Contributor Post Created with Sketch. On Lt. Colonel Vindaman and Espionage

 

I want to clear up a misconception of my remarks on the Laura Ingraham show last night. I did not accuse Lt. Col. Vindaman of committing the crime of espionage.

I have tremendous respect for a decorated officer of the U.S. Army and a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. What I was addressing was a report that Ukrainian officials had sought to contact Vindaman for advice on how to handle Rudy Giuliani acting as a presidential envoy. I meant to say that this sounded like an espionage operation by the Ukrainians. I think it deliberately misconstrues my words to say that the separate issue of the phone call between the US and Ukrainian president through the chain of command constitutes espionage by Vindaman, or that Vindaman is some kind of double agent.

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There are 50 comments.

  1. EHerring Coolidge

    I am a retired Lt Col. I know the difference between opinions and facts, between policy differences and crimes. Vindaman shouldn’t have put on his uniform and volunteered to testify if he didn’t know the difference.

     

    • #1
    • October 29, 2019, at 11:23 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  2. Instugator Thatcher

    I don’t think Lt Col Vindaman has any business offering an opinion on the US President asking the Ukrainian Government to investigate a Ukrainian Company. For a decorated officer to assert that employing the scion of an American Vice President confers some sort of immunity from investigation is ridiculous.

     

    • #2
    • October 29, 2019, at 11:25 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Skyler Coolidge

    He should be cashiered and possibly put in the brig.

    Had I been listening to a higher up’s conversation as part of my job and I was asked by Congress my opinion, I would have said, it’s not my job to have an opinion on that. Please go talk with people whose job does include that.

    His testimony is insubordination and conduct unbecoming.

    • #3
    • October 29, 2019, at 11:31 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  4. Skyler Coolidge

    Furthermore, by testifying he undermines the public’s trust in the military as an apolitical entity. He should be ashamed and punished. He should be charged, brought before a court martial, and the Panel should be asked to toss him out and deny him any retirement pay.

    • #4
    • October 29, 2019, at 11:33 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. DavidIWilliams Coolidge

    This is a good reason to avoid garbage shows like Laura Ingraham. Stick to the podcasts, you are able to make reasonable, thoughtful comments instead of trying to get words in edgewise while a bunch of morons try to trash a hero.

    • #5
    • October 29, 2019, at 11:35 AM PST
    • 1 like
  6. DavidIWilliams Coolidge

    Skyler (View Comment):

    Furthermore, by testifying he undermines the public’s trust in the military as an apolitical entity. He should be ashamed and punished. He should be charged, brought before a court martial, and the Panel should be asked to toss him out and deny him any retirement pay.

    Not really. It gives me complete faith in the military. As long as he tells the truth. This will be a shock since everything that comes out of the Oval Office is a never ending sewage of lies.

    • #6
    • October 29, 2019, at 11:37 AM PST
    • Like
  7. DavidIWilliams Coolidge

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He should be cashiered and possibly put in the brig.

    Had I been listening to a higher up’s conversation as part of my job and I was asked by Congress my opinion, I would have said, it’s not my job to have an opinion on that. Please go talk with people whose job does include that.

    His testimony is insubordination and conduct unbecoming.

    Except that it actually is his job. That’s why he’s on the National Security Council. It’s his job to have opinions and to state them. The fact that people elected someone too stupid and corrupt to listen to the professionals is an indictment of the voters, not the experts.

    • #7
    • October 29, 2019, at 11:38 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  8. EHerring Coolidge

    DavidIWilliams (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He should be cashiered and possibly put in the brig.

    Had I been listening to a higher up’s conversation as part of my job and I was asked by Congress my opinion, I would have said, it’s not my job to have an opinion on that. Please go talk with people whose job does include that.

    His testimony is insubordination and conduct unbecoming.

    Except that it actually is his job. That’s why he’s on the National Security Council. It’s his job to have opinions and to state them. The fact that people elected someone too stupid and corrupt to listen to the professionals is an indictment of the voters, not the experts.

