Harold Hutchison / July 9, 2020

Good Riddance to Vichy Vindman

The deep-state operative collaborated with the anti-Trump Left.

The news that deep-state operative LTC Alexander Vindman is retiring from the Army, is good news all around. It’s good for Vindman. It’s good for the officers whose promotions Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) was holding hostage. It’s good for the Army and the military as a whole. And it’s good for the sake of the constitutional principles involved as well.

We’ll start with the Constitution. Back in November, we pointed out that while many foreign-policy decisions could be debated by Americans, the Constitution clearly put foreign policy in the hands of the duly elected president and Congress, subject to the checks and balances in that document. We also noted that, based on his own testimony, Vindman had crossed a significant line.

Back then, we noted that officers with far more distinguished careers than Vindman had been effectively cashiered for actions far less serious than Vindman’s. For starters, General Douglas MacArthur was removed from a combat command in Korea for openly defying President Truman over the conduct of the Korean War, which arguably exceeded Vindman’s actions. But MacArthur also had a distinguished combat career that spanned two World Wars and included the Medal of Honor.

But other distinguished officers were relieved for the mere perception of not being on board with their commander-in-chief’s policies. We can list three from the Obama years: Stanley McChrystal’s command in Afghanistan was taken from him over derisive comments made by his staff and quoted in Rolling Stone magazine; James Mattis was removed from the top post at Central Command for his perceived aggressiveness; and Michael Flynn claimed he was removed as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency for raising the issue of radical Islamic terrorism. Obama administration officials claimed it was over management style, but either way, Obama had the right to make these calls.

Why? Because as foolhardy as Obama’s military and foreign-policy agenda was, by winning the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, he earned the right to try to advance that agenda within the Constitution’s framework. That same right was earned by President Trump by virtue of winning the 2016 election. By his own admission, Vindman tried to deny Trump that right.

By extension, the Army and the military will benefit by seeing this principle upheld. In far too many instances elsewhere in the world, military leaders have toppled governments for various reasons. That’s not supposed to happen in America, though, and even the perception of a politicized military would be damaging to both our society and our national security. Promoting Vindman after the admissions within his testimony would have created that very perception among a significant portion of the American public.

Vindman’s retirement will also be good for him on a personal level. Clearly, he had serious problems with President Trump’s foreign-policy agenda, and his issues with that agenda drove him to cross a serious line. By retiring, he can now freely advocate for the policies he feels should be in place and can do his best to convince his fellow Americans to make a course change without dragging the military into a policy dispute. He also won’t have to deal with seeing fellow officers have their promotions held up on his account.

Given his celebrity, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him with a gig on CNN or MSNBC and a handsome book deal. But Vindman’s retirement from the Army was for the good of the country.

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