Fear of retribution for disagreeing with senior leaders is real in the military. We are serving in dangerous times when military personnel perceive "that one is likely to get crushed for anything other than parroting the party line." During the spring and summer of 2001, there were numerous occasions when, behind the veil of anonymity, military officers expressed disagreement with Pentagon or White House decisions to members of the press corps. What are we to make of these off-- the-record comments?
On Condition of Anonymity
What are sailors and junior officers learning from flag officers' off-the-record criticisms of the Vieques decision? Anonymous expressions of outrage to the press send a message that it is not safe to disagree openly and that it is acceptable to talk behind the boss's back.
By Lieutenant Commander Bill Hamblet, U.S. Navy