    His opinions will lead to bad advice.

    • #8
    • October 29, 2019, at 11:52 AM PST
    • Like
  9. Valiuth Member

    John, I’m sure the Inghram audience wants you to accuse him of being a spy. Don’t disappoint them like this . Give the people what they want, a vicious conspiracy theory. Fox News loves those. How can you support your 8 McRib a day habit going without that Fox cash? I doubt Ricochet pays you better to be sensible. 

    • #9
    • October 29, 2019, at 12:08 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Samuel Block Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    John, I’m sure the Inghram audience wants you to accuse him of being a spy. Don’t disappoint them like this . Give the people what they want, a vicious conspiracy theory. Fox News loves those. How can you support your 8 McRib a day habit going without that Fox cash? I doubt Ricochet pays you better to be sensible.

    I don’t think Ricochet pays him at all, which is why, as far as bad habits go, it’s a good thing that his big vice is a McDonald’s sandwich.

    • #10
    • October 29, 2019, at 12:17 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Duane Oyen Member

    DavidIWilliams (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He should be cashiered and possibly put in the brig.

    Had I been listening to a higher up’s conversation as part of my job and I was asked by Congress my opinion, I would have said, it’s not my job to have an opinion on that. Please go talk with people whose job does include that.

    His testimony is insubordination and conduct unbecoming.

    Except that it actually is his job. That’s why he’s on the National Security Council. It’s his job to have opinions and to state them. The fact that people elected someone too stupid and corrupt to listen to the professionals is an indictment of the voters, not the experts.

    Have opinions and state them, yes- through his chain of command. You seem not to understand military rules and regs, David. This is simply grandstanding.

    • #11
    • October 29, 2019, at 12:34 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  12. Skyler Coolidge

    DavidIWilliams (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He should be cashiered and possibly put in the brig.

    Had I been listening to a higher up’s conversation as part of my job and I was asked by Congress my opinion, I would have said, it’s not my job to have an opinion on that. Please go talk with people whose job does include that.

    His testimony is insubordination and conduct unbecoming.

    Except that it actually is his job. That’s why he’s on the National Security Council. It’s his job to have opinions and to state them. The fact that people elected someone too stupid and corrupt to listen to the professionals is an indictment of the voters, not the experts.

    His job? No it wasn’t. There is no Lieutenant Colonel anywhere in the military whose job is to monitor the President’s conversations and evaluate the President’s motives, and then testify on his opinion of what the conversation implied.

     

    • #12
    • October 29, 2019, at 12:48 PM PST
    • 10 likes
  13. HeavyWater Coolidge

    It’s good that people are speaking out against this “drug deal.”

    Trump needs to resign. He was never up for the job. He should have stuck to running casino-strip clubs.

    • #13
    • October 29, 2019, at 1:16 PM PST
    • Like
  14. Instugator Thatcher

    DavidIWilliams (View Comment):
    It’s his job to have opinions and to state them.

    One of those opinions is that, by asking the government of Ukraine to investigate a Ukrainian company (which happens to employ the son of a former US Vice President), President Trump is jepordizing the bi-partisian support Ukraine enjoys with congress.

    Or, shorter version

    Congress will get mad if Ukraine investigates Joe Biden’s kid.

    Thus

    Having Joe Biden’s kid on your board of directors confers political immunity from the US and ensures aid money to Ukraine will be forthcoming.

    AND

    President Trump is a meanie for upsetting this apple cart.

    Narrator: This is pretty contemptuous of Congress. Serving officers are not allowed to use contemptuous words to describe Congress. It is a court martial offense.

    • #14
    • October 29, 2019, at 1:20 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  15. Sweezle Member

    And there it is. It is the Deplorable’s fault. Way to end the conversation David.

