From Abu Ghraib to the darling of progressives?

posted at 2:00 pm on April 17, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

I swear, sometimes it is difficult to keep up with progressives and Democrats.  First they demand an exit from Iraq, and then the most progressive administration in decades starts signaling that they want to stay in Iraq longer than George Bush did.  Speaking of Bush, remember when the Left screamed about the “imperial Presidency” because Bush went to war in Iraq without sufficient consultation with Congress?  Their champion in 2008, Barack Obama, took us to war in Libya without any consultation with Congress in 2011.  Not only that, but the White House openly scoffed at the idea that Congressional approval was necessary at all.

And remember Abu Ghraib, the scandal that the Left used to demand the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and to paint the entire Bush administration as torturers?  You know, the one where the ACLU found memos from the commanding general that authorized the use of dogs in interrogations of prisoners held there, which the Left went bonkers over?  Guess who the Democrats have apparently picked to run for the open US Senate seat in Texas:

Democrats appear to have recruited retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez to run for the U.S. Senate in Texas, setting the stage for a potentially competitive race in 2012 for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.

Former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes confirmed that Washington Sen. Patty Murray, the head of the Democratic Senate campaign committee, was referring to Sanchez Thursday when she said that Democrats were very close to announcing a candidate in Texas.

Sanchez, reached by phone at his San Antonio home, said, “I can neither confirm nor deny.”

Let’s try to make some sense of this selection.  Are Democrats now saying that Rumsfeld as SecDef had responsibility for Abu Ghraib while the military commander actually in charge of the theater that reported to Rumsfeld did not?  Or are they withdrawing their accusations entirely?  This isn’t just a case of allowing Sanchez to retire in honorable peace after a slew of vicious allegations about the integrity of everyone in that chain of command; they’re now endorsing him for further public service.

That should at least require some sort of reconciliation of their positions from the Bush era to now, and not just on Abu Ghraib, but also on Guantanamo — as Sanchez’ memo outlines practices beyond anything used at Gitmo.  Pass the popcorn, because this should be good.

Update: Pass the popcorn to RedState, too:

Senator Patty Murray, who steers the Democrats’ Senate campaign arm and vaguely teased reporters earlier this week of a top Texas recruit, said in 2004 that all those responsible for Abu Ghraib — no matter where they fell in the chain of command — must be held to account for their actions.

“These actions are a disservice to the thousands of American soldiers in the region who serve us honorably each and every day, and, sadly, are likely to make their efforts to calm a troubled region even harder,” Murray said of the controversy.

When former President George Bush tapped then-White House Counsel Alberto Gonzales to fill the nation’s top law enforcement post, Murray joined Senator Maria Cantwell in opposing the nomination over his green-lighting of Sanchez’s interrogation techniques.

In a 2004 statement, Senator Patrick Leahy accused Sanchez of authorizing “the use of techniques that were contrary to both U.S. military manuals but also international law.” “Given this incredible overstepping of bounds, I find it incredible that the reports generated thus far have not recommended punishment of any kind for high-level officials,” he added.

And to Jim Geraghty:

But sooner or later, Sanchez will have to take stands on the usual domestic, economic, and social issues in what remains a very conservative state, where Democrats haven’t won a statewide race in seventeen years. So Sanchez will either become something akin to Zell Miller, a Democrat who is apostate on so many issues that his own party’s grassroots outside the state can’t stand him (and conservatives make him their favorite member of the opposition), or he’ll have to try to sell liberalism in Texas — in a year when the top of the ticket is Barack Obama, no less. …

Sanchez did call for a “Truth Commission” to investigate interrogation tactics under the Bush administration, a stance that may not play well in the Lone Star State[.]

