Tuesday, March 18, 2014

US: Christian Science Monitor: "Must-Read" Piece on Why Military Commanders Can't Police Themselves

COMMENT: The astute case presented by CSM journalist Anna Mulrine makes a very solid case as to why US military commanders should not be policing themselves:

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2014/0317/Can-military-try-sexual-assault-cases-Critics-decry-general-s-plea-deal.-video

Once again, it appears clear that the Pentagon is incapable of  treating the victims of sexual harassment and the sexual predators that cross the line fairly without a plea deal being offered.

So...when the US Army announced it was dropping sexual assault charges against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair USA in a plea-bargain deal, it led many advocacy groups to question whether the military is capable of fairly prosecuting such crimes.

Although Sinclair denied sexual assault, he admitted to having a long-standing affair with a soldier under his command, which under military law is considered a grave abuse of power.

In exchange for dropping the sexual assault charges, which could have carried with them a sentence in military prison, Sinclair pleaded guilty to conducting a three-year affair with a captain under his command and pressuring other subordinate soldiers into texting him nude photos of themselves.

Sinclair also admitted to continuing to contact the captain after being ordered not to by his superior officer, and to improperly using a government credit card while traveling to visit his mistress.

As someone who served honorably  on active duty for nearly seven years with the US Marines, given the arrogance, presumptuousness and persistence that Sinclair has displayed, to the point of even disobeying a direct order from a senior officer not to continue to see the captain, his sentence later this week should include retiring as a step 1 colonel (0-6). 

For those readers who may believe that I'm being unduly harsh on the General, consider this:

Sinclair understood fully that when he established an intimate relationship with a soldier under his command he knew he was violating his integrity, his oath of office and the trust that all subordinates under his command had in him. He very much deserves not to be called "General." 

This report will be updated at such time as Sinclair's sentencing is announced, presumably before the week is out.