Wayne Madsen / WayneMadsenReport.com – 2005-08-23 00:33:14
(August 10, 2005) — The sudden firing of US Army Training and Doctrine (TRADOC) Commander, four star General and New York City native Kevin P. Byrnes — one of only 11 four star generals in the Army — has much more to do with a policy dispute than an anonymous Pentagon-reported story about an alleged “extra-marital affair.”
Although Byrnes has recently been involved in divorce proceedings, Pentagon insiders report that Byrnes was fired for insubordination.
The Neocons vs. the Generals
Byrnes’ firing fits a pattern of neocon demonizing of policy opponents by tossing out unsubstantiated charges from “anonymous source.”
For example, when Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski was demoted to Colonel over trumped up charges over her role as commander of Iraqi prisons during the time of the prisoner abuse (and after she revealed the presence of Israeli interrogators in Iraqi prisons), the Pentagon spin machine, joined at the hips with neo-con think thanks and media outlets in Washington, cited a dated and totally unsubstantiated shoplifting accusation against her.
Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker, who Donald Rumsfeld hauled out of retirement to head up the Army after Gen. Eric Shinseki was fired and after no other active duty general wanted the job, relieved Byrnes of his command at Fort Monroe, Virginia. Byrnes had previous run-ins with the neo-cons in the Pentagon.
In 2002, Byrnes was faced with being retired at Lt. Gen. after he clashed with then-Rumsfeld aide Stephen Cambone over proposed troop strength cuts. Then-Army Secretary Thomas White intervened on behalf of Byrnes and he received his fourth star. White was later fired by the Pentagon neo-cons.
50,000 New Recruits
What has not been reported is that recently, one of Byrnes’ subordinate commands, Fort Rucker in Alabama, had been told to stand by for an influx of 50,000 military trainees — a level the base has not seen since the Vietnam War. Byrnes’ relief of command came on the heels of the Pentagon announcing that it might permit Spanish-language entrance examinations. Byrnes, who was in charge of Army training, would not only face recruits with lower education levels and past criminal records, but a lack of proficiency in English.
Pentagon insiders report that it was Byrnes’ policy disagreements with the Pentagon neo-cons over the new recruitment policies and the potential for calling up Army retirees and reinstating military conscription without adequate TRADOC funding that resulted in his firing.
The personal misconduct charges were concocted by the Pentagon to cover up the fact that there are serious disagreements with Bush and Rumsfeld among the flag officer ranks in the military.
Byrnes was also associated with a group of officers who spent time at the US Army War College at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania. The Army War College has been a center of opposition to the war in Iraq and it is believed that Byrnes was recognized by the neo-cons as one of the unofficial leaders of a group of Army flag rank opponents of Bush’s war in Iraq and potential military action against Iran.
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