OPINION As I wrote earlier, the Pentagon launched a massive counter strike this weekend, not against any foreign enemies threatening America daily, but against a TV news commentator – Tucker Carlson. His crime, criticizing the U.S. military’s new found love of leftist ‘woke’ identity politics. Specifically, women’s grooming and uniform standards, including flight suits for pregnant service members.
The outrageously politicized onslaught against Tucker by our nation’s military establishment was severe and personally directed against the Fox News pundit.
Many are asking if these senior Pentagon and service leaders would have fired these unprecedented public salvos against an American opinion journalist without direction from the White House, or without at least tacit promise of ‘air cover,’ from Team Biden. Many of their numerous attacks were described and quoted in my prior piece.
One of the worst offenders, not included, was sadly my own service, the U.S. Marine Corps.
As reported by The Blaze, II Marine Expeditionary Force Information Group publicly blasted Carlson from its official government account:
“What it looks like in today’s armed forces @TuckerCarlson,” the Marine group tweeted along with a picture of a female Marine carrying another Marine. “Get right before you get left, boomer,” the account mocked.
When one person asked the Marine group to “please focus on China and not Tucker Carlson,” the Marine group fired back, “Come back when you’ve served and been pregnant.”
This bizarre and unethical response from the II MEF Information Group, along with the politicized and unprofessional responses from other senior military brass, was widely condemned as conduct unbecoming for American service members. Worse still it is unacceptable from a professional military force in a democracy under strict civilian control.
The Blaze highlighted several angry responses to II MEF’s broadsides against Tucker, primarily from GOP leaders, Marines, and other veterans:
- “Unconscionable that active-duty military members – in uniform and from official military social media platforms – have leveled personal political attacks on a media figure. This is no longer the same military my grandfather, my father, my uncles, my brothers and I served,” Rep. Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), an Army veteran, said.
- “With US Marines tweeting partisan views on Govt accounts — and keeping their jobs all the while — we’ve crossed a red line. The Republic will not stand long when our military, intelligence, & law enforcement become political tools. We are in desperate trouble,” Bryan Dean Wright, a former CIA ops officer, said.
- “Please focus on China and not Tucker,” Joey Jones, a retired Marine, said.
- “These political tweets to a civilian from official accounts, one from a senior enlisted in official uniform at official command are absolutely unacceptable & appalling. Marines need to be held accountable & there needs to be a @USMC wide message against this. @CMC_MarineCorps,” Former Navy SEAL and Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.) said.
- “As a female Marine that [sic] served in II MEF, this attack on a reporter’s free speech from an official account is completely unacceptable,” Michele Perez Exner, who works for House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, said.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas immediately reacted, calling out President Joe Biden, and other senior Pentagon leaders, and demanding a meeting with the Commandant of the Marine Corps, David H. Berger, via the Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, over these highly inappropriate political statements.
Cruz tweeted his concerns about how Team Biden appear to be weaponizing his military leaders in a partisan political war against any opposition, including TV opinion journalists:
Under Biden, the military is launching political attacks to intimidate Tucker Carlson & other civilians who criticize their policy decisions. Officials in uniform are being used for the campaign. I’ve demanded a meeting with the Commandant of the USMC to put a stop to it.
Under Biden, the military is launching political attacks to intimidate Tucker Carlson & other civilians who criticize their policy decisions.
Officials in uniform are being used for the campaign.
I’ve demanded a meeting with the Commandant of the USMC to put a stop to it. pic.twitter.com/Ihl8xRJr0S
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) March 14, 2021
In his attached letter, Cruz noted that no matter one’s views on identity politics or Tucker’s specific comments, the military should never be involving itself in political controversy or appearing to take a side. Both Cruz and I are also deeply troubled that some active military members were suggesting that Americans couldn’t criticize the military unless they had served.
Ultimately, said Cruz:
This spectacle risks politicizing the military after several centuries of efforts to keep military officials out of domestic affairs, undermining civil-military relations by having the military take a side in a contentious cultural dispute, and the perception that military leaders are happily weaponizing the institution against political critics of the sitting administration. This kind of behavior, while perhaps typical in a military controlled Third World country, is completely unacceptable in the United States of America.
Whether President Biden, or his minions, directed the Pentagon brass to launch these outrageous attacks, or he simply created the climate where they felt they could, he needs to call off his Pentagon attack dogs. This is not what America’s military should not be doing to fellow Americans.