As Twitchy reported Wednesday, Adm. Harry Harris, commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, took a thinly veiled shot at San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick during his Pearl Harbor anniversary address, saying those being honored at the ceremony “never took a knee and never failed to stand whenever they heard our national anthem being played.”

The Department of Defense had tweeted that quote from the speech, along with video, but later deleted the tweet.

The Washington Post followed up with the Defense Department on the deleted tweet. Pentagon spokesman Gordon Trowbridge explained that the Defense Department “decided we didn’t want to weigh in on something that could be construed as political.” Hey, they just drop the bombs where people tell them to, OK?

Phillip Carter, a former Army officer and Pentagon official, told the Post that Harris’s comment wasn’t appropriate, calling it absurd that a member of the military would call out a citizen for exercising his right to free speech when it’s the military’s job to protect that right.

On the other hand, the Washington Post also noted that video of the speech released by the Associated Press “shows Harris’s remarks drew cheers and a standing ovation.” The Department of Defense might have pulled its tweet, but the excerpt lives on thanks to a tweet by Fox News: