistic indoctrination, impersonal regimentation, integrated team-building, and secrecy; so they just do not mix --end of discussion".
My response is that actually military people do have rights, and that furthermore they can do some very powerful and decisive things with those rights. Quite often the pen is mightier than the sword. One of the most important uses of these rights is to safeguard the ability to receive and pass on truthful information and impressions to fellow servicemen and to inform the public in the national interest. However, just as a competent rock climber must think about his hand and foot holds in advance on a tough ascent, a serviceman must think ahead about arguments that favor or deny his use of the First Amendment so that he can successfully justify himself and muster support if he comes under attack. The successful use of First Amendment rights, particularly for more senior military officers, can have a major impact on not only military officers, but also quite possibly on the future of this country.
A number of legal scholars have referred to the First Amendment as our most fundamental right of all, since the ability to think, communicate, and associate is a prerequisite before any other rights become meaningful. If we lose this right we lose everything. It is our most basic "Why We Fight" reason to fight.
The purpose of this article is to explain some methods for analyzing military First Amendment issues, and relate them to five important cases. I believe that today we face a special crisis in the interpretation of our First Amendment rights because of the failure of two traditional reference points for American values, academia and the media, to fully reflect traditional American standards.
To gain a historical perspective, I will touch on what I think are probably the five most significant cases of the 20th Century: the court martial of Col William Mitchell in 1925, the attempted court martial of Marine Major General Smedley Butler in 1931, the press vendetta against General George S. Patton in 1945, President Harry S. Truman's decision to fire Gen Douglas MacArthur in 1951, and President John F. Kennedy's decision to relieve MajGen Edwin A. Walker in 1961.
Next, I will discuss an analytical method for weighing the arguments both for and against freedom of speech on three different levels: legal rights, operational requirements, and political concerns. Finally, I will offer "survival training" tips for military personnel who wish to find the maximum effective way to exercise their rights without provoking unnecessary conflict with the military establishment.


The 24 Dec 1990 Newsweek cover reads: "Watch what you say: THOUGHT POLICE: There's a 'Politically Correct' Way to Talk About Race, Sex and Ideas. Is This the New Enlightenment or the New McCarthyism?" According to the article, a major factor behind the loss of freedom on many university campuses comes from 1960's-era radicals who have now worked their way into responsible positions. They are unwilling to show the same tolerance that they themselves benefited from back in the 1960's. The article says that, "Politically, PC is Marxist in origin, in the broad sense of attempting to redistribute power from the privileged class (white males) to the oppressed masses. But it is Marxism of a peculiarly attenuated, self-referential kind. This is not a movement aimed at attracting more working class youths to the university. The failure of Marxist systems throughout the world has not noticeably dimmed the allure of left-wing politics for American academics. Even today, says David Littlejohn of Berkeley's Graduate School of Literature, an overwhelming proportion of our courses are taught by people who really hate the system." (1)
Academic opinion is vital in many military freedom of speech cases, since the truth of an assertion is often a strong defense. If what one says is true, one can claim that one is promoting a more rational and informed worldview, which should ultimately help the target audience function on a higher level. However, when academicians become constrained in what they can think because of "political correctness," that abdication in professional responsibility actually shifts the burden of conducting objective research and analysis to other areas of American life, such as in business and the military.
As an example, behavioral researchers such as Dr. Arthur Jensen and Dr. Raymond Cattell claim that many human temperamental traits tend to be more genetic than environmental. They also claim that intelligence is approximately 80% genetic. Dr. Jensen and other academics have received death threats, been physically assaulted, and have been prevented by leftist activists from making public speeches in regard to their conclusions from their research. "Politically correct" adversaries in academia have published opinions pieces and ad hominem that ignores or falsifies much of the research of men like Dr. Jensen and Dr. Cattell (2). If a military person were taken to task for agreeing with Jensen, he would have two requirements: first, replicate the debate in academia over the issue to show the validity of certain research, and secondly, show that his military leadership is not at fault in the way that he expressed his views. The added extent to which military personnel may have to replicate academic debate indicates the extent to which it bears an additional burden as a consequence of a breakdown in academic honesty and integrity within our universities.
It would appear that the national media is also suffering credibility problems as a source of "objectivity." A 1991 Forbes article by Peter Brimelow discusses the extent of national media bias towards businessmen. The values of businessmen are similar to the values commonly shared by military personnel. This bias has been thoroughly documented by Dr. S. Robert Lichter and Linda S. Lichter of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Media & Public Affairs and by Dr. Stanley Rothman. These individuals have spent years conducting scientific content analyses of media programming. Their findings are available through their book The Media Elite, their newsletter The Media Monitor, and their articles "Hollywood and America: The Odd Couple" and "The Media Elite" that appeared in Public Opinion magazine. (3)
According to Brimelow, the first Rothman-Lichter elite study demonstrated through polling that the American major media were run by a surprisingly homogeneous group: upper middle-class, northeastern urbanites who professed no religion except a political liberalism sharply more intense than in the population at large (from 1964 to 1976, for example, the proportion of media leaders voting for Democratic presidential candidates never dropped below 80%, 30 to 45 percentage points above the overall electorate)." In "Hollywood and America: The Odd Couple", Lichter and Rothman profiled the background of the television elite: 99% white, 98% male, 82% from metropolitan area, 56% from northeast corridor, 68% father voted democratic, 35% father graduated from college, 59% raised in Jewish religion, 75% college graduate, 63% family income $200,000+, 75% political liberal, 44% religion "none", and 7% regular churchgoer. Lichter and Rothman stated that, "Given their widespread rejection of both American social institutions and their guardians, one would suspect that many in the television elite would like to see substantial changes in our society. In fact, a substantial minority of 43% endorses a complete overhaul of American institutions. In short, their acceptance of the economic system is tempered by a deep-set alienation from the social and political system." (4) According to a Lichter-Rothman poll, business leaders rate the "media elite" as being more influential than any other group in America, to include elected government officials. (5)
Unfortunately the pervasiveness of the national media can create the illusion that it mirrors the Constitution and official U.S. Government policy. We need to remind ourselves that national media sources are privately owned entities that technically have no more legal authority to represent the United States than local pizza advertisers. Sadly, one occasionally finds unthinking military personnel who erroneously believe that any ideas or sensibilities that are too far removed from those of :the national media are not only "not politically correct," but are also automatically subversive towards the Constitution, official U.S. policy, and the military. As in the case of disproving disinformation within academia, the military person now has that much more of a burden of establishing truth as a consequence of the abdication of professional responsibility in the press. If a serviceman is right in a scientific or Constitutional sense, but the media dislikes him, he has that much more of a burden in rallying political support. This kind of problem is vividly illustrated in the fifth and last historical case that I will present in detail involving MajGen "Ted" Walker.
We have to remind ourselves that servicemen only swear to support and defend the Constitution of the United States. We have no obligation to defend "political correctness," "thought police" methods, or any "elite" views per se. We have no requirement to create a paranoid witch hunt environment against free thinking individuals in the military. Now that we can no longer rely so heavily on either the media or academia, we have to become that much more conscious of one of the few reference points remaining. Our major reference point will always be the Constitution that we are sworn to protect and defend.


BGen. William Mitchell 1879-1936

William Mitchell distinguished himself as a brilliant air strategist when he commanded an air armada of over 1,500 planes during World War I and rose to the rank of Brigadier General. After the war, he made numerous predictions, considered startlingly revolutionary for their day, that eventually became true. He foresaw that military campaigns would revolve around extended bases of air power (which proved especially true in the World War II pacific campaign), that naval ships could be easily sunk from the air, that America would require an air force as an independent branch from the army, and that an attack by Japan could be expected "some fine Sunday morning." (6)
Unfortunately for Mitchell many senior officials did not comprehend or share his vision. Among those who disagreed with his views on aviation during Senate hearings in 1919 was Franklin D. Roosevelt, then assistant Secretary of the Navy. Josephus Daniels, Secretary of the Navy, proposed to stand bareheaded on the wheel of any battleship that Mitchell proposed to bomb. As a result of Mitchell's agitation, the Navy performed its own experiments on the battleship "Indiana" and reported that, "the entire experiment pointed to the improbability of a modern battleship being either destroyed or completely put out of action by aerial bombs."
Mitchell caused numerous red faces in the military hierarchy when he ran an experiment using two captured German warships off the coast of Virginia in 1921. Dropping 600 lb. bombs from an altitude of 2,500 feet, his fleet of six army bombers sent the first captured German ship to the bottom in 35 minutes. Three days later his bombers sent another battle ship to the bottom 21 minutes after the first bomb dropped
In 1925 Mitchell lost his rank as brigadier general and his post as assistant chief of the air service. This was as a result of his continued criticisms of the poor quality of the Army Air Force and his agitation for a separate air department coequal with the Army and Navy. However, his new assignment as a Colonel to a minor post in San Antonio, Texas, did not blunt his appetite for criticism. In less than half a year later he unleashed a storm of controversy.
In American Caesar, William Manchester describes the events that led to Mitchell's court-martial: "En route to his Philippine honeymoon, [Mitchell] had embarrassed General Summerall, the Hawaiian commander, by publicly ridiculing Oahu's air defenses. Then, at a San Antonio press conference, he had told reporters that. admirals were to blame for the crash of a navy blimp and that members of the Army's general staff, because of their stingy attitude towards fliers' requests, were also guilty of criminal negligence. [Douglas] MacArthur felt his friend had been wrong in the violence of his language.' Even airmen agreed. Henry H. `Hap' Arnold, who stood by him then and later led the Air Corps in World War II, said of the court martial [ordered by President Calvin Coolidge] 'A good showing was the best that could come of it .. . The thing for which Mitchell was being tried he was guilty of, and except for Billy, everybody knew it, and knew what it meant.'" (7)
Mitchell was charged with "conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline" and which brought "discredit upon the military service." During his trial, Mitchell maintained that the action resulted from a "culmination of the efforts of the general staff of the Army and the general board of the Navy to deprecate the value of air power and keep it in an auxiliary position which absolutely compromises our whole system of national defense." He felt that the charges, based upon the language of his critical statements, avoided the main issue. In his public statements, Mitchell charged the Navy and War Departments with, "incompetency, criminal negligence, and almost treasonable administration of the national defense." Major Gullion, who directed the prosecution of Mitchell, described him as a "self advertiser and wildly imaginative, hobby riding egomaniac." The press was far more sympathetic, and portrayed Mitchell as a martyr in the crusade for air power.


The trial of Col. William "Billy" Mitchell

The court found Mitchell guilty of "making statements contrary to good order and discipline, and he was suspended from rank and duty for five years (Douglas MacArthur was one of the judges, and he apparently cast a vote of not guilty). Mitchell resigned from the Army within two months of the trial and commenced a career devoted to lecturing and writing books that expressed his ideas on air power. He died in 1936, shortly after the military affairs committee of Congress refused to reinstate him to the list of retired army officers. It is ironic that in 1945 Congress reversed itself after most of his prophecies came true in World War II. The Senate voted to posthumously grant Mitchell the Congressional Medal of Honor and promote him to the rank of Major General. (8)
On the legal level, Mitchell's "violent" language was contrary to the military image of officers who are expected by the public to conduct themselves with a judicious temperament in their public statements. His statements were clearly service-connected as an active duty officer who was specifically asked for his opinions because of his military position.
Compared to other cases in this paper, most of Mitchell's statements were focused on operational matters rather than ideological beliefs. An important operational requirement is that a calm process of fact finding be conducted to determine blame for major incidents. Mitchell used the dirigible disaster as a springboard to launch harshly negative global accusations regarding the integrity and judgment of the leadership of the Navy and War departments. Even without the disaster, there would have certainly' been arguments regarding budget constraints and other constraints that would qualify the harshness of his criticism. His statements showed contempt for the competence of his superiors, which diminished their ability to effect command and control.
Although Mitchell was helped by the sympathy shown by the press, he was hurt by the apparent "violence" of his statements, as Manchester points out in his book. His adversaries had enough of the "goods" on him to draw up narrow charges that were supportable. And they won in an immediate tactical sense. In a broader sense, Mitchell accomplished his objectives as well. His Court Martial enabled him to dramatize and publicize his views across the country and more quickly promote the recognition of the importance of air power.



MajGen. Smedley Butler, 1881-1940


The Marine Corps lost one of its best leaders in a freedom of speech case in 1931. He was MajGen Smedley Butler, winner of two Congressional Medals of Honor, who led Leathernecks into action in Cuba, the Philippines, Peking, Nicaragua, Honduras, Mexico, and Haiti. In France during World War I, Butler took over a "disgrace of a debarkation center consisting of 1,700 acres of mud and 75,000 American soldiers, of whom 16,000 had the flu." 250 men died on his first day of command. He let out a roar that could be heard in Washington, D.C. --and followed with a barrage of orders to requisition necessary supplies, bring in medical personnel, and rebuild the camp. Within two weeks the death rate became negligible.
Butler's next roar brought the end of his career. As a prelude to that roar, Butler made a speech in Pittsburgh in which he implied that the American State Department had rigged the Nicaraguan elections in 1912. Although this was a true statement, it created a row between Butler and Charles Francis Adams, the Secretary of the Navy, who took Butler to task for his remark. The Secretary of the Navy later influenced a Navy selection board to pass over Butler in favor of Ben Fuller for the top position of Commandant of the Marine Corps. Fuller was senior to Butler in years but junior in rank.
Six months later, on 19 January 1931, Butler spoke before the respectable Contemporary Club of Philadelphia on the topic of international disarmament. "I agree with Dr. Hull of Swarthmore," said Butler, "If we could lay down our arms there couldn't be any war. But there are mad-dog nations who won't get the word, who will refuse to sign the agreement, or, if they sign (will) refuse to abide by it." Butler then shifted mental gears to find a vivid example: "A friend of mine [journalist Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jr] said he had a ride in a new automobile with Mussolini, a car with an armored nose that could knock over fences and slip under barbed wire. He said that they drove through the country and towns at 70 miles per hour. They ran over a child and my friend screamed. Mussolini said he shouldn't do that, that it was only one life and the affairs of the State could not be stopped by one life!" Butler paused to let the words sink in, and then dramatically thrust his head and neck forward and scornfully demanded, "How can you talk disarmament with a man like that?" (9)
Although Butler had been assured that this was a private audience in which he could speak in confidence, an Italian diplomat from Washington happened to be present. He reported to his boss, the Ambassador, who in turn cabled Rome and made a formal complaint to the U.S. State Department. A story about an active duty American officer who publicly insulted the head of a friendly power made the morning papers. Later the journalist friend Vanderbilt said that Butler had misquoted him: Mussolini observed Vanderbilt looking back at the stricken child, patted his knee, and said, "Never look back, Mr. Vanderbilt; always look ahead in life." (10)
The Secretary of State, Henry L. Stimson, apologized to Mussolini. Butler wrote an explanatory letter to the Secretary of the Navy and admitted that he had spoken the incriminating words. That was enough to draw formal charges. On 29 January 1931, MajGen Butler got the following phone call from the Commandant of the Marine Corps: "General Butler, you are hereby placed under arrest to await trial by general court-martial. You will turn your command over to your next senior, Gen. Berkeley, and you will be restricted to the limits of your post. The Secretary of the Navy wishes you to know that this action is taken by the direct personal order of the President!" (11)
Public opinion rallied in defense of MajGen. Butler. Many citizens despised Mussolini. Many believed that Butler should be protected by the First Amendment. Many Americans also believed that the Hoover administration was being too careful in its foreign relations. The 30 January Washington Daily News editorialized: "unless we. are mistaken, the American people are likely to consider these Cabinet officials guilty of a strange timidity toward Mussolini on one hand and of an unwarranted harshness toward a splendid American soldier on the other." A small segment of public opinion viewed the affair as stemming from a personal animosity by the Secretary of the Navy Adams and President Hoover against Butler. Thousands of sympathetic messages were addressed to MajGen. Butler, to include an offer from New York Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt and former Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels who volunteered to testify in Butler's behalf. The public reaction was so alarming to the Italian Government that it informed the Secretary of 'State that the whole affair was unfortunate and the court case should be dropped. The Italian Government was in the course of negotiating a naval limitations agreement with France, and was concerned that French media coverage of the Butler affair was alienating French public opinion and working to obstruct bilateral negotiations.
As newspapers across the country continued to laud Butler, the Hoover Administration began to cave in. First came an unofficial letter that confirmed Butler's arrest, but gave greater leeway for Butler to prepare his defense. Butler wanted to hurry his trial and get it over with, but his attorney, Maj. Henry Leonard, who had saved Butler's life in China, advised a waiting game to let public opinion take its effect. Leonard's strategy proved sound. On 5 February 1931, a personal representative of the Hoover Administration called up Leonard to discuss the possibility of calling off the trial. Leonard asked for concrete terms. The Administration suggested calling off the trial, reprimanding Butler, and placing him in an indefinite status of "awaiting orders." Leonard rejected this offer, and even threatened .to go on with the trial. Finally, the frightened Hoover Administration caved in completely. Major Leonard informed the Administration that Butler would tender a written apology for having "caused embarrassment to the Government." Leonard himself would write up the Administration's official "reprimand" on Butler. MajGen. Butler would be restored to his command with full rank and privileges. The Administration quickly accepted Maj Leonard's terms on a Sunday afternoon just in time for the Monday morning newspapers. (12)
Seven months later Butler retired. Although he won his last official battle, he was thoroughly embittered by it. He went on to make the lecture circuit across the country, was a candidate for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania in 1932, and even published the book War Is A Racket in 1935. Butler called for "An iron-clad defense a rat couldn't crawl through." At the same time, he favored isolationism and deeply distrusted what would later be called the "military-industrial complex." (13)

