Yesterday was Phil Carter’s going-away party. As this is written, CPT Carter is on a plane to an army base in Kentucky. Next stop: Iraq.
Unsurprisingly for Phil, but to an extent that would have been astonishing in a normal person, he was philosophical and analytical about being plucked out of his normal life for eighteen months, years after he could reasonably have expected his ROTC obligation to have been a matter of merely historical interest. (The same was true about the astonishing screw-up about Phil’s NYT op-ed last week.)
The good news is that his law firm is being supportive, he has a good array of guest-bloggers to keep Intel Dump running, and he may have some journalistic opportunities even while on active duty.
Phil had some information about his assignment, but wasn’t sure any of it was fit for publication; the most trivial detail might turn out to be of value to the bad guys. He was also full of insight about Iraq and about various matters military, but I see no reason to scoop him on his own thoughts. Still, it’s fair to say that he lacked the unbounded optimism of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders. In particular, he was unethusiastic, as his op-ed makes clear, about the recent decision to make it harder for the Army to get rid of problem soldiers.
I’ve had the privilege of knowing Phil since his days as a UCLA undergraduate. Even then, he had a remarkable degree of self-possession. I admire his sang-froid in the face of unknown dangers, and I salute his service to our country.