In a move designed to undermine the prospect of troops carrying defensive sidearms, lame duck Obama Administration officials have promulgated regulations “permitting” it[.pdf] — regulations that are jam-packed full of Catch-22 restrictions, punitive bureaucracy, and impossible requirements. These regulations recall the many times that these same officials took the side of Islamic terrorism against their own troops, not to mention their party’s history as the party of Jim Crow. As we discuss the points of the regulation below, bear in mind the history of the “literacy test” used in the Jim Crow era to keep blacks in a second-class situation, as we paraphrase from memory John Ross’s retelling of an old legend:
One election day in 1960, Martin Johnson decided to vote. Some young guys from Ohio had come through, and, under the glare of officials and deputies, had helped Martin and his wife and many other people of the town register to vote for the first time.
Martin was a little nervous as he approached the polling station in the county courthouse, because nothing good ever happened to him or his family in that place, and not a deputy but Sheriff JW Pepper his ownself was there.
“Why the Sheriff here?” he whispered to one of the kids from Ohio, who had to stay outside. “Don’t let him bother you. He says he’s doing a literacy test.”
“Well, I can read just fine,” Martin said, and took his place in line.
The white lady in front of him got to the head of the line, and he watched her interaction with Sheriff Pepper closely.
“Here is your literacy test,” Pepper said, and held up a newspaper, the same County Clarion that Martin had read this morning. “Read me the headline.”
“Election Day 1960,” the lady said, amused. Martin exulted for a minute. This was going to be easy.
“Here is your literacy test, boy,” Pepper said, and held up a different newspaper. “Read me the headline.”
“But… Sir… Mr Sheriff… that paper be Chinese!”
“Boy, read me the headline,” Pepper repeated sternly.
“It says, no colored folks are goin’ to be voting in this county today.”
It is no exaggeration to say that E-Ring suits see troops, especially soldiers and Marines, and especially enlisted troops, with the same paternalistic contempt their Jim Crow grandfathers reserved for the “colored.” Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, who has tirelessly striven to put our troops at a disadvantaga against peer competitors and Islamic terrorists alike, promulgated the new regulations, with the approval of
Social Justice Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
Work and Carter, and their families, are guarded around the clock by men with guns. In today’s Washington, safety and protection of your life and family is a perk that comes with rank, not a human right.
The faults of the DOD policy are many and glaring.
- Delegates authority to Lieutenant Colonel and Commander level commanders. While normally anything that pushes power down to the battalion, squadron, or ship commander is a great thing, in this case those officers are being put in an impossible position between anti-self-defense superiors and the right-to-life of their own troops.
- Does nothing to encourage commanders to grant this permission.
- Makes an authority letter only valid for ninety days. If the commander wants to stick his neck out and let his people defend themselves, he has to resign and redistribute the letter four times a year — 12 times in a three-year command. This is a waste of a commander’s most precious resource, time, but it’s not a pointless waste. The point of the Bob Work rule is that it’s a “sickener,” designed to impede the commander from taking this action.
- Every letter and every change must be reported directly to the Pentagon’s National Military Command Center.
- All authorizations must be cleared with military lawyers, the new Commissars, who have veto authority over commanders’ decisions.
- Authorization only applies on the post but not within any buildings.
- Authorization limits service members to state requirements, for example, 10-round magazines in New York.
- Authorization will depend on completion of a DOD qualification, which does not yet exist, every 12 months.
- Hinges authorization, not just on qualification or a commander certification, but on acquisition of a civilian license from the authorities in every individual state the service member will work in.
- Firearms must be unloaded and secured (i.e. in a safe) when off duty, for those authorized to carry issue firearms. Private firearms (if authorized) can be on the service member’s person, on or off duty.
- The policy exempts the National Guard; they don’t permission to defend themselves unless their State Governor gives it to them, but must remain soft targets.
If Congress does not overturn these restrictions within 60 work days, they become permanent; a long lame-duck session focused on bigger fish could guarantee that our troops are unable to defend themselves for months, or years, into the future. This may not be its intended consequence; it’s doubtful that Carter or Work think of the troops enough to actually want to harm them, they’re more indifferent to them and, as all DC satraps, focused on self-service. These regulations are there not to harm individuals, even though they will do that, but to score bureaucratic points — the currency of Carter’s and Work’s world.
Bear in mind that this “permission” is not something that E-Ring suits who oppose the very idea just decided to do. They were directed by Congress to do it, and are “complying” with the bare minimum document — the bureaucrat’s defensive mode, passive resistance and dumb insolence. Congress, where the lives of mere enlisted men and their politically powerless families are also not usually on the scale, either, was shocked out of its normal glutton’s torpor and acted on this after the Fort Hood Massacre, in which an Islamist unwisely recruited by the Army Medical Department had an attack of Sudden Jihad Syndrome and committed a spree of murders and attempted murders.
Of course, not all the current administration’s appointees think the Fort Hood Massacre was a bad thing. Then-Chief of Staff Casey dismissed the deaths of 13 troops as “a tragedy, but“, asserting that the real damage would be if anyone let a realistic view of the war knock ‘diversity” off its perch as the prime, overriding Army value.
Current Army Chief of Staff Mark Milley, who is, like Casey, the very model of the modern social justice general, approves the new rules, and considers the results of the Fort Hood shooting, where one of his precious Diversity Beans snapped and started shooting people, a great success: Police stopped the incident before more than 55 people were shot, after all, and none of the victims were generals.
Milley himself has armed bodyguards, around the clock and everywhere he goes. Rank has its privileges. Apparently one of them is self defense.