A Dissent on Dissenting
I write in response to Arthur Herman’s article, “Sensitive SEALs,” in the August 5 National Review.
I am a former U.S. Army Special Forces officer, and I agree with all but one point Mr. Herman makes in his excellent article. I only take issue with Mr. Herman’s call for a senior general or admiral who is not a “complete moral coward” to call a halt to the assault on the military.
Senior military officers provide advice, but they are subordinate to civilian authority. Once the president has set the policy, officers are duty bound to implement it: Public dissent is not part of our tradition. Calling on our military to abandon this tradition, which officers hold as a sacred, most fundamental duty of service to our democracy, is misguided. Calling on Congress and the president to order an about-face is quite sane.
Captain Jeff Curl, U.S. Army (Retired)
With all due respect to the memory of Edmund S. Morgan (The Week, August 5), I question the statement that “the history of the Founding period has been well taught and well studied in American universities for the last four decades, thanks in great part to” this gentleman. My understanding from all that I have read (including in National Review) and heard — e.g., from attending alumni seminars at my alma mater, Williams College — is that most universities approach American history with a revisionist attack that leaves the eventual grads with a quite distorted view of the Declaration/Articles of Confederation/Constitutional Convention/Ratification–era thinking. If it were not for institutions such as Hillsdale College, the “educated” ranks would be bereft of those with a firm grasp on what the Founding Fathers had in mind for America’s governance.
Have you ever asked a recent college grad who “studied” American history what his view is of the relevance of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to today’s congressional activity?
Winter Park, Fla.
In the August 19 issue, a photograph of former senator George J. Mitchell (D., Maine) that appeared in The Week was misidentified as a photograph of Texas businessman and “father of fracking” George P. Mitchell. Senator Mitchell must have been flattered to have such productivity attributed to him. George P. Mitchell is seen above.