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Re: Brin: General's career ended for criticizing Iraq War

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  • Dan Minette
    ... From: Dave Land To: Killer Bs Discussion Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 11:47 AM Subject: Re: Brin:
    Message 1 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Dave Land" <dland@...>
      To: "Killer Bs Discussion" <brin-l@...>
      Sent: Wednesday, June 01, 2005 11:47 AM
      Subject: Re: Brin: General's career ended for criticizing Iraq War


      > On Jun 1, 2005, at 8:57 AM, Nick Arnett wrote:
      >
      > > Little-Used Punishment
      > >
      > > A senior officer's loss of a star is a punishment seldom used, and then
      > > usually for the most serious offenses, such as dereliction of duty or
      > > command failures, adultery or misuse of government funds or equipment.
      >

      > Far be it from me to minimize the personal costs of adultery, but I'm
      > not sure how that one (serious, but personal) failing rises to the same
      > level as, for example, dereliction of duty.

      Most of the time that I've seen it applied it has affected the armed forces
      directly. I would rather suspect that a soldier visiting a brothal would
      not be brought up on charges. But, a general having an affair with the
      wife of one of his subordinates strikes directly at the mutual trust needed
      in the armed forces. I'm not in an armed forces community, but I would
      guess that it could seriously harm the readiness of the unit.

      I also think that generals who commit murder are not nearly as common as
      those who commit adultry, have command failures, misuse funds and
      equipment, etc. I'm sure they exist, but I'd guess that, when the book is
      thrown at them, the loss of a star is such a small part of the penelty that
      it is "lost in the noise" , or (more likely) the demotion in rank is far
      bigger. Is anyone familiar enough with the military to know what demotions
      in rank, loss of pension, etc. are associated with capital crimes, such as
      murder?

      Dan M.
      Dan M.


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    • David Brin
      ... The utter hypocrisy of so-called conservatives who are unable to grasp that the GOP has been seized (again) by monsters, is simply staggering. For eight
      Message 2 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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        --- Nick Arnett <narnett@...> wrote:

        > Unceremonious End to Army Career
        > By Tom Bowman
        > The Baltimore Sun
        >
        > Sunday 29 May 2005

        The utter hypocrisy of so-called "conservatives" who
        are unable to grasp that the GOP has been seized
        (again) by monsters, is simply staggering.

        For eight years they hounded a DLC moderate who
        offered his hand in negotiation during his entire
        presidency and ran a trim, efficient and transparent
        administration, reducing govt payrolls, deficits and
        secrecy. Why? Fundamentally, out of a deep inner
        yearning to give the other side a "Watergate".

        That trauma (highlighted today by the Deep Throat
        revelations) has embittered the Right since the 70s.
        Deep down, it is the root of Limbaughism. And the
        fact that THIRTEEN YEARS AND A BILLION WASTED DOLLARS
        have resulted in one indictment and zero convictions
        will never be perceived as evidence that they were
        wrong.

        It is only seen as evidence that "evidence" does not
        matter.

        Hence the more recent neconservative campaign against
        science itself. Featuring the staggering sight of
        grown men actually saying "we need more research" in
        order to confirm Global Warming... while savagely
        cutting the research budget.

        What will it take? The worst political purge of the
        US Officer Corps in three generations? Skyrocketing
        deficits & oil prices and plummeting military
        readiness? A grotesquely divided nation and alliances
        in ashes?

        The appointment of screeching maniacs as "diplomats"
        and SaudFamily bodyguards as head of Homelandsecutity?

        What will it take?

        A few bright men like George F. Will - true
        conservatives with that old Goldwater-libertarian tilt
        and a grounding in Locke-Burke-Hume-Hayek - are
        capable of seeing these facts. They complain about
        them individually, one at a time, frantically trying
        not to see the pattern. Peering closely at smoldering
        spots in order not to realize that they are standing
        in a conflagration.

        One that will do to the GOP what Watergate did. What
        The Depression did.

        Men like Will have got to stand up. If they do it
        now, BEFORE the hanchmen and new Deep Throats start
        emerging, then conservatism will have its voice and
        men with clean hands to pick up the pieces.
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      • David Brin
        ... Actually, I am not surprised. The military is a hothouse environment. Mariages are its bedrock. What is unfair, of course, is uneven enforcement. But
        Message 3 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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          --- Dave Land <dland@...> wrote:

          > Am I the only one surprised to find adultery on this
          > list of "most
          > serious offenses"

          Actually, I am not surprised. The military is a
          hothouse environment. Mariages are its bedrock. What
          is unfair, of course, is uneven enforcement. But if
          you are a general, you should have learned to keep
          your pants zipped.

          As Clinton should have.

