by Matt Lacy –
Continuing a trend among military members who have serious concerns about President Obama’s tenure as commander-in-chief, over 500 former generals and admirals from all branches of the military have publicly came out in support of Romney.
The admirals and generals announced their support for Republican challenger Mitt Romney in a full page ad they purchased which ran in the Washington Times. Among the generals on the list are Gen. Tommy Franks and Marine Commandant Gen. James Conway.
Franks was the commander of the U.S. Central Command who oversaw the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan following the attacks by Muslim terrorists on September 11 as well as the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Conway vehemently opposed Obama’s repeal of the Revolutionary War ban on homosexuals serving openly in the military.
Despite their being retired and thus free to speak out on political issues, some have criticized the officers for taking a stand against Obama saying former service members should not criticize the president.
In an interview with San Diego’s North County Times, retired Maj. Gen. Anthony Jackson spoke out against the ad saying it is a “dangerous path” and sets a poor example for active duty members who are prohibited from criticizing the commander-in-chief.
“Displaying your political bent, particularly collectively like this, is not what we should be about,” Jackson told the Times. “I don’t think it’s a healthy path for retired generals to unite against a sitting commander-in-chief.”
However, Jackson apparently has no problem with generals getting involved in politics as long as they are praising Obama. Last week, retired Gen. Colin Powell once again endorsed Obama for a second term.
Displaying your political bent, particularly collectively like this, is not what we should be about,” said Jackson, 63 of Fallbrook. “I don’t think it’s a healthy path for retired generals to unite against a sitting commander-in-chief.”
There have also been instances of service members being subjected to disciplinary action and discharged for criticizing Obama even in a non-military capacity.
Marine Corps Sgt. Gary Stein was drummed out of the Corps after criticizing Obama on his personal Facebook page, despite his never appearing in uniform on the page. Responding to a hypothetical question about whether U.S. troops should be turned over to the Afghan government for charges which could include the death penalty after they accidently burned a Quran earlier this year, Stein replied that doing so would be an illegal order which he would not obey. The statement is what prompted the Marines to fast track Stein for a discharge, despite his enlistment being up in just a few months.
By contrast, one of the prosecution’s key witnesses against Stein, Capt. Logan had obscene political comments on his Facebook page and appeared in dress blues on his postings, yet was not subject to discipline for violating the same regulation Stein was accused of disobeying.