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More Partisan Harassment of the Troops

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Marine Corporal Adam Kokesh is an Iraq war veteran who has exactly three weeks of service remaining as a reservist. Now he’s facing a dishonorable discharge. Why? He wore fatigues to an anti-Iraq War rally, the Associated Press reports. He was singled out for disciplinary action after military authorities identified him from a protest photograph published in the Washington Post.

Military rules preclude personnel from appearing in uniform at political functions. However, under the Bush administration this rule has been violated hundreds of times – as service personnel appear in uniform at Republican Party functions. Joshua Micah Marshall of Talking Points Memo documented this process throughout the 2004 and 2006 political campaigns.

Another prominent offender was Lieutenant General William (“Jerry”) Boykin, famous for his remarks attacking Muslims and asserting that “his god” was superior. Boykin was an organizer at a series of bizarre events in Religious Right churches across America at which he appeared in full uniform and delivered dramatic political orations, condemning “godless” Democrats and embracing the candidacy of George Bush. After a loud outcry about this, a special investigation was convened which recommended that Boykin be disciplined. However, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld decided otherwise–he promoted Boykin to the position of Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

In sum, enforcement of the anti-uniform rule has over the last six years consistently hinged on a single criterion: was the person wearing the uniform a “loyal Bushie” or not? If yes, he’ll be shielded from punishment and perhaps even be advanced. If no, prepare for the worst. And welcome to Bushworld.

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