          As should the majority of GOP "prosecutors" who
          hounded him during impeachment, whose messy divorces
          made BC look like a choir boy.


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        • Ronn!Blankenship
          ... Have you ever been in the US military? -- Ronn! :) _______________________________________________ http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
          Message 4 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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            At 11:47 AM Wednesday 6/1/2005, Dave Land wrote:
            >On Jun 1, 2005, at 8:57 AM, Nick Arnett wrote:
            >
            >>Little-Used Punishment
            >>
            >>A senior officer's loss of a star is a punishment seldom used, and then
            >>usually for the most serious offenses, such as dereliction of duty or
            >>command failures, adultery or misuse of government funds or equipment.
            >
            >Am I the only one surprised to find adultery on this list of "most
            >serious offenses" for which this sanction can be applied? I can see that
            >it's a problem if it leads to a dereliction of duty, command failure, or
            >misuse of gov't funds or equipment or so forth. I realize that this is
            >just the article author's list, but I suspect that he didn't make it up
            >out of whole cloth. I would be willing to bet that other serious
            >offenses, such as murder, drug abuse, prostitution and so forth would
            >qualify as well.
            >
            >Far be it from me to minimize the personal costs of adultery, but I'm
            >not sure how that one (serious, but personal) failing rises to the same
            >level as, for example, dereliction of duty.
            >
            >Thoughts?


            Have you ever been in the US military?


            -- Ronn! :)


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          • Dave Land
            ... I was in the US Coast Guard Academy in 1976. Class of 80 -- the first one that included women cadets. I lasted about four months before I processed out,
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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              On Jun 1, 2005, at 3:22 PM, Ronn!Blankenship wrote:

              > At 11:47 AM Wednesday 6/1/2005, Dave Land wrote:
              >> On Jun 1, 2005, at 8:57 AM, Nick Arnett wrote:
              >>
              >>> Little-Used Punishment
              >>>
              >>> A senior officer's loss of a star is a punishment seldom used, and
              >>> then
              >>> usually for the most serious offenses, such as dereliction of duty or
              >>> command failures, adultery or misuse of government funds or
              >>> equipment.
              >>
              >> Am I the only one surprised to find adultery on this list of "most
              >> serious offenses" for which this sanction can be applied? I can see
              >> that
              >> it's a problem if it leads to a dereliction of duty, command failure,
              >> or
              >> misuse of gov't funds or equipment or so forth. I realize that this is
              >> just the article author's list, but I suspect that he didn't make it
              >> up
              >> out of whole cloth. I would be willing to bet that other serious
              >> offenses, such as murder, drug abuse, prostitution and so forth would
              >> qualify as well.
              >>
              >> Far be it from me to minimize the personal costs of adultery, but I'm
              >> not sure how that one (serious, but personal) failing rises to the
              >> same
              >> level as, for example, dereliction of duty.
              >>
              >> Thoughts?
              >
              >
              > Have you ever been in the US military?

              I was in the US Coast Guard Academy in 1976. Class of '80 -- the first
              one that included women cadets. I lasted about four months before I
              "processed out," but I did get to spend a week on the Eagle during the
              tail end of the Bicentennial "Operation Sail" program of tall ships
              visiting US ports.

              It *almost* made all the other BS of being in a military academy worth
              it. Almost.

              But, in direct answer to your question, no, I haven't.

              After asking the above question, I realized that people lose their
              security clearance for things like adultery, because it makes them
              susceptible to blackmail and such-like. And I guess you don't get to
              have any stars at all if you don't have pretty solid clearance.

              Dave

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            • Ronn!Blankenship
              ... That s okay. My point was just that the military is different in many ways from civilian society, even to the point of having a different set of laws for
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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                At 06:05 PM Wednesday 6/1/2005, Dave Land wrote:

                >On Jun 1, 2005, at 3:22 PM, Ronn!Blankenship wrote:
                >
                >>At 11:47 AM Wednesday 6/1/2005, Dave Land wrote:
                >>>On Jun 1, 2005, at 8:57 AM, Nick Arnett wrote:
                >>>
                >>>>Little-Used Punishment
                >>>>
                >>>>A senior officer's loss of a star is a punishment seldom used, and then
                >>>>usually for the most serious offenses, such as dereliction of duty or
                >>>>command failures, adultery or misuse of government funds or equipment.
                >>>
                >>>Am I the only one surprised to find adultery on this list of "most
                >>>serious offenses" for which this sanction can be applied? I can see that
                >>>it's a problem if it leads to a dereliction of duty, command failure, or
                >>>misuse of gov't funds or equipment or so forth. I realize that this is
                >>>just the article author's list, but I suspect that he didn't make it up
                >>>out of whole cloth. I would be willing to bet that other serious
                >>>offenses, such as murder, drug abuse, prostitution and so forth would
                >>>qualify as well.
                >>>
                >>>Far be it from me to minimize the personal costs of adultery, but I'm
                >>>not sure how that one (serious, but personal) failing rises to the same
                >>>level as, for example, dereliction of duty.
                >>>
                >>>Thoughts?
                >>
                >>
                >>Have you ever been in the US military?
                >
                >I was in the US Coast Guard Academy in 1976. Class of '80 -- the first
                >one that included women cadets. I lasted about four months before I
                >"processed out," but I did get to spend a week on the Eagle during the
                >tail end of the Bicentennial "Operation Sail" program of tall ships
                >visiting US ports.
                >
                >It *almost* made all the other BS of being in a military academy worth
                >it. Almost.
                >
                >But, in direct answer to your question, no, I haven't.



