Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hunt, Meet the Hatch Act

Lt. Col. Jim Hunt, Democratic candidate for no other reason than no one else was willing to run, has a posting up on that great source of information for all soldiers, the Daily Kos. Now, I have heard that Mr. Hunt is actually an okay sort of person, but his ignorance of the law, especially as a lawyer, and an officer at one time are astounding.
Let me begin with his first line - "Lt. Col." Jim Hunt. In the Army, at least the Army I left 13 years ago, we abbreviated the rank for Lieutenant Colonel as LTC. The Air Force uses the abbreviation that Mr. Hunt has in his posting, but I thought that he was supposed to be in the Army. Maybe he's confused.
Then he goes on to make himself a victim by saying:
Yesterday, the Montana Republican Party and Rehberg attacked me and my 23 years of service in the Montana Army National Guard – citing an obscure, new Pentagon regulation regarding photos of candidates in their old uniforms.

Obscure, new Pentagon regulation? When I was in the Army, we used to have our biannual lecture on the Hatch Act, which is a federal law, and applies to the Reserves as well, and was passed in 1939. I do understand that the laws were relaxed a little bit in 1993, but the prohibition still includes that you cannot use your uniform in any political activity. In fact, when we were briefed, we were told that we could not even put up partisan yard signs at our home, lest someone think that the military was lending its support to one party or the other.
Hunt then retreats to being a victim, and says that he will not let anyone take down the ad, even though it violates federal law, and military decorum as well.
In his defense, and I know that I am going to get into trouble for this, but he really was only part time help. He should rely on that defense for his lawbreaking activity.

14 comments:

Mark T said...

Rehberg is trying to change the subject, to avoid talking about his own lack of military experience. You make a good foot soldier.

I personally find a couple of things offensive - one, that soldiers claim to be "defending" me by illegally invading foreign countries (which is an aside), and two, which involves you and Hunt, that ex-soldiers are presumed to have performed some valuable service for our country and that we should automatically kowtow and offer you empty praise.

I don't know what you did in the military. You certainly didn't learn much - that much is plain. I don't yield any ground to you because you served in the military. It means nothing to me.

Steve said...

Thanks Mark, and have a Happy Memorial Day Weekend too.

Anonymous said...

Just. Wow. So Mark, when is your plane leaving for Venezuela? Hugo is your guy, is he not? I bet the color red would look very nice on you too.

-Cordelia

Mark T said...

I've met many mindless robots and zealots who are ex-soldiers. Why do I owe them anything?

goof houlihan said...

Today was the dedication of the Vietnam wall here in Bozeman.

Several hundred stood, or rode in wheelchairs, four generations in the cold pouring rain, to remind themselves of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Military service meant something to us. I doubt if any of them could conceive of an american writing this:

"I personally find a couple of things offensive - one, ... that ex-soldiers are presumed to have performed some valuable service for our country and that we should automatically kowtow and offer you empty praise." Mark T's quote

goof houlihan said...

"I've met many mindless robots and zealots who are ex-soldiers. Why do I owe them anything?"

I'm sure many of those 58,000 on the Vietnam memorial wall have their failings as well. But living or dead, flawed or noble, we owe those who are willing to risk the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

Mark T said...

Vietnam was a country in the throes of development, going its own way, casting off the yoke of imperialism. The US stepped in to put a stop to that. In the process of that invasion, we killed in excess of three million people. We dropped more tonnage of bombs on Cambodia than all that had been done in WWII. This led to the destruction of the society and paved the way fro Pol Pot.

In the process 58,000 American lives were spent. Yes, those men were victims too, many of them believing in their cause. Many more do not. Vietnam Veterans Against the War was a powerful force in the 60's and 70's. I look for a similar group of Iraq veterans to emerge, though the government is much more effective at threatening them these days, withholding medical treatment and benefits and the like.

Victims everywhere. That they "served"? They didn't serve me. Invading foreign countries is nasty business. I honor those who have stood up and spoken out against US activities.

Anonymous said...

You're feeling pretty smug, aren't you Mark? It must be nice to practice free speech in a country that you have little regard for.

Like I wondered before, why not go into Iran, Venezuela, or North Korea and try practicing it there as well? 'Cause you're a complete hypocrite, that's why. You're a little budding socialist wanna-be who likes to put down the very people that preserve you're right to free speech. What a standup guy...and very selfish one at that.

-Cordelia

Mark T said...

I have free speech because of social activists and labor organizers and freedom marchers and the ACLU. In case you haven't noticed, we've been attacked on our own soil exactly twice in over 225 years.

Which foreign country ever threatened by freedom of speech?

And why, pray tell, do you hate Venezuela? Do you bark and snarl on command? Oh brave one?

goof houlihan said...

"They didn't serve me."

You're probably right. You've got nothing to do with the country they or any other serviceman gave their life for these last 232 years.

As for how many times we've been attacked, the war of 1812, the War Between the States and World War Two, all involved attacks on the United States of America. In addition to the attack on the territory of Hawaii, civilians died in the Northwest in WWII.

Patriots would recall the attack on Ft McHenry during the War of 1812 occasioned the writing of the Star Spangled banner. Washington was burned in that war as well.

There were also two separate attacks on the World Trade Center.

You're know as little about history as you know about anything else.

Mark T said...

The United States is a very fortunate country in that we have an ocean on either side of us. For that reason, foreign powers have never been able to attack. Consequently, we've grown strong without much interference, and have spent our time attacking others. Most of our wars have been wars of aggression - we have attacked both Canada and Mexico, and stolen much of the latter's land.

The two times we have been attacked were in 1812 (which was in response to our invasion of Canada and sacking of its capital city), and in 2001. The NW bombings in WWII were inconsequential. "We" were not attacked in the Civil War, unless we are schizophrenic. Hawaii was a military outpost in 1941, and not American soil.

My history is fine. I'm just not jingo bellsly enough for you, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Good lord, Mark....unions and the ACLU? Puhleeze. And really, tell me who protects their rights to free speech?

You really are delusional, aren't you?

I have nothing but respect for the millions of Venezuelans who protest against your buddy the dictator, Chavez.

Like I said, I bet red looks really good on you.

-Cordelia

goof houlihan said...

Hawaii was an american territory in 1941. It was "our own soil". The subsequent statehood of Hawaii only emphasizes that fact.

And the air above the territory, and the water in the harbor, were american. It was an attack on our own soil, as you put it.

The World Trade Center was attacked Twice.

The firing on Fort Sumter and the subsequent invasions to Sharpsburg and Gettysburg were indeed attacks on the United States by the Conferderate States.

You can dissemble and distract all you want with your, "we attacked them", but the plain fact of the matter was, your statement that we have been attacked on our own soil only twice was erroneous.

Mark T said...

Using your 9/11=two attacks logic, then, In December of 1941 we were attacked not once, but thousands of times, as each bombing run by each airplane constitutes an attack.

The legality of the annexation of Hawaii as a territory was at best questionable because it was a United States Government resolution, not a treaty of cession or conquest as is required by international law. Assuming that it was illegal, Hawaii in 1941 was not U.S. territory, in the same sense that Guantanamo is not U.S. territory but rather a domain over which we exercise control by illegitimate means.

Your notion that the U.S. was attacked by a foreign country in 1861 is absurd.