A Soldier on Cheney

A reader writes:

I will admit that at the time I joined the military, the Bush administration’s secrecy and apparent ruthlessness was quite intriguing and appealing. I thought they were bold upstarts, beholden to no one, and I admired that. America was going to kick ass from now on! I now have since revised my views on this, but the fact remains that our president sanctions and some forms of media glamorize these types of covert operations. It is likely that many cadets agree with the Vice President's views on Geneva and the Constitution. There are a few reasons that I haven't lost all hope yet, though it's been close many a time, and I am treading water just like another one of your readers.

Sandra Day O’Connor and Gen. David Petraeus also came to speak to the Corps of Cadets during my second year at the military academy, and their messages were unmistakably in contrast with the administration’s current policies. Justice O’Connor spoke about the importance of the rule of law and adhering to the Geneva Conventions during combat; Gen. Petraeus spoke eloquently about the difficulty of this war and what would help win it (ethical conduct and persistence) and what wouldn't (the opposite behavior). There are forces moving in the right direction, Andrew, and it is up to people like you and your readers to continue to support what is right and to question egregious behavior by those at the very top of this administration, and all the way down the chain of command.

The Army asks its members to internalize the maxim "choose the harder right over the easier wrong" and this is a case of exactly that, because it is far simpler to pretend we are above the law and to hedge around the Constitution than it is to patiently protect and defend that document, even when our leadership proclaims itself above it.

Know hope.