So I’m tooling around town, wondering what to write about after reading yesterday’s emotional and encouraging memorials to the fallen. I should have known that the Democrats wouldn’t let me down. They just can’t seem to help it. From the Kansas City Star:
JEFFERSON CITY - Gun-rights supporters treated Maj. Jon Dolan like a returning war hero Thursday as the state senator cast a critical vote to override a veto of concealed-weapons legislation.Weapons control, military regulations, and political game-playing (redundant?) all in one big package. Perfect.
But Democrats said Dolan, a Lake St. Louis Republican, had gotten special treatment in getting six days of leave from his post in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and that he had flouted military rules by acting as a politician while on active duty. [Note: Major Dolan is in the Army National Guard]
Every time I read about some moron or set of morons spouting off about some breach of military rules and regulations, my flags go up, especially in the wake of the ignorant assumptions and accusations made regarding George W. Bush’s Air National Guard service. My first question to hypothetically-existing moron: have you ever served in the military? Second question: do you know that the active duty rules regarding service, “leave,” and pay are different than those of the Reserves and the National Guard? If the answer to either is ‘no,’ then my advice is to do your homework or STFU.
They also said it was ironic Dolan would return on the second anniversary of Sept. 11, saying he should be at his post fighting terrorism.Can you believe that crap?
Dolan said he had to ask for a special exception for leave only because it fell within the first 60 days of his assignment in Cuba. He said his commanding officers granted the leave after he showed them the Senate rule that states a member must be present to cast a vote.
[Adviser to Gov. Bob Holden (D), Roy] Temple pointed to federal law and military regulations that say an officer "may not hold, or exercise the functions of" a political office while on active duty. The rules apply to "a reserve officer serving on active duty under a call or order to active duty for a period in excess of 270 days."
Because Dolan was called up Aug. 8, and because his orders say his service is not to exceed 365 days, he falls under the requirement, Temple said.
But Dolan said he had asked multiple attorneys about the issue, including one with the Army. The attorneys told him that, because he has not yet served 270 days of his tour, the rule does not apply to him.The interpretation is arguable. However, his orders have the caveat “not to exceed 365 days.” This does not mean that Major Dolan actually has to serve 365 days. It is very conceivable that Maj. Dolan might not have to serve past the 270th day or even close to it. Reserve/National Guard call-ups to active duty get cut short all the time.
"My interpretation is that rule does not apply to me until the 271st day of duty," he said.
Temple also said Dolan's claim that he received no special treatment to get leave was not credible.
"I think there are hundreds of thousands of men and women serving in the United States armed services now who would love to have the opportunity to come home for the birth of their children or to attend the funerals of friends and family," Temple said.Such a decision is up to a given commander. If a commander can spare one of his/her troops in such a situation, a commander has the discretion to allow leave. For any military member in a war zone, forget it. For a Public Affairs officer at a state-side prison camp, like Major Dolan, the odds are considerably better. It all depends on whether the given mission can be accomplished in a specific time period in that member’s absence.
"There's always exceptions to policy," [Department of Defense press officer Navy Lt. Cmdr. Barbara] Burfeind said. "Major Dolan was granted an exception to policy based on they had enough staffing that they could let him go for six days. His special circumstances were taken into account."Considering that staffing was sufficient, that Major Dolan isn’t stationed in a war zone and that the 270 day rule wasn’t yet in effect, I can’t see how this situation was an “exception to policy.”
Of course, all the bovine excrement about “military regulations” and “special treatment” is merely a smokescreen. The gun-control advocates in the Missouri state senate are just ticked off that the major came back to ruin their plans. I’m sure all the crooks in Missouri are ticked off at Major Dolan as well. Doesn’t he know that he’s endangering their livelihoods?