The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Army Update: Good News, Bad News

Posted on | February 28, 2013 | 40 Comments

Today, I received a letter from Recruit McCain, who reports that he tied for first in his platoon in marksmanship scores and, in a surprise phone call, he also reported that he got to throw a live hand grenade in training today. His physical fitness score is now 250, with 300 being perfect. Recruit McCain further reports that he ran a 13:12 two-mile.

That’s the good news. The bad news is, the Army has’t put Bradley Manning in front of a firing squad yet:

FORT MEADE, Md. — Pfc. Bradley Manning on Thursday confessed in open court to providing vast archives of military and diplomatic files to the antisecrecy group WikiLeaks, saying that he released the information to help enlighten the public about “what happens and why it happens” and to “spark a debate about foreign policy.” . . .
Before reading the statement, Private Manning pleaded guilty to 10 criminal counts in connection with the huge amount of material he leaked . . .
The guilty pleas exposed him to up to 20 years in prison. But the case against Private Manning . . . is not over. The military has charged him with a far more serious set of offenses, including aiding the enemy, and multiple counts of violating federal statutes, including the Espionage Act. Prosecutors now have the option of pressing forward with proving the remaining elements of those charges.

Guilty, guilty, guilty — just shoot the traitorous weasel.

Recall that, on the day my son reported for swearing-in at Fort Meade, parents of recruits were lectured about “operational security” — I haven’t said where my son is training — even while Fort Meade was under extra security precautions because of the Manning trial.

Why should taxpayers provide three hots and a cot — even in Fort Leavenworth — for such traitorous scum as Bradley Manning, when the Uniform Code of Military Justice authorizes death by firing squad? The Army hasn’t had a firing squad since 1945, and they haven’t hanged anyone since 1955, which rather undermines the deterrent effect.

Did I mention my son was tops in marksmanship?

Just sayin’ . . .

Update (Smitty): welcome, Instapundit readers!



  • Papa Dog

    Works for me

  • WJJ Hoge

    Actually, the UCMJ now specifies lethal injection for executions. Military death row is at the US Disciplinary Barracks, Ft. Leavenworth.

    Please pass along my congratulations to your son for his superior marksmanship—and my thanks for his service.

  • William Keane

    While I concur that Manning should have been tried and hung by now or tried and found innocent, I am ten times as irate that the Forth Hood terrorist is still breathing our air. Why has Hassan not been dealt with? We are trying so hard to act civilized that we accept uncivilized behavior inviting more of the same. There is nothing cruel and unusual about the death penalty, but failing to exact justice in a timely fashion is cruel to society.

  • Adjoran

    Both Manning and Hassan were traitors during wartime. That they are both still with us only proves that Obama wears pink lacy undies. But we kinda knew that anyway.

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  • Rich Knudsen

    Too bad, the Ready Aim Squirt thing just doesn’t have the feel of a job well done.

  • punditius

    As a country, we lack the confidence in ourselves, much less, the intestinal fortitude, to execute traitors.

  • Thane_Eichenauer

    “Both Manning and Hassan were traitors during wartime.”

    If this is the case then why does General Raymond

    T. Odierno only have 4 stars and not 5?

  • TeeJaw

    Congratulations to your son for his marksmanship skills. We know that his gun handling skills and his mindset are also excellent because they are generally a necessary precondition to superior marksmanship skills.

  • chuckatpdo

    Firing squad duty is no place for a troop with superior marksmanship skills. No challenge.

  • JeffS

    A 13:12 mile? That’s some serious cooking there. My best time ever was 14:34, back when the Army still did PT in combat boots (yeah, that long ago), and then only after 6 weeks of intensive training with an insane marathon runner posing as an infantry captain. I always figured he signed up so he could get paid to run.

    As for Manning and Hassan…..never mind the firing squad or needle, bring back the gallows. They require a certain amount of operator skill to be effective, but they are transparent, cheap, and are eco-friendly as they can be used over and over.

    Win-win, all around,

  • George Talbot

    If we actually started bringing treason trials with the evidence the FBI has, we’d have had to execute too many Democrats. Ted Kennedy being the first, with his intercepted communications to the soviets to help them against Reagan.

  • K-Bob

    Clinton for selling missile tech to the Chi-coms

  • K-Bob

    It would if we were talkin’ gasoline.

  • jem

    for future reference, the “U” in UCMJ stands for “Uniform,” not “Universal.” Sorry to play the niggling pedant.

