Wednesday, November 14, 2012

“Duty, Honor, Country” or “Generals Gone Wild”?



There are currently three high ranking military officers in trouble for alleged sexual misadventures. Unless you’ve just returned from the international space station, you’ve probably heard about former general David Petraeus’s schoolboy-like infatuation with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, and General John Allen’s voluminous email exchanges with Jill Kelley, described by some as a  “Tampa socialite” (an oxymoron?) and by others as a Real Housewife of Tampa.

But the third, General Jeffrey Sinclair, who really takes the cake. He is currently being court-martialed for the following charges: forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, attempted violation of an order, wrongfully engaging in inappropriate relationships, misuse of a government travel charge card, possessing alcohol and pornography while deployed, maltreatment of subordinates and fraud.

One of his apparent victims, an Army captain, testified last week that he threatened to kill her if she told anyone about an affair they had for some three years.

He was legendary for his mistreatment of women subordinates. When confronted about that, he allegedly said, “I’m a general; I’ll do whatever the [expletive] I want.”

Many of the allegations against the three generals involved their behavior while they were in positions of high responsibility in Afghanistan. Petraeus was the highest ranking general there. Allen replaced him. Sinclair was in command of the prestigious 82nd Airborne Division.

The conduct of these three men is deplorable and inexcusable on many levels, but here’s a point of view that I have not heard anyone yet express.

I have six children, who fortunately have not had to serve in the military. I can’t stop thinking about all of the families of soldiers who have died in Afghanistan. How would you feel if your son or daughter had been killed after being sent into harm’s way by one of these generals?

Your kids are dying. Meanwhile, General Petraeus is “All In”; General Allen is emailing his little Tampa socialite; General Sinclair is drinking, misusing credit cards and sodomizing women on the base.

When did these guys find the time to run the war?

FOOTNOTES:
“Duty, Honor, Country” is the motto of the US Military Academy (West Point)
Story of testimony that Sinclair threatened to kill a female captain
Story describing charges against Sinclair
Story containing Sinclair quote about being a general

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Not to mention that the women (at least two of them) are young enough to be the "general's" daughters. What is it with men? Is the transient titillation (pun intended)of an affair really worth the loss of one's life-work, family relationships and reputation? I just don't understand the trade-off; clearly they all thought they were entitled to conduct themselves any way they wanted--while they sent young people to their death. I always thought the military taught discipline--obviously not in the form of sexual self-restraint...Even in men over 6o years old!! And we wonder why rape is rampant in the military--look at the conduct at the highest levels. DD

cynthia said...

When you decide to work for the federal government and ask for a top secret security clearance, you can expect that the most insignificant minutia of your private will be probed. An extramarital affair can, and had in the past, expose the person to blackmail and reveal damaging state secrets, which can put people's lives in danger. Definitely not a good thing.

These rules are enforced to all, pretty much. If you don't want anybody to butt in your business, you may become self-employed. Even McDonald's will test you for drug use and check your credit report.

The fact that these generals, these leaders of men, were preaching one thing to their subordinates (and indeed, punishing them severely for their trespasses) and doing the very opposite, shows how hypocritical these officers are, and how drunk with power they have become, to the point that they see themselves as untouchable gods. It's time to take them down a notch or two.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Thanks for commenting. I agree with both of you. It is outrageous. I was going to mention the fact that enlisted men are probably being punished by guys like this but I wanted to keep the blog short. The military is quite a mess, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Worth a watch on the subject is the investigative documentary released last month : The invisible War

Anonymous said...

the great white north ain't pristine either:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2010/10/18/col-williams-court-1018.html
Thousands of explicit photos that Col. Russell Williams took while wearing women's and girls' lingerie show how his sexual obsession escalated from lesser crimes to sexual assault and murder, a Belleville, Ont...

The decorated former commander of Canadian Forces Base Trenton, in eastern Ontario, pleaded guilty to all 88 charges against him — including two counts of first-degree murder, two counts each of sexual assault and forcible confinement and 82 break-ins and attempted break-ins...

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Where is that documentary available? Thanks for the link about the Canadian officer. He took it to another level.

docster said...

itunes/ amazon link of DVD/Digital/On Demand for "The invisible War"- http://invisiblewarmovie.com/page.cfm?id=86

The Jeffrey Sinclair case has a lot of parallels to the series one, episode two of "Lie to Me" which sheds light on why women in the military don't come forth or such abusive exploits. - https://itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/lie-to-me-season-1/id300975482

Both the above are also all over the torrents.

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