WASHINGTON – Who, or what, is behind the "purge" of top-level U.S. military officers during the Obama administration, with estimates of the number of senior officers fired during the last five years edging toward 200?
According to Retired Army Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely, formerly the deputy commanding general of the Pacific Command, who has served as a Fox News senior military analyst , a good part of the blame belongs to Obama's close adviser, Valerie Jarrett. Rampant "political correctness" due to her influence, Vallely tells WND, is now permeating the military and negatively affecting everyone from top generals to the ranks of the enlisted.
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WND has been reporting on the surge of firings, suspensions and dismissals of key military commanders under Obama, including just a day ago, when the commander of the U.S. Army Garrison Japan was summarily relieved of his duties.
So far, at least nine generals and flag officers have been relieved of duty under Obama just this calendar year – widely viewed as an extraordinary number.
Jarrett, a Chicago lawyer with far-left roots, is one of Obama's closest advisers, and has been throughout his career, well before his presidential campaign and Oval Office occupancy. She has shadowed his career, largely staying out of the limelight, but is today widely recognized as perhaps the single most influential person, aside from wife Michelle, on Barack Obama.
Vallely suggested her influence is forcing senior officers to watch everything military personnel say and do. Officially, the White House calls her a senior adviser with responsibilities for the offices of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, but insiders agree her influence on the president is unique and powerful.
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Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, says in a story by The Blaze, that Jarrett influences nearly every policy issue at the White House.
"She seems to have her tentacles into every issue and every topic," Chaffetz says. "Her name ultimately always comes up."
The Washington Post has written about Jarrett as the president's "mysterious" adviser.
And author Ed Klein, former editor-in-chief of the New York Times magazine, said in a Washington Times report that Jarrett was the secret "architect" of the Obama strategy to shut down the government and blame it on congressional Republicans.
"She convinced the president that a government shutdown and default offered a great opportunity to demonize the Republicans and help the Democrats win back a majority in the House of Representatives in 2014," said Klein.
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London's Daily Mail newspaper notes that Jarrett's insider nickname is "Night Stalker" because of her exclusive, late-night access to the presidential family's private quarters.
According to Vallely, Obama is "intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged."
Vallely served in the Vietnam War and retired in 1993 as deputy Commanding General, Pacific Command.
Today, he is chairman of the Military Committee for the Center for Security Policy and is co-author of the book "Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror."
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Vallely equated the current treatment of U.S. senior military officers watching over what is said and done among mid-level officers and enlisted ranks to that of the "political commissars from the Communist era."
For example, said Vallely, "Col. Dooley, who was relieved of duty … can't even talk about radical Islam and other issues that the Obama administration is putting out."
He is referring to U.S. Army Lt. Col. Matthew Dooley, a 1994 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, who was relieved of duty as a military instructor after being publicly condemned by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dooley was relieved because of what was referred to as the negative way Islam was portrayed in an approved course titled "Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism."
Action was taken against him after 57 Muslim organizations in an Oct. 19, 2011, letter to the Department of Defense demanded that all training materials they judged to be offensive to Islam be "purged" and the instructors be "effectively disciplined."
The controversy generated a legal claim on behalf of Dooley by the Thomas More Law Center, where Richard Thompson, president, said, "The way they're treating him now is not only a total miscarriage of justice on a personal level, but it also is really removing an effective combat leader from the Army, and it ultimately effects the national security of the United States."
In another case considered by Obama critics to exemplify his demands for radical political correctness in the U.S. military, Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk was relieved of his position for refusing to agree with the homosexual agenda of his commanding officer, a lesbian.
"It's now reaching the point it's not acceptable to think something," attorney Mike Berry of Liberty Institute told WND about the case.
The conflict began when Monk objected to the plans of his commander at Lackland Air Force Base to severely punish a supervised staff sergeant who had expressed his religious objections to homosexuality to trainees.
During their conversation, the commander ordered Monk to reveal his personal views on homosexuality. Monk claims he then was relieved of his position because his views differed from the commander's.
Berry explained, "We're now at this juncture … if you don't believe, or think in a particular manner, that's going to be held against you."
Of the current atmosphere, a sailor who recently returned from sea duty told Vallely he gets more instruction on sexual harassment than he does in how to handle weapons.
"The planned agenda is to squash any dialogue in the ranks on any issue on which the administration disagrees," Vallely said.
He said a similar move has now taken place against officers in the Central Intelligence Agency in a congressional probe on the Sept.11, 2012, terrorist attack on the special mission in Benghazi.
The general pointed out that at least two CIA officers who were to testify recently were told a few weeks ago to keep quiet or they could lose their jobs.
"It is easier to do this to military personnel," he said. "No one on the civilian side is purged."
As a consequence of this White House-generated initiative, Vallely said the effect has been a major loss of morale in which soldiers believe they have lost their First Amendment rights.
The intimidation extends also to retired generals and mid-level officers who want to get jobs with defense contractors, according to Vallely, who said many even in retirement are intimidated, since it can affect their ability to get a government contract.
Even defense contractors are discouraging any talk within their corporations that disparage Obama's agenda, he added.
"These are just some aspects on how our military is being decimated by telling them either to shut your mouth or you won't get a job," Vallely told WND.
