Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. On LTC Vindman and the “Interagency,” but Mostly on Vindman

 

You can read Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman’s opening statement for his 29 October Congressional testimony here. First on Vindman, then the Interagency, then more on Vindman.

Full disclosure: I hate the fact that Vindman is in my cohort. He has to be junior to me, but he’s a Lieutenant Colonel (LTC) in the United States Army. Way to go, pogue, you just put all your LTC brethren in the position of no trust from POTUS.

This is Vindman, in uniform, appearing for his testimony:

He’s wearing the crossed rifles of the Infantry (why is the sky blue? Because God loves the infantry). As a taxpayer, do you feel a little cheated seeing an Infantryman that looks so…doughy? I’d like to see him do his PT test (shocking hint: I’m pretty sure he cheats).

In the six pages of his opening statement, Vindman mentioned “the interagency” three times.

Let me tell you about the interagency; During my time as an LTC, I worked with CIA, FBI, HSI, CPB, DOJ, NSA and others. We made some beautiful music together. Know what one of our primary guiding principles was? No matter how awesome or juicy our joint endeavors were, keep our planned operations, actions, or activities out of the Beltway (I-495) for as long as we could. As soon as the hacks in “the swamp” got their hands on what we were doing, protecting the country and doing good works would fall by the wayside. Immediately, the leadership of the “Interagency” would give primacy to equities and rice bowls. Yeah. No.

This philosophy was across the board. All of us worker bees were focused on doing the work, getting the job done, and protecting the country. I always despised the Army guys that went to DC, wore suits for duty, and got themselves off doing the interagency Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.

From Vindman’s statement: I have dedicated my entire professional life to the United States of America. For more than two decades, it has been my honor to serve as an officer in the United States Army. As an infantry officer, I served multiple overseas tours, including South Korea and Germany, and a deployment to Iraq for combat operations. In Iraq, I was wounded in an IED attack and awarded a Purple Heart.

Mongo’s retort: Wait, you were commissioned in 1998, you’re still on active duty, and you’ve got one combat tour under your belt? One? Sorry about the getting wounded and all, but this smells like ticket-punching to me. Also, nowhere online could I find what billet he was filling; would bet pretty heavily that it was a staff job, though. Vindman doesn’t strike me as the type of guy with a fire in his belly to lead Infantry studs into close combat.

From Vindman’s statement: Before recounting my recollection of various events under investigation, I want to clarify a few issues. I am appearing today voluntarily pursuant to a subpoena and will answer all questions to the best of my recollection.

Mongo’s retort: Uh, no, stud. There had been no vote on any kind of impeachment inquiry when you testified. So there was no authorization for any committee in Congress to issue a subpoena. So you received a request to testify and acquiesced; if you receive an actual subpoena, you’re appearing whether it’s voluntary or not.

From Vindman’s statement: As an active duty military officer, the command structure is extremely important to me. On many occasions, I have been told I should express my views and share my concerns with my chain of command and proper authorities.

Mongo’s retort: Oookay. What military officer in your chain of command green-lighted you showing up and testifying at Congress’s request?

From Vinman’s statement: I stated to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push.

Mongo’s retort: [record skkrriiiitch] You what!? Know what the equivalent military rank of an US Ambassador is? Four-star general. So not only is your testimony insubordinate to the Commander-in-Chief and most likely your local chain of command, but your testimony itself highlights your insubordination. Lieutenant Colonels don’t generate policy, they implement it, Lard-o. And your boss, Dr. Hill, was on her way in, apparently. You know what a military professional does? He goes through his boss to articulate any misgivings about what a policymaker says, and the boss deals with it.

This guy is a self-important weasel. Military personnel like him are one of the myriad reasons that I never took an assignment in the beltway.

He’s testifying again today.

Bet you that if he hasn’t already dropped his retirement paperwork, it’ll be in by Christmas.

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There are 225 comments.

  1. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    Boss Mongo: He’s testifying again today (right now, I think). 

    In fact . . .

    Vindman Just Admitted To Leaking To The Anti-Trump Whistleblower

    You know, the guy whose identity he claimed he doesn’t know.

    Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman admitted to the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday to leaking information to the anti-Trump whistleblower at the center of the Democrats’ partisan impeachment proceedings.

    “Lietenant Colonel Vindman, did you discuss the July 25 phone call with anyone outside the White House on July 25 or the 26 and if so, with whom?” Republican Rep. Devin Nunes of California inquired.

