Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Re: E-Mail Correspondence With Captain Byron King of the United States Navy Reserve

----- Original Message -----

From: John
Sent: Wednesday, June 21, 2006 10:59 AM
Subject: Re: E-Mail Correspondence With Captain Byron King of the United States Navy Reserve

I don't think I could improve upon your response to Captain King; as a former naval officer myself --albeit nothing so grandiose as a Captain-- I merely want to express my support for your position.

Captain King, of course, is trying to hide behind an argument from authority. We're supposed to believe that because someone is a former Ranger, an official spokesman, and a General who rides the metro, that he must not be a liar. Surely, he jests. In my experience, the military is full of liars, but one need not rely on my anecdotes: a casual examination, over time, of the statements coming from the mouths of "official military spokesmen" is incontrovertible proof that the military lies, and does so routinely. The fact that these spokesmen are clever enough to hide behind a curtain of ambiguity whenever possible, to cloth themselves in "truths" that are freshly laundered, and to exploit every ounce of trust they can milk from the lowing herd, does not make them honest. Need we say anything more than "Jessica Lynch" or "Pat Tillman?" Furthermore, the fact that someone in our politicized military has managed to advance to the general ranks is hardly an indicator of integrity. It would be a far better bet to take the word of most Lieutenants --as long as they're not "official spokesmen"-- over the word of just about any General.

Now, I'm not a religious man myself, but I find it even more despicable that Captain King seeks to hide behind the authority of the Church. By the Captain's logic, we must suppose that if we were using weapons that had been designed at the Vatican under the leadership of the Pope, we could employ them in any manner we saw fit without troubling our consciences over any petty considerations of morality. If I can get the Pope, or a local preacher, to bless the Colt .45 ACP I bought to protect my family, can I then fire it indiscriminately? Hey, my intentions are pure, so if I shoot through the door at a prowler and kill someone's kid passing by on the sidewalk, that's OK by Captain King's standards, isn't it? I won't be prosecuted, will I? And people like the Captain will write letters in my defense? Or will it be different somehow because my door isn't located in Iraq?

Finally, let's not trouble ourselves with things like unintended consequences. Let's not consider the fact that what Captain King is saying is, in essence, that we have designed weapons that make it easier to kill people. That it's easier for a politician to get away with ordering the deaths of one, two, or three people at a time, than it is to order the deaths of a hundred, or a hundred-thousand. But since it is easier, aren't these decisions now made more casually? What kind of world would it be if some government, ours, or anyone else's, could target a single individual anywhere in the world with absolute precision, and kill him without injuring another person? Captain King suggests that such precision, alone, leads to a morally improved world. Does it? Is there any man or any government that could be trusted with this kind of power? I don't think so.