In addition to Vallely, a number of prominent retired generals – from Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, a founder of the Army's elite Delta Force, to Medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. Patrick Henry Brady – have also gone on the record with WND on this issue.
They've described Obama's actions as nothing less than an all-out attack on America’s armed forces.
Likewise, retired Navy Capt. Joseph John tells WND that the "bigger picture" is that "the U.S. Armed Forces have been under relentless attack by the occupant of the Oval Office for five years."
A Naval Academy graduate, John had three tours of duty in Vietnam, served as an al-Qaida expert for the FBI, and was a commanding officer with SEALs embedded on special operations. As chairman of Combat Veterans For Congress PAC (Political Action Committee), he has helped elect 20 combat veterans to Congress.
"I believe there are more than 137 officers who have been forced out or given bad evaluation reports so they will never make Flag (officer), because of their failure to comply to certain views," John told WND.
"The truly sad story is that many of the brightest graduates of the three major service academies witnessing what the social experiment on diversity … is doing to the U.S. military, are leaving the service after five years," he said. "We are being left with an officer corps that can be made to be more compliant, that is, exactly what Obama needs to effect his long range goals for the U.S. military."
In an email to WND, John outlined what he termed "a very few of the most egregious" aspects of Obama's "attack" on the military over the past five years.
He referred specifically to the Rules of Engagement in combat that were put in place after Obama took office, asserting that the changes resulted in very high casualty rates in Afghanistan, including the loss of 17 members of SEAL Team 6 in one incident.
"The Rules of Engagement precluded the use of suppression fire at a landing zone," John said.
Echoing what other high-ranking officers have told WND, he said the Pentagon policy of repealing "Don't Ask Don't Tell" resulted in the first openly "gay" "major military force in the world." The development has brought about "massive" sexual assaults on "thousands of straight military male personnel that have been covered up," he said.
If John's comments about Obama sound dire, they are no more so than those expressed to WND in recent days by top generals.
Brady, recipient of the U.S. military’s highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, said Obama's agenda is decimating the morale of the U.S. ranks to the point members no longer feel prepared to fight or have the desire to win.
"There is no doubt he [Obama] is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him" over such issues as "homosexuals, women in foxholes, the Obama sequester," Brady told WND.
"They are purging everyone, and if you want to keep your job, just keep your mouth shut," another military source told WND.
Not only are military service members being demoralized and the ranks' overall readiness being reduced by the Obama administration's purge of key leaders, colonels – those lined up in rank to replace outgoing generals – are quietly taking their careers in other directions.
Boykin, who was a founding member of Delta Force and later deputy undersecretary of defense for intelligence under President George W. Bush, says it is worrying that four-star generals are being retired at the rate that has occurred under Obama.
"Over the past three years, it is unprecedented for the number of four-star generals to be relieved of duty, and not necessarily relieved for cause," Boykin said.
"I believe there is a purging of the military," he said. "The problem is worse than we have ever seen."
The future of the military is becoming more and more of concern, added Boykin, since colonels who would become generals are also being relieved of duty if they show that they're not going to support Obama’s agenda, which critics have described as socialist.
"I talk to a lot of folks who don't support where Obama is taking the military, but in the military they can’t say anything," Boykin said.
As a consequence, he said, the lower grades have decided to leave, having been given the signal that there is no future in the military for them.
Brady, who was a legendary "Dust Off" air ambulance pilot in Vietnam and detailed his experiences in his book, "Dead Men Flying: Victory in Viet Nam," told WND, "The problem is military people will seldom, while on duty, go on the record over such issues, and many will not ever, no matter how true. I hear from many off the record who are upset with the current military leadership and some are leaving and have left in the past."
Brady referred to additional problems in today's military including "girly-men leadership [and] medals for not shooting and operating a computer. This president will never fight if there is any reason to avoid it and with a helpless military he can just point to our weakness and shrug his shoulders."
WND reported that three of the nine firings by Obama this year alone were linked to the controversy surrounding the Sep. 11, 2012, terrorist attack on the CIA special mission in Benghazi, Libya.
In one case, U.S. Army Gen. Carter Ham, who commanded U.S. African Command when the consulate was attacked and four Americans were killed, was highly critical of the decision by the State Department not to send in reinforcements.
Obama has insisted there were no reinforcements available that night.
But Ham contends reinforcements could have been sent in time, and he said he never was given a stand-down order. However, others contend that he was given the order but defied it. He ultimately was relieved of his command and retired.
Now, new information in the Washington Times reveals there were Delta Force personnel in Tripoli at the time of the attack and two members volunteered to be dispatched to Benghazi to assist in protecting the Benghazi compound, contrary to stand-down orders from the State Department.
Another flag officer involved in the Benghazi matter – which remains under congressional investigation – was Rear Adm. Charles Gaouette. He commanded the Carrier Strike Group.
He contends aircraft could have been sent to Libya in time to help the Americans under fire. He later was removed from his post for alleged profanity and making "racially insensitive comments."
Army Major Gen. Ralph Baker was the commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, Africa. Baker contended that attack helicopters could have reached the consulate in time on the night of the attack.