There is another reason active-duty commanders may be less likely to dissent these days, according to Irvine. “All of the people currently in positions at the two-, three- and four-star level have been extensively interviewed and handpicked by Rumsfeld. Some people would say there’s nothing unusual about that, but I think there is.” Historically, Irvine said, the top generals are selected by military promotion boards. “Yes, they are political positions, and the defense secretary has final say in the appointment. But in the past there has been more deference to the boards. I don’t know that there has been this level of politicization of the generals’ officer corps under any prior administration.” ~Salon

There are a lot of Johnny-Come-Latelys to the cause of worrying about the rule of law, constitutionalism and defending the Republic against incipient Caesarism. Tony Blankley is eagle-eyed and on the lookout for a military insurrection! I haven’t seen this much fake constitutionalist fervour since the Republican talking points instructed everyone and his brother in the conservative commentariat to claim that the threatened filibuster of judicial nominations was a threat to the Constitution! The very people who have never met a war or an executive order they didn’t like (provided it was penned by someone from their own party) are suddenly horrified at excessive chatter from military men and the possible dangers of authoritarianism resulting from this.

What has brought about all of this enthusiasm for the good old republican spirit? It has been occasioned by retired generals taking issue with the competence of a Secretary of Defense who has already egregiously politicised the upper echelons of the military. In other words, everyone prattling on about the retired generals as threats to the political “neutrality” of the military is by and large coming to the defense of a civilian administrator who has done more to politicise the upper ranks of the military than just about any SecDef before him. Maybe, for the sake of keeping the military from becoming more politicised than he has already made it, Rumsfeld should go.