Bad News Day, part 3: Draft the Middle-aged Hackers

Agency initiates steps for selective draft

The government is taking the first steps toward a targeted military draft of Americans with special skills in computers and foreign languages. [...] The agency already has a special system to register and draft health care personnel ages 20 to 44 in more than 60 specialties if necessary in a crisis. According to Flahavan, the agency will expand this system to be able to rapidly register and draft computer specialists and linguists, should the need ever arise. [...]

A Pentagon official familiar with personnel issues stressed that the armed forces are against any form of conscription but acknowledged that the groundwork is already under way at the Selective Service System.

On Capitol Hill, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., has introduced a bill that would reinstate the draft. The legislation has minimal support with only 13 House lawmakers signing on as co-sponsors. A corresponding bill in the Senate introduced by Sen. Fritz Hollings, the outgoing South Carolina Democrat, has no co-sponsors.

See also bushdraft.com.

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23 Responses:

  1. yekop says:

    Rumsfeld is a well documented opponent of drafts.

    • baconmonkey says:

      that doesn't matter at all.

      This administration is notorious for saying one thing, then later doing a complete about-face.

      for example, Cheney, who has an openly gay daughter, originally stated that he felt gay marriage was an issue for the states to decide. Now he's pushing for a constitutional ammendment to ban it.

      Then there's this funny video using archival footage to create a debate between Governor George W. Bush and President George W. Bush on a few topics like forien policy and how much we should meddle in the affairs of other countries. Gov. W. says that it's arrogant of us to go around telling other nations how they should run their own affairs and that he doesn't believe the US military should be used for Nation Building. Prez. W. has some different opinions.

  2. doubleyou says:

    Um, interesting...

    Well, I suppose that's one way to solve unemployment problems. ;P

    Honestly though, as long as they taught me how to fire a gun without hurting myself or my colleagues, and didn't put me directly in harm's way (i.e., the front lines), I don't think I'd have too much of a problem. Then again, I wouldn't be thrilled either.

    And I thought I dodged that bullet by being 31. Oh well.

    • There really are worse employers than the military, all issues of principle aside. At least when it comes to benefits. There are all sorts of problems when trying to do things the right [technical] way on many of the projects...

      • Dude, where have you been for the last three months?

        Bush completely raped vet benefits. Injured soldiers have to pay for their own meals in the hospital and write home to their families to send them things like, oh, boots and body armor.

        • Oh, I realize. I've sent a couple messages to Senators and so on as these issues come up. I wouldn't be able to go to school without the benefits though-- they are still there, and various members of Congress are working on bills to fix the problems. I have enough faith to believe that maybe Congress is starting to realize just how badly they're screwing over soldiers.

          Of course, my father was an officer, so I get the best of it. Enlisted men don't get shit...

    • westyx says:

      there are only *safer* places. look at iraq - the whole place is a front line.

  3. scorchingwet says:

    Is there a way to prove that a person does not have bad knees? A person that is willing to fake having bad knees will not get into the military.

    • dzm6 says:

      Don't know how difficult bad knees are to fake, but it's certainly trivial to acquire them for real. Just need a cudgel of some sort and a friend that shares your convictions.

  4. That doesn't surprise me, either.

  5. pdx6 says:

    If the government starts drafting geeks into .mil work, I think the .mil has another thing coming. I feel sorry for managers that have to hurd cats, could you imagine a drill instructor trying to get a geek to do anything other than sit indoors?

  6. quercus says:

    44 ? Yay !

    For the first time in months, I've heard of something that I'm not Too Old For.

    I have only four days left to be a bone marrow donor. Apparently after Wednesday, my marrow has cooties.

    • j_b says:

      not sure, but it looks on 2 different marrow donor sites I've looked at that they like you up to age 60...

  7. exiledbear says:

    1. How will they know, who is a "computer geek", and who isn't? It's not like we all carry cards that identify us as computer geeks. There's no national computer geek professional association. And if they depend on certifications as their means of identification, like (snicker) MCSE, well they get what they deserve. Oh boy, I'd love to see that train wreck.

    2. Ok, we'll wave our hands, and say that they know who you are (mwahahaha). How will they know you're any good? Lots of boneheads out there in the computer industry, very very few of them are really worth anything. How do they know the .jsp lightweights from the ones who write embedded C compilers before breakfast? It's obvious to us, but these military types look at us, and we all look the same.

    3. Ok, I wave my hands again, they know who you are, and what you're capable of. Is there any guarantee that they can get that level of work out of you? When they're only paying you peanuts? What's different about being in the military over working for a really big bureaucratic company? I'm sure I can emulate a bonehead just as well as the next stiff - I've had lots of examples over the years of watching coworkers to draw from. People burn out and stop caring, you know. Wouldn't it be a coincidence to burn out after being drafted? How would they know the difference?

    This whole "computer geek draft" is idiotic. I bet they'd get volunteers, if they'd subcontract it out, and offer market rates, plus hazard pay. But they don't want to pay for it, the weasels. People rarely get what they want, but they almost always get what they deserve.

  8. smokedamage says:

    hey, you could get a pretty funny sitcom out of something like that. M*A*S*H, anyone?