    • #15
    • October 29, 2019, at 1:24 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Valiuth Member

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    John, I’m sure the Inghram audience wants you to accuse him of being a spy. Don’t disappoint them like this . Give the people what they want, a vicious conspiracy theory. Fox News loves those. How can you support your 8 McRib a day habit going without that Fox cash? I doubt Ricochet pays you better to be sensible.

    I don’t think Ricochet pays him at all, which is why, as far as bad habits go, it’s a good thing that his big vice is a McDonald’s sandwich.

    Dont under estimate the cost of McRibs they dont have them available all the time so I assume it involves aot of travel on his part. Maybe advanced cryo storage equipment…

    • #16
    • October 29, 2019, at 1:34 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. EJHill Podcaster

    The Lt. Col. also stated he was motivated by not wanting Ukraine to lose bipartisan support in the Congress. Think about that. Is he there to advocate for Ukraine? Or work for the United States?

    • #17
    • October 29, 2019, at 1:35 PM PST
    • 12 likes
  18. Instugator Thatcher

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The Lt. Col. also stated he was motivated by not wanting Ukraine to lose bipartisan support in the Congress. Think about that. Is he there to advocate for Ukraine? Or work for the United States?

    He seems to be suggesting that having the child of an elected US official on a board of directors of a Ukrainian company confers political immunity from Congress and if that arrangement is investigated then Congress will no longer support Ukraine in a bipartisan fashion.

     

    • #18
    • October 29, 2019, at 2:07 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. EJHill Podcaster

    Imagine if a Jewish military officer had gone to Congress and said he was afraid that Obama’s policy towards Israel bothered him.

    • #19
    • October 29, 2019, at 2:39 PM PST
    • 8 likes
  20. Zafar Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Imagine if a Jewish military officer had gone to Congress and said he was afraid that Obama’s policy towards Israel bothered him.

    Would people on Ricochet have an issue with that? I think that most would not. 

    Also ‘gone to Congress’ ? Or called by Congress to testify?

    • #20
    • October 29, 2019, at 3:09 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. Reformed_Yuppie Inactive

    Instugator (View Comment):

    I don’t think Lt Col Vindaman has any business offering an opinion on the US President asking the Ukrainian Government to investigate a Ukrainian Company. For a decorated officer to assert that employing the scion of an American Vice President confers some sort of immunity from investigation is ridiculous.

     

    Did he lie to Congress? 

    • #21
    • October 29, 2019, at 4:02 PM PST
    • Like
  22. EHerring Coolidge

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    It’s good that people are speaking out against this “drug deal.”

    Trump needs to resign. He was never up for the job. He should have stuck to running casino-strip clubs.

    Disagree. Until he proves a failure in office, people want support that. Elections are how we voice our approval and disapproval. Trump won’t resign, and why should he. He has great approval numbers. Congress doesn’t. 

    • #22
    • October 29, 2019, at 4:29 PM PST
    • 1 like
  23. EHerring Coolidge

    Zafar (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Imagine if a Jewish military officer had gone to Congress and said he was afraid that Obama’s policy towards Israel bothered him.

    Would people on Ricochet have an issue with that? I think that most would not.

    Also ‘gone to Congress’ ? Or called by Congress to testify?

    Congress wouldn’t know him from Adam unless the cabal trying to impeach Trump had given him his name, or Schiff’s staffer was mining for possible witnesses on his trip there. Any complaint he had would have stayed in the Executive Branch. 

    interesting thing on wiki “He has an identical twin brother, Yevgeny S. Vindman, who is an Army lieutenant colonel and JAG Officer who is assigned as an attorney on the National Security Council handling ethics issues.”

    • #23
    • October 29, 2019, at 4:33 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Instugator Thatcher

    Reformed_Yuppie (View Comment):

    Instugator (View Comment):

    I don’t think Lt Col Vindaman has any business offering an opinion on the US President asking the Ukrainian Government to investigate a Ukrainian Company. For a decorated officer to assert that employing the scion of an American Vice President confers some sort of immunity from investigation is ridiculous.