However, Sanchez probably will have a tougher time getting donations and support from the liberal grassroots – and it’s not unthinkable that some progressive Democrat might jump in, lest the party’s face in Texas be the man they hold responsible in part for a terrible national scandal. At Daily Kos, Sanchez is described as “complicit in one of the worst abuses in recent US military history, and worse, was part of an effort to sweep it under the carpet.” Also, ThinkProgress accuses him of lying to Congress; they write, “Sanchez himself wrote and signed a 2003 memo that included specific interrogation tactics approved for use despite noting that they may violate the Geneva Conventions. In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sanchez denied signing off on these interrogation methods.”

Maybe Democrats realize that winning a Senate race in Texas with Barack Obama on the ticket would be akin to attempting to get Texans to forget the Alamo, and they’d rather not run a realistic candidate in that slot who might succeed better in an off year.


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Lefties love abusing people.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2011 at 2:06 PM

The Left is for abusing captives.

The left is never progressive, liberal or democratic.

They just hijack the terms.

Schadenfreude on April 17, 2011 at 2:06 PM

I’m not a Texan, but having been raised in the west with similar attitudes and convictions, I can’t see running a liberal race on the coattails of Obama could ever conceivably happen in the Lone Star State.

Tennman on April 17, 2011 at 2:07 PM

A military man and he’s a progressive????

OmahaConservative on April 17, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Wes Clark part II?

Retired senior officers running as Dems are tools for the Left to use like toilets and throw under the bus when their usefulness is outlived, nothing more.

fiatboomer on April 17, 2011 at 2:10 PM

OmahaConservative,

As a veteran, I can attest that in the officer corps, there are a lot of liberals.

Enlisted? Not so much.

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Dems had actually made some progress in Texas while Bush 43 was prez, but they lost most of those gains in 2010. No way they win this seat in ’12.

clearbluesky on April 17, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Just so hard to wrap my head around that.

OmahaConservative on April 17, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Well our home sure the heck isn’t voting for him. We don’t vote d.
L

letget on April 17, 2011 at 2:15 PM

A military man and he’s a progressive????

OmahaConservative on April 17, 2011 at 2:08 PM

There’s more than you might think. I’ve got a Facebook friend I used to be stationed with (he’s retired mil as am I) and he’s about as Liberal as anyone inside the Beltway. I love fisking the lib stuff he puts up on FB every now and again.

catmman on April 17, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Folks:

Let’s remember that there was a time when being a democrat did not mean that you were automatically a progressive or a commie.

Perhaps, Sanchez is what the dems need, although it looks like a cheap trick to me.

El Coqui on April 17, 2011 at 2:16 PM

Well, Bill White ran for governor last year basically trying to do a Usain Bolt sprint away from the national Democratic Party’s positions and that didn’t work, so the strategerie here by Texas Dems is to find a candidate who already has generated some hostility from the left, so he doesn’t have to continuously prove he’s not part of the left.

All of which would be a peachy-keen plan if Sanchez was running for governor or some other statewide race not requiring that the winner go to Washington D.C. in 2013. The Senate winner does, which means Sanchez doesn’t have the luxury of just relying on past hostility from the left; he’s going to have to run against both Obama and Harry Reid and whatever political plank the DNC puts up in order to get elected. If he does that, not only with the UT-Austin crowd have to hold their noses over Sanchez’s Abu Ghirab connection, they’ll have to vote for a Senator who spends all of next year trashing or disavowing most of their other pet beliefs.

jon1979 on April 17, 2011 at 2:19 PM

OmahaConservative on April 17, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Let’s do a little roll call of the senior military folks over the last few years off the top of my head who are lefties or lean very much to the left:

Wesley Clark
Merrill McPeak
Colin Powell

I’m sure there are others…

catmman on April 17, 2011 at 2:22 PM

You know, this is just more proof to me that the Left isn’t about what we on the Right think of as “principles” at all. “War is not the answer” is not a principle with them; it’s only an excuse. The left doesn’t care about what is being done; they only care about who is doing it. They apparently have to divide the world up into comrades and enemies (and whether you’re a comrade or an enemy seems to turn more on the things you say than the things you do anyway).