                That's okay. My point was just that the military is different in many ways
                from civilian society, even to the point of having a different set of laws
                for its members (the UCMJ), and some of the differences are hard to explain
                to someone who's never been part of it and who may think that it is just
                like civilian life except that everyone wears the same years-out-of-style
                suit every day (and some of them get to fly really hot planes and shoot
                really big guns). I expect you had some taste of the difference during
                your time at the USCGA . . .



                >After asking the above question, I realized that people lose their
                >security clearance for things like adultery, because it makes them
                >susceptible to blackmail and such-like.



                The same argument has been made about homosexuals: that, particularly if
                they were still "in the closet", they could be subject to blackmail by
                anyone who discovered their secret and threatened to reveal it. And even
                today when that is more acceptable to many in society in general, there are
                many who in particular do not want their parents or someone like that to
                find out, and so are thought to be susceptible to blackmail



                > And I guess you don't get to
                >have any stars at all if you don't have pretty solid clearance.



                And a few other things. People who don't care about it put in their 20 and
                retire as O-5s (Lt. Col. in the Army, Air Force, or Marines, Cmdr. in the
                Navy). Those who make O-6 then are concerned with whether they will get
                stars or not, so they are really concerned with what their superiors think
                about them. And then one-stars worry about getting a second star, and
                two-stars worry about getting a third, and so on . . . People who want to
                rise as far as possible in the Pentagon start early on worrying about what
                their superiors think of them and what goes into their records folders.

                (Me? As I've said before, when I determined that remaining in the Air
                Force was not likely to get me any higher than the troposphere or at best
                the lower stratosphere, I decided to go a different way. As it turned out,
                even if I'd been successful in getting into the astronaut program, I would
                probably have only gotten started by the time my health decided to go
                downhill . . . though I suppose that had I been in Houston or Florida at
                that time rather than where I was, maybe I wouldn't have caught whatever it
                was. Or not . . . )


                -- Ronn! :)


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              • David Brin
                Dave s point about blackmail is hugely significant. For many years discrimination against homosexuals was defended based upon their susceptibility to coercion
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
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                  Dave's point about blackmail is hugely significant.
                  For many years discrimination against homosexuals was
                  defended based upon their susceptibility to coercion
                  vs being outed.

                  To this day, SECRET homosexuality is considered
                  worrisome by the State Dept. Alas, that is the only
                  kind allowed in the military, a really weird decision.

                  In a more general sense, of course, this is about the
                  cleansing power of Transparency. When it is mixed
                  with a general rise in tolerance of non-harmful human
                  eccentricity and diversity.

                  Darkness and skulking favor our civilization's enemies
                  over the long run. (The SHORT run can feature many
                  advantages to short term secrecy, of course. I am not
                  a fanatic and I want our side always to have the
                  tactical advantages that information superiority
                  provides.) Alas, the temptation that lures ALL human
                  leaders is to rationalize why THEY should be allowed
                  to evade accountability.

                  Clinton benefited us - and himself - when he reduced
                  overall secrecy. When he lied, he harmed us and
                  himself.

                  None of which compares to today's lie and secrecy
                  fest.

                  The deep scandal is subbornation. How many officials
                  are subborned by enemies of the republic? How high
                  does it go? What methods were used? Blackmail.
                  Pictures from wild parties?

                  This was NOT considered an unreasonable question
                  during our adversarial relationship with the soviets
                  and nazis, so why is it so today?

                  Can anyone come up with another explanation for Bolton
                  and Kerrick? Any other even REMOTELY possible
                  explanation for the appointment of a shrieking
                  hysteric as a diplomat and a saudfamily bodyguard to
                  head homelandsec?

                  Really. Is Limbaughism so far along that college
                  educated and supposedly patriotic americans cannot
                  even see their country being sold out from under them?



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