The Plot to Seize the White House by Jules Archer describes an important sequel in Smedley Butler's political evolution. According to this book, in 1933 a Wall Street group approached Butler to lead a coup de etat against FDR. This is now known as the Business Plot. Instead, Butler exposed the plot to the McCormack-Dickstein Committee of Congress.


Butler amply demonstrated his citizenship right to think independently. In this particular case, that ability was specifically lauded by the press. We might note that Butler's intent was to deliver his controversial views to a private audience. To the extent that our legal system focuses very heavily upon intent, this is a point in his favor. Butler's adversaries probably argued that his comments intruded on the right of the military to protect its image. The public normally views generals as disciplined individuals who are focused on rationalistic approaches to accomplishing their military mission. Butler departed from a descriptive or academic approach by using scornful moralistic language. According to Vanderbilt, Butler's story was not even accurate. He made no attempt to separate his personal opinion before the audience from his official position.
Butler's views had no direct relevance to Marine Corps operational requirements, except perhaps as general knowledge background that could assist officers in understanding the civilian dimensions of military conflict. His views did, however, conflict with the operational requirement that military personnel be kept subordinate to civilian authority. He was defiant in his row with the Secretary of the Navy after his Pittsburgh speech. His comments on Mussolini usurped the careful foreign policy position promoted by the Hoover administration .
The political dimension of the affair saved Butler. He was fortunate that a. sympathetic press did all of his public affairs work for him. At its own time and expense, the press gave his story a top priority, sympathetically researched his case, "packaged" it, gave it domestic and international distribution, and provoked feedback. All Butler and his attorney had to do was sit back and let the press do its work.
One reason why the case was easily packaged was because of its relative simplicity. It involved a very concrete and emotional scenario that could be summarized in a few sentences and sensationalized by the press. The topic involved a foreign leader who most Americans disliked. It did not involve any complex ideological statements.
I would note that after his retirement, Butler expressed many views that could have elicited a neutral or hostile reaction from many of his supporters during the Court Martial affair if those views had been at issue rather than the topic of Mussolini. As an example, the views that Butler expressed in the mid 1930's on isolationism in War Is A Racket were diametrically opposed to many of the views of Franklin D. Roosevelt.



LtGen. George Patton 1885-1945

The movie Patton released in 1970, starring George C. Scott, portrays General George S. Patton as an outlandish individual who had problems keeping his mouth shut before the press. From the way Patton is portrayed, we are not surprised. The movie character has an air of 19th century militarism. He is so gung ho that he relishes the sting of battle and makes comments that glorify war. He smacks a soldier across the face in a field hospital in Sicily, giving a sense of impulsiveness and insensitivity. He does, however, win his battles. For the 1960's generation of moviegoers frustrated with the Vietnam war, that quality gave him redeeming value. However, when Patton meets the press, he is out of his depth and does not win. The press is portrayed as being mischievous rather than malicious and as fulfilling its Fourth Estate function of reporting to the American people everything that it can, to include the indiscretions of general officers. The film leaves one with the impression that were it not for the pesky yet heroic American press, who knows how totally out of control war-lovers like Patton might become?


Contrary to the 1970 biographical war film which portrays George S. Patton as an eccentric big mouth, the real life general had many very compelling reasons to be a whistle-blower


From everything that I have read about Patton, as well as conversations I have had with retired officers who worked with him in real life, it is true enough that he was an extremely colorful, strong-willed, and outspoken individual. However, the reality of his press contact in 1945 was more complicated than the way it was portrayed in the movie. Patton was out to impede a U.S. policy that shocked his conscience. He had to face antagonistic members of the press who knew that, supported the policy that shocked him, and wanted to undermine his position as military governor of Germany after VE Day. Patton did not trust the press to fulfill its reportorial function and convey the story he felt had to be told back in America. He felt that if anything, the press was out to block the real story while promoting a campaign to destroy him with ad hominem. Patton had to resort to other means to communicate what he felt was the real story to influential people back in America.
The policy that Patton detested was called the Morgenthau Plan, introduced at the Second Quebec Conference (1944) by the Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, and drafted by Harry Dexter White. The plan called for a Carthaginian peace, in which all industry in Germany would be dismantled and the country would be permanently reduced to an agrarian state.

Franklin D. Roosevelt campaigning with his Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, architect of the monstrous "Morgenthau Plan"

At the Teheran conference held in late 1943, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin had already decided on the division of Germany into the Russian, British, American, and French sectors at the end of the war. Author James Bacque provides some interesting insight into the tone of the meeting:

Marshall Josef Stalin said at the dinner table that he wanted to round up fifty thousand German officers after the war and shoot them. Winston Churchill was violently angry. "I would rather be taken out in the garden here and now to be shot myself than sully my own and my country's honor by such infamy," he said vehemently. Franklin Roosevelt, seeing the animosity rise between these two former enemies, fatuously suggested a compromise of 49,000 prisoners to be shot. Stalin, the host of this critical meeting with his two powerful allies, diplomatically took a poll of the nine men at the table. The President's son, Elliott Roosevelt, a brigadier-general in the United States Army, responded with a toast to the deaths "not only those fifty thousand . . . but many hundreds of thousands more Nazis as well." Churchill, astounded, heard him add, "and I am sure the United States Army will support it." Delighted, Stalin embraced young Roosevelt, proposing that they drink to the deaths of the Germans.
Churchill got up. "Do you known what you're saying? he hurled at Elliot Roosevelt. "How dare you say such a thing?"
He stormed out of the banquet hall into a dark empty room adjoining ... " (14)

Stalin's proposal was still a drop in the bucket compared to the Morgenthau Plan. The Secretary of War, Henry Stimson, was horrified by it. "Morgenthau's proposal", he pointed out in his diary, "would lead to starvation for thirty million Germans." Secretary of the Navy, James Forrestal, was also gravely concerned, and wrote, "In general, the program, according to [Stimson's deputy] Mr. McCloy, called for the conscious destruction of the economy in Germany and the encouragement of a state of impoverishment and disorder." U.S. Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter also opposed the plan.
Despite this opposition a memorandum dated 15 Sept 1944 approving the Morgenthau plan was "okayed" in Quebec by the initials FDR and WSC. (15) Winston Churchill initially agreed to the plan in exchange for an extension of lend-lease, however, according to author James Bacque, Churchill later worked to defuse and alter parts of the plan and give a resurgent Germany a role as a cold war ally. Perhaps because of his shielding influence, German prisoners of war who fell into British hands were usually well treated.
A number of historians claim that the policy of unconditional surrender became a policy of unconditional hatred towards the Germans and everything German. The Allied bombing of Germany under the unconditional surrender policy caused a complete breakdown in the country's transport system. Starvation was found in most of the major cities. Although Dresden was packed with refugees and had negligible military value, the British hit it with a fire bomb attack in February 1945 after it was obvious that Germany had lost the war. The attack killed 150,000 people, more than the 75,000 Japanese fatalities at Hiroshima and, the 40,000 fatalities at Nagasaki combined. The fatalities stemming from the Allied carpet bombing of Hamberg, Berlin, and other cities were also staggering.
When German armies surrendered to the American armies, nearly four million German soldiers were held out doors in barbed wire enclosures, with very little food and no shelter for many months. Prisoners were reclassified as "Disarmed Enemy Forces" and suffered high death rates from disease and starvation. They were denied visits by Red Cross personnel and Red Cross food packages. In many cases they were farmed out to French work camps where they also received hard treatment. In James Bacque's sensational book Other Losses, a runaway best-seller in Germany, Bacque claims that the camps had a death rate of about 30% a year. According to Bacque, at least 750,000 German soldiers died in American camps and 250,000 died in French camps. (16)

One of many "Disarmed Enemy Forces" detention centers designed to kill off
surrendered German forces, who were denied shelter and Red Cross supplies.

Not all historians agree with Bacque. According to the New York Times book review of Bacque's book, Major Ruediger Overmans of the German Office of Military History in Freiberg claims that the total deaths by German prisoners in American hands could not have been greater than 56,000, and the death rate only averaged 3% a year. (17) Whatever the true number was, times were rough and the "right" attitude towards Germans was supposed to be a very hard one. American soldiers were ordered to not fraternize with German civilians. Unconditional surrender propaganda had made every effort to cast all German ideology and all German leadership as the epitome of evil. It even sought to inflate real or imagined atrocities committed by the Germans.
When Patton visited a ruined Berlin in July, 1945, he wrote his wife, "Berlin gave me the blues. We have destroyed what could have been a good race, and we are about to replace them with Mongolian savages. And all Europe will be communist. It's said that for the first week after they took it [Berlin], all women who ran were shot and those who did not were raped. I could have taken it [instead of the Soviets] if I had been allowed."

Gen George Patton in a ceremony where he was forced to officiate besides some of his less than favorite people.


On August 31 Patton wrote: "Actually, the Germans are the only decent people left in Europe. It's a choice between them and the Russians. I prefer the Germans." And on September 2 he wrote: "What we are doing is to destroy the only semi-modern state in Europe, so that Russia can swallow the whole." Patton also wrote that Eisenhower was using "practically Gestapo methods" against the Germans. (18) Patton began a letter writing campaign to prominent individuals back in the U.S. to persuade them that the current policy was wrong. He argued that the U.S. needed a rehabilitated Germany to withstand the Soviet threat and not a perpetually prostrate country.
Patton's forces turned German troops loose not long after their surrender to find their way home, in contrast to Germans who became "Disarmed Enemy Forces" elsewhere and who lingered as long as half a year to a year and a half after the surrender under harsh conditions. He allowed former Nazi officials to occupy positions of authority. He refused to boot German civilians out of their homes to make space for displaced persons and refugees. He refused to throw prominent bankers, industrialists, and other leaders of German ancestry out of their jobs. He balked at orders to blow up German factories. He looked the other way as his men openly fraternized with German women and other civilians.
It did not take long for the media to figure out that Patton had acquired an admiration for the Germans and was "soft on Nazis". The press began a nonstop hounding campaign against Patton. A New York newspaper printed the completely false statement that when Patton had slapped a soldier in Sicily two years earlier, who was Jewish, that Patton had called him a "yellow-bellied Jew."
On 22 September, reporters kept asking Patton why he was not pressing the Nazi hunt hard enough. After enough needling and rapid fire questions, they finally found what they were looking for in one of his answers: "The Nazi thing is just like a Democrat-Republican fight." This response was headlined by the New York Times and by other papers around America.
Eisenhower responded to the press outcry by relieving Patton of his duties as military governor. He was "kicked upstairs" as commander of the Fifteenth Army. Patton penned a 22 October letter to Maj Gen James G. Harbord back in the States, bitterly condemning the Morgenthau policy and what he thought was a strong pro-Soviet bias in the press. In his letter, he made exactly the kind of rightist statement that American newsmen were scared he was really thinking: "I have been just as furious as you at the compilation of lies which the communist and Semitic elements of our government have leveled against me and practically every other commander. In my opinion, it is a deliberate attempt to alienate the soldier vote from the commanders, because the communists know that soldiers are not communistic, and they fear what eleven million votes [of veterans] would do."
Patton was concerned by the lack of independent opinion on the part of American military commanders "All general officers in the higher brackets receive each morning from the War Department a set of American [newspaper] headlines, and, with the sole exception of myself, they guide themselves during the ensuing day by what they have read in the papers." He added, "It is my present thought that when I finish this job, which will be around the first of the year, I shall resign, not retire, because if I retire I will still have a gag in my mouth ... I should not start a limited counterattack, which would be contrary to my military theories, but should wait until I can start an all-out offensive ... "
It was not to be. Within two months, according to "official reports" Patton died from a vehicle accident on the Autobahn. However, the stage was already set for the demise of the Morgenthau Plan. After President Harry S. Truman took over in April 1945, he put an end to Morgenthau's meddling in nontreasury matters. In July 1945, Morgenthau was dropped from Truman's cabinet. In 1947, the Morgenthau Plan was repudiated altogether by the U.S. Government. Patton's letters had played an important role behind the scenes in mobilizing influential Americans against the Morgenthau Plan. In its place came the Marshall Plan that was designed to speed Germany's recovery. Today, modern Germans can look back at Patton as an American who held soldierly virtues and a sense of honor that they can respect.

