They’re the civil servants of our Federal government sworn to uphold the Constitution. They recognize the Presidency and its powers as a position in constitutional terms as well as their obligations in relation to that. As such, their loyalty may be to the position but not the occupant who dares to challenge the boundaries and contours of power as set by the Framers.

James S. Oppenheim, editor of this blog, via sub-thread comment during PBS live coverage of the impeachment hearings on November 19, 2019.

They — Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman; Jennifer Williams.

Posted by PBS NewsHour to YouTube November 19, 2019.

Posted by C-Span to YouTube November 19, 2019.

Badgered to give up the name of the “whistle blower” during the open hearing, Lt. Col. Vindman refused to deliver the name or discuss any of the intelligence personnel charged with the keeping of each their portion of the nation’s secrets, which certainly seems sensible to this editor if not his Republican interrogator.

Related on BackChannels

United States of America – Basic Training

Posted by PBS NewsHour to YouTube on November 19, 2019.

Related Online

Fonzone, Christopher. “What the Law of Military Obedience Can (and Can’t) Do — What Happens if a President’s Orders are Unlawful?” Just Security, May 4, 2018.

Hakim, Danny. “Army Officer Who Heard Trump’s Ukraine Call Reported Concerns.” The New York Times, October 28, 2019.

Jacobs, Jennifer and Justin Sink. “Trump Orders Substantial Cut to National Security Council Staff After Whistle-Blower Complaint.” Time, October 5, 2019.