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  • OMG: Meet Richard Armitage, Knight Commander

    Richard Armitage, the number two man at Colin Powell’s state department, has been knighted “for services to US-UK relations.” Presumably this is a reference to his diplomatic exertions on behalf of the invasion of Iraq.

    Armitage, one of the innumerable Bush administration graduates of the Reagan era Iran-Contra school of murderous skullduggery, was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (KCMG).

    He was joined on the honours list by several US military officers, including Captain John Peterson.

    Peterson’s claim to fame? “Peterson, chief of staff to the commander of the US navy in the Middle East, was awarded a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for – according to the Pentagon – leading British and American forces “in the campaign to secure Iraqi oil assets” at the start of the 2003 invasion.”

    Absent his outstanding service, Iraq might be a shambles.

    The news comes to us courtesy of Chris Floyd, who notes Armitage’s efforts on behalf of US-drug dealing terrorist relations during the Iran-Contra affair, and wonders whether even higher honors might be in store for the future former president, assuming that happy designation ever applies.

    If Armitage gets this kind of gilded wheeze for mere minioning in some of the most murderous operations of the past half-century, then great googily-moogily, what’s George W. going to get, when he retires, for actually being the trigger-man for the world-convulsing killing spree in Iraq? Not to mention his relentless and ruthless gutting of the U.S. Constitution? What honor would suffice for this sterling service? No mere knighthood or baronage will do; Lizzie will have to adopt him into the royal family or something, name him heir to the throne.

    After all, his whole life’s work has been aimed at overthrowing the American Revolution and restoring feudal rule by aristocrats, warlords, religious cranks and simpering courtiers. Why not just bring the whole thing full circle back to Buckingham Palace?

    Armitage — whose former boss, Powell, was made a Knight Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (KCB), one letter less but one notch above Armitage’s KCMG, for his services in the first Gulf War — was nominated for the honor by British foreign minister Jack Straw, who is no doubt in line for recognition of his own role in facilitating the Mother of All Train Wrecks in Iraq.

    Each of the various orders of chivalry has its own motto. For the Order of St. Michael and St. George, it’s Auspicium melioris aevi: “Token of a better age.”

    5 comments to OMG: Meet Richard Armitage, Knight Commander

    • Thrasymachus

      Constitutional Law was a long time ago for me, but isn’t it explicitly unconstutional for Americans (let alone high American officials and military officers) to accept titles or patents of nobility from foreign crowns?

    • I don’t know. I think these are honorary titles: they don’t get to call themselves Sir Richard or Sir Colin, although that might not be the case with Prince George. Maybe that makes a difference.

    • Joe

      per Art. I, sec. 9 …

      “No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person
      holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of
      the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind
      whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.”

      “any kind whatever” seems clear

    • Joe

      but if he was no longer working for the U.S. in such a position, things would be different.

    • He resigned in 2004 and the knighthood was bestowed sometime last year, so I guess he’s off the hook.