Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Dear Admiral Fallon by Ray McGovern
There is a large Tar Baby out there – Iran. You may remember that as Brer Rabbit got more and more stuck, Brer Fox, he lay low.
A "Fox" Fallon, still pledged to defend the Constitution of the United States, cannot lie low – not now.
by Ray McGovern
Dear Admiral Fallon,
I have not been able to find out how to reach you directly, so I drafted this letter in the hope it will be brought to your attention.
First, thank you for honoring the oath we commissioned officers take to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies, foreign and domestic. At the same time, you have let it be known that you do not intend to speak, on or off the record, about Iran.
But our oath has no expiration date. While you are acutely aware of the dangers of attacking Iran, you seem to be allowing an inbred reluctance to challenge the commander in chief to trump that oath, and to prevent you from letting the American people know of the catastrophe about to befall us if, as seems likely, our country attacks Iran.
Two years ago I lectured at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. I found it highly disturbing that, when asked about the oath they took upon entering the academy, several of the "Mids" thought it was to the commander in chief.
This brought to my mind the photos of German generals and admirals (as well as top church leaders and jurists) swearing personal oaths to Hitler. Not our tradition, and yet…
I was aghast that only the third Mid I called on got it right – that the oath is to protect and defend the Constitution, not the president.
Attack Iran and Trash the Constitution
No doubt you are very clear that an attack on Iran would be a flagrant violation of our Constitution, which stipulates that treaties ratified by the Senate become the supreme law of the land; that the United Nations Charter – which the Senate ratified on July 28, 1945, by a vote of 89 to 2 – expressly forbids attacks on other countries unless they pose an imminent danger; that there is no provision allowing some other kind of "preemptive" or "preventive" attack against a nation that poses no imminent danger; and that Iran poses no such danger to the United States or its allies.
You may be forgiven for thinking: Isn't 41 years of service enough; isn't resigning in order to remove myself from a chain of command that threatened to make me a war criminal for attacking Iran; isn't making my active opposition known by talking to journalists – isn't all that enough?
With respect, sir, no, that's not enough.
The stakes here are extremely high, and with the integrity you have shown goes still further responsibility. Sadly, the vast majority of your general officer colleagues have, for whatever reason, ducked that responsibility. You are pretty much it.
In their lust for attacking Iran, administration officials will do their best to marginalize you. And, as prominent a person as you are, the corporate media will do the same.
Indeed, there are clear signs the media have been given their marching orders to support attacking Iran.
At CIA I used to analyze the Soviet press, so you will understand when I refer to the Washington Post and the New York Times as the White House's Pravda and Izvestiya.
Sadly, it is as easy as during the days of the controlled Soviet press to follow the U.S. government's evolving line with a daily reading. In a word, our newspapers are revving up for war on Iran, and have been for some time.
In some respects the manipulation and suppression of information in the present lead-up to an attack on Iran is even more flagrant and all encompassing than in early 2003 before the invasion of Iraq.
It seems entirely possible that you are unaware of this, precisely because the media has put the wraps on it, so let me adduce a striking example of what is afoot here.
The example has to do with the studied, if disingenuous, effort over recent months to blame all the troubles in southern Iraq on the "malignant" influence of Iran.
The Rest of the Story