We generally think of treasonous statements being made in a dark room; a small group of conspirators huddle around a small table, the lower reaches of their faces held in shadow by a single, dim light bulb overhead. They speak in code; “The Eagle knows of the frog. Follow the catamaran to Toledo’s Ottoman.” And, yes, sometimes that’s the case. Other times, though, it happens in the well-lit basement of a Colorado bar, immediately after a kilt-wearing contest.
No, this isn’t Bingo — it’s a September 23rd meeting of a Colorado “liberty group,” and the guy calling B16 is Republican Representative Doug Lamborn. Lamborn is a man of solid resolve; he’s barely distracted by the guy on the far right still wearing a kilt and stockings.
It’s hard to say if the Kilt-guy was a fan of Lamborn’s, since not all of the 50 people in the room were. In fact, Lamborn himself barely edged through the Republican primary last year, and this year faces serious competition from Democrat and retired Air Force General Irv Halter. But Halter isn’t the only guy with experience in the upper echelons of military command.
This is the transcript of an exchange from the meeting, recorded by Rocky Mountain CJR correspondent Corey Hutchins:
VOTER: Please work with your other congressmen on both sides of the aisles and support the generals and the troops in this country despite the fact that there is no leadership from the Muslim Brotherhood in the White House. [applause] It was not necessarily a question but [unintelligible].
LAMBORN: You know what, I can’t really add anything to that, but do let me reassure you on this. A lot of us are talking to the generals behind the scenes, saying, ‘Hey, if you disagree with the policy that the White House has given you, let’s have a resignation. You know, let’s have a public resignation, and state your protest, and go out in a blaze of glory.” And I haven’t seen that very much, in fact I haven’t seen that at all in years.
Lamborn’s Democratic challenger, General Halter, blasted Lamborn’s comments in an email exchange with the Colorado Independent:
It is inappropriate for Congressman Lamborn to politicize our military for his own gain. When I joined the Air Force, I swore an oath to execute policy – not make policy. All of our service members take seriously their obligation to serve our nation honorably and follow the chain of command.
Our elected officials should not be encouraging our military leaders to resign when they have a disagreement over policy. Congressman Lamborn’s statement shows his immaturity and lack of understanding of the American armed forces. Someone who serves on the House Armed Services Committee should know better.
This might be a case of a small man trying to show he was a big shot in front of a small group of aging whackos. People who, by all rights, should be playing Bingo. But what’s troubling here is that Lamborn, as Halter notes, is in fact a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He’s also heavily backed by Lockheed and Koch, and is heavily in bed with Colorado’s military-industrial complex.
So, means, motive and opportunity — yes, there’s a very good chance he’s telling the truth about what’s been said to military leaders in D.C. The big question, though is: Could this be considered treasonous?
If the flag officers of the military really did walk out, as a means to disrupt an ongoing military operation, then possibly, yes. People in positions of power and influence like Lamborn could be seen as organizers of efforts to disrupt military operations, and subject to prosecution for it. But that’s only if it actually happened.
Seems Lamborn is protected, for the most part, primarily by the fact that nobody with any sense or sense of duty cares what he thinks.