There is considerable evidence that Gen. Patton was assassinated before he had a chance to return to the U.S. to present his case to the American people. As discussed in Target: Patton, former O.S.S. operative Douglas Bazata passed a voice stress test when he gave testimony before The SPOTLIGHT (precursor to The American Free Press) that Patton was slipped cyanide as he was recovering in a hospital following his auto accident. Bazata claimed that he was offered a considerable sum to kill Patton by his superiors. Although he said he did not do it, he knew who the actual assassin was. Last, but not least, there is interesting speculation that Patton knew about a lot more than just the Morgenthau Plan that deeply worried the Roosevelt Administration were he to open his mouth. For example, the book Reich of the Black Sun (available online here) argues that Patton's forces captured German atomic bomb technology that became incorporated into the Manhattan Project and was later leaked by Jewish-American scientists to the Soviets.


Patton never made public statements that were enough to merit a court-martial, although he certainly had as many enemies as Col William Mitchell. He was relieved of his position, but this was disguised as being "kicked upstairs."
Patton fully exploited his right of private conversation to the utmost. With the exception of his letters to America and his diary entries, he did not leave an audit trail of public documents or statements that the press could readily seize upon. He successfully used proxies as his main technique for exerting influence. His letter to MajGen Harbord is a good example of this.
Patton conducted much of his dissent through the way in which he interpreted policy within his command. He exercised his independent judgment more through passive means than active means. Just by staying in his position as military governor and letting time pass, he ameliorated the German condition significantly. The Germans would have certainly been far worse off if their military governor had been a hardcore German-hater. Patton could have argued that his passivity was consistent with instructions from higher authority. In London in 1944, it was none other than General Dwight D. Eisenhower who said to Patton, "George, you talk too much." (19)
In the next case we will look at someone who also had serious reservations with U.S. policy, but tried the more open approach of speaking with Congressmen and the media.


Gen. Douglas MacArthur, 1880-1964

General Douglas MacArthur's problems began after Red Chinese forces unexpectedly entered the Korean War. Prior to this, he had conducted a brilliant campaign against the North Koreans who had over run most of South Korea. He landed Marines deep behind the North Korean lines at Incheon and forced the Communist forces to hurriedly retreat north. MacArthur's U.S. forces and United Nations allies advanced northward through most of North Korea in pursuit, and threatened to put an end to the North Korean regime and reunite the north and south under non-Communist leadership. As U.N. forces approached the Chinese border, the Chinese leader, Mao Tse Tung, began to infiltrate Chinese divisions into North Korea for a surprise attack.

Sept. 15, 1950, Gen. Douglas MacArthur observes commencement of his brilliant amphibious turning movement in the Battle of Incheon which forced North Korean invaders to immediately withdraw out of South Korea. MacArthur pursued into North Korea, expecting to achieve complete victory, provided that he was supplied with adequate man power and strategic air strike capabilities.

Convulsive Chinese surprise attacks began in October 1950. They succeeded in driving U.S. forces out of North Korea. The 1st Marine Division, initially located near the Chosin Reservoir, was attacked by six to eight Chinese divisions in the bitter cold as it successfully fought to move southward to reembark at Hungnam. The United Nations forces reconsolidated inside South Korea near the 38th parallel, but were driven back once again by another shattering Chinese offensive that captured Seoul for the Reds a second time. The counter offensive to retake Seoul and advance towards the 38th parallel was permitted only limited resources and limited objectives. Many U.S. legislators, to include a substantial number of Republican Congressmen, wanted to broaden the war against Chinese forces by lifting bombing restrictions against the Chinese Communists' "privileged sanctuary" in Manchuria, blockading the Chinese coast, and bringing in Nationalist Chinese troops to fight in Korea or to use them to open up a "second front" on the Chinese mainland.
After the see-saw conflict around the 38th parallel finally ended with the cease-fire truce signed in July 1953, Gen MacArthur told reporters that he could have launched nuclear attacks against Manchurian air bases, created radioactive blocking positions, and landed 500,000 Nationalist Chinese soldiers and two Marine divisions behind Red Chinese and Northern Korean lines in order to cut off all enemy units and bear down on them. By using this approach, MacArthur felt that he could have won the war in ten days. (20)
Shortly after the overwhelming Red Chinese onslaught commenced, Gen. MacArthur began to make statements to the press favoring Nationalist Chinese intervention and general war against China. President Truman and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Omar Bradley, felt that intervention by the forces of Chiang Kai-shek, who had lost to Mao Tse Tung in mainland China only a few years earlier, was politically incompatible with the objectives of America's United Nations allies in Korea. Although the Soviet Union had already supplied and advised much of the North Korean war effort, they feared a full scale Soviet intervention, and did not feel that the United States had the manpower or political will to simultaneously defend Europe against the Soviets while engaging in a general war against China. President Truman wanted to make a peace settlement at the 38th parallel, and issued a directive on 6 December 1950, referred to as the "gag order" by historian William Manchester, instructing Gen Douglas MacArthur to clear all of his future public statements through the State Department or Department of Defense. (21)
By April 1951, MacArthur had continued to make press statements that irritated President Truman because of their variance with his policy, to include a statement that sabotaged one of his peace initiatives. The clincher came after the Republican House minority leader, Hon. Joseph Martin, sent a letter to General Douglas MacArthur asking for his opinion about how the war should be conducted. Martin had already delivered an inflammatory speech on the House floor on February 12, 1951 advocating a wider war with China and the involvement of Nationalist Chinese troops. His last statement was: "If we are not in Korea to win, then this Truman administration should be indicted for the murder of thousands of American boys."
Gen. MacArthur responded with a letter dated March 20, expressing sympathy for Congressman Martin's views. It ended with the line, "As you point out, we must win. There is no substitute for victory." MacArthur did not indicate in his letter whether he wanted it to be kept confidential or not. On April 5, Congressman Martin proceeded to read MacArthur's letter on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. It made front page news around the world. Very shortly thereafter General MacArthur was summarily fired by President Truman. (22)
General Douglas MacArthur had considerable support from the media, Congress, and the general citizenry. According to the Gallup poll taken during the political fire storm ignited by MacArthur's dismissal, 69% of American voters backed him. (23) He was. invited to give a speech before Congress and received numerous standing ovations. He also spoke to large crowds across America. But MacArthur still was not reinstated. But then again, continuing his command under limited war conditions may not have necessarily been Gen MacArthur's ultimate objective. My impression from reading American Caesar, William Manchester's biography about MacArthur, was that Gen MacArthur was consciously willing to accept the costs of going out in a flame in order to fully dramatize and publicize his views. His public statements and the public indignation caused by his dismissal inflicted considerable political damage on Truman's Democratic administration. He helped to pave the way for General Dwight D. Eisenhower, a Republican, to get elected President in 1952.


Taking his case to the people. Gen. MacArthur addresses a crowd
of 50,000 citizens at Soldiers Field, Chicago, April 1951.


Gen Douglas MacArthur's 19 April 1951 farewell address to Congress attacked Truman's "No-Win War" policy

MacArthur justified his attempt to end-run the President in his unauthorized press statements by saying to a Senate Committee "I find in existence a new and heretofore unknown and dangerous concept, that members of our armed forces owe primary allegiance or loyalty of those who temporarily exercise the authority of the executive branch or the government rather than to the country and its Constitution which they are sworn to defend." President Truman felt just as strongly that he was adhering to higher principal as well. Truman wrote, "If I allowed him to defy the civil authorities in this manner, I myself would be violating my oath to uphold and defend the Constitution." (24)
Like the Col. Mitchell case, most of MacArthur's independent thought involved military operations. As the United Nations theater commander, MacArthur's strategic and political concerns were within his military role and area of expected competence. He had a legal right to go to the press to inform the American public.
On an operational level, MacArthur's views were fully justified by necessity. After the Chinese commenced their offensive, American troops suffered one of the worst retreats in American history under extreme cold weather conditions. The only operational problem involved MacArthur's usurpation of civilian authority. But even that problem had many complications, since MacArthur was not only accountable to the Commander in Chief, but also to Congress, the Constitution, and the American public. He had to balance out all of these loyalties with an operational requirement from the President to maintain secrecy to support the President's policy initiatives.
The political battle created a redeeming victory of sorts. Unlike the Butler case, MacArthur was summarily dismissed and not given the opportunity to use a trial as a way to dramatize his case. However, like the Butler case, a sympathetic press nevertheless did most of the vital public affairs work for MacArthur. Although MacArthur was not reinstated, he politically damaged Truman and achieved a spoiling victory. It is important to note, however, that MacArthur had to devote a lot more time and energy than Butler to fully achieve his victory. To maintain media attention, he went on whirlwind public speaking tour around the country. He tried to run for President. He also spent considerable time testifying before Congress. In this way he sustained the momentum he lacked by virtue of not having the high drama of an approaching court martial to sustain public interest.


Col Edwin Walker, 1909-1993

Whereas MacArthur's conflict with President Truman involved strategic policy issues and questions about military manipulation of public opinion through the press, MajGen Walker's conflict with the Kennedy Administration involved issues pertaining to ideology and command influence. It occurred less than three years prior to the film releases of 1964, the year in which Hollywood portrayed "out of control" U.S. military commands on either a leadership or system level in such movies as Seven Days In May (a group of U.S. military leaders orchestrate a coup attempt against a President who negotiates a generous disarmament treaty with the Soviets), Dr. Strangelove (a mentally unbalanced U.S. Air Force commander with radical right anti-Communist views independently launches an unprovoked B-52 nuclear strike against the Soviet Union), and Failsafe (a unit of Vindicator supersonic bombers is accidentally launched on an irrevocable nuclear attack mission against Soviet cities as a result of a system malfunction, and certain hardline U. S. and Soviet military officers try to sabotage the last ditch agreements made over the "hotline" to damage-control the situation by the American President and the Soviet Premier).

Hollywood responds to the Walker affair. Above, in Seven Days in May, U.S. President Jordan Lyman (played by Fredric March) confronts General James Mattoon Scott (Burt Lancaster). Behind the scenes, Gen. Scott has helped organize a coup against the President. In the picture below, in the Cold War black comedy Dr. Strangelove, the "right wing" base commander Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) justifies a preemptive nuclear strike against the Soviet Union with language that quickly degenerates into kookiness, to include his revelations about his "loss of essence" and the use of fluoridated water as part of "a Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids." *


MajGen "Ted" Walker was a heavily decorated combat leader who had led an elite U.S.-Canadian force in the Aleutians, Italy, France, Germany, and Norway during World War II. His unit had broken a German defense line prior to the Monte Cassino battle in Italy, and had made a daring landing in south France. In the Korean War he commanded an artillery regiment that set new efficiency records, and in 1957 he commanded the 101st Airborne Division during the Little Rock, Arkansas school integration crisis. At the time of the incident, he commanded the 24th Infantry Division in Germany. This unit had fine morale and the highest reenlistment rate of any American unit in Germany. He was a very devout man and exerted a strong religious influence. Chapel attendance had increased eight fold since he took command in 1959.
MajGen Walker was deeply disturbed by the independent paper Overseas Weekly that was published under the auspices of Stars and Stripes and distributed to U.S. troops in Europe. Dubbed the "Oversexed Weekly" by G.I.'s, it was notorious for its treatment of the news and had once been removed from newsstands by the Army brass for being almost lewd and pornographic. Gen Walker believed that it was a "Communist-influenced" paper.
To promote the moral, spiritual, and patriotic health of all servicemen in his command, MajGen. Walker gave his information officer, Maj. Archibald E. Roberts, the task of developing a six hour "Citizen in Service" lecture program. Spread over three days and taught in base theaters, part of the program covered such topics as orientation to Germany, the Soldier's Code, and the prevention of alcoholism and venereal disease. However, the bulk of the program had the tone of the World War II Why We Fight series, except now Communism was the enemy instead of German Nazism and Italian and Japanese Fascism. Segments explained the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the American way of life, Communism, Communist psychological warfare methods, and Communist infiltration and subversion objectives in America. Numerous segments extolled faith in God, the Bible, and Christian principals as the highest embodiment of the American way of life on the religious side of the U.S. and the Constitution as the highest embodiment on the political side. (25)
MajGen. Walker was operating under a three year old National Security Council policy created by the Eisenhower administration that called for a mobilization of all organs of Government --military, diplomatic, and civilian, in the Cold War struggle. There were numerous Department of Defense programs that had been implemented across America in which U.S. military facilities, U.S. Government films, and a combination of military and civilian lecturers were being used to educate civilians on the Communist threat, to include programs that linked alleged Communist infiltration with declining morals in American society. (26)
On 13 April 1961, the Overseas Weekly printed an article claiming that prior to the commencement of the "Citizenship in Service" program, MajGen. Walker had stood before 200 members of the Parent Teachers Association connected with the 24th division and had described certain American political figures as "definitely pink" and certain American news commentators as "confirmed Communists". It linked the alternate name of his program, "Pro-Blue Troop Training", with the John Birch Society's book of basic principals called the "Blue Book." The newspaper also claimed that copies of the book "The Life of John Birch" were distributed to the division's day rooms and that copies of the Birch Society's magazine, American Opinion, were put on sale on Army newsstands. Furthermore, the division newspaper, The Taro Leaf, had reprinted an article from American Opinion. In this article were words to the effect that, "Democracy degenerates into mobocracy. The United States is a republic, not a democracy. Let's keep it that way." (27)
The day after the Overseas Weekly article appeared on newsstands on American bases in Europe, The New York Times ran a front page story distributed across America titled "Birch Unit Ideas Put to U.S. Troops" that repeated the allegations made by Overseas Weekly. In the same 14 April issue, the New York Times ran stories about how the founder of the "ultra-conservative" John Birch Society, Robert Welch, had encountered hostility in one of his talks in California. Welch was reported to believe that the United States is not supposed to be a democracy but a republic, and that the social security system was "socialism", and that "socialism was but one aspect of police state communism". Less than a month earlier, in its March 10 issue, Time Magazine compared one of Welch's books to Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf, and claimed that the "elitist" and "secretive" society consisted of cells located in 35 states under the "hardboiled, dictatorial direction of one man who sees democracy as a perennial fraud." (28) According to The New York Times and Time articles, Birchers believed that the U.S. was heavily Communist-infiltrated, favored right-to-work laws forbidding compulsory union membership, disdained United Nations influence on U.S. sovereignty, and felt that Chief Justice Earl Warren was so far to the left that he deserved to be impeached.
MajGen Walker was relieved of command by President Kennedy pending investigation and transferred to a "pigeon hole" job at the Army headquarters in Heidelberg in the place of assuming command of the 8th Corps in Texas as previously scheduled. In June 1961 he was officially "admonished" by the Secretary of the Army, Elvis J. Stahr, Jr. MajGen Walker subsequently filed a libel and slander suit against a German reporter who worked for Overseas Weekly in a German Court. Not long thereafter he resigned from the Army.
An Army investigation determined that Gen Walker's program had nothing to do with the John Birch Society. A First Sergeant in his command told a reporter that he was the one who had ordered Birch material and made it available in reading rooms, and that MajGen Walker, "Did not push Birch stuff on the troops. He put the information on the barrel head and let them choose." Walker's "pro-Blue" name was simply meant to be a positive way of saying "anti-Red". In response to an inquiry by Senator Barry Goldwater, the Secretary of the Army reported that:

No substantial evidence was revealed that General Wa1ker had referred to former President Harry S. Truman, Dean Acheson [Truman's Secretary of State], and Eleanor Roosevelt as "definitely pink" as alleged by Overseas Weekly, but it was established that he had staged or inferred that these prominent persons are leftist influenced or affiliated. It was also established that General Walker had mentioned Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, and Eric Severeid as being leftist or Communist-influenced commentators, and that he had stated that 60 percent of the American press and the radio-television industry were Communist influenced, not Communist controlled. The investigation also revealed that General Walker's strong anti-Communist feeling frequently led his talks to become heated and intense, with the use of excessively strong language. He had previously been cautioned on at least three occasions to refrain from language of this nature.

