Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Now Hear This: Former SECNAV Echoes Vigilis View

Our friend WillyShake (Hat Tip) at Unconsidered Trifles lends impressive weight to what Vigilis has been saying about the damaging effects of too many lawyers now in the military's chain of command...

In addition, WillyShake asked John Lehman about firing ADM. Rickover. "Rickover called him a "piss ant" and hung his picture in his retirement office--next to a picture of Benedict Arnold!" (emphasis mine)

There is more, give it a read.


At 1:36 PM, Blogger WillyShake said...

What Vigilis says is in essence true, yet I must add an important caveat:

Lehman was seated next to--indeed invited to this event BY--a lawyer: Philly radio host & attorney, Michael Smerconish, someone whom I believe has done much good in rasing public awareness of the dangers of political correctness and how it continues to jeopardize our national security (see his book, Flying Blind).

So, while it is accurate to say that Lehman had much to criticize about our overly-litigious governmental processes, it would be completely wrong, I believe, to assume that he agrees with you that all lawyers are bad. To do so would be to lump all of them together--thus mimicing the very kind of bureaucratic lack of adroitness and insight that he finds so frustrating--and dangerous!

These are matters and times that require careful thought and consideration, not slogans, spleen, or pre-conceived agendas.

Not that Vigilis is guilty of any of the above, yet I have noted his long-standing frustration with attorneys, and I would encourage him to reflect that no one group possesses the Pandora's box of the world's woes.

In his novel Lord of the Flies, William Golding exposed, rather poignantly, I think, the preciousness of the self-delusion of believing that evil simply belongs to "those people". Golding, you may recall, was a Navy veteran of WWII and no peacenik. Yet he saw with great clarity how chilling easy it was for Hiter and his Sturmabteilung (or SA) were able to proclaim a "Dritte, Tausendjähriges Reich" in part by scapegoating the Jewish people for Germany's own failings.

(Again, please do not misinterpret my statements to mean that I am comparing Vigilis to nazis or any such silliness.)

So, I guess I'm trying to say: let's let Secretary Lehman's words be what they are, hmmm?

At 2:29 PM, Blogger Vigilis said...

WillyShake, you owe me an apology.

Had you bothered to first read my April 2005 post, which I linked, you would find contrary to what you state 'that (I consider) all lawyers are bad', I actually say of lawyers:
"There are many very good ones, even a few of my blood relatives. Generally, we have far too many in the U.S. (more than 7 million in our workforce) and that is both parasitic to our economy and paralyzing to our culture. Put lawyers in the command and control loop and we get the same degrading effects on our military. The enemy loves our lawyers and political correctness!" That appears to be exactly what SECNAV Lehman underscored.

At 4:39 PM, Blogger WillyShake said...

I will, and do, apologize Vigilis.

I do regret, however, that you borrowed something that I posted and took it in a direction that was not intended...but perhaps that is my fault for the way I presented John Lehman's talk.

In my commentary here, too, I should have been more joking in what I wrote so that I would not come across, as I most certainly did, as pontificating.

Beyond that, though, I think you *do* reiterate your mistrust of lawyers with such frequency and to such a degree that you effectively do think, as a group, that they are to blame for the mistakes and shortcomings of our military. You're no doubt right to some extent, but why not also blame ... our military chain of command itself as well? Why not consider, too, ... the politicians who oversee our military? Why is it always the lawyers fault? (those are rhetorical questions, btw)

Litigiousness is not just a problem because of lawyers just as drugs are not a problem in this country simply because of the cartels who grow and ship them. A bad analogy, perhaps, but you see where I'm going. We get what we ask for, and if we're asking to get ourselves high on the crack pipe of political correctness, then you can bet there'll be lawyers there to see that we do.

And if you really want to know, it's as much our universities that are to blame for the PC, therapeutic, "let's all discuss our feelings" environment we live in as it is the ABA.

I don't wish to go on and drag this out. You touched a nerve when you took something I posted and adopted it for an agenda that, right or wrong, was not my own. In my overreaction, I didn't read what you wrote--that's true. But at the same time, I would ask you to consider whether Lehman is fighting lawyers, or rather fighting a MINDSET that--terribly ubiquitous and pervasive as it is--sees PROCESS over RESULTS. Hyper-litigation is only one symptom of this broader, more insideous disease.


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