  • George Spencer

    Long long ago, in a galaxy…. I was a Drill SGT. The two worst days in a training cycle were Close Combat Course Day and Grenade Day. Grenade Day because, bad random stuff can happen when you give explosives to 18 year olds 🙂
    CCC consisted of two trainees alternately running up a hill, dropping behind logs and firing at targets (live ammo), with me walking betwen them trying to stay away from where their rifles were randomly (that word again) pointing. We had paddles, red on one side, green on the other to signal status to the range tower. A friend, another Drill, once took a trainee round through his paddle. The language 🙂 He cleared the rifle, threw it down the hill, and proceeded to smack the trainee’s helmet and back (covered with a lot of gear) with that padle as they headed off the range 🙂

  • teapartydoc

    Manning certainly didn’t ask if he could do what he did before he did it, but he didn’t have that don’t tell part down very well.

  • Dan Haveman

    Congratulations to your son, and best wishes for his and your futures.

  • kmeister

    They need to bring back the gallows for both these traitors.


    Congratulations to your son. I know you are very proud of him. Bradley Manning and Major Nidal Hasan are both getting three hots and a cot at the Army’s expense. Perhaps Sequestration could mean that Manning and Hasan eat MREs for the rest of their detention. Just the omelette one everyone hates. Our three sons are all serving, two in the Army and one in the Air Force. My oldest will deploy to Afghanistan in April without much of their heavy gear. They will have to make due with the broken stuff left behind by the last group. Thank you PresBO.

  • granitegrok

    Welcome to the brotherhood of the Blue Star Dads, Mr. McCain!


  • Bob Belvedere

    Me likey.

  • Bob Belvedere

    This is the problem: George Bush never asked for a Declaration Of War. If he had, he would have gotten it and many bad situations would probably have never happened.

  • Bob Belvedere

    Also, a firing squad death is a death in honor. Put the treasonous bastards on the gallows and humiliate them.

  • Trip Engler

    If things were different, they wouldn’t be the same. Blame Bush.

  • MT Geoff

    Pfc Manning’s material was less damaging than warrants execution. Also, thirty years ago or thereabouts, the military switched from hanging as the primary form of execution — firing squad was secondary after the Civil War — to lethal injection. I think a firing squad would only be used as a rare field expedient.
    I have no brief for Pfc Manning but I will stand for justice for him or anyone. Prison is appropriate.

  • Mike Van Riper

    Surprise phone call!? What’s with this soft new Army? Why, when I was in basic they’d only let you call home if you were in the ICU or in the morgue!

    I’m just kidding around, obviously; congratulations and best of luck to recruit McCain. Though he probably shouldn’t volunteer his weapons qual or PT scores when he gets to the line, at least not right away. His team leader may see this as hubris in need of correction!

  • Mike55_Mahoney

    I susppose there is a matter of intent to delve into before he springs a few leaks.

  • Mr. K

    Good for, ahem, Private McCain! So long as he ain’t at Fort Benning, he shouldn’t be having too rough of a time.

  • Will Thomas

    IIRC Material that manning (spit) released got several foreign Agents killed. He should be subject to the death penalty.

  • Diggsc

    If you don’t know the historical reason for the US Army creating the rank of Genreal of the Army, (five star general), you might want to read up on it. It had nothing to do with war, it had to do with allies, and the sensitive nature in the military of who reports to who, and who can order who, via their rank.

  • cargosquid

    Hooah! Good for him!

  • Steve

    George, I had an ROTC cadet “throw” a frag grenade about a foot and a half over thr revetment wall on the grenade range at Ft Lewis, I couldn’t hear right for days.

  • JeffS

    More to the point, the US military lacked a rank equal to “Field Marshal”. Hence, General Of The Army.

  • George Spencer

    Had basic in C-2-1 at Ft Lewis.
    Was a Drill in C-2-1 after Vietnam
    Was at ROTC summer camp at Ft Lewis in ’73
    commissioned RA DMG Top 5%.

  • John Stephens

    When I was in Infantry still did annual grenade re-qualifications, and one of my soldiers dropped on in the pit. I believe a man can fly, because he was out first, I was out second and neither of us touched the sides on the way out.

  • Thane_Eichenauer

    I did read the article. To me it says that the US government doesn’t have 5-star military rank unless it is at war. I can understand that other people have other interpretations.

  • Dana

    Even in WW2, the five-star rank was created only near the end of the war, in December of 1944.

  • Dana

    Don’t forget: Major Hassan’s “incident” wasn’t terrorism or a military assault on our troops; it was “workplace violence,” so no purple hearts for the victims.