Aitch748 on April 17, 2011 at 2:24 PM

Come on. We’re talking Texas folks. No DEMONcrat is going to get elected to any state-wide office in Texas. Ever. Again. And to replace Kay Bailey “I will resign” Hutchison in the US Senate?

I’m surprised the DEMONcrats got someone less objectionable than a child molester.

moochy on April 17, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Let’s do a little roll call of the senior military folks over the last few years off the top of my head who are lefties or lean very much to the left:

Wesley Clark
Merrill McPeak
Colin Powell

I’m sure there are others…

catmman on April 17, 2011 at 2:22 PM

You forgot McCain.

VegasRick on April 17, 2011 at 2:27 PM

This is hilarious. The Jokeocrats live down to their appellation.

Sekhmet on April 17, 2011 at 2:30 PM

In other words, it was nothing but politics to ruin Bush. That’s all.

SouthernGent on April 17, 2011 at 2:30 PM

A military man and he’s a progressive????

OmahaConservative on April 17, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Two words: Joe Sestak.

But to be fair, he was always an a$$#ole.

JeffWeimer on April 17, 2011 at 2:31 PM


… would be akin to attempting to get Texans to forget the Alamo …

“Tay-haz” is now a majority Mexican state … the Battle of the Alamo is now seen as a VICTORY!

Tony737 on April 17, 2011 at 2:33 PM

A military man and he’s a progressive????

Montel Williams
Jim Webb

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Patty Murray is dumber than I thought.

steebo77 on April 17, 2011 at 2:36 PM

“War is not the answer” is not a principle with them; it’s only an excuse. The left doesn’t care about what is being done; they only care about who is doing it. – Aitch748

Yeah, so true, where were they when Russia invaded Georgia?

Tony737 on April 17, 2011 at 2:37 PM

Folks:

Let’s remember that there was a time when being a democrat did not mean that you were automatically a progressive or a commie.

Perhaps, Sanchez is what the dems need, although it looks like a cheap trick to me.

El Coqui

In a land long ago and far away.

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Ha–larious!

To run a guy you spent that much effort vilifying screams, we are insane and forget what we said yesterday.

Also, for this guy to accept the Democrats offer to run after how they treated him makes him look like a dolt. Call me evil and then ask me to represent you….i dont think so.

Big FAIL all around.

alecj on April 17, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Wesley Clark
Merrill McPeak
Colin Powell

I’m sure there are others…

catmman on April 17, 2011 at 2:22 PM

Also, you forgot General “No Free Speech for Americans” Petraeus.

mockmook on April 17, 2011 at 2:40 PM

So, going into the 2012 cycle, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is heading up the DNC, Patty Murray’s in charge of the DSCC, and the DCCC is being run by Steve Israel. Look for many more inexplicable candidate picks. Many, many more.

steebo77 on April 17, 2011 at 2:41 PM

OmahaConservative,

As a veteran, I can attest that in the officer corps, there are a lot of liberals.

Enlisted? Not so much.

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 2:11 PM

+100

I’ve met some real hardcore liberals. Scary, scary people.

NavyMustang on April 17, 2011 at 2:47 PM

The Left…pandering to the Hispanic vote.

What else is new?

Sanchez accepting the Dem mantel?

Sell out.

What else is new?

coldwarrior on April 17, 2011 at 2:47 PM

I am a Texan and Democrats on state-wide tickets tend to end up as trivia answers.

Marcus on April 17, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Patty Murray is dumber than I thought.

steebo77 on April 17, 2011 at 2:36 PM

I’d love to see Pattycakes Murray, Debbie “Obamacare” Wasserman-Schultz, and Debbie Stabenow on Jeopardy.

SouthernGent on April 17, 2011 at 2:48 PM

I’d love to see Pattycakes Murray, Debbie “Obamacare” Wasserman-Schultz, and Debbie Stabenow on Jeopardy.