Not long after Senator J. William Fulbright became aware of the incident, he sent a twenty two page memo to President John F. Kennedy and Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara which charged that in at least eleven instances across the country, "Programs closely identified with military personnel made use of extremely radical right wing speakers and/or materials, with the probable result of condemning foreign and domestic policies of the administration in the public mind." It would be extremely dangerous, Fulbright said, "if the military is infected with the virus of rightwing radicalism." He added, "In the long run, it is quite possible that the principal problem of leadership will be, if it is not already, to restrain the desire of the people to hit the Communists with everything we've got, particularly if there are more Cubas and Laoses." (29)
MajGen Walker received public support from scattered citizen groups that fully agreed with his "ultra-conservative" views, but there were not enough of them to inflict more than negligible political damage on the Kennedy Administration. He had the active support of a number of senators such as Strom Thurmond (D-SC) and John Tower (R-TX), but they lacked the clout to override opposing senators, the President, and the Secretary of Defense.
Walker did receive some media support. This included The Chicago Tribune and a number of small independent regional papers, particularly in the South, that used terms like "smeared", "crucified", and "railroaded" in their stories. The national radio commentator Paul Harvey urged listeners to write their Congressmen in support. However, America's more influential media sources were not sympathetic, particularly those that Gen Walker had labeled as "communist-influenced."
The 24 July 1961 New York Times editorialized "It is nonsense to argue, as has Senator Strom Thurmond, that the effect of the order [a Department of Defense directive reflecting Senator Fulbright's intent] is to prevent military commanders from teaching their troops `the nature of the menace of world communism.' As Senator Fulbright's memorandum points out more accurately, the problem has risen because some officers have adopted the Right Wing radical technique of "equating social legislation with socialism, and the latter with communism." Given such a weird assumption, it is no great step to jump to the conclusion that the social welfare program of the Kennedy Administration is somehow `Communist' and `subversive.' It is the promulgation of this kind of extremist fantasy by a few officers on active duty and acting in their official capacities which needs to be stopped." (30)
Major Arch Roberts was relieved of his duties as an information officer and later reassigned to a stateside tour. Disgruntled, he appeared before a meeting of the Daughters of the American Revolution and said, "All citizens, in and out of uniform, are very concerned about civilian control [over the army] when one channel of that control terminates in the office of a Communist." Within days after that remark, he was dismissed from military service by the Secretary of the Army. (31)
The aftermath of the Walker affair was described in an editorial titled "One Man's Battle" that appeared in the September 4, 1965 issue of the conservative Chicago Tribune:

Three years ago Maj Arch E. Roberts was removed from active duty status for making a speech before the Daughters of the American Revolution which offended Army censorship and government officials. Roberts, after 18 years' service, stood to lose his service pension as well as his place in the army.
He went to court and finally won a verdict that he should be restored to duty with "all the rights, privileges, and emoluments" he had previously enjoyed. The ruling will protect all Army reservists with 18 or more years of service from summary separation in the future without a hearing.
Roberts is now back in uniform and has received $24,000 in accumulated back pay, after a deduction of $12,000 for income tax and other claims. But his fight for reinstatement left him broke. He had to borrow $20,000 to keep his family going, and legal fees took another $20,000.
The Secretary of the Army dismissed him in violation of a specific statute preserving the rights of veteran reservists. Although the Secretary was the offender, the burden of proof was placed on Major Roberts, and also the expense of justifying himself.
The major was a casualty of the campaign to censor utterances of military men instituted during the administration of President Kennedy. The campaign to gag the military grew out of the celebrated "Fulbright memorandum," sent to Mr. Kennedy in 1961 by Senator J. William Fulbright, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee.
Sen. Fulbright felt that military officers were talking too much about the menace of communism, and that their disposition to speak out showed them to be infected with the virus of right-wing radicalism. He thought "the danger is great" if the military engaged in educating the public.
Among Fulbright's contentions was that the "right wing" equated social legislation with socialism, and the latter with communism, and that accordingly such utterances constituted an attack on the Democratic administration's social welfare programs and policy.
As an exercise in anti-anti-communism, this is just about what could be expected of Senator Fulbright. But it was sufficient to embark the administration on a campaign to suppress any statements by military men which might be offensive to the Kremlin, which, in the view of the administration, was "mellowing" and moving toward "convergence" with the United States and the West. As a consequence, the blue pencil was overworked in Washington and all seminars and troop indoctrination programs relating to the real nature of communism were discouraged ...

Walker showed some role conflict in the heated way that he expressed his opinions before public audiences. His opponents insinuated that he tried to exploit a regimented military environment to "push Birch literature" on troops, thereby possibly infringing on their rights as thinking citizens to form their own opinions.
On an operational level, Walker had justifiable reason to be concerned about the morale of his men. He had some authority, based upon Eisenhower's National Security Council policy and the Why We Fight precedent, to be concerned about ideological instruction. The biggest operational problem came from the appearance that he was usurping the policy creation authority of the Kennedy Administration and such liberal members of Congress as J. William Fulbright.
Walker lost the political battle on two levels. First, he lacked preponderant media support and supportive Congressional majority. Walker also lost on the second level of being able to generate and exploit momentum and launch successful rebuttals.
It was Walker's Public Affairs officer Arch Roberts who tried to exploit the momentum. However, as an active duty officer, Roberts was in an extremely weak position to go public and explain the complexities and specifics of his message. He also lacked MajGen Walker's stature as a ranking military person and war hero to create a strong draw in the national speaking circuit. Roberts successfully sued the Secretary of Defense, but it was a Pyrrhic victory at best, since this counter stroke came long after public awareness of the Walker Affair had faded. Later Roberts wrote a series of books, that included Victory Denied, to gain some exposure among rightist readers in America.

In the final analysis, however, neither Walker nor Roberts succeeded in discrediting either the Kennedy Administration or the hostile press used against them; to the contrary, the damaging impressions created against them remained largely unrefuted in the public mind. Neither Walker nor Roberts fully exploited any opportunities to make unjust reporting boomerang on its perpetrators.
Even Roberts' book Victory Denied gives a very incomplete and fragmented picture of the case. I had to dig through the Congressional Record and New York Times microfilm to get a more coherent sense of the story, and was surprised by the amount of important background material, much of it which was favorable, that Roberts left out of his book. He clearly did a less than outstanding job of packaging his case. Then again, the entire "Pro-Blue" lecture series involved such a wide variety of issues that it is difficult to succinctly package a short and concise defense of the program. Furthermore, if in fact Roberts were right, and the U.S. Government were infiltrated with Communists in high places and the national media was unfavorably biased, that is certainly a much bigger problem to analyze and act upon than the campaign by Butler to discredit Mussolini or MacArthur's campaign to frustrate Truman's Korean War policy. Certainly Roberts, and perhaps Walker, lacked the financial means to independently publish widely and make the national lecture and talk show circuit.

As an important sequel to the Walker Affair, the Warren Commission concluded that "pro-Castro" Lee Harvey Oswald (right) tried to assassinate "right wing" MajGen Edwin Walker (left, just after the incident) by shooting through a window of his house while he was sitting at a desk on April 10, 1963. Walker allegedly got wounded in this nationally publicized incident. In Chapter 17 of Mission of Conscience, I provide an extract from Michael Collins Piper's Final Judgment which suggests that Oswald was a deep cover agent provocateur who was helping the CIA set up a fake assassination attempt by "pro-Cuban communists" against JFK to justify an invasion of Cuba. This attempt in Dallas to kill Kennedy was supposed to be unsuccessful, just like Oswald's attempt against Walker. However, once the pro-Mossad faction of the CIA actually killed JFK, members of the CIA "pro-Castro" subplot became so compromised that they were forced to keep their mouths shut. If all this is true, an important follow on question is whether John F. Kennedy would have had a significantly greater chance of survival if he had surrounded himself with men like MajGen. Walker --who was probably genuinely patriotic and well-intentioned-- instead of firing Walker, miring himself deeper in intrigue, and leaving himself more vulnerable to pro-Mossad snakes. Books like Final Judgment, or the "snake book" series by Col Donn de Grand Pre leave one with the impression that the threat of national subversion was in many ways much more dangerous than MajGen. Walker suggested in his "Pro-Blue Troop" educational efforts. However, Piper's book The Judas Goats also points out that the John Birch Society has historically promoted a narrow form of patriotism in which it has condemned critics of Israel, Zionism, and the Jewish Lobby as "neutralizers." Therefore to the extent that Walker and his followers may have confined themselves to Birch ideology, their effectiveness in resisting the Mossad would have been very limited.



I am a great believer in maximizing First Amendment rights for military personnel. However, my personal intent is not to encourage either permissiveness or confrontation, but rather to create a higher order of functioning on both an intellectual and spiritual level. Through an honest, broad-based, and vigorous search for truth on an intellectual level, military personnel can develop scientific problem solving skills and a coherent worldview that encourages military success. By freely informing their deepest instincts and sense of ultimate meaning, they can elevate their spirit and strengthen their will to win. All of these things help them to more effectively support and defend constitutional government. Although military personnel are prohibited by law from engaging in overt political activity, in order to intelligently guard a changing society they must be free to critically assess it's strengths and weaknesses.
I would prefer to serve alongside educated and thinking military personnel than find myself amidst naive, gullible, and irrational people. Despite the trepidations that films such as Dr. Strangelove and Seven Days In May can give U.S. taxpayers, I believe that they ultimately want thinking people as guardians of constitutional government. In my view there is no such thing as people who "think too much", but rather only people who fail to fully test or research their ideas or fail to completely think through the consequences of their actions.
The use of military force, the final resort in any domestic or international situation, may be too serious a matter to leave to the generals, as the saying goes, but it is also too serious a matter to leave only to the politicians, or for that matter to anyone particular segment of our society. The key is for military personnel to learn how to exercise their First Amendment rights in an intelligent way that simultaneously makes them both better citizens and better servicemen.
Freedom of speech issues are typically slippier to handle than ordinary UCMJ offenses because of their ideological nature. Frequently "poor judgment" is simply a matter of timing. MajGen Smedley Butler's "imprudent public remarks" on Mussolini in 1931 became officially encouraged views for military officers to publicly expound in 1942. One usually has to balance out opposing arguments for and against free speech in the military as well as consider the timing issue in order to assess a free speaker's level of judgment. I conceptualize the arguments as occurring in three areas of analysis: competing legal rights, competing operational requirements, and competing political influence.


This area addresses concepts that a legal counsel would likely consider in an administrative or disciplinary proceeding involving a First Amendment issue. Typical charges under the Uniform Code of Military Justice that would apply to a freedom of speech case consist of Article 88, uttering contemptuous words against the President and other civilian "'officials, Article 133, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman, and Article 134, disorders and neglect to the good conduct and discipline of the U.S. Armed Forces.
An administrative proceeding is conducted by a Board of Inquiry and has the power to involuntarily separate a person from the service. It is convened by a military commander who feels that the results of an investigation are serious enough to merit separation, but are not so serious or clear cut as to merit a Court Martial. The board consists of three officers of the same rank or greater of the respondent (defendant). The respondent is entitled to a defense counsel at government expense. Strict rules of evidence do not apply. Based upon the evidence provided at the hearing, the board makes findings on each of the proposed reasons for separation. Findings are determined by majority vote and based upon a preponderance of the evidence presented. If none of the reasons specified are supported by sufficient evidence, the case is dropped. If the board finds sufficient evidence, it makes a recommendation as to whether the respondent should be separated from the military and the character of the discharge. This recommendation must be approved by the command level and the office of the office of the Secretary of the service prior to separation. The respondent may contest the decision at each stage in writing.
A Court Martial involving a freedom of speech case is no different from any other legal proceeding, and strict rules of evidence apply. A serviceman may be awarded confinement and other punishments in addition to an involuntary discharge.

Pro-freedom of speech legal arguments:

