On Episode 11 of War Room: Impeachment, Stephen K. Bannon’s questions the significance of Liz Cheney’s disapproval of doubting Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman’s patriotism. Co-host Raheem Kassam responds:
“I don’t think that serving in the military gives you a free pass to undermine, when you’re working in government, the policy of the President of the United States. I don’t think it creates a shield for you by which to operate under any auspices you want to. It’s clear between Vindman, Taylor and some of these other guys that they were operating on a completely different playing field.”
Kassam invokes Article 88 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice:
“Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.”
Co-host Jason Miller reiterates this: “What he [Vindman] learned on the battlefield from his years in the military is that you’re supposed to follow the chain of command. You’re supposed to listen to your general, especially your commander in chief. If you morally don’t believe it, then get out.”
Kassam continues, relating the whole Ukraine debacle to Obama: “And here’s the thing people often forget, it wasn’t Trump who refused the aid to the Ukrainians. Obama originally refused outright to assist Ukrainians against the Russian invasion. There was a whole thing about it. Recall back in 2015, congress wanted him to do it; foreign service people wanted him to do it. He refused and refused.
In contrast: “Trump was the one who actually sent 210 Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine to help them fight back against the Russians, and yet you have these career people saying “as far as the 391 million dollars in aid that Trump was supposed to authorize, that constitutes a breach of national security.”
He also remarks that Cheney’s rhetoric contributes to a perceived divide amongst Republicans, contrary to the president’s message of unity: “As far as the media is concerned, it makes the Republican party split down the middle because they have one person who is willing to go out there and call it “shameful” to question the patriotism of Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman.”