View Poll Results: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

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Thread: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

  1. #41
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    Re: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by OldWorldOrder View Post
    You'd have to have a consensus agreement that the government ignored it, first. Almost hundred years ago people thought it did. Now we accept it.
    The government, through extra-legislative fiat has infringed on our Constitutional rights?
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  2. #42
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    Re: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    ...does that mean they would be legitimately justified in staging a coup and overthrowing the government?
    No. The Constitution establishes the Government. We are very serious about civilian control of the military for very good reason.


    The military can (and has) refused to obey unconstitutional orders. But overthrow? Nobody wants that.

  3. #43
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    Re: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by BMCM View Post
    Part of the oath is to follow the orders of those appointed over you.
    Not for officers. That is only in the enlisted oath. Just pointing it out and don't mean for any conclusions to be drawn by it. Officers swear to the constitution, enlisted swear to the constitution and to obey the POTUS and officers appointed over them. That being said, officers serve at the pleasure of the POTUS.

    Here's the difference (I just googled to find it so can't verify the source): Enlisted vs Commissioned Military Oath of Office | Citizens Against ProObama Media Bias

    Here's the officers version by itself: Commissioned Officer Oath Of Office

    Here's the enlisted version by itself: U.S. Armed Forces Oath of Enlistment

  4. #44
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    Re: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by mak2 View Post
    When you were on active duty, how would you have interpreted that? If you were ordered to protect an armoury with deadly force and had to kill fellow citizens, would you? Or are you talking about some interprtation of the constitution, for example, deploying active duty military at the borders and controlling civilian populations crossing that border?
    If I as a NCO order my solders to go on a rape and torture spree through a village to "soften them up", that is an unlawful order and they are under no obligation to follow it. It is no different if an officer orders me to do something unlawful. If I show up to a court-martial and say "well I did it because he told me to to" it is not going to fly, they expect modern soldiers to be thinkers, and we are all the time being given law of war, and ethics briefs.

    Now we can't have soldiers questioning every single order we give which is why they risk the consequences if they make the wrong choice.

    Our founding fathers already fought against one government and one of their biggest fears is that this government would become to powerful and get just as bad. It is the reason they said things such as "
    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government. "

  5. #45
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    Re: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    No. The Constitution establishes the Government. We are very serious about civilian control of the military for very good reason.

    The military can (and has) refused to obey unconstitutional orders. But overthrow? Nobody wants that.
    It is more of a conceptual intellectual question, of course. *Could* it be done, in theory. Even if it could, and even if the government deserved it, I'm not sure I'd actually want it to happen, either.

    I cannot recall any military coup in world history that ended up as anything but military rule, at least for awhile. I'm sure many have started with good intentions... the overthrow of repressive regimes... but power corrupts, and we all like to think we'd be benevolent dictators.
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  6. #46
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    Re: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution, does that mean they would be legitimately justified in staging a coup and overthrowing the government?
    Nope. At no point does the Constitution empower the military to overthrow the government.

  7. #47
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    Re: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    The government, through extra-legislative fiat has infringed on our Constitutional rights?
    I don't think so.
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  8. #48
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    Re: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by RabidAlpaca View Post
    Yes, if they were truly fighting to preserve the constitution and protect the American people. I swore an oath to do just that, not to protect a politician's power over the populace.
    You seem to only be able to recall part of the oath we swore.... "and I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Officers appointed over me...."

    The part about lawful orders is covered in the last part.... "according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice..."

    The devil in this is defining 'truly fighting to preserve the Constitution...'

    While our Government has supported many coups overseas I see them as bad form in CONUS.

    I'd say the Military needs to sit out any political struggle. This can be what-if'd to death but we are no where near any serious need for tanks to roll in our streets...

  9. #49
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    Re: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by Paratrooper View Post
    If I as a NCO order my solders to go on a rape and torture spree through a village to "soften them up", that is an unlawful order and they are under no obligation to follow it. It is no different if an officer orders me to do something unlawful. If I show up to a court-martial and say "well I did it because he told me to to" it is not going to fly, they expect modern soldiers to be thinkers, and we are all the time being given law of war, and ethics briefs.
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  10. #50
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    Re: If the military swears an oath to uphold the Constitution...

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    It is more of a conceptual intellectual question, of course. *Could* it be done, in theory. Even if it could, and even if the government deserved it, I'm not sure I'd actually want it to happen, either.

    I cannot recall any military coup in world history that ended up as anything but military rule, at least for awhile. I'm sure many have started with good intentions... the overthrow of repressive regimes... but power corrupts, and we all like to think we'd be benevolent dictators.
    I think the real answer to your theoretical questions is 'it depends on who would come out on top.' History is kind to victors.

    In reality, to justify overthrowing a government would require not just a violation of the constitution or even repeated violations, it would require that the constitution itself...our form of government was under attack and at risk of destruction from 'enemies foreign and domestic.'

    The crazies on the right like to hype up constitutional violations, real or perceived, as some kind of equivalent attack. It is far from it and something that we've never seen, or have any reason to believe is on the horizon near or far.

    Also, some on here have indicated that not following unlawful orders is the same as protecting the constitution. It is not. Similarly, following lawful orders is not part of supporting and defending the constitution. One could, for example, be given a lawful order that violates the constitution or vice versa. In this case, the constitution would be the supreme authority. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines aren't expected or empowered to interpret the constitution, that is why their oath includes following the orders of the POTUS and officers appointed over them. It provides some cover to enlisted should they follow orders from the POTUS and/or officers that violates the constitution, whereas officers and the POTUS have no such cover. Lawful orders are simply orders that are in compliance with law.

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