(a) Constitutional Rights. The First Amendment of the Constitution reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." The Constitution also grants a basic right to be secure in ones person, houses, papers (Amendment IV), provides protection against self incrimination (Amendment V), states that the enumeration of the Constitution, or certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people (Amendment IX), and that the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, or to the people (Amendment X).
Under Amendment I, a person has a right of association with any person or group he pleases. The citizen has the right to campaign to change any laws so long as he does not directly incite or use illegal means or violate the Constitutional rights of others. (A private citizen can legally advocate secession of a region from the Union or the dissolution of the Constitution itself so long as he confines himself to a peaceful Constitutional Amendment process aimed at passing two thirds of both houses of Congress and three fourths of the state legislatures in the U.S.) Amendment X drives home the point that the government does not give us freedom of speech. Rather, we already have freedom of speech as an inherent right. These rights precede the creation of government. We only give to government those powers necessary to protect our free speech rights. Therefore under Amendment X a person is entitled to freedom of speech in all cases unless the government specifically restricts him in an area.
The U.S. citizen has a right to read anything and discuss anything he pleases provided that his acquisition process does not illegally invade privacy or compromise various forms of incitement of illegal activities. A citizen has no obligation to the government or anyone else to disclose what he reads or his level of knowledge or what he thinks (Amendments IV and V). Nor does his possession of controversial materials or willingness to pass them along necessarily imply a belief in those materials. And even if a person does believe in "extreme" or "radical" materials, that in itself does not constitute criminality. Ideas in themselves are not criminal, only illegal acts.
Department of Defense Directive 1325.6 (12 Sept 1969) states: "While the mere possession of unauthorized printed material may not be prohibited, printed matter which is prohibited from distribution shall be impounded if the Commander determines that an attempt will be made to distribute it." (32) One can read and possess one copy of any publication one wants, since no one can reasonably determine from one copy that an attempt will be made to distribute it. It can be examined by military superiors, but it must be returned to the individual at once. (33)
For any military personnel worried about the spread of "dangerous ideas", I would point out that when the Constitution was written, it assumed a certain level of basic competence, innate altruism, and self-sufficiency on the part of the people it designated as citizens. That is a major reason for the last two Amendments of the Bill of Rights (IX and X), which delimit government as a necessary evil hired by the people. The U.S. Government was never conceptualized as an all wise and benevolent Big Brother that can legitimately rule by force, magnanimity, monopoly power, or "divine right".
Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "There is not a truth existing which I fear, or would wish unknown to the whole world." He also said, "I would rather have newspapers without a government than a government without newspapers."
It is important to note that Jefferson's skepticism did not just stop with government, but included all sources of influence, to include media sources. Jefferson once commented, "Nothing can now be believed that is see in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put in that polluted vehicle." (34)
Among intelligent and mature people, "dangerous ideas" do not exist; only incompetent people lacking in "republican virtue" who must make either the government or specific media sources their Big Brother. People possessing "republican virtue" should be able to discuss controversial --and even highly explosive and volatile-- ideas in a gentlemanly and academic atmosphere of open debate, in which critics can remain enfranchised as "loyal opposition".
The term "republican virtue" goes back to Roman writers of the Roman Republican era. The term "republic" comes from "res publica" or "for the public"; "virtue" implies conformity to a standard of right, so the term suggests a capacity for rational, self-restrained, and altruistic behavior on the part of the citizenry to promote the kind of rational government that serves the people.**
I believe that in the long run we always pay a price for our delusions and ignorance, both in terms of real costs and opportunity costs, that is greater than anything we gain from our misunderstandings of reality. To better grasp reality we need a free market place of ideas and rational debate. A broad data base is a necessary prerequisite before any kind of rational problem solving becomes feasible. Open and gentlemanly debate is not an affectation; it is a necessity for any society that wishes to function on a highly rational level and enjoy scientific progress.
To me the U.S. Constitution is more than a legalistic document; it reflects a state of mind and quality of intellect. It reflects the judicious mental traits, sense of decency, and inherently rational approach to life of certain Enlightenment thinkers. This is my sense of how the term "gentleman" relates to the expression, "an officer and a gentleman."
Freedom of speech and the right to know is virtually worthless when a person can not access a wide variety of original source materials, no matter how controversial they are, to verify and cross check source information and gain comprehensive knowledge. This is an important point for military commanders to keep in mind before they reflexively clamp down on any military person who reads material or discusses ideas not considered "mainstream."
In George Orwell's book 1984, Big Brother is extremely concerned about letting people see anything other than his own highly edited second hand material that defines "mainstream" views. Big Brother's Ministry of Truth serves the important function of ferreting out original source items that are displeasing to Big Brother, to include autobiographies, personal documents, and philosophical tracts, and throwing them down the "memory hole" for destruction. People who fail to "crimestop" their own thoughts by asking the "wrong" questions risk getting arrested by the Thought Police for their "thoughtcrime". In contrast to this, in a free society, we should be able to quickly access the full spectrum of ideas, whether it is through a college library or the exhaustive Books In Print Catalog held by most book stores, and obtain controversial materials either openly or privately (eg. with a P.O. Box pseudonym and money orders) without fear of retribution. ***
(b) Right to support and defend the Constitution. An individual has the right to counter any destructive activity against our constitutional system, to include the right to speak out against incompetence, waste, fraud, treason, and disastrous policies. This is the "right" we ordinarily exercise in conducting our routine military duties which are designed to help strengthen America militarily against her armed enemies. This right, validated by our oath to protect the Constitution, can quickly go from being routine to "high risk" when a person feels compelled by conscience to buck "conventional wisdom" in the name of higher principal to defend a viable constitutional government. If the majority of people do not automatically recognize the danger and rally in support, or do not feel the situation is grave enough to merit public denunciation, or feel that a person failed to exhaust remedies at the lowest level first, one can find oneself in an extremely precarious situation, just like Major Roberts after his D.A.R. talk. ****

Limitations on free-speech:

The military has competing rights that it can assert over the individual's basic rights just mentioned. The theory is that the individual does not lose these basic rights, he may simply lose the right to remain in the military while exercising them.
(a) The right of an armed force to protect its image and official status. This is similar to the right of civilian corporations to discharge any employees who adversely affect the corporate image. A civilian corporation has no requirement to continue providing a position, salary, and prestige to someone who uses their membership as a platform for views that the corporate leadership finds damaging to its image. Since military leaders are required to be highly disciplined, are known to have access to classified information, and are subordinated to civilian authority, their official actions must be consistent with the public perception that their comments automatically mirror the policy of their civilian superiors.
(b) Separation of powers. The First Amendment separates church and state and the Hatch Act prevents federal civil service employees from engaging too deeply in partisan political activities. Officers are prohibited from wearing their uniforms at political rallies. During the Walker case, a number of media sources complained that the "Pro-Blue Troop" training program referred to the United States as a Christian nation that must follow Christian principles. These sources protested that this violated traditional separation between Church and State for a commander to be giving official endorsement to any particular religion.
(c) The right of managerial discretion: To function efficiently, both civilian corporations and the military have the right to choose, dismiss, or reassign personnel based on such intangibles as "leadership" and "suitability." Eisenhower did not even need an explanation when he "kicked Patton upstairs" to appease the press. Generally speaking, as people rise higher in organizations, more aspects of their lives come under scrutiny. Under the right of managerial discretion comes responsibility for the good conduct and discipline of the armed forces and the right to curb "conduct unbecoming," which I cover in detail later. Military officers serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States. The President or one of his secretaries can issue a plenary discharge to any officer he sees fit, which is essentially a right of arbitrary dismissal. The Secretary of the Army dismissed Major Roberts for the comments he made at the Daughters of the American Revolution meeting.
(d) The right to maintain security. Generally speaking, the closer military personnel get to a combat situation, the more this right supercedes any personal rights. However, even in peacetime the military has extraordinary rights in this area, as explained later.


This area involves the "value to the military" viewpoint typically held by a commander who has convening authority for an administrative or disciplinary proceeding regarding a First Amendment issue.

Pro-free speech:

(a) Requirement to promote initiative and a rational and creative problem solving capability. To function efficiently and adapt to changing environments, the military needs both a free flow of information and access to a wide range of facts and diverse viewpoints. Military personnel are expected to fight in every clime and place, serve diplomatic missions, and perform domestic missions in time of internal crisis. They have served quasi-political missions such as the Combined Action Platoons in Vietnam in which the ability to understand political and cultural matters was vital.
The military has to allow subordinates the freedom to keep their superiors fully informed. No military forces can function effectively and retain the confidence of the U.S. taxpayer if its leaders begin to act like the proverbial Chinese emperor who beheaded messengers with disagreeable tidings or unusual ideas. To the extent that a critical mind is a symptom of intelligence and creativity, no military force can expect to purge all of its critical people and remain a superior fighting force.
(b) Requirement to resolve grievances and promote communication for morale purposes. The military will typically sanction the private conversation. The Naval service usually will not prosecute a person who makes disrespectful remarks under such circumstances. Request Mast procedures allow any sailor or Marine the right to state grievances all the way up the chain of command to the head of the service. Department of Defense policy also places strict time limits on the amount of time each military branch has to respond to any Congressional inquiries generated by complaints by servicemen to their Congressmen. These modes of communication act as vital pressure valves and forms of feedback to help prevent abuses. They also keep up morale.
(c) Requirement to protect citizenship rights. Since servicemen are sworn to uphold the Constitution, they need the intellectual latitude to be able to discuss issues related to the Constitutional principles they are sworn to support and issues they are entitled to vote on. It is inconsistent to make a career out of defending liberty and the Constitution in an organization that goes overboard to eradicate it in all areas. If the intellectual environment becomes too oppressive, it can seriously erode the will to fight and the loyalty and retention level of quality personnel.

Limitations on free speech:

(a) Requirement to maintain good order and discipline. The military requires tight discipline to fulfill its combat mission, particularly for "first to fight" elite units. It must intervene in situations that degrade morale and impair the ability of its personnel to function as a team. It must resist any forms of political or social organization that threaten military authority and efficiency, such as the creation of military unions or subversive societies. Under normal working conditions, it must make work performance and mission accomplishment a higher priority than the satisfaction of intellectual curiosity for its own sake. Finally, to accomplish its mission, the military has unique security and lifestyle requirements. It can not afford to wait until a shooting war to find out who can be trusted with classified information. It is authorized to gather personal information and examine the pattern of an individual's behavior to make a judgment about their trustworthiness. In terms of lifestyle, the American public allows the military enormous latitude to maintain a cultural environment regarding personal appearance, mannerisms, and other elements that support a climate of pride and discipline. The military must be able to control or weed out unhygienic, homosexual, incompetent, or other types of personality patterns that it believes will undermine its cultural environment and organizational effectiveness.
(b) Requirement to curb "conduct unbecoming" officers. Even in cases where the Armed Forces can not demonstrate any impact on good order and discipline, it can still come after an officer under this catch all provision. This is why the government is perceived as having most of the firepower in freedom of speech cases on its side.
Under ordinary circumstance, this provision involves cases which reflect poorly on the character, integrity, self-control, and reliability of an officer, such as incidents involving child molestation, family abandonment, or dishonorable failure to pay debts. The military should not have to wait for a combat situation in which thousands of lives are at stake in order to remove or discipline a deeply flawed individual. However, in military freedom of speech cases, the concept of "conduct unbecoming" tends to be much more nebulous. How does one define "distasteful" ideas or "obnoxious" ideology?
The fact that allegations may be very nebulous still may not save an individual before a Board of Inquiry or a Court Martial. He still has the practical problem of finding friendly witnesses, to include his commanding officer, coworkers, and subordinates, who are willing to take the stand in uniform and affirm that the unusual views stated by this individual are not "conduct unbecoming", are not a threat to "good conduct and discipline" of the military, are not signs of poor leadership or work performance, and are not grounds for removal from the military. This can be a tough thing for any individual to do, no matter how honorable his behavior or intentions have been, since the mere fact that he faces allegations already shows command disfavor and marks him as a black sheep.
(c) Requirement of civilian authorities for total operational control over the military. The court-martial of Col Mitchell punished him for showing disrespect to his civilian authorities. The attempted court martial of MajGen Smedley Butler allowed the U.S. Government to show the Italian government that Butler's civilian authorities did not necessarily agree with him and held the upper hand. President Truman felt that Gen MacArthur was usurping his policy-making authority, as did Kennedy with Walker.
(d) Requirement for security and deception planning. Knowledge is a form of power. The job of the military is to defend this country against enemies, who by their very nature want to put information to hostile use. To deny them this information, it treats certain types of knowledge as controlled items through the security classification process. Furthermore, the military weakens enemies not only through the denial of information, but also through the process of feeding false or distorted information to enemies ("All war is based on deception" said the ancient military philosopher Sun Tzu). In Psychological Operations, the issue becomes even more complicated, because frequently the best propaganda consists of highly edited forms of the truth. It plays on an audience that lacks the time or competence to adequately digest information or lacks the ability to access competing information. In this sense, "truth" can become a weapon for subversive purposes.
The deep involvement by the military with passive or overtly hostile uses of information clearly differs from the spirit of "freedom of speech" and "right to know" of the First Amendment. However, the simple difference is that the former case deals with "hostiles", whereas the latter case deals with "friendlies." When the First Amendment of the Constitution was drafted, it assumed that everyone who is allowed to have First Amendment rights as a voting citizen was a "friendly." Citizens who abuse their rights so that they can no longer be considered as "friendlies" are typically reclassified as "criminals", "traitors", "incompetents", or even "enemy aliens" and treated accordingly. The use of First Amendment rights by military personnel in their dealings with each other assumes that fellow servicemen can regard each other as "friendlies", that they are individually competent as voting citizens to handle controversial information, and that they have the time to cross check and digest controversial information without it impacting on immediate military operations.


This area involves the "value to society" of an exercise of freedom of speech, and typically involves the shared sentiments of both the military community and American society at large. This area focuses more on the intangibles, such as the relevance of issues raised to national concerns, the level of prestige of opposing interests, the moral image of the people involved, and the importance of preserving civil liberties within the framework of a free society and constitutional government.

Pro-free speech:

a). Ability to gain public, media, and Congressional allies. The Armed Forces are somewhat constrained by their need to maintain positive public relations. They require the good will of tax payers for full funding of their programs or to stave off budget cut backs. They are accountable to the press, elected government officials, judiciary, and ultimately the taxpayer. Commanders tend to think twice about instigating proceedings against people for their speech who they believe might receive widespread public, media, and Congressional support that could make them look bad. A military person can not be punished for threatening to write his Congressman, go to the press, or sue through the courts, since one can not be legally punished for threatening to do something legal. (35)
b). Ability to seize the moral high ground and remain personally attractive. It helps to create a moral, defensive, patriotic, unselfish, and even spiritual image. Can the free speaker show that his enemies are really attacking the Constitution and the most basic rights shared by any American who dares to speak his conscience? Can he show that he has always been honorable, decent, and fair in the way that he has treated other people, and that others are simply unwilling to give him the same rights that they have demanded and received for themselves all along? Can his opponents be characterized as uninformed, malicious, and unjust; people who are in essence martyring him? Can he claim that his speech is of a last resort nature that any person of conscience would feel compelled to sympathize with? Can he show that his ideals are consistent with the highest ideals and most admired spiritual qualities found in America?
The moral factor is very important. Upholding the truth or being technically correct may not necessarily earn meaningful support. One may also have to appeal to people's fundamental sense of decency to the point that they feel that it is indecent to NOT act in support.

Limitations on Free Speech:

a). Limited ability to litigate, lobby, and utilize media vs. Government's resources. Fighting the Government in court takes a lot of time and money. The Government has very deep pockets and a lot of personnel. Going to the press and going to elected public officials may serve an important citizenship duty by making important events a matter of public record, but one should bear in mind that Congressmen are heavily inundated with demands. The press is also inundated, to the extent that controversy is an every day affair. The process of packaging ones case and making contact with sources of influence can easily turn into a very expensive full time endeavor. After all of the work involved in making ones case public, ones case might still wind up as simply one more little leaf on the forest floor of national concerns.*****
b). Public desire for a disciplined, restrained, and civilian-subordinated military. Some predictable questions from the public and media are: "Was the situation really grave enough for a military man to speak up then and there?" "If his message is so compelling, why can not he trust some other means to disseminate it besides exploiting his service connection, such as using off duty word-of-mouth or acting as an `unidentified source' to journalists?" "What makes this serviceman think that he knows all the answers to buck his military and civilian authorities, especially with his work experience that is confined to the military?" "Why could not he just quietly resign his commission, exchange his uniform for mufti, and make the lecture circuit around the country?"
It can be a tough sell to satisfactorily answer all of these kinds of questions. Sometimes a media source will take just one weak area and hammer away at it. In criticizing MajGen Walker, the editor of the Overseas Weekly repeatedly claimed that Walker made illicit use of his authority to indoctrinate people while in an official capacity.


