Friday, April 27, 2007

Truth to Power

My granddad was in Patton's troops in WWII, and I got whatever knowledge of the military I have from him. One thing I remember him telling me was that, the more you spoke your mind, the less likely you were to climb the promotions ladder. Because of the need to get things done, there was a meritocracy up to about the Lt. Colonel level. Then the ass-kissers and blowhards separated from the herd, making just about anyone above that level someone who, if you shook their hand, you better check for your watch. My own experience with lt. colonels convinced me that they were about the straightest-shooting and realistic folks I've ever been around. Think about that as you read this piece on an accomplished lt. colonel in Iraq who has just lowered the boom with a journal article on "General Failure."