SouthernGent on April 17, 2011 at 2:48 PM

With Barbara Mikulski as the alternate.

steebo77 on April 17, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Maybe this is the Dims rather strange attempt to concede the race upfront. If Ted Cruz, former solicitor general, runs for senate, he’ll win by miles.

Erich66 on April 17, 2011 at 2:51 PM

As long as he only tortures Republicans…

profitsbeard on April 17, 2011 at 2:54 PM

I watched some of the WA debates with Murray. I thought at the time that it is ashame that the people who need other people’s money have to vote for such a dim bulb….you’d think that they’d be able to do better than her

r keller on April 17, 2011 at 2:55 PM

NavyMustang

Thank you for your service!

Gothguy
HM2
FMF Corpsman

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 2:55 PM

It is easier to find a constant purpose of pursuing power than a permanent principle when you examine progressives positions.

KW64 on April 17, 2011 at 2:56 PM

Although I am worried for the GOP in Texas due to changing demographics, there is no way that a democrat will win the Senate race in 2012.

Keep in mind, most people here either really dislike, hate or feel lukewarm about Perry and he WON 55% to 45% statewide!

mrsmwp on April 17, 2011 at 2:58 PM

FMF Corpsman – Gothguy

Ummmm, HELLOOOOO? It’s CORPSEMAN!

Tony737 on April 17, 2011 at 2:58 PM

I hear Loretta Sanchez does a mean impersonation of him.

Christien on April 17, 2011 at 2:59 PM

As a progressive. he will wear the panties in the right place, not on his head.

bayview on April 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM


… that included specific interrogation tactics approved for use …

Some books on how interrogators get terrorists to talk without torture …

“Mission Blacklist #1″

“How to Break a Terrorist”

“Kill or Capture”

If you enjoy a good mental chess match between the good guys and the bad guys, these are true stories written by the “gators” who caught Saddam and Zarqawi.

Tony737 on April 17, 2011 at 3:04 PM

I hear Loretta Sanchez does a mean impersonation of him.

Christien on April 17, 2011 at 2:59 PM

http://www.redstate.com/moe_lane/2011/04/14/loretta-sanchez-stupid-democratic-racist/

steebo77 on April 17, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Tony737 on April 17, 2011 at 3:04 PM

Was Z-Man “caught?” I thought he died from JDAM fever or a 500-pound headache.

Christien on April 17, 2011 at 3:10 PM

OmahaConservative,

As a veteran, I can attest that in the officer corps, there are a lot of liberals.

Enlisted? Not so much.

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I did some detailed research on this topic a few years back. At that time, the Officer Corps of the military ran about 7:1 Republicans to Democrats.

Enlisted, it used to be a much larger percentage of Republicans than Dems, but that number now is almost split 50-50.

Del Dolemonte on April 17, 2011 at 3:12 PM

He’s just being used like a cheap wh@re.

txag92 on April 17, 2011 at 3:13 PM

FMF Corpsman – Gothguy

Ummmm, HELLOOOOO? It’s CORPSEMAN!

Tony737

OOPS!!!! My Bad!

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Are Democrats now saying that Rumsfeld as SecDef had responsibility for Abu Ghraib while the military commander actually in charge of the theater that reported to Rumsfeld did not?

As long as he’s torturing Republicans, Conservatives and the Tea Party, the Democrats are all for torture.

RJL on April 17, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Identity politics.

ButterflyDragon on April 17, 2011 at 3:22 PM

If in the senior officer corp one must be a Lib’ imagine Adm Mullen being run out of town for opposition to DADT repeal?

b1jetmech on April 17, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Was Z-Man “caught?” I thought he died from JDAM fever or a 500-pound headache. – Christien

Yeah, he was captured, but you’re right, he died from his run in with a JDAM. He lived long enough to know that he was busted. His last view was looking up at American soldier staring down at him.

