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When You've Got Nothing to Lose

I don't do politics here but I can't pass on this one. Lt. Col. Dr. Robert M. Bowman, (USAF, ret.) has a rather "conservative" site over at His open letter to US military commanders left me wondering just one thing: what the fuck took someone so long to write this?!

We find out early on. Dr. Bowman has terminal cancer. At the end of the two-page letter he writes how he remained silent before the US went into Iraq and that he "must not make that mistake again." Fair dinkum, but why did he remain silent? It looks like for the same reason everyone in the Pentagon who might read it has: make waves and lose your pension as well as your position on the board of a contractor once you retire. The only time for action is when you have nothing left to lose. A looming deadline, for example, and terminal cancer sure as hell gives you one of those.

Includes cola wars poll

x-posted to da brog.

Satish doesn't have terminal cancer as far as I know, but he, too, was running out of options. It started simply enough.

Did install one app server on one windows machine and fileserver got installed in c:appzfilesrvr

Installed new server on another windows m/c in the same system but then when this server tries to access the filesystem it gives following error message . To facilitate this changed the following parameters pointing to the shared filesystem path for all the components of server 2

OK, maybe that's not so easy, but being able to decode whatever the hell he's on about makes my degree relevant to my job. Satish sent me a list of errors (or "erros).

The path 'T:uprefs' does not exist or is not a directory.  If the problem persists, please contact your systems administrator.

Over and over again for every single component of the system. Pages of these, something like two dozen per user access attempt. If you work in any remotely related field (which you probably do or you wouldn't be reading this), you're probably thinking, "He didn't map the file system properly." That's what I thought.

Hey, Satish. Check the permissions and accessibility of the T: drive for the second server. The errors you're receiving indicate a missing path/directory or incorrect permissions. See KB doc 1AT9003 for all the gory details and bits to double-check.



And that should've been the end of it.
It is all set correctly.. I can map the T:\ drive from m/c 2 and access all the directories, the installation on both the m/c has been done using the same id, also the sharing and security has been given as full control
No, it hasn't. I know it hasn't. If it had been you couldn't possibly see a attmod.cpp(901) error. It's simply impossible. I'd sooner believe that Lyndon Larouche isn't a crackpot thief than I would believe that you set up the system correctly. There is only one way you can get $OurBigApp to throw a mgdir.cpp (097) error: delete/remap/fail to map the fucking path.

Which is more or less what I told him. Less. Much less. And in much nicer and simpler words. Not quite as simple as this explanation of relativity, but certainly something that my cow-orkers' kids could understand and follow.

Satish came back again, his English getting even choppier.

I tell you It all is set correctly..! Our administrator is out of station and I am mapping correctly. drive T:\ is mapping from m/c 2 with all directories access , We are now ask a third once for the solution for this problem that the T:\ is not to be reached from m/c 2.
In case you're wondering, "out of station" is Indian slang for "out of town", meaning I'm dealing with a scared PFY n00b. Worse, his company has entrusted the very expensive process of setting up $our_(very expensive)_BigApp to... him.

I fired up Paint.NET, drew a quick diagram and sent him not only explicit instructions but a load of documentation page references. Bangaloreans seem to love that (more on that in a later entry this week). You give 'em written documentation of an 87-step process and they'll take that over the easy, three-step way you tell 'em every fucking time.

Since I could see that he was having a conniption fit thinking that I wasn't taking him seriously, I also asked him to send me the server logs. All of them. Within two hours I had a 25MB zip of half a year's logs and his acknowledgment that he would continue reading through the docs I'd cited and would get back to me.

I waited. And waited. And waited. Two weeks later Vera was harping on about my huge backlog of no response tickets. I told her I preferred to give customers extra time when it appeared they need it. "It's very good for customer satisfaction." She can't touch me when I say that. It's not just my Get out of Jail Free card, it's my motherfucking Get Off Death Row and Go Straight To Paradise Island card. She can try to get around it but that phrase is golden.

