On August 24, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin issued a memo to senior Pentagon leadership announcing that he was implementing a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy for all military service members. The day before, the FDA had issued full authorization to Pfizer for their Comirnaty COVID-19 vaccine product (the nomenclature of which is meant to be a mashup of the words “COVID”, “mRNA”, and “community”) . At first glance it would seem that the mandatory vaccination policy, while scientifically unsound and strategically foolish, was at least a policy being implemented according to both the letter of the directive and in accordance with the law. But a further examination of the facts and the manner in which this order is being implemented makes clear that the military’s implementation of this order is illegal and highly unethical.
In the memo, Secretary Austin issued a directive and a promise, that “Mandatory vaccination against COVID-19 will only use COVID-19 vaccines that receive full licensure from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), in accordance with FDA-approved labeling and guidance.” The problem with this is that the Comirnaty vaccine product that was approved by the FDA is not available anywhere in the Military Health System. It is not even in production, according to the military’s TRICARE healthcare providers. If a soldier goes to a military hospital or a private provider to receive an approved Pfizer COVID vaccine, he will be administered the unapproved Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine which is a vaccine that is not approved but has been administered under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA). We are told that this is but a brand name difference, that the formulation is the same, and they can be used interchangeably. But as the FDA was approving the Comirnaty product, they were renewing the authorization for the Pfizer-BioNTech product. If it’s just a matter of brand name, why issue an approval for one brand name and an EUA renewal for the other? This is because they are not actually the same.
Former Trump attorney Sidney Powell announced Wednesday that she is suing the Defense Department in regards to their vaccine mandate.
According to The Hill, Powell is representing the Texas-based group “Defending the Republic” in a lawsuit against Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin in regards to the military’s mandatory vaccination requirements.
Republican lawmakers in both houses of Congress are demanding that the United States Marine Corps release a Lieutenant Colonel who was jailed earlier this week for criticizing military leadership after the failed Afghanistan withdrawal, Breitbart reports.
A Marine spokesperson confirmed that Lt. Col. Stuart Scheller is currently in pre-trial confinement in the Regional Brig of Marine Corps Installations East, in Camp Lejeune, as he awaits an Article 32 hearing. Although he has not yet been formally charged, Scheller faces the possibility of being charged under a handful of articles, including “contempt toward officials” (Article 88), “willfully disobeying superior commissioned officer” (Article 90), “failure to obey lawful general orders” (Article 92), and “conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman” (Article 133).
Scheller first made his criticisms in a viral video he posted to Facebook on August 26th, the same day that a suicide attack at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in the capital city of Kabul claimed the lives of 13 American servicemembers, as well as hundreds of Afghan civilians. Scheller demanded accountability from military leadership for a withdrawal that has been universally viewed, both domestically and internationally, as a disaster.
Top American military leaders are set for another round of intense congressional grilling on Wednesday, following a day-long Tuesday session that at times featured blistering criticism of their part in the U.S. exit from Afghanistan.
The Tuesday hearing placed on the griddle Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin; U.S. Central Command Chief Gen. Frank McKenzie; and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley.
In the “Nicomachean Ethics,” Aristotle has a lot to say about the activity of choice and its place in securing “eudaimonia,” that “good-spiritedness” that is synonymous with human fulfillment.
Choice is critical in the metabolism of virtue. But, Aristotle points out, it is possible for someone, through bad choices, to put himself in a situation from which choice cannot rescue him.
“The discipline which makes the soldiers of a free country reliable in battle is not to be gained by harsh or tyrannical treatment,” said West Point superintendent John Schofield in 1879, condemning leaders who issue unreasonable and abusive orders. America’s military today is at risk of a different sort of tyranny: the purging of unauthorized political views.
Joe Biden’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has issued an unprecedented “stand down” order for the entirety of the United States military over the course of the next 60 days, for the purpose of addressing alleged “extremism” in the military’s ranks, as reported by Breitbart.
Austin announced the decision in a Tweet on Wednesday, saying that he “met with senior leaders to discuss extremism in the military. As a first step, I’m ordering a stand down to occur over the next 60 days so each service, each command, and each unit can have a deeper conversation about this issue.”
The Senate voted to confirm retired Gen. Lloyd Austin as Secretary of Defense, making him President Joe Biden’s second Cabinet nominee to be confirmed.
Austin was confirmed by a bipartisan 93-2 vote and will be the first black person to serve in the role. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley and Utah Sen. Mike Lee were the only senators to vote against his confirmation.