A FALSE lesson from the Walker case is to never think or discuss anything of a political or religious nature. As voting citizens of this country, active duty military personnel have every right to be attuned to politics and other matters despite the limitations of wearing a uniform. It is a paradox that sometimes one has to become politically astute to understand ones limits regarding ways to remain appropriately politically neutral or discreet on an official level as a military person. If Maj Roberts' had fully understood the political and media landscape in America, he might have anticipated the way in which Overseas Weekly was able to trigger a media blow-up.
Another false lesson is to assume that MajGen Walker and Maj Roberts simply failed to adequately grasp ultimate "truth." The case turned on the question of official influence rather than truth. On an academic level, if we simply stopped short at Senator Fulbright's comments linking certain political viewpoints with distasteful biological organisms such as viruses, we would risk committing the logical fallacies of "poisoning the well" and "false analogy". To begin to prove Walker right or wrong in his allegations regarding Communist influence, we would need to examine Walker's reasons and evidence in detail and then test them with opposing evidence and arguments. The Kennedy Administration never did this; nor did it ever probe Overseas Weekly.
"Violence of language" was the main issue in the Col Mitchell case, not "truth." Nor was "truth" the major issue in MajGen Smedley Butler's case. Butler's "truth" became "prudent" official policy twelve years later after he made his "imprudent" public remarks. Patton's "soft on Nazi" behavior became official policy several years later when the Marshall Plan was adopted. In MacArthur's case, the truthfulness of his sentiments about "no win" wars was not the key issue. The over riding issue was his lack of subservience to Truman's policy.
The issue really involves one of adequately gaging ones support and opposition and choosing ones methods and battles wisely in an official capacity while discretely enjoying the fullest freedom possible in a private capacity. Sometimes the overt political indoctrination of American troops has been officially encouraged and rewarded for military personnel. The Why We Fight film series shown to virtually all G.I.'s beginning with the first parts released in 1942 is a good example. Frank Capra, who directed the project, was on full time active duty as a Major. He reported directly to Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall, who included his signed statement, "Victory of the democracies can only be complete with the utter defeat of the war machines of Germany and Japan" at the end of the first film of the series, Prelude to War. The entire seven part series very definitely reflected political bias. Designed to motivate American troops for combat and foster Allied cooperation, it had nothing but good things to say about all of the Allies, to include Stalin's Communist Russia and Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist China, and nothing but bad things to say about Italy, Germany, and Japan, who are all treated as identical utterly evil fascist totalitarians, despite their enormous cultural and historical differences. The last film, War Comes To America, has nothing but good things to say about FDR's New Deal and reflects his Democratic ideology in its interpretation of the American way of life. The big difference with the Walker case is that the material was sanctioned all the way up the chain of command to include the Commander-in-Chief, Franklin D. Roosevelt. After seeing Prelude to War, FDR turned to his White House audience and said, "Every man, woman, and child in the world must see this film!" (36) Obviously President Kennedy had a different attitude towards "Pro-Blue Troop" training.
If a person's search for truth as an active duty military person leads him to develop dissenting views that are likely to cause official consternation, there are a number of ways he can discuss his views to satisfy his conscience and aid his intellectual development while significantly reducing the risk that official action will be taken against him.
(a) A serviceman's freedom of speech to express personal views becomes more protected as he reduces his level of service connection. This includes dissociating oneself from such "official" elements as being on duty, in uniform, or on base. One also becomes more protected as one avoids superior to subordinate relationships, avoids any indications that ones views reflect official policy, and avoids contact with untrustworthy people or people with unknown views and loyalties. This is not to say that it is illegal to voice personal opinions or dissenting views while delivering a speech in a fully official capacity before a mass military audience. A person can exercise his freedom of speech however he wants, it is just that as he gets closer to a fully official capacity, the right of the U.S. Government to assert its rights over his rights increases exponentially.
If MajGen Walker and Major Roberts had held voluntary meetings off base and out of uniform at their own expense and used a more academic approach, they probably would have avoided trouble. They might have even been able to successfully publish and distribute their views off base, particularly if they had used pseudonyms to reduce their service connection. According to an Army circular, "The publication of underground newspapers' by soldiers off-post, on their own time, and with their own money and equipment, is generally protected under the First Amendment's guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press." (37) In contrast to this, MajGen Walker and Maj Roberts promoted their views while they were in an on-duty capacity and used a dogmatic indoctrination approach before a captive military audience. They obtained all their course materials at Army expense, used Army facilities, and gave the impression that their views reflected official U.S. Government policy.
Off duty personnel in civilian attire very rarely if ever get convicted in a judicial proceeding for their speech alone. The very few cases of convictions have usually always involved only very blatant acts, such as a newspaper published by a sailor that encouraged other sailors to desert their units during the Vietnam war, or an Army Lieutenant dressed in civilian attire who carried an anti-Vietnam war protest sign just outside his base in a demonstration that disparaged President .Lyndon Johnson and his war policy. (38) However, even the latter case "caused some problems for a number of judges who reviewed the case, since civilian firemen, teachers, and policemen are allm.ved to publicly criticize a remote employer as opposed to one in which they have a direct working relationship. (39) The number of people who have been subjected to administrative proceedings for their off duty expression has been a different story, however.
(b) A serviceman's freedom of speech is more protected if his commanding officer, the base Staff Judge Advocate, or even the base public affairs 'officer have some kind of advanced knowledge about his views. People do not like to be surprised, and sometimes it is better to desensitize people and provide accurate information in advance rather than have them get the word through rumors or an incident. By keeping key personnel informed, a serviceman shows deference for the rank structure, can obtain important advice, and can get a reading on his level of support. A person might also want to explain how his views are intended to ultimately promote the defense of a viable constitutional system. Clearly MajGen Walker did not have approval all the way up his chain of command. However, we should bear in mind that MajGen Walker had a perfect IV and V Amendment right to withhold personal views and literature from his superiors so long as he was willing to avoid triggering incidents of official concern.
(c) A serviceman's freedom of speech is more protected when he imparts academic information in a calm environment as opposed to using agitation material in a stressed situation. An academic style tends to be even-handed, factual, scientific, non-sensational, and absent of contemptuous language. A serviceman can soften an academic style even more by using a conceptual, allegorical, or Socratic approach as opposed to making highly specific political recommendations or predictions or making vitriolic attacks on specific individuals, groups, or institutions.
Once again, it is perfectly legal for a serviceman to be vitriolic (short of libel or slander in civilian cases or disrespect under the UCMJ), highly specific, and subjective in his speech and to assume that the audience knows how to use discretion; it is just that this kind of behavior can be used to aggravate allegations made by ones adversaries. The Secretary of the Army claimed that MajGen Walker's strong anti-Communist feeling led his talks to "become heated and intense, with the use of excessively strong language" to aggravate his case against him.
(d) A serviceman's freedom of speech can become more protected if he can fully develop his ideas so that the full context, intellectual background, and clear meaning of what he is trying to say can be carefully studied by the audience and made the subject of scholarly rebuttal. The classic mode to do this is to write an article or book. This at least establishes a person's credibility as a scholarly and disciplined person rather than as someone who is impulsively "spouting off", and provides a mail-out, archival storage, and mass distribution capability that may be required for quick public relations and media contact work. With a book or pamphlet, one can also insert disclaimers, avoid reference to ones military connection, or even use a pseudonym. One can also subject ones thoughts to review by other people before a distribution is made to help insure that ones statements are taken in the manner intended. The flip side to all of this, of course, is that any time a person puts something in writing, he is creating "hard" evidence that can potentially be used against him, particularly if it has an "official" stamp on it, as was the case with the Pro-Blue Troop training program and Taro Leaf reprint of the John Birch article.
(e) A serviceman's freedom of speech is more protected when it appears spontaneous or welcomed by the audience, rather than part of some kind of premeditated mass "distribution" campaign that goes against military authority. As' suggested earlier, military authorities' can prohibit the distribution of literature they dislike on base and can also suppress public statements made by military personnel who act in an official capacity. President Truman issued several directives that ordered Gen MacArthur to distribute no speeches, press releases, or other statements until they had been cleared by the State Department or Defense Department.
(f) A serviceman's freedom of speech is more protected if he can figure out a way to disseminate his message without getting "acquired" and "targeted" by potential enemies. It can pay for a serviceman to do a thorough reconnaissance of his potential sympathizers and enemies prior to opening his mouth. Some people will launch nuisance actions and other forms of harassment just to waste the time and money of people who think differently from them even though they know that they do not have a valid case.
(g) A serviceman's freedom of speech is more protected if he uses extreme care in the way he handles any official contact with the media. During the annual USMC Commanders Media Training Symposia conducted in New York City and Los Angeles, media professionals typically advise military officers that there is no such thing as "off the record" with the press. Issues involving contact with the media can be complex, to the extent that a serviceman has the legal right to contact the press and make military events a matter of public record. However, one should bear in mind that one loses ones "private conversation" status once the views become public. A journalist is also free to establish a strong service connection to anything a serviceman says from the way he writes his story.
(h) A serviceman's freedom of speech becomes more protected if he can gain the support of reputable and substantial civilians or civilian organizations, to include organizations that support freedom of speech or can help fight a military person's political battles by proxy. This adds legitimacy to his message and raises the political stakes and costs for any adversaries. If the views of MajGen Walker and Maj Roberts had been published in a church bulletin printed at private expense and distributed off base rather than contained in the "Pro-Blue Troop" program, I think that the Government would have left them alone. If during their talks before their civilian audiences, they had asked certain civilians in advance to act as confederates and to make certain points for them during an introduction or question and answer period, they could have escaped personal quotation by the news media.
One should bear in mind that quite often civilian organizations can add only a slight bit of added protection when a military person speaks in an official status. Their support can actually backfire by creating the illusion that one has full protection. The active support of the Daughters of the American Revolution did not provide full protection for Maj Roberts, nor did the active support of the Republican House minority provide full protection for Gen Douglas MacArthur. Nevertheless, the support of these groups was far better than nothing.
(i) A serviceman's freedom of speech and right of peaceable assembly becomes more 'protected to the extent that he minimizes overt affiliation with politically unpopular organizations. The vulnerability suffered by MajGen Walker with the on-base John Birch Society literature is a clear example. The very negative story about the John Birch Society printed by Time Magazine one month before the Overseas Weekly-induced media blow-up was a signal that the rightist organization was being positioned as an unpopular group in American public opinion.
The flip side is that sometimes avoidance can create more problems than it solves for a person. Most individuals need the emotional support of a group. Most people need someone other than themselves to talk to. What value is the First Amendment in the United States in the first place if a person can only affiliate with people whose views are considered "popular" and "mainstream"?
Even in George Orwell's book 1984, all "goodthinkers" had the right to belong to popular "mainstream" organizations. "Goodthinkers" are people who are so brainwashed by Big Brother that they subconsciously and reflexively suffer overwhelming anxiety any time an idea that disagrees with Big Brother's official ideology is presented to them. They "crimestop" and reject ideas based upon appearance before substance even becomes an issue. Perhaps what is most disturbing about the "goodthinkers" is that in Orwell's novel the great mass of men inflict this slavish conformity on themselves independent of any real threats from Big Brother or his internal security forces, in essence creating their own oppression. What have we got left in America if we effectively have no more latitude than George Orwell's "goodthinkers" to affiliate with people?
Many people feel that so long as a person does not advocate illegal activity such as the violent overthrow of the U.S. Government, and his personal views on such issues as race, religion, sex, or politics do not interfere with his leadership on the job and do not result in discriminatory relations that violate military regulations and official policy guidance, he should be able to attend meetings of well-behaved but unpopular groups that advocate dramatic legal and peaceful changes in governmental policy on any of the issues just mentioned, particularly if his membership avoids an embarrassing public connection between his personal views and official military policy.
A number of unpopular or highly unusual groups have been openly tolerated by the Armed Forces. In the 1960's, when a United States Navy seaman who happened to be a Satanist died in the San Francisco area, he was given a well publicized funeral with a full Naval Honor Guard conducted by Church of Satan leader Anton LaVey. Army Lieutenant Colonel Dr. Michael Aquino edited the Cloven Hoof for the Church of Satan before leaving the organization in 1975 to found the Temple of Set, named after the Egyptian god of darkness. Aquino has been a frequent guest on the television/radio talk show circuit. His Temple, like the Church of Satan, denies any links to illegal and violent activities, despite repeated accusations made by a very generous supply of people who are displeased with his religious orientation. Although Aquino has been investigated numerous times, to include a reinvestigation demanded by U. S. Congressmen following an appearance on "Geraldo", "he retains a "White House level" security clearance as an active duty Army officer and has served billets in intelligence and civil affairs (according to a letter to an editor by a member of his Temple). (40)
I would assume that LtCol Aquino walks very circumspectly the moment he dons his uniform, does not speak for his religion while in an official capacity, does not try to indoctrinate subordinates, avoids violating the Constitutional rights of others, and is open and straightforward about the nature of his activities when questioned. There are also examples of tolerated servicemen who adhere to a wide variety of other unusual religions, ranging from "Wiccan (Witchcraft) and New Age to various indigenous Native American Indian, Asian, African, South American, and European religions.
In contrast to the aforementioned toleration level for certain religious groups, the toleration level for certain political groups is different. In 1986, former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger issued the following policy statement:

Military personnel must reject participation in organizations that espouse supremacist causes; attempt to create illegal discrimination based on race, creed, color, sex, religion, or national origin; or, advocate the use of force or violence, or otherwise engage in efforts, to deprive individuals of their civil rights. Active participation, such as publicly demonstrating or rallying, fund raising, recruiting and training members, and organizing or leading such organizations is incompatible with Military Service, and is therefore prohibited. Commanders have authority to employ the full range of administrative procedures, including separation or appropriate disciplinary action against military personnel who actively participate in such groups. (41)

