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

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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 1 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
      --- 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 2 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
        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 3 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
          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 4 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
            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 5 of 9 , Jun 1, 2005
              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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