Still, it doesn't behoove me to piss her off so I set to work closing out tickets, first sending a personal note asking about the subject one last time. If it's sorted they'll usually ignore it but sometimes they write back. $Telco was more than a week past the go-live date. The problem had to have been sorted by now. Satish wrote back.

Resolved this issue, by setting the UNC path for the filesystem

Uh-huh. Back up against the wall he finally gave in and did what I initially told him: check the fucking path. I can't help wondering if I'd included a "please do the needful" in my original answer that he might've actually done it. This only makes me wonder more about what the hell he was doing each time I sent an update.

Root Cause: 17-Fuckwit.

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A Day in the Life | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden)
Heh heh heh. Sounds like my Satish by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:04:36 AM EST
can beat up your Satish. Mine's probably cuter too.

Dr. Bowman is a smart guy. by vorheesleatherface (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:46:27 AM EST
And I highly encourage link propogation of that document. Good post. Cheers.

I'm not suggesting by sasquatchan (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 05:47:05 AM EST
 coup, yet I think we in the military should remove these civvies from power.. Uhh.. yeah..

No coup necessary by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 06:56:00 AM EST
The Army can court martial the Prez and VP; the Constitution enumerates a whole list of civilians who then succeed the presidency, starting with the Speaker of the House and heading over to the ghastly Cabinet.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
No by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #5 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 07:45:15 AM EST
While the Prez is commander-in-chief, he is a civilian and not subject to court martial nor (I think) the UCMJ. Impeachment and Senate trial is required.
Heat, pressure, and time: the three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
Allow me to clarify by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #6 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 08:29:37 AM EST
"I, ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."

(Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

That bit about obeying the orders of the PotUS is almost Hitlerian, but Articles 90, 91 and 92 of the UCMJ specify "legal orders". That illegal orders are not to be carried out was made clear when the Republic was in its infancy: Little v. Barreme, 6 U.S. 170 (1804). The decision found that the US President does not have "inherent authority" or "inherent powers" which allow him to ignore a law passed by the United States Congress.

Therefore in order to protect the Constitution, the president could be removed to a military court without there being any violation of the oath since only legal orders may be obeyed according to the UCMJ. Since both the PotUS and VP would be unable to carry out their duties (and many would agree they've failed to do since late January, 2000), the the presidential succession is followed. There's only one non-neocon in that succession and she's the next in line.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
But by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 10:34:00 AM EST
that is not an oath the PotUS takes. Unless I misunderstood what you were saying, you said that the PotUS was subject to the UCMJ. He's not. He is subject to the Constitution and all statutes and laws derived from that, but not specifically to the UCMJ. He is a civilian by design and mandate.

Article II Section 4 of the constitution describes how the Prez can be removed from office and that's by impeachment and Senate trial. Whether the President can be tried by civilian courts while in office is a question that has been debated for years (mostly recently Clinton and Nixon) and the consensus seems to be that he cannot, he has to be removed from office first. A2S4 seems to say he's tried for those things by the Senate.

But once removed, he's still not subject to UCMJ unless, I suppose, the charges have to do while he was in active or inactive duty. The fact that he's CINC does not mean he's a part of the military. He is, by design, a civilian commander of the military.
Heat, pressure, and time: the three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

[ Parent ]
Article II Section 1 by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 11:40:31 AM EST
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Taking any action which jeopardise the Constitution (which this preseident has already done on countless occasions) is a violation of the Oath of Office. I believe the military could come into play for a number of reasons. As lm wrote, committing a war crime could very well give the military jurisdiction. Issuing an illegal military order is cause for a court martial (regardless of the fact that he's technically a civilian, he has issued a command which any military person is obliged to follow unless illegal).

Article II Section 4 describes the civilian method for removal. I'm looking at this from a different angle. UCMJ articles 16-21 don't seem to exclude any non-member of the US Armed services from jurisdiction. Article 22 certainly allows for high-ranking military chiefs to convene a court martial. Most importantly, Article 2(a)(9) specifically states that "Prisoners of war in custody of the armed forces" are subject to the UCMJ. Since a violation of the Geneva Convention is a war crime and the White House has continually and systematically violated it, the PotUS and VP can be labeled war criminals and thus subjected to a military court of justice.

