Even more interesting than the rules governing what he did yesterday will be the rules governing what he can do this week. The media’s going to want to talk to him as much as his commanders are going to want to stop that from happening lest it draw more attention to his probable breach of military regs yesterday. Presumably there’s nothing they can do to stop him once he’s off duty and out of uniform — or can they, given his misconduct? If they can’t, expect him to turn up on Hannity & Colmes imminently.
Meanwhile, enjoy the absurdity of Jon Soltz in high dudgeon over someone else trading on the moral authority of his military service to push a political point. Soltz is the head of the anti-war veterans’ group VoteVets; he’s on cable news every other day precisely because he’s a vet whose view of the war coincides with the media’s. He’s not wearing his uniform in those appearances but he might as well be. The only significant ethical difference between him and the mystery soldier is that an observer might think the mystery soldier is speaking as an official military spokesman. Did anyone there think that was the case? Ezra Klein didn’t seem to.
Click the image to watch.
Update: Exhibit A in leveraging one’s uniform — or “shiny uniform,” as nutroots icon Glenn Ellensburg Greenwald derisively has it — for political legitimacy. Vets for Freedom does the same thing, of course, but then VFF hasn’t thrown any public tantrums when confronted by a soldier in dress making a point they don’t agree with. Thanks to Matt H. for catching that.