Two of his buds were trying to carry him out of the house, using a door as a stretcher, when he saw American SpecOps dudes coming for him he tried to roll off. He was done for anyway, the blast ruptured his lungs.

Tony737 on April 17, 2011 at 3:50 PM

Let’s try to make some sense of this selection.

Oh, this is really HARD! “Sanchez” – Texas.

Others would call it PANDERING or RACIST! But then, they aren’t “progressive”.

GarandFan on April 17, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Finally! Some transparency from the Obama administration!

Yeah, the Chicano/Tejano generation has been chompin’ at the bit for “their turn” as they say to me. On one hand, I’m glad to see the DNSC is going to use the race card, but on the other hand, I don’t fault Sanchez for what happened at Abu Ghraib and I really hate to see his role in it dug up again. I was hoping he would find himself a nice comfortable executive job with as nice salary to augment his pension.

Texas Gal on April 17, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Gothguy
HM2
FMF Corpsman

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 2:55 PM

Thank YOU, Doc! (Former Marine Sgt. here)

I hear Loretta Sanchez does a mean impersonation of him.

Christien on April 17, 2011 at 2:59 PM

Loretta’s sister, Rep. Linda Sanchez, looks like him! (Disclaimer, the previous statement was not to be taken seriously as Congresswoman Linda Sanchez is a lawyer
and a humorless progressive politician and activist. Rather the statement was meant as political satire protected by the First Amendment the last time I checked.)

cartooner on April 17, 2011 at 4:26 PM

My hope is Michael Williams or Ted Cruz will be the GOP nominee. Either will waltz across Texas on Sanchez’s butt.

Texas Gal on April 17, 2011 at 4:12 PM

I agree with you about not wanting to see him dragged through Abu Ghraib again.

cartooner on April 17, 2011 at 4:32 PM

In other words, it was nothing but politics to ruin Bush. That’s all.

SouthernGent on April 17, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Yeah, imagine that.

98ZJUSMC on April 17, 2011 at 4:35 PM

The memo authorised techniques including putting prisoners in stressful positions, using loud music and light control, and changing sleeping patterns.

It also authorised the presence of muzzled military working dogs to, as the memo puts it, “exploit Arab fear of dogs while maintaining security during interrogations”.

In this strange political climate, I find myself in approving amazement of Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez.

For the very first time in my life, I really understand that liberal

disa on April 17, 2011 at 5:04 PM

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 2:11 PM
Just so hard to wrap my head around that.

OmahaConservative on April 17, 2011 at 2:14 PM

There are some but I would say the biggest number of liberal soldiers are the very young ones. They are still the vast minority. The military draws mostly folks of a Conservative bent. I knew few liberals. Especially officer and senior enlisted.

hawkdriver on April 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM

Texas Gal on April 17, 2011 at 4:12 PM

Under Sanchez, there was a general feeling of “lack of control”. If you can imagine, there was a time when the boots on the ground were actually running around Baghdad in soft shell hummers. He was not as well informed as Casey as to the current operations of most major commands and I really don’t think he saw the growing insurgency. He really should own most of it. He was a poor commander.

hawkdriver on April 17, 2011 at 5:21 PM

all those responsible for Abu Ghraib — no matter where they fell in the chain of command — must be held to account for their actions.

Wow. If becoming a US Senator is considered “being held to account for one’s actions” then who needs consequences, right?

ted c on April 17, 2011 at 5:24 PM

Sanchez was a poor commander who gets to where he was the same way Colon Powell, Barry did.

bayview on April 17, 2011 at 5:26 PM

Also, you forgot General “No Free Speech for Americans” Petraeus.

mockmook on April 17, 2011 at 2:40 PM

I was concerned about him before that little episode. I’m really worried about his post military plans. Too much adulation from the masses, much like Powell.

a capella on April 17, 2011 at 5:27 PM

Abu Graihb amounted to fraternity hazing. If you want to know about ‘real’ torture ask the general about boot camp in the 1960′s. Maybe that was before his time, plus ‘officers boot camp’ was different than for enlisted men.

