The title of an MSNBC article released on November 15, 2012 is “Panetta orders review of ethical standards amid allegations of misconduct among HIGH-LEVEL military leaders” (Web-site/URL: http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/15/15166642-panetta-orders-review-of-ethical-standards-amid-allegations-of-misconduct-among-high-level-military-leaders#.UKVw5A_vtXc.twitter).
“Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday (November 15, 2012) ordered the Pentagon to dig into and determine why an ALARMING number of GENERALS and ADMIRALS have been snared by a variety of ethical lapses and misconduct allegations, headlined by the admitted marital infidelity of former four-star general and ex-CIA Director David Petraeus”.
According to a statement released by the Department of Defense (DoD), Panetta believes that while the “vast majority” of U.S. general officers continue to abide by traditional ethical standards, he has nonetheless become concerned about the spike in alleged misbehavior among a RISING number of flag officers spanning the Army, Navy and Marines” but not THE COAST GUARD? Also, notice “traditional”. Once again let’s reignite the debate over/about when we should be “traditional” and when we SHOULDN’T be. “Over the past several months, the Secretary has spoken with the service secretaries, service chiefs and combatant commanders about those instances when SENIOR officers HAVE NOT lived up to the standards EXPECTED of them“. We can also say this about many POLITICIANS. “This has been an ongoing discussion reflecting SHARED (?) concerns“. What are POLITICIANS willing to “share?” “This week, the Secretary directed (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff) General (Martin) Dempsey to work with the other members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to review how to better foster a culture of stewardship among our MOST SENIOR military officers. This process is INTENDED TO reinforce and strengthen the standards that keep us a WELL-LEAD and DISCIPLINED (?) military“. As we know, NOT everything that’s “intended” actually GETS DONE and as we’ve seen in spectacular detail, people like DAVID PETRAEUS certainly WERE NOT “disciplined” and were therefore INCAPABLE OF “leading”.
According to Frank Wuco, “a retired U.S. Naval intelligence chief”, “Directing combat operations on the far side of the world has separated many general officers from their families for the better part of a decade while they live in “an ALTERNATE universe” – culturally insulated along with other brass – while being increasingly viewed as “UNTOUCHABLE”. “an alternate universe” suggests that many general officers are DETACHED FROM/OUT OF TOUCH WITH REALITY, while “untouchable” suggests that many of these officers act SUPERIOR, which, of course, is a fundamental characteristic of “Difficult People” (Web-site/URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). “Wuco describes the former four-star general as “down to earth” but he said the social status of many U.S. generals has BALLOONED TO NEW HEIGHTS during the two wars (Iraq and Afghanistan), allowing American military leaders to “begin to live in this kind of ARTIFICIAL BUBBLE”, the latest example of ARROGANCE, which, again, is a fundamental characteristic of “Difficult People” (Web-site/URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). “With the senior guys and the flag officers, this is like THE NEW ROYALTY. We treat them like KINGS and PRINCES. These general officers in the military, at a certain point, become UNTOUCHABLE”. Again, these “senior guys” and “flag officers” are displaying ARROGANCE (Web-site/URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI). “In many cases, they get THEIR OWN AIRPLANES (and) THEIR OWN HELICOPTERS“, leading to EGOTISM and NARCISSISM. “When they walk into a room, EVERYBODY COMES TO ATTENTION. In the case of some of them, PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO SPEAK UP OR TO DISAGREE“. This sounds like what we’re dealing with in SYRIA, NORTH KOREA and CHINA. People who “disagree” are either shot or arrested and put into “Thought Reform” camps”.“BEING SEPARATED FROM REAL LIFE all the time in that way probably leaves them vulnerable (to lapses in MORAL JUDGMENT)” which, again, of course, ISN’T GOOD.
“But Thomas Ricks, a senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security (who also writes a blog for ForeignPolicy.com called “The Best Defense“), DISAGREES with the notion that military leadership is more insulated and that they have had their heads clouded by adulation“. WHAT? “To Ricks, the problem is squarely centered on a WHOLESALE loss of accountability ACROSS THE LANDSCAPE of the American armed forces”. “It is because the U.S. military has LOST HOLD OF THE IDEA of accountability – that is, rewarding success and REMOVING FAILURES“. NOT ALL “failures” can be “removed” unfortunately. “And so people get promoted kind of MINDLESSLY and aren’t punished when they FAIL REPEATEDLY over the years. “Ultimately, when their FAILURE becomes PUBLIC, they may get punished. Bottom line: Today, being a general is like being a tenured professor. You can do a lousy job and keep it, but if you EMBARRASS the institution with MORAL LAPSES, YOU WILL GET BOUNCED“. At least, this is what the policy SHOULD BE, especially for people like GAO WEI (Web-site/URL: http://www3.se.cuhk.edu.hk/people/wgao.html) and CUI XILING (Web-site/URL: http://www3.se.cuhk.edu.hk/people/wgao.html). Gao NEVER WORKED ANYWHERE EXCEPT the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK; he lied on his CV about working in SINGAPORE and MICROSOFT RESEARCH ASIA) while CUI XILING only published 3 papers in 8 years as a PhD candidate at the same institution. Cui was too busy getting pregnant TWICE in 3.5 years to do any productive research. On top of this, THEIR RECRUITMENT was a scandal by itself because they got in because of a RELATIONSHIP. This was clearly “embarrassing” or SHOULD HAVE BEEN.
