PEEK

Army Public Affairs Office Oversteps Its Bounds in Partisan Politics

The Army is violating its own code to stay neutral in US politics.

In the coming issue of Joint Force Quarterly, an official military journal widely distributed among officers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff writes a welcome but unusual open letter to everyone who wears an Armed Forces uniform: stay out of the political arena during the election season.



“The U.S. military must remain apolitical at all times and in all ways,” wrote the chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, the nation’s highest-ranking officer. “It is and must always be a neutral instrument of the state, no matter which party holds sway.”


It’s good advice, and a good policy. If only the Army’s public affairs office had taken the Admiral’s advice. Phillip Carter has the story:

The Army’s public affairs office publishes a daily roundup of Army-related news called “Stand To” — named for the set of procedures combat units do just prior to dawn, when they go to full alert for a possible enemy attack. The daily wrap-up contains links to mainstream media articles, Army press releases, foreign media stories and blogs. It’s similar to the Defense Department’s Early Bird — but much briefer, and obviously more focused on the Army.

Tuesday’s edition contained an entry under “WHAT’S BEING SAID IN BLOGS” that struck me as unusual — both for its headline and its patent political bias: “Obama: World peace thru surrender (KDIHH)”