JimP on April 17, 2011 at 5:39 PM

hawkdriver on April 17, 2011 at 5:21 PM

Hawk,

I completely understand that point of view. From my vantage point it seemed to me that as Rummy said, we went to war with the army we had. I completely accept your assessment of what was happening on the ground in Iraq. I was probably more tuned into that theater than most people, especially women. But BG Karpinski is the military commander I hold more accountable than any for what was happening at Abu Ghraib. And I think the National Guard/Army whole needs to reflect back on the fact that those people should not have been included in those deployed for that MP duty, the guy Graner had a previous history in his civilian job that should have removed him from that MOS and the female, England clearly has some mental handicaps that should have prevented her even being deployed. But as Rummy said, we went to war with the army we had. IMHO, the politicization of the incident diverted attention from the internal steps that need to be taken to prevent deploying personnel who are not psychologically fit for the environment, we need our best out there fighting to defend us. I’m not sure that any of that even got a sufficient evaluation.

Texas Gal on April 17, 2011 at 5:52 PM

If I were Sanchez, I’d commit hara-kiri rather than become a member of the party who was out to destroy me and my mission when I wore the Uniform and who I know would savage me if I happened to run as a Republican.

TheBigOldDog on April 17, 2011 at 5:56 PM

the Dems need an hispanic….’race’ trumps

besides the voters are so stupid, they don;t know anything about him, except his name

ploome on April 17, 2011 at 6:15 PM

This candidacy is D.O.A.

HondaV65 on April 17, 2011 at 7:07 PM

A military man and he’s a progressive????

OmahaConservative on April 17, 2011 at 2:08 PM

Far too many pampered years playing the Palace.

91Veteran on April 17, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Gothguy on April 17, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Just so hard to wrap my head around that.

OmahaConservative on April 17, 2011 at 2:14 PM

In many instances, it really depends on how their career came about. If they had connections early in their career and managed to get the right assignments, schools, promotions, etc., they tend to be more liberal. Those who had to earn it the old fashioned way usually were more conservative.

After getting to a certain rank, they either remember their troops, or they become political animals because they have been stepping on their troops on the way up the ladder.

91Veteran on April 17, 2011 at 7:53 PM

Sanchez floats his candidacy by calling himself “a fiscal conservative” and strong on national defense; obviously, this doesn’t hurt his chances in Texas.

So his connection to Abu Ghraib is a feature, not a bug. For many conservatives, particularly the Texas kind of conservative, the principal villain in the Abu Ghraib scandal, wasn’t Lynndie England or the pyramid stackers, it was the coxucker that blew the whistle and released the photos.

I promise you, he’ll be immune to Abu Ghraib-based assaults from the right–because no one on the right really gives a f*** about a bunch of terrorists enduring an extended rush week and some mild sexual humiliation (I sure as f*** don’t)–and from the left–because he’s a DemoKKKrat and they only care about “outrages” that are politically expedient to them.

Throw in the fact that he’s a latino–in Texas–and his viability becomes absolutely nothing at which to sneeze.

DrZin on April 17, 2011 at 9:31 PM

If Democrats thought that Charlie Sheen was the best hope for keeping the Republicans from getting a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate in 2012, Patty Murray would have cornered the international market in hookers and blow as “recruitment incentives” by now. A little thing like the record of a general who at minimum wasn’t very good at supervising his subordinates would be a trivial matter to paper over compared to that.

M. Scott Eiland on April 17, 2011 at 9:39 PM

Can’t remember who mentioned this, but it seems true (usually):

It is the cautious people, the ass-kissers, the politically correct people who make it to the top slots in the military.

———-
Many may be Republicans, but they won’t be conservatives.

mockmook on April 17, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Ted Cruz is a strong candidate. The Dems need waaaaay more than a Latino name.

itsacookbook on April 17, 2011 at 11:08 PM

Abu Graihb amounted to fraternity hazing. If you want to know about ‘real’ torture ask the general about boot camp in the 1960′s. Maybe that was before his time, plus ‘officers boot camp’ was different than for enlisted men.

