Friday, March 03, 2006


Professional Responsibility and the Catch-22

I forget whether it was Alito or Roberts but one of them wrote an underappreciatedly frightening memo about the lack of personal responsibility an attorney working for the US would have when working on the job. Most people would agree with this memo -- but the fact is that part of being a professional is that you have personal responsibility to follow your profession's codes of ethics and proper working procedures. E.g. this is why doctors have malpractice insurance.

Why this is interesting right now is that many professionals working for the military are in a Catch-22 situation: the military is asking them to do things that run against their professions' codes of conduct and which, quite rightly, could get them de-certified. So the professionals have a choice: follow orders and be decertified and thus not able to work in their profession again or disobey orders, get dishonorably discharged and not be able to work in their profession again (if any of them are OB-Gyns, will GWB be concerned about their ability to "practice their love with women"?).

I should hope that these professionals should they be discharged and/or decertified sue the military and the CiC in charge of said military for the damages. It's about time people giving the orders take responsibility for the orders they give. If GWB were Hitler, he would not have committed suicide but would have gone to Nuremburg and said "I was just giving orders, it's not my responsibility that people follow them".

From corporations contracting to sweatshops to our political leadership, I am tired of the "I'm just giving orders" defense and wish society would decide to say "enough is enough".

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?