AP featured image
National Security Council aide Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman is sworn in to testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, during a public impeachment hearing of President Donald Trump’s efforts to tie U.S. aid for Ukraine to investigations of his political opponents. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Earlier this year, Army Lieutenant Colonel Alexander “Sweet Cheeks” Vindman was at the epicenter of a failed coup attempt against President Trump. Vindman, then serving as Ukraine desk officer on the National Security Council, was listening in on a call between President Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky. Vindman, working hand-in-glove with a CIA officer named Eric Ciaramella, staff in the office of Adam Schiff, and the Intelligence Community IG Michael Atkinson concocted a cock-and-bull story about Trump refusing to ship arms to Ukraine unless it investigated the criminal activities of Hunter Biden and his father, Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden. The story was not true–the Trump administration actually did what the Obama administration refused to, which was ship lethal aid to Ukraine, and the aid was delivered–and the IC IG worked to change the entire regulatory structure of the whistleblower regulation to allow a previously impermissible political hit based on second-hand gossip to be laundered as a supreme act of conscience.

In the aftermath of the failed coup, Vindman and his brother…how two resistance-minded brothers, both Army officers, ended up on the NSC is something someone in the media should have enough curiosity to check out but they won’t… were booted from the NSC.

Since that time, the Army promotion board for colonel has met and it has selected Vindman. The list is now at the White House for approval before being sent to the Senate for confirmation. And ‘people’ are scared that Trump may pull Vindman off the promotion list.

An Army officer’s promotion is in jeopardy over what some officials fear could be White House retaliation for his role in last year’s impeachment inquiry, raising the possibility that President Trump might again intervene in military affairs, according to officials familiar with the matter.

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who received a Purple Heart for his actions in Iraq and later served as a White House aide on European affairs, is among hundreds of officers selected to be promoted to full colonel this year. Such promotions are typically signed off on by Army and then Pentagon leaders before moving to the White House and the Senate for a confirmation vote. The list is now with a Pentagon personnel office.

Multiple government officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to address personnel matters, have voiced concern, however, that the White House could strike Vindman’s name once it is conveyed, effectively sanctioning him for testimony he gave under subpoena to House lawmakers.

Promotion to colonel is an accomplishment. The average career officer in the Army retires as a lieutenant colonel with about 27 years service. The gate to colonel is difficult if you are a line officer. Generally, you are required to have commanded successfully at the battalion level (or something equivalent) to be competitive though there are other less certain routes. The route Vindman took is based on his language skills and his series of high level staff jobs specializing in Ukraine. Boards are frequently given quotas that must be filled by officers with some peculiar ability because it is known that a replacement is needed for a laboratory or a diplomatic post that will require a Ph.D. or language skills.

In my view, Vindman betrayed both his president and his nation when he elected to take his bullsh** complaint to someone who was not cleared for the information to set up a ‘whistleblower’ complain. The arrogance and lack of integrity necessary to do that were of epic proportions. Instead of being selected for promotion, he should have been the recipient of a show-cause letter that would have preceded his force retirement. The fact that that didn’t happen shows the degree to which the Army has become infected with a dangerous level of opposition to President Trump at the senior levels. Read this commentary by Colonel Mike Ford:

Opinion: General Milley, CJCS, Created a Political-Military Nexus, Where There Wasn’t One Before

Opinion: General Milley’s Politicization of the Military, Part II

It is difficult to read the results of the promotion board as anything other than a direct challenge to President Trump, as an exercise of sticking a thumb in his eye, rubbing his nose in it, or whatever other metaphor you want to use. An a very high level that promotion board was told, if not actively encouraged, to select Vindman for no greater reason than to force President Trump to acquiesce in promoting the man who tried to have him removed from office.

Promotion, for commissioned officers, is not a right. A board recommends officers to the president who then sends the list to the Senate for a confirmation vote. This process is usually unremarkable, but it doesn’t have to be. In the aftermath of the first attack on the warrior ethos, that would be the 1991 Tailhook convention scandal, the Democrat led Senate Armed Services Committee told the Secretary of the Navy that they would not act on any list containing the name of any officer attainted by the Tailhook investigation. This resulted in the Navy Secretary personally pulling officers of the list of those recommended for promotion. John Warner carried out a personal jihad to keep the commander of the USS Cole, Commander Kirk Leppold, from being promoted. He personally held up four promotion lists with Leppold on it until the Navy relented and withdrew his name.

Vindman is singularly undeserving of promotion, not only for his actions themselves but for the message they sent to the officer corps about placing partisan loyalty above all. President Trump should publicly strike Vindman from the list and then he should appoint some steely-eyed warriors to undertake a total purge of anyone associated with making this useless twatwaffle eligible for promotion in the first place.

streiff
Managing Editor at RedState
Former infantry officer, CGSC grad and Army Operations Center alumnus.
RedState member since 2004.
polite emails to [email protected] Jerk emails will be blocked.
Follow me on Twitter
Read more by streiff