JimP on April 17, 2011 at 5:39 PM

Marine Corps boot camp 1969, here and yes it was worse than Abu Ghraib. Also Kappa Alpha pledge in the 70′s…

…So his connection to Abu Ghraib is a feature, not a bug. For many conservatives, particularly the Texas kind of conservative,…
…Throw in the fact that he’s a latino–in Texas–and his viability becomes absolutely nothing at which to sneeze.

DrZin on April 17, 2011 at 9:31 PM

DrZin, you are a loon!

cartooner on April 17, 2011 at 11:12 PM

Can’t remember who mentioned this, but it seems true (usually):

It is the cautious people, the ass-kissers, the politically correct people who make it to the top slots in the military.

———-
Many may be Republicans, but they won’t be conservatives.

mockmook on April 17, 2011 at 11:00 PM

That’s not always true, but what we called “political officers” are generally rank grabbers, but real warriors make it too, sometimes… But remember, Al Haig was a “political officer” and he was conservative.

cartooner on April 17, 2011 at 11:16 PM

Ted Cruz is a strong candidate. The Dems need waaaaay more than a Latino name.

itsacookbook on April 17, 2011 at 11:08 PM

Cruz is my 2nd choice behind Williams, but you’re right, there’s no race card for the Dems in this race.

cartooner on April 17, 2011 at 11:19 PM

Texas Gal on April 17, 2011 at 5:52 PM

I think you’re exactly right about that and I would say that reserves and National Guard should be deployed as replacements, not as units.

cartooner on April 17, 2011 at 11:25 PM

Texas Gal on April 17, 2011 at 5:52 PM

I don’t disagree with a thing you said. But even with AG Prison being overblown and made a showcase by the media of our involvement, Sanchez was a poor commander by many measurements. I served under him, Casey and Petraeus. Not a bad man, just a poor commander.

Truth be know, Rodriquez was my personal favorite. (Afghanistan)

A lot of commenters seem to not hold the Reserve and NG is very high regard though. I have to say this. Coming from first, an Aviation Battalion in deployment and then in an Aviation Brigade, we would not have been as successful, we would not have been able to maintain our OPTEMPO without the Reserve and National Guard units assigned to us.

Clearwater FL, Salisbury NC and McEntire SC sent us aviation warriors that equaled and surpassed all expectations.

hawkdriver on April 17, 2011 at 11:39 PM

Why on earth would (did) he choose them?

Kenosha Kid on April 17, 2011 at 11:44 PM

Clearwater FL, Salisbury NC and McEntire SC sent us aviation warriors that equaled and surpassed all expectations.

hawkdriver on April 17, 2011 at 11:39 PM

Were those Reserve units? or NG? or both?

91Veteran on April 18, 2011 at 12:10 AM

91Veteran on April 18, 2011 at 12:10 AM

Clearwater FL was a Reserve unit. Salisbury and McEntire were NG. The 285th from AZ also served with us. They were NG. Why do you ask?

hawkdriver on April 18, 2011 at 12:17 AM

Clearwater FL was a Reserve unit. Salisbury and McEntire were NG. The 285th from AZ also served with us. They were NG. Why do you ask?

hawkdriver on April 18, 2011 at 12:17 AM

Just curious after seeing such a mix of units in ’91. Aviation units tend to be different given their mission and the ability to perform that mission at home. Other units often depended on their mission, and sometimes the state. At one time, the standards units were held to were different than AD units, but I believe that drastically changed after ’91…but then I’ve seen some NG units where the NG in the state still operates off the “good ‘ol boy” system, and the units reflect that.

Good to hear you had good troops that took their job seriously.