The Constitution defines the Geneva Convention as equal in power to the Constitution itself in Article VI: This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

If a civilian Congress won't save the US perhaps the military can. They certainly couldn't fuck it up any worse.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
this is a terrible idea. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 12:49:10 PM EST
the minute the army starts arrogating to itself the power to depose elected leaders, the republic is dead.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
indeed! by R343L (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:01:25 PM EST
And as nice as it would be to get rid of Bush .... not this way. Once the military no longer serves congress & the president, we're screwed.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
Scroll back up to #6 by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #13 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:24:55 PM EST
The military neither serves the President nor Congress. The military is there to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States". While the President may give legal orders under this document, the document itself ad the land it represents is what the military is there to support.

As long as the branches of government provide legal direction, the military must follow (see the Oath of Office, comment #6). As soon as the President violates the Constitution, he is an enemy of it, someone from whom the military is explicitly obliged to protect it from by their oath and by law.

I'm not saying the military should take over the government, nor does this method allow that. It only allows the removal from office those who would direct the military with illegal orders so that the next civilian in line in the legal succession (as amended in 1947) can take office.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
of course it does by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 02:35:18 PM EST
I'm not saying the military should take over the government, nor does this method allow that

If the military is the one deciding whether or not what the President does is legal, then it is the only power that matters.

That is the military taking over the government.


The constitution leaves this power to Congress: Impeachment is a judicial act (this is quite clear from the parts of the federalist which talk about it, and from the history of the impeachment power in Parliament prior to the revolution). That is the correct venue for removing a president for violating the law.

Asking the military to do that is asking generals to decide what the law is; and once they have that power, there is no check on its exercise.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
The military would only be following the UCMJ by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 01:09:00 PM EST
The president is giving illegal orders. This isn't some sort of South American coup. It's based in constitutional and military law. As long as the president acts in a legal manner, his orders are to be followed. When he acts illegally -- in violation of the Constitution he took an oath to protect and defent and in violation of treaties which legally have the same value as anything written in the Constitution -- he is no longer a legitimate commander of the forces and should be expelled.

The war in Iraq was illegal. The treatment of prisoners is illegal. The preparation for an additional war is both illegal and suicidal. Where's the downside in preventing this by means which are laid out in both civilian and military juris prudence, and which have precedence stretching back to the very beginnings of the country and its system of law?

I really am looking for good arguments on either side of this idea because I plan to expand this and post in a more prominent place. I'm ex-military, from a family that served in the military in every generation since coming to the US. I have more socialist (not communist) tendencies than most military/ex-military, based in both 19th c.Jeffersonian writings and modern European methods, but my father and his father were of similar minds. I guess this nut didn't fall quite as far from the tree as he previously thought.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
coups by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 02:31:29 PM EST
This isn't some sort of South American coup.

Yes it is.

Once the military arrogates to itself the power to decide what the law is, rather than leaving that to the judicial process, the game is over.

The military's job isn't to interpret the law.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Then who the hell decides when an order is illegal by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 03:53:03 AM EST
Soldiers are required to know the difference between legal and illegal orders, and are not excused from following an illegal order because they "didn't know". Anyone giving an illegal order is subject to arrest and court martial. The court martial determines the veracity of the claim of illegality.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

[ Parent ]
You're quite wrong in your particulars by lm (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 05:04:48 AM EST
1. ``The war in Iraq was illegal.''

Uh, no. It had the full authorization by the US Congress.

2. ``The treatment of prisoners is illegal.''

Uh, not as pertains to the presidency unless you can tie the treatment at Abu Ghraib directly to the oval office. You might have a better argument with regards to the enemy combatants being held down in Gitmo, but as of yet there has been no determination that holding them is an illegal act by either the US or any other nation.

