Mar 17 2009
And not the constitution?
Average Number of Times Received Daily at MOAA: 2
This highly forwarded email cites a source that claims the Department of Defense is concerned about White House requests for military recruits and officers to make their pledge to President Obama, instead of the Constitution.
The Most Common Iteration
Military to Pledge Oath To Obama, Not Constitution
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates is extremely frustrated with orders that the White House is contemplating. According to sources at the Pentagon, including all branches of the armed forces, the Obama Administration may break with a centuries-old tradition.
A spokesman for General James Cartwright, the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, states that the Obama Administration wants to have soldiers and officers pledge a loyalty oath directly to the office of the President, and no longer to the Constitution.
“The oath to the Constitution is as old as the document itself.” the spokesman said, “At no time in American history, not even in the Civil War, did the oath change or the subject of the oath differ. It has always been to the Constitution.”
The back-and-forth between the White House and the Defense Department was expected as President George W. Bush left office. President Obama has already signed orders to close Guantanamo and to pull combat troops from Iraq. But, this, say many at the Defense Department, goes too far.
“Technically, we can’t talk about it before it becomes official policy.” the spokesman continued. “However, the Defense Department, including the Secretary, will not take this laying down. Expect a fight from the bureaucracy and the brass.”
Sources at the White House had a different point of view. In a circular distributed by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, the rationale for the change was made more clear.
“The President feels that the military has been too indoctrinated by the old harbingers of hate: nationalism, racism, and classism. By removing an oath to the American society, the soldiers are less likely to commit atrocities like those at Abu Ghraib.”
“We expect a lot of flak over this,” the classified memo continues. “But those that would be most against it are those looking either for attention or control.”
The time frame for the changes are unknown. However, it is more likely that the changes will be made around the July 4th holiday, in order to dampen any potential backlash. The difference in the oath will actually only be slight. The main differences will be the new phrasing. It is expected that the oath to the Constitution will be entirely phased out within two years.
The piece appeared in a blog entitled ‘Jumping in Pools‘, and was clearly stated as satire. The following is rarely included in the viral email:
NOTE: This article is, in fact, a satire piece.
NOTE: This article did not appear in, or was sanctioned in any way by the National Law Journal.
This one was pretty easily traced back to the satire source, but just as an exercise in critical email reading, let’s look at the warning signs:
Fake author – a quick Google search for ‘Michele Chang Conservative News’ will return just blog mentions of this specific article, with nothing tracing back to a valid author.
Google Results – You should always take the article title or a key sentence or paragraph of anything received and run it through Google. If the results are predominantly blogs and not valid established media sources, chances are there’s no basis for it.
Simple Logic – Is it outside of the realm of possibility that President Obama would take such a controversial measure at the beginning of his presidency? No, but it is so far out of the realm of probability that it should immediately make even the most committed partisan give pause.
Grammatical Content – Classist?
Obviously satire is used to get across a personal or group sentiment through a semi protective screen. So the motivations of the original author is not particularly malignant. However, the forwarding en mass is an attempt to spread an ant-Obama conservative movement ideal. Especially when those forwards are augmented with common language about socialism and tyranny.
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