"“I would use the word mutinous,” said Eaton, whose long career includes training Iraqi forces from 2003 to 2004. He is now a senior adviser to VoteVets.org. “I do not believe these senators were trying to sell out America. I do believe they defied the chain of command in what could be construed as an illegal act.” Eaton certainly had stern words for Cotton.
“What Senator Cotton did is a gross breach of discipline, and especially as a veteran of the Army, he should know better,” Eaton told me. “I have no issue with Senator Cotton, or others, voicing their opinion in opposition to any deal to halt Iran’s nuclear progress. Speaking out on these issues is clearly part of his job. But to directly engage a foreign entity, in this way, undermining the strategy and work of our diplomats and our Commander in Chief, strains the very discipline and structure that our foreign relations depend on, to succeed.” The consequences of Cotton’s missive were plainly apparent to Eaton. “The breach of discipline is extremely dangerous, because undermining our diplomatic efforts, at this moment, brings us another step closer to a very costly and perilous war with Iran,” he said.'" Jonathan Capehart
Having just implicitly praised Capehart, I now find it necessary to to take issue with this piece or at least with the expressed opinion of MG (ret.) Paul Eaton.
Eaton does not seem to understand that POTUS is NOT commander in chief of the United States. POTUS is commander in chief of the ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES.
Eaton does not seem to understand that POTUS is NOT the "boss" of the Congress any more than POTUS is the "boss" of the federal courts, or, for that matter of the states or the citizenry taken as a whole.
Eaton does not seem to understand that Senator Cotton's previous service with the US Army does not in any way require him in law or in honor to obey POTUS in anything or to follow the guidance of POTUS. In fact, his experience of the world in the context of his service obliges him to make informed independent judgments.
I have encountered a number of US general officers who express discomfort with the idea that the military chain of command and its responsibility to the commander of chief (POTUS) does not apply to the general obligations of citizens to follow their own judgment or conscience.
I remember a three star US Army general who told me that he could not accept the idea that he had any obligation at all to anyone or anything in the US Government other than POTUS. He said that to contemplate mixed obligations would be "too difficult." Such people are dangerous to the constitutional order.
I say that as someone who favors the idea of a nuclear agreement with Iran if a prudent arrangement can be made. pl