3. ``The preparation for an additional war is both illegal and suicidal.''

Wrong on both counts. US law does not forbid the president from preparing for war without the authorization of congress but only from going to war without an authorization by congress. Further, the only countries it would be suicidal for the US to engage in war (at present) are Russia, China, India, the UK, and (arguably) Mexico.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
it doesn't even do that by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 05:39:07 AM EST
IIRC, the president can initiate hostilities but has to report on it to congress within so many days.

otherwise, the invasions of grenada and panama would have been illegal.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
UK rather than Franceā€½ by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 08:28:58 AM EST
I'd have thought France's nuclear weapons capability was much more independent. Ditto their arms industry.

[ Parent ]
I didn't forget about France by lm (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 09:20:24 AM EST
I just misremembered history. For some reason I was thinking that France had unilaterally disarmed its nukes, but that isn't so. I can't for the life of me recall which country it was that quit the nuclear club.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
South Africa quit its program. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 10:02:10 AM EST
I don't know any that abandoned the weapons. It does after all take an awful lot of resources to make them. Or foreign help.

[ Parent ]
depends on the nature of the order by lm (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Sep 18, 2007 at 09:01:17 AM EST
I believe that the argument being made is that an order to commit war crimes would unequivocally place the President under the UCMJ jurisdiction.

I dunno. I'm not a lawyer.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
nor am i by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 04:27:14 AM EST
and while i do have some legal training at this point, none of it is on issues of this nature.

that said, it seems to me that the concept undermines and contraverts the constitution, by making the military the ultimate arbiter of political disputes.

legal or not, it's a bad idea, and would create a situation in which the only thing that mattered was what the army thought.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
I dunno, I think the argument is very limited by lm (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 04:55:20 AM EST
It only pertains when the president is giving orders to military personnel. And only then when the orders are illegal according to the UCMJ which is pretty specific as to what constitutes an illegal order.

The only time I can see this making the military the arbiter of political disputes would be if the president ordered an attack without a clear authorization of force from the congress or if the president ordered a specific method of attack (such as preemptively nuking somewhere) that violates international law.

If this is a bad idea, the problem is with the UCMJ. The president should always be subject to the same laws as everyone else. Acting in the role of commander-in-chief, the president should not be above the laws that govern the military.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
power has a tendency to grow by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #20 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 05:38:12 AM EST
is there any evidence to suggest that Congress intended to allow the military to relieve the president of duty when it adopted the UCMJ?

that's the sort of thing which ought to be really explicit.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
that's another really relevant point by lm (2.00 / 0) #24 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 09:44:38 AM EST
The UCMJ was put into effect by the US Congress. Consequently if we assumed that the argument that the president could be arrested by the military for issuing an illegal order was correct, it means that by doing so they would still be acting subserviently to the civilian government as it is congress that defines the contents of the UCMJ.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
ah by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #26 Wed Sep 19, 2007 at 01:51:38 PM EST
but congress doesn't have the power to relieve the president, except by impeachment.

if congress doesnt have the power to do it, it certainly can't delegate a power it doesn't have.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
I'm not so certain that it is that cut and dried by lm (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Sep 20, 2007 at 05:46:18 AM EST
Perhaps it is. But as part of the legacy of the Clinton administration, we now know that a sitting president can be the defendant in a civil suit and be subpoenaed in a court of law. Admittedly, I am entirely unfamiliar with the jurisprudence on criminal law vis a vis the president, but personally I think it a very bad thing if the president can only be prosecuted for crimes by impeachment. It seems to me to be a reasonable state of affairs for courts (whether military or civilian) to be able to try and convict a president. Congress can decide whether to impeach.

As always The Straight Dope has an excellent discussion of the question. If I read it correctly, it appears that the doctrine that a sitting president cannot be indicted and tried while in office is an opinion of the Justice Department (from Robert Bork no less) issued in 1973 that has never been tested in court.

Kindness is an act of rebellion.
[ Parent ]
A Day in the Life | 27 comments (27 topical, 0 hidden)