Fact is any lawful order given by the President must be obeyed, period.
For you to try and switch this now to some unlawful garbage is just that. Stop using fallacy argument and arguing semantics. It is intellectually dishonest at best and a lie at worst.
No Lives Matter
Speaking of lawful orders, I highly recommend watching the old Fred Friendly PBS series Ethics In America.
Under Orders, Under Fire (Part I)
How do we wage war when the enemy dresses as civilians and children throw bombs? Generals William Westmoreland, David Jones, and Brent Scowcroft, correspondents Peter Jennings and Mike Wallace, and others question the duty to follow orders and a commander's obligation to protect soldiers.
Under Orders, Under Fire (Part II)
The carnage of My Lai raises the issue of confidentiality between the soldier, his religious confessor, and military justice. Generals debate the clash between military tribunals and the right of confidentiality with Chaplain Timothy Tatum of the U.S. Army War College, the Reverend J. Bryan Hehir of the U.S. Catholic Conference, and others.
Each show is about an hour & you'll be hooked as soon as you start watching! (you'll have to disable pop-up killers to watch)
Last edited by Devil505; 09-30-09 at 04:53 AM.
I brought up the lawful and legal orders point, because Redress that there are no exceptions and that the president has the final say on small unit tactics. If the president is present at your piece and gives some crazy instructions to you on how to load the gun, you're not obligated to follow those instructions, if they either unsafe, violate regulations or doctrine.
Obviously, there circumstances when the chain of command can and will be broken, such as on the spot corrections for various reasons, or some sort of emergency. D-Day is a good exmaple of how the official chain of command was broken and due to throwing together ad-hoc units, because if the situtation at hand, a new un-official chain of command had to created where you might have a bird colonel leading a platoon size element and his platoon seargent is a corporal.
Ultimately, the notion of the president giving direct orders to a combat platoon, or a company is so far fetched that it's not even worth arguing about. Besides that, anyone smart enough to make it to the White House is mart enough to know that if he's every in the situation where he has to tramp through the bush with an infantry platoon that his best course of action is to keep his mouth shut and his ears open.
Proper proticol is for the president to express his intent to his chain of command and the chain of command carry out that mission, in accordance with that intent. Basically, the president tells the chain what outcome he wants and it's up to the chain to figure out how to achieve that outcome. It's silly to think that the president is going to be creating tactical doctrine right down to the company/platoon/squad level.
Can the president give the president issues orders to a small unit on the battlefield, is it leagal? Constitutionally speaking, sure. Would, or should he tell individual units what tactics to use in a firefight? Certainly not. Could he realistically get away with making such decisions? There's no way that the chain of command would stand for it. It's the reason that it's never happened before.
When the chain is broken, it will do nothing but muck up the whole system and cause a serious breakdown. My point is, if the president actually had the final say about tactics used by combat units, there are alotta elements of our military that wouldn't exist, the Training and Doctrination Command (TRADOC) would be one of them. There would be no use for corps, division, brigade and battalion commanders if it was at all proper for the president to issue orders directly to line units.
So, at the end of the day, in reality, the president doesn't have the last say on what combat tactics are to be used on the battlefield.
Hint: Illegal orders aren't just those that violate internatonal law. Issueing an order to perform a task in an unsafe manner is an illegal order, as well.
Believe it, or not, when a superior officer is wrong, then he's wrong and no longer has the authority to issue that particular order. He doesn't have the authority to violate the law, military regulations, to needlessly threaten troop safety and welfare. If a superior violates the law, or the regulations, it's the duty of those around him, regardless of rank, to correct him. And the same goes for the president.
Remember that shot of PBO boarding Marine One for the first time and he interrupted that Marine's salute to shake his hand? It was a serious violation of military courtesy. Ya don't see that happening anymore, do you?