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

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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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