     

    Did he lie to Congress?

    I don’t have any way of knowing. I have not witnessed his testimony. It is not public.

     

    • #24
    • October 29, 2019, at 4:48 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. Hang On Member

    DavidIWilliams (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He should be cashiered and possibly put in the brig.

    Had I been listening to a higher up’s conversation as part of my job and I was asked by Congress my opinion, I would have said, it’s not my job to have an opinion on that. Please go talk with people whose job does include that.

    His testimony is insubordination and conduct unbecoming.

    Except that it actually is his job. That’s why he’s on the National Security Council. It’s his job to have opinions and to state them. The fact that people elected someone too stupid and corrupt to listen to the professionals is an indictment of the voters, not the experts.

    You mean those brilliant idiots and supposed experts who give us endless wars? You have a truly twisted view of who is beneficial to this country. You are probably obsessed with those dastardly Russians still fuming that the narrative of Russia is a hoax. So the next day it gets turned into Ukraine. 

    • #25
    • October 29, 2019, at 5:21 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Jason Obermeyer Member

    DavidIWilliams (View Comment):

    Skyler (View Comment):

    He should be cashiered and possibly put in the brig.

    Had I been listening to a higher up’s conversation as part of my job and I was asked by Congress my opinion, I would have said, it’s not my job to have an opinion on that. Please go talk with people whose job does include that.

    His testimony is insubordination and conduct unbecoming.

    Except that it actually is his job. That’s why he’s on the National Security Council. It’s his job to have opinions and to state them. The fact that people elected someone too stupid and corrupt to listen to the professionals is an indictment of the voters, not the experts.

    • #26
    • October 29, 2019, at 6:05 PM PST
    • 1 like
  27. EJHill Podcaster

    Zafar Would people on Ricochet have an issue with that? I think that most would not.

    But many, if not all, progressive Democrats would. 

    • #27
    • October 29, 2019, at 6:19 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Jason Obermeyer Member

    Zafar (View Comment):

    EJHill (View Comment):

    Imagine if a Jewish military officer had gone to Congress and said he was afraid that Obama’s policy towards Israel bothered him.

    Would people on Ricochet have an issue with that? I think that most would not.

    Maybe, maybe not; but they should. If you have an executive branch position and you feel strongly that the policies of the elected leader of the executive branch are contrary to the national interest, the correct course is to resign and go to congress. You don’t get to keep your job, at least not in that administration. The constitution only vests one person – at least within the executive branch – with the authority to determine what the national interest is. 

    On a somewhat related note and to take up for Obama (it doesn’t happen often), when Eric Holder said he was Obama’s wing man, he was actually closer to the original understanding of the role of the Attorney General than the modern – and anti-constitutional – view of the Justice Department as some kind of independent agency. 

     

    • #28
    • October 29, 2019, at 6:25 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  29. Jason Obermeyer Member

    EJHill (View Comment):

    The Lt. Col. also stated he was motivated by not wanting Ukraine to lose bipartisan support in the Congress. Think about that. Is he there to advocate for Ukraine? Or work for the United States?

    There is a possibly apocryphal story of a new State Department official coming in with a new administration calling a meeting. He asked various diplomats which country they represented. They answered with whatever country they were posted to. He corrected them, saying “No, you represent the United States of America.” 

    Diplomats going native is probably as old as diplomacy. 

    • #29
    • October 29, 2019, at 6:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  30. Gary Robbins Reagan

    John I love you, but I think that you let Laura Ingraham lead you to make the extremely unfortunate “espionage” statement. Thank you for withdrawing the statement.

    I have very, very sad news. My local McDonalds told me that when they run out of McRibs on hand, that promotion will end. They think that they will run out within a week. A friend suggested that I clean them out and freeze them. I think that that might be going too far.

    Your friend in McRibs,

    Gary

    • #30
    • October 29, 2019, at 7:28 PM PST
    • 2 likes