Tuesday, April 22, 2008

When The Generals Lied - LTC Robert Maginnis

One of our esteemed colleagues, Batocchio, gave us a link to this site, PR Watch. They are a great resource and actually gave me a lot of stuff that I used against "Uncle Jimbo" and his ilk last month.

While certainly NOT a general officer and more of retired busybody with an obsession about homosexuals serving in the military, LTC Robert Maginnis appeared in the New York Times story last Sunday as a kind of "voice of reason."

Another analyst, Robert L. Maginnis, a retired Army lieutenant colonel who works in the Pentagon for a military contractor, attended the same briefing and recalled feeling “very disappointed” after being shown satellite photographs purporting to show bunkers associated with a hidden weapons program. Mr. Maginnis said he concluded that the analysts were being “manipulated” to convey a false sense of certainty about the evidence of the weapons. Yet he and Mr. Bevelacqua and the other analysts who attended the briefing did not share any misgivings with the American public.

There's something really interesting about Maginnis--he used to write articles for Gary Bauer's Family Research Council. I'd love to share them with you. Unfortunately, all of the articles he wrote the in the 1990s about homosexuals in the military were scrubbed from their website. If you find some of his more popular writings, let me know. I confess I didn't spend a whole lot of time trying to track down his anti-homosexual wingnuttery.

Allow me to editorialize--I spent seven years on active duty. I served with a number of homosexuals. It was no big deal. And, for the record, the only people who ever presented a theat to "good order and discipline" were immature assholes who couldn't accept that someone might have more skills or authority than they had, criminal malcontents who had no business being in the Army in the first place, and zealously religious Christian activists who were openly recruiting people into their wacko sect by putting informational fliers on their door to their offices in Brigade headquarters.

Here's another thing that is really striking about Maginnis--he's a West Point Grad who should have made General. Check out his bio and explain to me how THIS guy didn't retire without hoisting his flag:
In July 1993, Colonel Maginnis retired from an assignment in the Pentagon where he served as an Inspector General. He is an airborne-ranger infantry officer with an assignment history that includes Korea, Germany, Alaska, and several posts in the continental United States. He served in command and staff positions in four infantry divisions from platoon to division level. The colonel was the chief for the U.S. Army Infantry School’s leadership and ethics training branch. He developed curricula, taught, participated in leader development research and consulted with leaders and soldiers throughout the Army. He is the author of more than fifty articles published in professional military journals concerning ethics, leadership, and personnel matters impacting the military. Colonel Maginnis service in the armed forces was commended with the Legion of Merit, one of the highest Army peacetime decorations, as well as with five meritorious medals and four commendation medals.

In the last eight months of his military service, Colonel Maginnis was a member of the Army’s study group examining the homosexual ban. He also was advisor to the Defense Department Military Working Group on homosexuals in the military. In that role, he debated the issue in the media as well as speaking in various forums - including testifying before a House subcommittee.

Colonel Maginnis received his B.S. from the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York in 1973 and a M.S. from the Naval Postgraduate School, California, in 1983. He is a graduate of many military schools, including the Command and General Staff College and the US Army’s War College strategy course.

I mean, what the hell? He retires at twenty with O-5? I realize his timing couldn't have been worse--graduating from West Point in 1973 doesn't exactly guarantee you fame and fortune in the world of the United States Army, unless you're General John Abizaid, who was in the same class as Maginnis.

One of the many appearances that Maginnis made last year was on Fox News, as an analyst, to condemn the British sailors detained by Iran as cowards. Make no mistake about it--Maginnis is a classic wingnut:

NEIL CAVUTO, FOX News: "So, heroes under the gun or cowards under pressure? Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis says 'cowards." Captain Robert McGovern says 'heroes.' ... So, Col. McGinnis to you first. Not pleased with their performance?"

COL. BOB MAGINNIS: "Well, it looks like Holiday in Tehran. You ment - indicated there, Neil, that they were standing in front of Ahmadinejad, and you know they were thanking him for their kind treatment, for letting them go. He was giving them Persian candy and all sorts of souvenirs to take home. And then, by the way, get on this airplane and have a happy Easter. Now, this is great politics. It plays well, perhaps, across the world but the reality is they won big time, the Iranians. In other words, no penalty. Essentially, the oil went way up. He padded his pocketbook in a time of inflation and unemployment. Certainly he bloodied the nose of a key western ally, and, of course, you know, he's the big hegemon in that part of the world, par excellence and he has great ambitions and it looks as if he might realize those."

Maginnis has also run afoul of religious tolerance advocates:
Lt. Col. Robert L. Maginnis (U.S. Army, Ret.) has written a paper for the conservative Christian group, the Family Research Council (FRC). He is the director of their Military Readiness Project. The paper seems to have been triggered by a boycott of some conservative Christian groups against the U.S. Army.
The FRC was initially organized by Focus on the Family, another conservative Christian organization, under the leadership of Gary Bauer, a candidate for the presidency of the U.S. in the year 2000.
The conclusion of the paper is that the "Pentagon should withdraw recognition of Wicca for readiness reasons." Maginnis feels that certain religious rights of Wiccans in the army should be terminated, because Wiccans are a threat to unit cohesion, morale, and efficiency in the Army...

Not sure how you could make THAT case, but what puzzles me about Maginnis is this--he's a relatively low-ranking, low-rent type of commentator. Why such prominence for a man of modest achievement? Why do they elevate him to "commentator" rank?
In his many roles, Colonel Maginnis has appeared on ABC, NBC and CBS evening news shows, CBS 60 Minutes, CBS This Morning, ABC Good Morning America, PBS Newshour with Jim Lehrer, MSNBC Equal Time, Hardball, Internight, and The News with Brian Williams, Court TVs Pro and Con, Fox News The OReilly Factor, Hannity and Colmes, and is a regular guest on On the Record, CNN’s Crossfire, Larry King Live, Talk Back Live, Wolf Blitzer Reports, Late Edition as well as other programs, such as Donahue and The Jenny Jones Show. He has been quoted many times in newspapers and magazines across the world such as The New York Times, US News & World Report and Time Magazine. Since 1993, he has written more than 500 articles, many of which have been published in distinguished newspapers and magazines nationwide.

He was certainly an attack dog--witness this attack on retired General Shalikashvili:

Claiming that gay activists may be trying to take advantage of him as he recovers from a stroke, retired Army Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis (the same Bob Maginnis who once served as the vice president of policy for the vehemently anti-gay Family Research Council, where he wrote more than a few gay-decrying papers) responds to Gen. John Shalikashvili's recent'y released condemnation of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" by saying:

"I just believe he’s being used by those that want to use this as a political mechanism to pry open the military and to use it for their own social experimentation"

I'm thinking he's "right with the Lord" in the eyes of a conservative White House and Pentagon. They know they can go to him anytime there's an issue with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell. So, in effect, the main reason why he enjoys his access is because he's one of the God Boys who have been so beneficial to the military. If someone makes noises about tolerance, they can run to Maginnis and he'll trot out his anti-gay rhetoric and smear anyone so designated by the Pentagon. And access equals dollars, no matter what anyone says. Maginnis has a few pet issues and he beats them to death--and one of the reasons why he got that access is because of his political affiliation and orientation. Had he been a liberal, he'd be a retired O-5, and probably a cranky blogger.

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