I have always supported the belief that with great power comes great responsibility. Authority conferred on those lucky enough to obtain it agree to comport themselves in a manner befitting the position, and those that fall short and abuse such authority get the wrath of the people dropped square on their heads. A fair and equitable bargain considering that they go in with their eyes wide open.
The military higher ups have taken a beating of late, some more salacious then criminal but all reflecting poorly on those that we expect better of;
When Defense Secretary Leon Panetta pointedly warned young troops last spring to mind their ways, he may have been lecturing the wrong audience.
The culture of military misconduct starts at the top.
At least five current and former U.S. generals at the rank of one-star or higher have been reprimanded or investigated for possible misconduct in the past two weeks — a startling run of embarrassment for a military whose stock among Americans rose so high during a decade of war that its leaders seemed almost untouchable.
When the bullets are flying we generally can forgive the drinking (Grant) or fits of depression and hysteria (Sherman) but these guys can’t use the fall back position of PTSD, with clear heads and resolute purpose, they decided to toss that military bearing and rectitude aside.
Banging reporters or getting jiggidy in sent emails has it’s own perils, but what I don’t understand is why Gen. Ward was not summarily fired. You can see the list of charges against him here. Theft, fraud, misuse of government property and personnel, a one star demotion seems less onerous then a rap on the knuckles with a ruler.
Asked about the possible demotion of a fellow four-star general, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno noted that losing a star could cost someone $1 million over the life of their retirement. No private would have to pay such a high cost, he said. Army Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey recommended to Panetta that Gen. William ‘Kip’ Ward be spared the demotion for lavish, unauthorized spending.
Sorry, pal, but that is horseshit. He knew exactly what he was doing and knew the ramifications if caught. I remember reading about an Army Col. who committed fraud over government contracts, she was booted out of the service and served some time, why is this General getting better treatment?
Many of the sins he committed are firing offenses in law enforcement agencies, things like doctoring travel claims, misuse of governmental property, abusing per deim, examples should be made, harsh examples of those in power that abuse that power. Proper justice requires the maximum penalties for those in authority. At the very least, after being cashiered out of the service he should be required to pay back every dime, that which was fraudulently obtained.
The command structure requires objective discipline for any transgressions, the common soldier (and us civilians back home who pay for the military through our tax dollars) needs to believe that the rule of law is still sacrosanct.