    “Yes. I did,” Vindman answered in the affirmative.

    When pressed on who Vindman spoke with about the call, Vindman said he spoke with two individuals not in the White House, including Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent and another individual in the intelligence community that Vindman refused to name before being cut off by Democratic Chairman Adam Schiff.

    “We need to protect the whistle-blower. Please stop. I want to make sure that there is no effort to out the whistle-blower through these proceedings,” Schiff interjected. “If the witness has a good faith belief that this may reveal the identity of the whistle-blower, that is not the purpose that we’re here for. I want to advise the witness accordingly.”

    Vindman testified under oath in aprivate deposition last month that he was unaware of who the whistleblower was. On Tuesday, Nunes pressed Vindman on how it is possible that he might out the whistleblower if he does not know the identity of the whistleblower.

    “Per the advice of my counsel and the instructions from the chairman, I’ve been advised not to provide any specifics on who I have spoken to with inside the intelligence community,” Vindman said before being cut off by his own lawyer.

    I think that’s called perjury. Hang him out to dry.

    • #1
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:41 AM PST
    • 26 likes
  2. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Boss Mongo: Bet you that if he hasn’t already dropped his retirement paperwork, it’ll be in by Christmas.

    I figure this little stunt has given him a retirement in a Democrat PAC of some sort. 

    • #2
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:41 AM PST
    • 16 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    Boss Mongo: Bet you that if he hasn’t already dropped his retirement paperwork, it’ll be in by Christmas.

    Has he already got a GoFundMe or similar campaign going?

    • #3
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:43 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  4. Judge Mental Member

    Boss Mongo:

    Bet you that if he hasn’t already dropped his retirement paperwork, it’ll be in by Christmas.

    Trump could always tweet out something like:

    “I watched some of Private Vindman’s testimony. I don’t think he added anything new.”

    • #4
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:43 AM PST
    • 23 likes
  5. Arahant Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey (View Comment):
    I think that’s called perjury. Hang him out to dry.

    Indeed.

    • #5
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:44 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  6. Arahant Member

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo:

    Bet you that if he hasn’t already dropped his retirement paperwork, it’ll be in by Christmas.

    Trump could always tweet out something like:

    “I watched some of Private Vindman’s testimony. I don’t think he added anything new.”

    Can I like that a thousand times?

    • #6
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:44 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  7. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    LtC Vindman: In Iraq, I was wounded in an IED attack and awarded a Purple Heart.

    A question about military culture. If a soldier brings up that they were awarded a Purple Heart, is there an expectation that it was a serious/crippling wound? If it was just a bruise because a truck hit a pothole from a previous IED, is it culturally acceptable to brag about the Purple Heart? I don’t know the injury, but I am curious about the mindset from inside the ranks.

    • #7
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:46 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  8. Judge Mental Member

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Judge Mental (View Comment):

    Boss Mongo:

    Bet you that if he hasn’t already dropped his retirement paperwork, it’ll be in by Christmas.

    Trump could always tweet out something like:

    “I watched some of Private Vindman’s testimony. I don’t think he added anything new.”

    Can I like that a thousand times?

    Nope, that bug was fixed.

    • #8
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:47 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  9. Arahant Member

    DonG (View Comment):
    A question about military culture. If a soldier brings up that they were awarded a Purple Heart, is there an expectation that it was a serious/crippling wound? If it was just a bruise because a truck hit a pothole from a previous IED, is it culturally acceptable to brag about the Purple Heart? I don’t know the injury, but I am curious about the mindset from inside the ranks.

    We could ask John F. Kerry.

    • #9
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:48 AM PST
    • 19 likes
  10. Guruforhire Member

    When I took my REMF job at the Pentagon, most of the enlisted guys I worked with had the pentagon fall on top of them.

    This one time, I was leaving the building after working the night shift, I was accosted by some navy NCO: He proceeded to ask me if we did not salute officers in the army. Being the polite lower enlisted man that I was I pointed out that in the army we can read, and directed his attention to the signage indicating that this was a no hat no salute zone.

    You can tell the people who were never line soldiers. They look down when it rains.

    • #10
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:50 AM PST
    • 31 likes
  11. Vance Richards Member

    Boss Mongo: As a tax payer, do you feel a little cheated seeing an Infantryman that looks so…doughy?

