Touchy devil: Vindman pulls rank on Nunes

After revealing he was Trump impeachment whistleblower Eric Ciaramella's chatty human water cooler, White House National Security aide Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman sought to get some respect from Rep. Devin Nunes.

Here was the exchange:

"Mr. Vindman, you testified in your deposition that you did not know the whistleblower," Nunes stated.

"Ranking member, it's Lieutenant Colonel Vindman, please," the witness responded.

Nunes corrected himself and repeated the statement, which followed questions regarding who Vindman had spoken with about Trump's phone call. More than once, Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., interjected to advise Vindman that the purpose of the hearing was not to expose the identity of the whistleblower, who is afforded legal protection.

Vindman did say he spoke to two individuals regarding a readout of the call, and that both were government employees with a need to know. Nunes asked which agencies they were with, to which Vindman said he spoke to State Department official George Kent, and "an individual in the intelligence community."

 Which struck a lot of people as touchy, and disgusted many military people.



Here's the view of one military man in some of the most elite units:



It's well known that the extremely elite units disdain use of rank altogether while in the field. Ranks for them are desk-jockey stuff, and that pins Vindman for that type, whatever his combat history.

What's more, it's kind of weird to see Vindman so jealous about the position he has. Being what's known as a lite bird colonel is not an insignificant position in the military, but it's not a top rank. It's a respected middle management position, competitive to get, STEWART: You directed Rep. Nunes to refer to you as "Lieutenant Colonel?" Do you always insist on civilians referring to you by your military rank?

VINDMAN: People on Twitter were disrespecting me and my service.

10 U.S. Code 523 which authorizes for ranks, if there are 170,000 officers, then 35,412 can be majors, 16,908 can be lieutenant colonels, and less than half, or 7,116 can be full bird colonels. Even fewer can be generals. According to Wikipedia, "DOPMA guidelines suggest 70% of majors should be promoted to lieutenant colonel after serving a minimum of three years at their present rank and after attaining 15–17 years of cumulative commissioned service." But again, less than half that number become Colonels.


So Vindman jealously guarding his LTC rank to a disinterested civilian such as Nunes looks touchy in the extreme, reminding me of the petty tsarist bureaucrat jealously guarding his sinecure out among the serfs and peasants in the 19th century Russian countryside. Russian literature is full of such people.

Asked about it later, Vindman confirmed his thin skin.



Seriously, Twitter? And the twits and doofuses and trolls of Twitter upset him that badly? What's with this guy? This is snowflake sensitivity, weird stuff in a supposedly tough military man. Where's his inner confidence and self respect? He sounds like a whiner with one very large and delicate ego.

In reality, people who are assured of their self-worth don't need to turn to titles and ranks to let the world know how important they are. The elite military units sure don't. If Nunes had treated Vindman rudely, which he did not, the onus would be on Nunes, not Vindman, as such arrows would bounce right off. This guy, though, acts like a human pincushion, concerned about the opinions of Twitterati no less. Kind of unbecoming. And worse still, would an enlisted man want to follow such a person? Not a normal one.

Most significantly perhaps, it revealed Vindman's essential double standard and political orientation. Vindman insisted that his title be used to Nunes, but didn't do the same for Rep. Adam Schiff or Rep. Carolyn Maloney, both of whom used the perfectly correct (according to the U.S. Military Code of Justice) "Mr.Vindman." If you're a leftist, it's O.K. to say "Mr. Vindman" which reveals an unusually partisan orientation. Lieutenant Colonel to you, Devin Nunes, but Democrats can call him anything they like. Sounds like bias all right, something he claims he has none of. "I'd call myself never partisan," he proclaimed, after he was asked if he was a #neverTrump.

Something that doesn't hold up based on that demonstration.

Which brings up the other thing that's so hypocritical here: Vindman proclaims his touchiness to Nunes, presumably because he was upset about proprieties and chain of command and all that, but at the same time, he has never respected chain of command himself. 

The Federalist's Sean Davis did a pretty good job exposing his repeated pattern of ignoring the military chain of command.







In light of that, Vindman's obsession with rank looks like a power move, a selfish one, a partisan effort to gain leverage, and he's not even smart enough to disguise it. The whole thing speaks badly for him but tells us everything we need to know about the origins and motivations of this status-jealous deep-state swamp impeachment effort.














Image credit: Twitter screen shot

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