Sunday, February 10, 2013

Have the US Marine Corps leadership lost their collective spines?

I raised Cain over the acquiescence of the US Marine Corps in security measures in Afghanistan last March, when its members were forbidden to be armed while attending a meeting with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.  Major-General Mark Gurganus later said it wasn't a big deal, to which I responded:

General Gurganus, you have got to be shitting me. Just who the hell do you think you're fooling? Of course it's a big deal! When you disarm your own troops - particularly in that fashion, when they were already inside the venue - you're implicitly saying that front-line Marine combatants can't be trusted with guns in their hands to hear a speech by the head of the Defense Department. You may as well say, out loud, that you're scared they might shoot him. What other interpretation is possible for such an outrageous order?

Now comes news of an even worse gesture of distrust - no, of contempt by this Administration for our armed forces, and particularly the Marine Corps.

“Didn't know the Marines had to take the bolts out of their rifles for the Inaugural,” an email forwarded to Gun Rights Examiner from a United States Marine Corps source observed. “Wonder if someone can explain why [they] would be marching in the inaugural parade with no bolts in their rifles!”

The email linked to a YouTube video of the 57th Presidential Inaugural Parade, embedded in this column, featuring Bravo Company Marines from the Marine Barracks Washington. Sure enough, the observation in the email is confirmed by watching the video, with screen shots provided in the photo and slide show accompanying this article.

This prompted an internet search to see if others had also noticed, and the Blur-Brain blog had.

“The bolts have been removed from the rifles rendering them unable to fire a round,” the post stated. “Apparently Obama’s Secret Service doesn’t trust the USMC. Simply searching each guy to make sure he didn’t have a live round hidden on him wasn’t enough, they had to make sure the guns were inoperable."

The Examiner article goes on to note that previous inauguration parades had not seen Marines or other military personnel equipped (?) with inoperative weapons, and finds the move sinister.  I agree.

Would someone please tell me why every General- and Field-Grade officer in the US Marines did not instantly resign his commission upon learning of this grossly contemptuous and distrustful gesture towards their Corps?  Do they have any esprit de corps left?  Or have they become nothing more than lickspittle lapdogs for politicians?

If I were a Marine today, I'd take this mortal insult - for it can be construed as nothing less - as grounds to request my immediate discharge from a Corps that no longer appears to understand - for it certainly no longer appears to apply! - the meaning of honor.  How the USMC could have asked or expected its personnel to acquiesce in such a demeaning, degrading exercise is utterly beyond me.

I wouldn't like to have been anywhere near Chesty Puller's grave on the day this happened.  The tremors of his high-speed spinning would probably have made it impossible to stand!  He probably wouldn't say aloud, but would almost certainly think, that any President displaying such distrust in and contempt for his nation's finest fighting force is probably not worth serving.



Wraith said...

There are people who insist that the military would never fire on American citizens, orders or not.

This makes me wonder how many of them know when to follow orders and when not to. :(

irontomflint said...

The sole reason is Nidal Malik Hasan, the 39-year-old U.S. Army Major that served as a psychiatrist when he shot up a large group of people at Ft. Hood, killing 13 people and wounding 29 others.

Now, if a Major in the Army was willing to do that in freaking Texas, You can just imagine the abject terror President-mommy-jeans felt when surrounded by the USMC in Washington DC.

Toejam said...

Who needs the secret service? Obama has his Browning Citori skeet gun to keep him safe from those nasty Marines.

Aphael said...

I'm a little annoyed at this, but it's not exactly news. When then-president Bush visited Ft Bragg in '08, our bolts were removed for the duration of the affair, and I've heard of this being done intermittently at least as far back as the Clinton administration. It may be an insult, but it's an old and oft-repeated one.

Anonymous said...

It's a Secret Service policy going back to at least the Vietnam era. I've seen reference to similar actions taking place during state visits to the troops over there.

MrGarabaldi said...

I remember this happening when Clinton went to the Day Day 50th anniversary and the troops that were there for the ceremony had the same thing happen to them including the officers that had their pistols*deactivated* and the regular troops had their bolts removed out of their M-16's. This caused a big stink with a lot of people. Something about democrats and troops I guess.