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

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  • Ronn!Blankenship
    ... Have you ever been in the US military? -- Ronn! :) _______________________________________________ http://www.mccmedia.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l
    Message 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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