Perusing this morning’s newspapers and blogs, I see that there’s still confusion over what I take to be the central point.
The military is not an ordinary bureaucracy or corporation. In civilian life, not doing what your boss tells you is just a risky career strategy. In military life, it’s a crime, indeed the basic crime in military law: disobedience of a lawful order. It risks a court-martial and whatever punishment that court-martial may direct: that is, it’s the military equivalent of a felony, not a misdemeanor.
The claim that Mr. Bush’s plans to move to Alabama during the summer — plans not then approved by his superiors — somehow invalidated the order he received in Texas in May simply doesn’t pass the giggle test. The order is dated 04 May and 1LT Bush is ordered to comply by 14 May. He didn’t.
So the argument about whether George W. Bush served “honorably” should now be over, unless “honorably” and “criminally” are the same concept.