“As for the reports of Petraeus’ infidelity – as well as ANY unreported sexual dalliances involving other military leaders – ex-intelligence chief Wuco contends (that) such behaviors within THE HIGHEST levels of the military (sadly/unfortunately) “are NOTHING NEW. This type of cheating, WHILE DEFINITELY ALARMING (obviously), (sadly again) IS NOT off limits to the military. This is classic ‘ men of a certain age ’. You’re looking at a guy who’s UP THERE in age. HE’S BEEN WORKING HIS ASS OFF HIS ENTIRE ADULT LIFE, SEPARATED FROM ALL OF THE GOOD TIMES EVERYBODY ELSE HAS BEEN HAVING. I don’t think it’s anything more than: IT MADE HIM FEEL GOOD. IT WAS GOOD FOR HIS EGO. He was HOLDING THE ATTENTION OF A YOUNGER WOMAN. IT’S A CLASSIC STORY ACROSS EVERY CENTER OF SOCIETY”, but is especially prevalent in SUPER-traditional “societies” such as CHINA and THE PHILIPPINES. THE PHILIPPINES is an especially strange country because an 18-year-old girl’s target age range, for example, for finding a boyfriend starts at 30 and a 21-year-old girl’s target range might start at 35 or even 40. This is EVEN MORE EXTREME than CHINA although CHINESE men are more concerned with/focused on their “egos” and satisfying THEIR PARENTS’ DEMANDS & EXPECTATIONS (in some cases).
Finally, according to Robert O. Kirkland, “a military historian who teaches at the University of Southern California (USC)”, “We’re in a different time now”, implying that EXTRA-MARITAL AFFAIRS ARE THE NEW NORMAL? “MAYBE (?) some things in the past were overlooked“. This is DEFINITELY the case. “THEY’RE NOW ENFORCED” obviously because “Today THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING“ (Web-site/URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTmbgMkYUWE). In some cases, even A RUMOR OF an extramarital affair/infidelity could lead to someone LOSING THEIR CAREERS/someone’s CAREER ENDING.
This comes after THREE MORE incidents of SERIOUS violations by senior military officials.
- “Army Gen. William Ward, the four-star general who once led the U.S. Africa Command was demoted Tuesday (November 13, 2012) amid accusations that he spent thousands of dollars on lavish travel. He was stripped of one star and will retire. In August (2012), a Defense Department Inspector General’s report said Ward took an 11-day trip to Washington and Atlanta, costing $129,000, but spending just THREE days on official business”. This sounds like the DONALD TSANG scandal (Web-site/URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Tsang#Second_term_.282007.E2.80.9312.29).
- “Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair is accused of 26 violations of military law, including FORCIBLE SODOMY, wrongful sexual conduct, possessing pornography while deployed and conduct unbecoming of an officer. According to prosecutors, the alleged sexual assaults happened in Afghanistan, Iraq and Germany, as well as at military bases in the United States. In May (2012), Sinclair was removed from Afghanistan, where he’d served as a deputy commander for support. An initial military hearing has ended, but there has been no decision on whether to proceed to a court martial, The Associated Press reported”. “forcible sodomy” is clearly THE MOST troubling because this is yet another/the latest example of the “force and pain technique” (Web-site/URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgnAY_eXYbI).
- “Navy Cmdr. Joseph E. Darlak and top officers of the San Diego-based Navy frigate USS Vandegrift were relieved of duty on Nov. 2 (2012) after a BOISTEROUS, DRUNKEN port visit to Vladivostok, Russia. Darlak was removed, the Navy said, after an investigation found he had exhibited “POOR LEADERSHIP and FAILURE to ensure the proper conduct of his wardroom officers” during the three-day September (2012) stop, The Associated Press reported” . Of course, NOTHING is worse than being associated with “failure”.
In short these officers DID NOT DISCHARGE THEIR DUTIES IN A WAY THAT SOCIETY HAS A RIGHT TO EXPECT THEM TO BEHAVE.