According to the Common Cause Magazine article: "The KKK: Looking For A Few Good Men," prior to this policy statement, Morris Dees, Head of the Southern Poverty Law Center, approached the Secretary of Defense and requested that he take policy action in the wake of criminal acts committed by certain servicemen who had belonged to certain groups within the KKK or White Patriot Party. These criminal acts included advocating the violent imminent overthrow of the U.S. Government, violent attacks on black people, stealing weapons from military bases, and conducting paramilitary training that went against state laws. (42)
I share the concern of all decent Americans about criminal behavior, and believe that military personnel should be discouraged from membership in any organization of any political stripe characterized by criminal leadership and patterns of criminal activity. However, the wording of the policy statement has been interpreted by many people as going beyond the criminality issue to suggest a prohibition based purely upon philosophical orientation, regardless of whether such an orientation involves criminal activity or a reputation for misbehavior by servicemen that creates an adverse military connection in the public mind. This, of course, raises First Amendment questions.
Another First Amendment issue involves the wording of military equal opportunity manuals. A good example is the Marine Corps Equal Opportunity Manual, June 1985 edition. In paragraph 3002, it talks about how various "indicators of unrest should be maintained and analyzed" by commanders, which include the following items: 3002(b) "an increase in request masts, Congressional Interest items, special interest items, etc., relating to racial/ethnic discrimination and prejudice"; 3002(e) "the appearance of racist, religiously intolerant, or prejudicial literature"; or 3002(i) "increased interest in, or preoccupation with, issues of backlash or reverse discrimination.''' According to paragraph 3003b: "Any incident which involves members of the command expressing or demonstrating open support for known racist organizations should be considered a racial/ethnic incident." A "significant racial incident" contains "one or more of the following:" item 3003.2f: "An incident in which a racist organization is identified or perceived as being involved;" item 3003.2g: "Media coverage is anticipated;" or item 3003.2h "An incident which, in the commander's opinion, may result in escalation into future incidents or may negatively affect the command's racial/ethnic climate." The third paragraph of paragraph 3003 says that: "Significant racial/ethnic incidents will be reported to CMC (POC) on occurrence, per the current edition of MCO 5740.2 (Reporting Information of Concern to National Command Authorities)."
The Equal Opportunity Manual defines "prejudice" as "the holding of a judgment or opinion, without regard to pertinent fact, that is typically expressed in suspicion, fear, hostility, or intolerance of certain people, customs, and ideas." It defines "race" as "any of the major biological divisions of mankind distinguished by color and texture of hair, color of skin, eyes, stature, bodily proportions, or their genetically transmitted physical characteristics." An "ethnic group" is "a segment of the population that possesses common characteristics and a cultural or national heritage significantly different from that of the general population." Under the definitions section of the Equal Opportunity Manual, there are no entries for "open support", "pertinent fact", "increased interest in", "preoccupation with", "reverse discrimination", "backlash" , "racist" , "racist organization" , "religiously in tolerant" , "white supremacist", "white extremist", "Neo-Nazi", "extremist group", "significantly different", "general population", or other terms used in its policy guidance.
The semantic blurring together of peoples who comprise "the general population" in the definitions section of the Equal Opportunity Manual leaves a question about English-Americans who belong to St. George's Society, German-Americans who belong to the Von Steuben Society, Scottish-Americans who belong to St. Andrew's Society, Norwegian-Americans who belong to the Sons of Norway, Swedish-Americans who .belong to the Vasa Society, Irish-Americans who belong to the Emerald Society, and every other people from a culture or nation in Europe who belong to an ethnic organization and comprise part of the "silent majority." All of these people have a rich and continuous history, indigenous culture, ancient folkways, and other attributes that would qualify them as an ethnic group. It is not clear from the wording of the manual whether servicemen who wish to be involved with fine and reputable ethnic organizations from Europe are entitled to an "ethnic" status on par with other groups. The Equal Opportunity Manual also fails to distinguish where genetic consciousness based upon advances in such academic disciplines as genetics, sociobiology, medical anthropology, psychology, and paleontology ends and "racism" begins.
These definitions can become more than just academic if certain accusers or commanders decide to bundle together enough alleged "racial/ethnic incidents" to support an administrative separation proceeding on the grounds of "conduct unbecoming" or conduct "contrary to good order and discipline". I have seen this happen on a purely ideological level involving scientific, religious, and mass media literature shared during off duty, unofficial, private conversations with consenting individuals. In one case there was no racial confrontation, no "anti-" statements directed at any group, and no involvement of the free thinker with any unpopular group. Fortunately that particular case was dropped by a Board of Inquiry, but nevertheless it underscored how different commanders and accusers can have personal definitions of these kinds of terms that vary widely. These varied interpretations can severely constrain the capacity for any individual serviceman to share truthful information, honest impressions, or controversial literature designed to show important divergent viewpoints (that are not necessarily his own) with fellow servicemen.
One of the problems in interpreting the Weinberger and EEO language is known to logicians as the fallacy of accent. This is the notion that just because something is mentioned, it is automatically something bad or illegal that must be punished. A good example of the fallacy of accent is the story about a ship's mate who hated his Captain. He made a log entry that read "the Captain was sober today." While this was technically a true statement, it created the adverse impression that the Captain was not usually sober. When many individuals read the phrase "attempt to create illegal discrimination", their brains register "attempt to create discrimination," as if all forms of discrimination are wicked and punishable. For those who read closely, the phrase says illegal discrimination, not all discrimination.
Unfortunately many readers also fail to perform an "opposing concept" logic check. This is the technique of substituting words or phrases commonly used by political writers on the opposite end of the political scale to see if the result somehow startles us or adds a new perspective. Let us do that with the first sentence of the Weinberger language as follows:

Military personnel must reject participation in organizations that espouse defeatist causes; attempt to create illegal literal-equalitarianism [or Marxism] based on race, creed, sex, religion, or national origin; or, advocate the use of pacifism and nonviolence, or otherwise engage in efforts to deprive individuals of their civil rights.

Let us perform the same "logic check" with the EEO language: commanders must collect indicators and analyze them relating to [Section 3002 (b)] racial/ ethnic intermixture, incohesion, and identity loss [3002 (e)] the appearance of literal-equalitarian [or Marxist], religiously unthinking, or de-racinated/ancestral group-disloyal literature; or [3002(i)] ... increased interest in or preoccupation with, issues of passive acceptance of literal-equalitarianism [or Marxism], or redistribution of rights and power from the haves to the have-nots and the fit to the unfit. [3003b] "Any incident which involves members of the command expressing or demonstrating open support for known literal-equalitarian/universalistic [or Marxist] organizations should be considered a de-racinated/ancestral group-disloyal incident."
The first question we should ask is whether the opposing language describes something illegal under the Constitution. The surprising answer is NO. One might imagine a scenario in which a rightist political party gets into power in the United States and simply crosses out all of the old words and puts in the opposing words. It could do this legally for two reasons:
(a) much of the EEO language technically does nothing more than ask for the collection and monitoring of information. Commanders and even private citizens can legally monitor anything they want, to include the number of people from New Jersey in their group or the number of people who smoke cigarettes. The government can just as legally monitor literal-equalitarianism (or Marxism) and de-racinated/ancestral group-disloyal behavior as it can monitor discrimination and racism. To assume that simply because something is being monitored automatically makes it bad or illegal is to commit the fallacy of accent
(b) a de facto situation now exists in which "commander's discretion" allows a certain amount of politicizing of the military, contrary to the public impression that the military is strictly nonpartisan. Most Americans are not conscious of the degree of politicizing that currently exists because of the very incremental yet steady way in which political reference points have shifted in the 20th Century. What was "mainstream" in the 1920's is often considered radical hard right today. What was hard left then is often considered mainstream today. Just to illustrate how times have changed, in the 12 Dec 1988 Forbes article "Why Liberalism is Obsolete," Nobel laureate Milton Friedman pointed out that, "Almost every economic plank of the 1928 Socialist platform has been adopted by the U.S."
If any readers are troubled by my "logic check" exercise, I would point out that a political climate that suppresses logic checks is a sure symptom of tyranny and mind-control. In the book 1984, Big Brother does not want his subjects to relate to words in terms of their substantive meanings or logical connections. Logic and consistency constrain his power, and Big Brother wants to be totally unconstrained. Besides, people who think logically might begin to figure out how powerless they have become rather than bask in a warm glow every time Big Brother pats them on the head. Big Brother is so good at manipulating emotions and paralyzing logical thought processes that he can post signs that say "war is peace and love is hate" and no one gets excited. Big Brother wants his legal language to be so ambiguous and impression-oriented that he can snare anyone he wants.
(j) A serviceman's freedom of speech is more protected if he handles it on a contractual level as opposed to a moralistic level. This provides a superior conceptual framework for enforcing his rights. Every serviceman has a right to be fully aware of his rights, and be fully aware of every source of power and influence in America that can injure those rights.
In a contractual relationship, people exchange value for value received. They do this as free, consenting, and competent adults. Contractual people are discriminating, businesslike, on guard, and conscious of their rights. They never give up their free will to enter into a contract, or their right to independently evaluate a deal, and they always separate their inner private space from their public space that is involved in negotiating and executing transactions. Even in a military environment, a serviceman's opinions are part of his personal space and right to competently evaluate a deal. His professional behavior on the job is part of a public "transaction" in which he provides services to the U.S. Government in return for benefits received. As long as he provides the public behavior required of his official position, his private behavior is outside the scope of his contractual arrangement. Since the Government has only contracted for his professional services, when he offers private opinions that it does not want in an official capacity (such as MajGen Walker's "Pro-Blue Troop" program) he is providing it with something outside the scope of the original contract, thereby changing the nature of his transactional relationship, and giving the Government a possible opportunity to void the deal.
A serviceman's greatest defense for maintaining a contractual approach is the U.S. Constitution, which is itself, in the view of many people, technically nothing more than a contract. The Constitution documents a "deal" in which people in America, through their representatives, have agreed to give up certain freedoms in return for certain governmental protections. Everything that flows from the Constitution, to include -military authority and ones military duties, is fundamentally contractual in nature. When a citizen joins the military, he signs a contract in which he agrees to offer certain services in return for certain benefits. So long as he provides those services and provides the public behaviors required, the Government can not legally extract anything else from him. It can create a certain environment around him, but it can not force him to privately think a certain way. When it tries to forcefully change his private thought processes, it no long respects his independent discretionary power as an adult who can freely engage in the negotiation, creation, or alteration of contracts. There are, of course, people who treat the U. S. Constitution and the U.S. military like a religion; and they personally have a right to "religionize" these things under the First Amendment, but they do have a right to impose this worship of an inanimate contract or a state-run organization on other people or gain special advantages from this form of worship any more than someone who worships an exotic deity has a right to impose worship of that deity on others or get special advantages from such a faith either.
I would also note that in contractual relationships, each party is entitled to walk away from a deal under certain circumstances or redress grievances if injured. When the Government tries to take too much from a serviceman, or unjustly damages him, he has a right to redress his grievances. This right is explicitly stated in the First Amendment. Major Roberts exercised his right to redress grievances when he successfully sued the Secretary of the Army. To the extent that freedom of speech and the right to know represents the most basic requirement for any adult to make himself fully competent to engage in contractual behavior, one might take the position that when this freedom is lost, one has lost everything, and no other battles make sense until the fight to regain this freedom has been won.
In moralistic behavior, people are guided by the way they have been emotionally programmed by an authority figure or by their own instinctive feelings. In regard to the latter, there is certainly nothing wrong with being attuned to ones instincts. Science can only go so far in explaining the "how's" of life before one must tune into ones instincts to experience the "why's" that give life meaning and help define ones values. The issue here is how far an individual American serviceman should go in allowing an outside authority figure to tell him how to think and behave.
Moralistic authority figures expect people to do something simply because they have been conditioned to feel that "it is right" or "that is what they have been told." Relationships tend to be paternalistic, emotional, and parent-to-child. They exploit altruistic and affinitive instincts, the force of habit, ignorance, fear, and the power of suggestion. People are not treated as independent decision makers. The people with power demand the right to invade the most private feelings and thoughts of their subordinates and reshape them completely. Usually there is no real negotiation process, but rather a demand of total commitment from one side to the other; in essence a totalitarian relationship.
The autocratic orientation of most military environments tends to promote moralistic behavior and ideology. The American public usually gives the military wide latitude in this area because it believes that a certain amount of moralistic indoctrination is required to motivate servicemen to remain obedient and loyal, work effectively as a team, risk their lives in combat, and work towards long term objectives under extremely distasteful conditions. But even so, it is still wrong to ever allow this conditioning or some of the illusions created by it go too far. The legal arguments for obeying orders and adhering to policy guidance and regulations in the U.S. military are still fundamentally contractual in nature and stem from the Constitution and from freely made contractual agreements made between each serviceman and the U.S. Government.
(k) Last, but not least, a serviceman's freedom of speech becomes more protected as he leaves the military room to acknowledge his First Amendment rights while dissociating itself from anything unauthorized or outside of its scope that he might say. I believe that in the long run, the military would be a lot better off if it constructively channels and analyzes dissent as its first approach rather than if it were to try to reflexively crush it, automatically eject it, or play "bait and trap."
As with any approach, a lot depends of course on the nature of each individual one is dealing with. Admittedly, some people require a lot of supervision to make it in life. However, they should not be allowed to penalize those military personnel who are perfectly capable of being outstanding servicemen while holding their own unique views and expressing them in an appropriate manner. Hopefully while dealing with one of the latter cases, the following thoughts will go through the minds of military officials who must ponder ways to handle dissent:

The military has no religious, political, or philosophical position except that of supporting and defending the Constitution. This individual has exercised his First Amendment rights in a private capacity that is in no way instigated by or connected with official military policy. He has demonstrated no intent to damage the good order and discipline or image of the military, and has made no attempt to link the military with his views. We support the full exercise of freedom of speech and the implied right to know when conducted in an appropriate manner, even if unpopular or unusual views are voiced, because we support and defend the First Amendment of the Constitution. Our first approach in handling dissenting views is to try to constructively channel their mode of expression. We leave it to the free market place of ideas in the civilian sector to address the views expressed by this individual with counter-arguments. We see no need to respond in any official capacity either with counter-arguments or any kind of administrative or disciplinary proceedings, because these views are beyond our official scope and the kinds of issues we ordinarily address as an organization focused on a national defense mission.

By defending the First Amendment rights of a fellow serviceman, a military spokesman ultimately uses the First Amendment to preserve the integrity and honor of the Armed Forces itself as a nonpartisan defender of the Constitution of the United States. While it may be undesirable for military personnel to publicly connect their official military status with any unauthorized ideological agendas; at the other extreme, it is every bit as undesirable for our country's armed guardians to adopt a military-mercenary mind set that leaves them intellectually brain dead or even brain washed and incapable of grasping issues that impact upon the survival of constitutional government and the future of this country.


Inside the Aquarium provides a dark premonition of one direction the U.S. military may be forced to head if First Amendment rights are not respected and other forms of vicious treatment of military personnel persists. According to author Viktor Suvorov, the Soviet general staff greatly expanded the GRU (Soviet Military Intelligence) not only to gather intelligence from Russia's Cold War enemies, but also to internally counterspy against the KGB and Communist Party. Heavily traumatized by Stalin's ghastly purges of the Soviet officer corps in the late 1930's, an important function of the GRU was to insure this would never happen again. Similarly here in America, various branches of U.S. Military Intelligence may also have a strong need to thwart Zionist neo-con and Mossad-orchestrated false flag attacks such as 9-11. They may also need to resist treasonous elements who have infiltrated certain parts of the Department of Homeland Security, CIA, FBI, NSA, and other so-called "national security agencies."