    That thought did go through my mind. So they don’t have a different PT test for guys in desk jobs? “He can only do three pull ups but he types 60 words a minute”

    • #11
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:51 AM PST
    • 16 likes
  12. EODmom Coolidge

    Thank you for taking this wretched whinging weasel head on – and just for starters. Don’t feel constrained to stop at this. But first – fill in the non-military as to exactly how (rightfully) disdainful the term “pogue” is. Each profession has its equivalent to useless pile of … dough … on their team, but maybe the prevalence in military positions is particularly offensive. The worst thing that happened in my world was not being able to use the analysis some economist or attorney did for the project. This guy could get people killed. I’ll happily spot you dinner if he resigns. 

    • #12
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:51 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  13. DrewInWisconsin, Type Monkey Member

    Boss Mongo: As a tax payer, do you feel a little cheated seeing an Infantryman that looks so…doughy?

    • #13
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:52 AM PST
    • 19 likes
  14. EODmom Coolidge

    DonG (View Comment):

    LtC Vindman: In Iraq, I was wounded in an IED attack and awarded a Purple Heart.

    A question about military culture. If a soldier brings up that they were awarded a Purple Heart, is there an expectation that it was a serious/crippling wound? If it was just a bruise because a truck hit a pothole from a previous IED, is it culturally acceptable to brag about the Purple Heart? I don’t know the injury, but I am curious about the mindset from inside the ranks.

    Just remember Kerry – who served in Vietnam Nam – and the 4 (!) he accumulated in the 6? Months he was in country. Ask me how I really feel. 

    • #14
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:53 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  15. Arahant Member

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    You can tell the people who were never line soldiers. They looked down when it rains.

    That line just blew my mind. The only time you look down is when you want someone to think you’re a schlub so they’ll pick a fight.

    • #15
    • November 19, 2019, at 9:54 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  16. Guruforhire Member

    LTC’s are basically the Army’s Remora fish.

    This one time in Kosovo, I was in an off-site in the early days of all – o – that. and the division commander would come around occasionally, and make sure we weren’t dead and so forth, but mainly to talk to the MI guys. In any case, I was coming out of my port-o-potty as I again was working the night shift, and being night shift in what was still occasionally in the 2 way rifle range between the serbs and kosovars. The general would always have this huddle of what appeared to be pointless people attached to him everywhere he went. Boy did they get mad when they saw me leaving hte bathroom in my grey-PT shorts and brown T-shirt, and didn’t salute the general. (again no hat no salute zone, because…. snipers)

    The MI captain was cussed out by the general for sleeping in the operations tent (and taking 1 shower in 7 months, and then he pooped in it).

    Officers. sheesh.

     

    • #16
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:05 AM PST
    • 11 likes
  17. Susan Quinn Contributor

    I don’t know if you are a good influence on me or a bad one, Boss. I’m not a violent person, but I just want someone to take him into a dark alley and beat the *** out of him. Does that make me a terrible person?

    • #17
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:07 AM PST
    • 26 likes
  18. She Thatcher
    She

    Bravo. 

    Mostly on “Leftenent Colonels(!)” In my experience (and I do have some), they’re not deserving of any special consideration, or for their lies to be believed, just because of their service. Yes, Thanks For Your Service. Welcome Home. There is no greater sacrifice you could have made.

    (@bossmongo, you, and @skyler, may be the exceptions that prove this rule.)

    Just don’t be a jerk, now you’re home and safe. K?

    And I am afraid that Vindman, in his testimony today (11/19/2019) is exhibiting symptoms that demonstrate that he doesn’t get this.

    • #18
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:07 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  19. Boss Mongo Member
    Boss Mongo Post author

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    LTC’s are basically the Army’s Remora fish.

    eh. There’s some sharks out there.

    • #19
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:08 AM PST
    • 12 likes
  20. Guruforhire Member

    Boss Mongo (View Comment):

    Guruforhire (View Comment):
    LTC’s are basically the Army’s Remora fish.

    eh. There’s some sharks out there.

    I was in the first class of non-infantry to goto infantry basic, and the LTC battalion commander who ran the training battalion stayed with me up until today.

    “Nothing can stop a motivated soldier and a 7 cent bullet”

    • #20
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:16 AM PST
    • 8 likes
  21. MichaelKennedy Coolidge

    I wonder why he was offered, three times not once, the post of Defense Minister of Ukraine? Do you think he had a bad case of “clientitis?” “Going Native” as the Brits put it. I wonder if there is a money trail? It would be fun to find it.

