Here’s an interesting link:
For those who missed it, Butler decided to write a whacked out conspiracy theorist letter essentially accusing the last three Presidents of the United States of mass murder for political gain. (There are some quotes from that letter in the link above.) He also conveniently left out his rank, service, and position at the Defense Language Institute-Foreign Language Center at the Presidio of Monterey, which he did append to his signature block the last time he wrote a letter to the editor of the same newspaper. The earlier letter was to express support of the fine Servicemembers at DLI in the wake of the attempted murder by two not fine Marines at DLI.
Now there are folks writing in to the Monterey County Herald to say how evil our military is to be stripping Butler of his constitutional rights. Some have written in to say “He’s right, of course.”
On the other hand, others have written in to point out how whacked his accusations are.
There’s also the whole issue that Butler, as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Air Force, either knew or should have known that he does have a method to address a perceived violation of law or regulation (the aforementioned mass murder accusation Butler made) by someone in his chain of command. There’s a regulation covering that & I’d appreciate it if somone conversant with the AF regulations/instructions/etc. would be so kind as to post exactly what the Air Force version is. Essentially, it allows a legal method of holding someone accountable even if they outrank you.
What’s even more astounding is that Butler did this just weeks before his scheduled retirement and might go to court-martial for it. I certainly hope he does face it. After years of accepting salutes, an enforced sign of respect, for nothing more than being a commissioned officer, I say his own extreme disrespect based on zero facts of the individual in charge of our military certainly deserves court-martial. Of course, he’ll probably get a non-punitive letter placed in his official personnel file, a suspended reduciton in rank, and a suspended forfeiture of pay, and because he has to stay on Active Duty long enough for the non-judicial punishment (Article 15) proceedings to be completed, he’ll actually be making money off of this stunt!
Now think of something else: If I, as an Enlisted individual in the paygrade of E-6, made the same or similar comments about Butler while I was on Active Duty, I certainly would be subject to disciplinary action for, at the very least, falsely accusing him of a crime. Luckily, I’m in the Fleet Reserve (type of Retirement for Enlisted Navy types) so my pointing out that Butler’s stunt above was a stunt isn’t a violation of the UCMJ.
What’s the debate: Was Butler’s letter in a public place appropriate, and is Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice worthwhile?
Moderators: I really see this as a Great Debate; however, if you feel that it’s destined for the Pit (or someone else takes it that way sooner than you get to see it), of course move it there.