1992 footnotes

(Please also see July 2009 notes indicated by asterisks below this section)


(1) "Watch What You Say: THOUGHT POLICE", Newsweek,
  December 24, 1990, page 53.
(2) "Arthur Jensen and the Heritability of IQ: A Case Study in the
  violation of academic freedom", J. W. Jamieson, Mankind Quarterl.y, Summer 1990; also, the preface of Jensen's landmark book Genetics and Education describes his tribulations (New York: Harper & Row, 1972) At the University of California, Berkeley, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) engaged a sound truck to demand Jensen's dismissal, invaded a classroom, and forced him to hold classes in secret. He had to call the police to protect his files. His liberal colleagues brought him before an investigatory board --the first time in American academic history that a professor had to defend a scholarly paper before an inquisitional proceeding that included videotape cameras (New York Times Magazine, Aug 31, 1969, page 11).
(3) "TV's Killer Businessmen", Forbes, December 23, 1991, by
  Peter Brimelow. The Center for Media & Public Affairs is located at 2101 L Street, NW, Suite 405, Washington, D.C. 20037.
(4) "Hollywood and America: The Odd Couple", by Linda S.
  Lichter, S. Robert Lichter and Stanley Rothman, Public Opinion, December/January 1983, page 57. Published by the American Enterprise Institute, 1150 17th St., NW, Washington, D.C. 20036. Public Opinion has been consolidated into the magazine American Enterprise; nevertheless back issues are available.
(5) "Media and Business Elites", by S. Robert Lichter and Stanley
  Rothman, Public Opinion, October/November 1981.
(6) "Mitchell, William" in Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1957. With the
  exception of material gleaned from American Caesar, most of my information on Mitchell was gleaned from this outstanding two page article.
(7) Manchester, William, American Caesar: Douglas MacArthur
  1880-1964, (New York: Dell Publishing Co, 1978) page 149-150.
(8) "Mitchell, William" Encyclopaedia Britannica
(9) "The Court-Martial of Smedley Butler," Aspry, Robert B., The
  Marine Corps Gazette, December 1959, page 28.
(10) Ibid, page 33
(11) Ibid, page 29
(12) Ibid, page 34
(13) Butler, Smedley, War Is A Racket (Costa Mesa, CA:
  Noontide Press, 1984) .
(14) Bacque, James. Other Losses (Toronto: Stoddard Publishing
  Co., 1989) pages 5-6.
(15) Irving, David. The War Between the Generals: Inside the
  Allied High Command (New York: Congdon & Weed, 1981), page 296-297.
(16) Sulzberger, C.C., American Heritage Picture History of
  World II, (New York: American Heritage, 1966), page 590. Also, Time, June 21, 1963, p. 30, 95-96.
(17) "Ike and the Disappearing Atrocities", Stephen Ambrose, New
  York Times Book Review, Feb 24, 1991, page 37.
(18) Blumenson, Martin. The Patton Papers 1940-45. (New York:
  Houghton Mifflin Company, 1974), Chapter 40. All other Patton quotes come from the Patton Papers.
(19) Irving, The War Between the Generals, page 97
(20) Manchester, American Caesar, page 828.
(21) Ibid, page 760.
(22) Ibid, page 763-771, American Caesar
(23) p. 776, American Caesar
(24) p.754, American Caesar. Quoted from Trumball Higgins,
  Korea and the Fall of MacArthur, New York (1960), p. 132
(25) The Congressional Record --Senate, August 1961, pages
  17457 to 17573. Senator Strom Thurmond inserted the entire transcript of the six hour "Citizenship In Service" or "Pro-Blue Troop" training program, as well as four newspaper articles before the transcript and five after it. My facts are drawn from all of these sources.
(26) "Right-Wing Officers Worrying Pentagon" by Cabell Phillips,
  New York Times, June 18, 1961, page 1, 56.
(27) "Birch Unit Ideas Put To U.S. Troops", by Sydney Gruson, New
  York Times, 14 April 1961, p. 1, 19. According to the book The End of Kings: A History of Republics and Republicans, by William Everdell, a "republic" has the following characteristics: (a) no one permanently occupies the most powerful position, but serves a limited term (b) there is some kind of restraint on powers based on a constitution or tradition (c) there is some kind of consultative or debate process to help formulate policy through representatives of the citizenry and (d) there is a "circulation of elites" process in which talented people can rise within the social order and assume governmental responsibilities. "Democracy" refers to the extent to which (1) more varied categories of people are given citizenship rights, such as by enfranchising larger population groups, reaching across gender, race, class, creed, or national origin boundaries and (2) the citizens have more power to directly influence the critical decisions of government, not only by voting to choose its most important leaders, but by directly voting in referendums and propositions. Everdell's book shows how historically many republics tend to start out with a limited number of people granted full citizenship rights, and tend to become increasingly democratic over time. "Mobocracy" is defined by Webster's Dictionary as a "rule of the mob."
(28) "The Americanists", Time Magazine, March 10, 1961, page 21
(29) Most everything between the last footnote and this footnote was
  taken from The Congressional Record --Senate, August 1961, pages 17457 to 17573. Also, "Right-Wing Talks By Officers Curbed," by Cabell Phillips, New York Times, 21 July 1961, page 1.
(30) "Officers and Politics", New York Times Editorial, 24 July 1961
(31) Roberts, Archibald E. Victory Denied (Ft. Collins, CO:
  Committee to Restore the Constitution, 1966). page v-vi. Chicago Tribune quote page vii-viii.
(32) DoD Directive 1325.6 (12 September 1969) cited on page 82,
  The Rights of Military Personnel: An American Civil Liberties Union Handbook, Robert S. Rivkin and Barton F. Stichman (New York: Avon Books, 1977),
(33) Robert S. Rivkin and Barton F. Stichman The Rights of Military
  Personnel: An American Civil Liberties Union Handbook, (New York: Avon Books, 1977), Mentioned in the chapter "Freedom of Speech" page 76.
(34) First Thomas Jefferson quote: letter to Henry Lee, 1826. 2nd and
  3rd quotes appeared on page 64, June 1987 Marine Corps Gazette
(35) Rivkin and Stichman, The Rights of Military Personnel, page 76.
(36) "World War II: The Propaganda Battle", a video from the series,
  "A Walk Through the 20th Century With Bill Moyers." CEL Educational Resources, New York, NY. The full Why We Fight series is available on videocassettes from Readers Digest, Pleasantville, New York.
(37) "Guidance on Dissent," Army Circular No. 632-1, cited in the
  Rights of Military Personnel, An American Civil Liberties Handbook, p. 82.
(38) "Free Speech In the Military", Marquette Law Review, Vol
  65:660, 1982. Navy case: U.S. v. Priest, 21 USCMA 564. page 670 mentions Army case: U.S. v. Howe, 17 CMA, 165, 169, 37 C.M.R., 429, 432, aff'd, 37, CMR 555 (1967); the sign read: "Let's Have More Than A `Choice' Between Petty Ignorant, Facists [sic] in 1968" and "End Johnson's Facist [sic] Aggression [sic] in Viet Nam."
(39) "Free Speech and the Military: What Do You Give Up When You
  Join Up?", by Edward Sherman, Update of Law Related Education, Vol. 5, Winter 1981, page 25-27.
(40) "Bimbos For Satan", by Conrad F. Goeringer, American Atheist,
  May 1989. Pages 28-29 talk about Aquino's involvement with LaVey and his decision to start his own Satanic Church. Aquino's current rank, security clearance, recent billets, and military achievements were discussed in a letter by James Chisholm, an associate of Aquino, to the editor of Vor Tru: A Journal of Asatru, fall 1989 No. 34, in response to an Asatru Alliance official policy statement that completely repudiated and disavowed any connection whatsoever between its Norse theology and Aquino's Satanic theology.
(41) OPNAVINST 1620.1A CH-1, 23 Dec 1988 Section III,
  paragraph G
(42) "The New KKK: Looking For A Few Good Men", by Linda
  Hunt. Common Cause Magazine, Nov/Dec 1986, page 32.


July 2009 additional notes:

* Although Dr. Strangelove was meant as a comedy, most Americans who have seen this film are probably left with a strong subliminal impression that anyone who merely brings up the issue of fluoridated water is a complete krank. Interestingly enough, if one bothers to investigate beyond the short films clips and sound bytes, one might be in for some surprises. For example, on the fluoridation issue, consider "Fluoridation Revisited" by the late libertarian writer Dr. Murray Rothbard, "50 Reason to Oppose Fluoridation" by Paul Connett, PhD, and "Fluoride: Industries' Toxic Coup" by Joel Griffiths. As another example, consider evidence from archived articles by anarcho-libertarian writer Justin Raimondo or certain chapters in my Mission of Conscience series that high level real life Zionist neo-cons (many of whom are former neo-Trotskyites) who control the Washington War Party are deluded warmongers almost on par with the fictional Gen. Jack D. Ripper. Yet they were not ridiculed by most national media during the Bush administration. Please also scroll to my section "Obama as a creature of Orwellian, controlled national media" on my Obama Nation web page about national media concentration and bias. The point I am trying to make here is how incredibly frustrated many military personnel must feel by limitations on their First Amendment rights, while at the same time they are so vulnerable to smear campaigns by biased national media, particularly when they do not have recourse to tell their side of the story through use of the free Internet.

** Republican governments have tended to originate throughout history as a remedy for tyranny or incompetence stemming from life long one man rule or even oligarchical rule. "Serving the people" does not mean denying the importance of individual rights, or promoting collectivist or communistic schemes. It means serving group interests as part of a balancing act relative to serving individual interests as well. It means observing individual rights, but not allowing so much power to fall into into individual hands that one falls into tyranny or other forms of dysfunctional power monopoly.

*** Note that this was originally written in 1992, in the pre-Internet "Stone Age." It was vastly more time consuming and expensive to access alternative ideas and information during this era. Unfortunately there are currently very powerful groups such as the Jewish ADL who are determined to change our laws to effectively clamp down on the Internet and return us to this "Stone Age," as I document in the Rev Ted Pike archive. I believe strongly that maintaining a free Internet should be a major objective of military personnel on par with supporting and defending the Constitution.


A great introduction to how
much we have lost

**** Be forewarned that when military personnel try to deeply analyze exactly what it really means to "defend the Constitution," that this topic can become much trickier more complex than what they first imagined. I would encourage the reader to consider Dr. Kevin Gutzman's Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution as well as Chapter 6 where I explain the importance of the popular sovereignty concept in my Mission of Conscience series.
There are quite a few honest, idealistic people who are genuinely alarmed by trends in America, and feel a crisis of conscience and strong desire to try to do something. They think the Constitution will provide a solid bulwark in their fight against corrupt, abusive authorities. While I laud their noble intentions, I also think that they first need to realistically appraise what they are trying to cling to.
The truth is that the interpretation and implementation of the Constitution has been so badly mangled through the course of American history, particularly since the Abraham Lincoln dictatorship, that it has effectively been converted into a mystical religious icon meant to be revered but not scrupulously understood. According to Dr. Gutzman, over 80% of the laws enforced by the Federal government today have no Constitutional basis whatsoever! I would strongly urge the reader to watch the online video "America: From Freedom to Fascism" by Aaron Russo to underscore this point, or read articles on this topic by Congressman Ron Paul, various libertarian writers at and, The American Free Press, the Idaho Observer, and other traditional American conservative sources.
What all this means in plain English is that when someone decides to take a moral stand on principle for the Constitution, what they are typically relying upon is moral suasion to win their argument --and that is about it. In other words, even if this person many be totally correct in terms of his research of Constitutional principles, various authorities may decide to crush him anyway because most individuals lack the resources to stand up to the state. Therefore, it becomes especially important that ones adversaries respect ones motives and respect one as a person.
The original U.S. Constitution was in essence nothing more than a revised social contract which parceled out sovereignty rights more heavily in the direction of the Federal government than the prior Articles of Confederation. The outcome of the War Between the States shattered a critical founding principle of the both the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution, namely that true federalism exists only when the state governments are more powerful than the central government in order to keep the central government in check. This importance of true federalism --and the legitimacy of secessionism as a means to keep it in force-- was explicitly underscored in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions of 1798 penned by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison where they expounded upon the vital importance of states' rights.
The original Constitution also failed to explicitly define any specific ethno-racial or cultural roots. The problem here is that in the long run it is typically more the men who make the system rather than the system that makes the men. The Founding Fathers were mostly WASPs, and quite a few were theological deists. Some were Negro slave holders. It is inconceivable that any of them ever intended for their new republic to some day be run by descendents of Negroes slaves or high jacked by a Jewish lobby or Zionist State.
Early America itself was overwhelmingly WASP upon its founding. The innate temperamental traits and common law of most early Americans reflected an indigenous Nordic-Celtic ethos. As Thomas Chittum points out in Civil War Two: The Coming Breakup of America, throughout history whenever a dominant ethnic group begins to fall below 75% of the total population, countries tend to become increasingly unstable and prone to either fission apart or suffer police state repression to try to hold everything together at all costs. Yes, there is such a thing as too much "diversity."
However, despite all the historic mangling of the Constitution in the last one hundred and fifty years, it is still better to go by constitutional government than the state of de facto lawlessness at the top which we experience today.
The First Amendment seems to be a last refuge of the U.S. Constitution that a wide variety of citizens understand and seek to defend. However, even this is under steady attack by dangerous enemies, as I point in the Rev Ted Pike archive. Now more than ever we need for civilians and military personnel to study the Constitution and act as activists in its behalf.

***** Many military personnel have the naive view that once they have contacted representatives of national media and told them their story, they are "home free." This may be true in some cases, but in other cases it can actually greatly compound their difficulties and even get them killed! Please see Chapter 4 of my Mission of Conscience series where Capt. May makes the case that Judith Miller of the New York Times was really working for the Mossad, and may have contributed to the untimely death of Dr. David Kelley. Please also see Chapter 14 about Info War martyrs like CPL Pat Tillman whose contact with Zionist-friendly leftist activist Noam Chomsky may have worked against him in a fatal way.
Most emphatically, I am not saying don't be a whistle-blower. To the contrary, we need whistle blowers now more than ever. What I am advising is for individuals to do a recon before they jump in with both feet, keep cool, use their heads, plan ahead, and always keep their guard up. In its own way, the civilian world is every bit as much of a "battle zone" as the military environment.
Probably the biggest weakness most military personnel suffer in America is that they come from a fragmented sociological background and lack a solid ethnic support base to pinch hit for them or provide solid political and logistical support in the civilian world whenever push comes to shove. Please see my commentary to question 13 "Does ethnic solidarity matter in the defense of liberty?" in my "Have You Been Brainwashed Quiz?" In contrast, one of the single biggest advantages that most Jews have over all other ethnic groups is that they are incredibly networked, mutually supportive, and proactive about defending their group interests relative to everyone else. They are literally a nation within a nation wherever they go, extremely well financed, typically in control of the highest levels of organized crime, and often with full espionage and assassination strike or counter strike capabilities. (See Final Judgment about the Mossad-CIA-organized crime murder of President JFK, and complicity of Jewish-controlled national media PSYOPs against the American people in the sustained cover-up. Also see the "snake book" series by Col Donn de Grand Pre). Lastly, please see my discussion of Jewish criminal totalitarian psychopathology in my mutualism vs. parasitism discussion in my Reconciling Opposing Political and Economic Ideologies series to better understand the alien psychology behind Zionist "High Priests of War" who have usurped national policy.

Other update references:

2009-06-30 Tomgram: Dahr Jamail, A Secret History of Dissent in the All-Volunteer Military One of the dangers when military authorities bottle up the right to express ideas and grievances for too long is that the accumulated frustration can result in dramatic increases in disciplinary problems and pathological events, ranging from unauthorized absences (U.A.'s) and disobedience to orders to suicides, homicides, and fragging. On a broader social level, the ultimate consequence of bottling up free discussion of critical issues can be mutiny, insurrection, revolution, or a coup de etat.

William B. Fox, a former Marine Corps Major with experience in logistics, public affairs, and military intelligence, is an honors graduate of the Harvard Business School and the University of Southern California, and publisher of and

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