Remember my military guys? This is from one of them:
Jonah – about the time of the ‘end of major combat operations’ and Army Secretary White’s resignation I sent you a note predicting Rumsfeld was planning
a “Night of the Long Knives” purge of the Army.
The game is afoot. By putting the Secretary of the Air Force in as the new SECARMY Rummy is remaking the Army in his image and removing the ‘unreliable elements’, and this just seals the deal.
No, it doesn’t really equate to the Roehm purge – but the effect on the senior
leadership will be similar, if less spectacular. Most particularly the punitive aspect of canning these guys before they can retire in grade. That is sending a clear message – Screw with Me, pay for it (literally) the rest of your life. Some perspective on that: A 4 star has a nominal pay of $153,950 a year for retirement purposes. They are actually limited to Level V of the Executive Schedule, which drops their actual pay to $142,488 plus allowances. To put that in perspective – Anita Hill was a Level V appointee. A 3 Star makes $135,835. Not being able to retire in grade is, over a 25 year retirement period (with no index for inflation)equals a $317,000 loss in pay. Since there are cost of living raises to that pay, it’s actually greater.
Now these guys aren’t going to be poor, a 3 star is still pulling in $95K a year in retirement, vice a 4 star’s $108K.
All that said – I support the right of the Secretary to be able to do it, whether he’s right or wrong, because it’s important sometimes to remind the wielders of the “state’s right to legitimate violence” and the tools thereof who the Constitution put in charge, like it or not.