91Veteran on April 18, 2011 at 12:37 AM

Guys, what a lot of you seem to be forgetting is that all 2-star officers and up must be confirmed by the Senate. No real conservative is going to make it past that filter. Sanchez as a three star had to make it past that twice.

SDN on April 18, 2011 at 7:11 AM

Maybe the DNC sent Patty a memo asking for a D with a Spanish surname and a high rank in the military to run in Texas and this is the best she could come up with, forgetting his role in AG. If he does end up being their guy in Texas, they’ll be pouring a lot of money down that rat hole of a campaign.

Kissmygrits on April 18, 2011 at 8:52 AM

Not only that, but the White House openly scoffed at the idea that Congressional approval was necessary at all.

They didn’t need Congressional approval! Remember they had U.N. approval. One world government and all that, you know.

Herb on April 18, 2011 at 10:08 AM

Patty Murray is dumber than I thought.

steebo77 on April 17, 2011 at 2:36 PM

One word for your thoughts. IMPOSSIBLE! Patty Murray makes a bucket full of earthworms look smart when compared with her.

Webrider on April 18, 2011 at 10:56 AM

Any consideration for the fact the he was in “command” during the years Iraq went sideways?

motionview on April 18, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Hawk,

It was pretty obvious to me, watching from my vantage point, that Sanchez was over his head in Iraq. The building insurgency required an extraordinary commander, like Petraeus, an extraordinary intellect of military strategy. I think when the history is written on that aspect of the war, we will find out that inside the Bush administration, it was also recognized that Petraeus was the go to guy and that is why he was designated to select a group of warriors, (McMaster, Meese, Kilcullen, et al) and take lessons learned and put them into a counter-insurgency manual. And that is when the decision for a ‘surge’ was first conceived.

I think the military does a very good job with training warriors and I do not disparage the NG or the Reserve units. I understand that during that period of time, as the insurgency momentum was building, the increase in the number of captives was becoming a problem. In the case of AG, I realize we needed every MP we could get our hands on and we also were using contracted services to fill the void where we didn’t have the personnel. It’s understandable that when it comes to readiness training, that an MOS such as policing would not be a priority. I’m just saying that as a result of the investigation of all that were involved, we had a BG name Karpinski who was negligent in her duties and appeared to not understand that the environment required a 110% from the entire Officer chain of command. I’m not making excuses for Sanchez as a commander or manager, but I don’t support the argument that he was negligent or incompetent where AG was concerned. It appeared to me he was following SOP and the DoD was dealing with the situation, however slowly it was moving.

My hope is that the NG and Reserves learned the lessons of AG. Yes, it was overblown by the media. But that does not excuse the fact that Graner and England should not have been deployed and they were not Sanchez’ responsibility.

I think the DNSC is banking on the GOP not attacking Sanchez’ involvement at AG for fear it will be seen as racist and any attack would be a reminder of that ‘bad war in Iraq’ as opposed to the ‘good war in Afgan’. So IMHO the best way to deal with it is to remind voters of what the Dems had to say about Sanchez and his role and avoid attacking him directly. At least, that’s my 2 cents to the Texas GOP.

Texas Gal on April 18, 2011 at 12:37 PM

I think the DNSC is banking on the GOP not attacking Sanchez’ involvement at AG for fear it will be seen as racist and any attack would be a reminder of that ‘bad war in Iraq’ as opposed to the ‘good war in Afgan’. So IMHO the best way to deal with it is to remind voters of what the Dems had to say about Sanchez and his role and avoid attacking him directly. At least, that’s my 2 cents to the Texas GOP.

Texas Gal on April 18, 2011 at 12:37 PM

I agree, use the Dems’ own words against them and Sanchez. I’m a Texan, and I still haven’t picked a favorite on the GOP side.

Ward Cleaver on April 18, 2011 at 12:57 PM

and I still haven’t picked a favorite on the GOP side.

Ward Cleaver on April 18, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Me neither.

Texas Gal on April 18, 2011 at 1:06 PM