    • #21
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:23 AM PST
    • 13 likes
  22. Annefy Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I don’t know if you are a good influence on me or a bad one, Boss. I’m not a violent person, but I just want someone to take him into a dark alley and beat the *** out of him. Does that make me a terrible person?

    I’ll help.

    Dude is unimpressive. I think we could take him.

    PS I am a terrible person, but I don’t think you are …

    • #22
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:23 AM PST
    • 21 likes
  23. Annefy Member

    Like an idiot, I am watching again. 

    Impression so far: we are watching the deep state up close and personal and under oath. Imagine the president having the hubris to do something that went against their wishes.

    If one more of these idgit congresspeople thanks someone for their service I’m going to throw the screen across the room … the obsequiousness is disgusting.

    I want to slap doughboy upside the head while saying “go win your own election …”

    • #23
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:31 AM PST
    • 17 likes
  24. EJHill Podcaster

    EODmom: But first – fill in the non-military as to exactly how (rightfully) disdainful the term “pogue” is.

    It is. But it isn’t.

    A POG, or Person Other than Grunt, is not automatically disdained. Front line guys appreciate their support lines. When you need more ammo, when you need food, medical care, equipment repairs, you’re thankful the POGs behind you. My son serves in a maintenance division. I don’t think his fellow Marines find him disdainful.

    However, no Grunt ever prayed for more lawyers or climbers of the Greasy Pole inside the Beltway.

    • #24
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:35 AM PST
    • 22 likes
  25. Vance Richards Member

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I don’t know if you are a good influence on me or a bad one, Boss. I’m not a violent person, but I just want someone to take him into a dark alley and beat the *** out of him. Does that make me a terrible person?

    I’ll help.

    Dude is unimpressive. I think we could take him.

    PS I am a terrible person, but I don’t think you are …

    This is why we can’t have women in combat . . . they’re too brutal.

    • #25
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:37 AM PST
    • 24 likes
  26. James Gawron Thatcher

    Boss Mongo: Know what the equivalent military rank of an US Ambassador is? Four-star general. So not only is your testimony insubordinate to the Commander-in-Chief and most likely your local chain of command, but your testimony itself highlights your insubordination. Lieutenant Colonels don’t generate policy, they implement it, Lard-o. And your boss, Dr. Hill, was on her way in, apparently. You know what a military professional does? He goes through his boss to articulate any misgivings about what a policy maker says, and the boss deals with it.

    Mongo,

    I think your evaluation is spot on. I have been easy on this guy so far because I had assumed that somebody had talked him into it. However, at this point, he has had time to think and he continues to talk like he’s in a movie or something equally stupid, I am rapidly losing all sympathy.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #26
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:37 AM PST
    • 16 likes
  27. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    This is why we can’t have women in combat . . . they’re too brutal.

    Ha-Ha! Thanks for cracking me up, @vancerichards. @annefy might be right, but at 5’2″ I’m not sure I’d be a whole lotta help!

    • #27
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:42 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  28. Annefy Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    This is why we can’t have women in combat . . . they’re too brutal.

    Ha-Ha! Thanks for cracking me up, @vancerichards. @annefy might be right, but at 5’2″ I’m not sure I’d be a whole lotta help!

    I barely hit 5’0″ on a good day.

    I stand by my original comment. I think we could take him.

    • #28
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:47 AM PST
    • 18 likes
  29. Susan Quinn Contributor

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    This is why we can’t have women in combat . . . they’re too brutal.

    Ha-Ha! Thanks for cracking me up, @vancerichards. @annefy might be right, but at 5’2″ I’m not sure I’d be a whole lotta help!

    I barely hit 5’0″ on a good day.

    I stand by my original comment. I think we could take him.

    We’ll make up for it with pure orneriness–yes!

    • #29
    • November 19, 2019, at 10:48 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  30. Bob Thompson Member

    Vindman testified that he delivered information about the phone call to two people outside the group involved in the call, all of whom, we must assume, are read into a security clearance on a ‘need to know’ basis. The State Department guy looks ok for that. What about the intel community person who will not be named? Do people retain their ‘need to know’ based clearance when they have been sent back to their home organization? Even if that party still had that clearance there was no longer a ‘need to know’ and Vindman would know that. Is Vindman a leaker of classified information? I say yes and that’s makes him a liar under oath as well.

    • #30
    • November 19, 2019, at 11:07 AM PST
    • 14 likes