RANGER AGAINST WAR: "A" is for Adultery <

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

"A" is for Adultery

--One of West Virginia's finest bites the dust 
How are the mighty fallen,
and the weapons of war perished!
--Samuel 1:27 

I'm only human
Of flesh and blood I'm made
Born to make mistakes 
--Human, Human League 

But you didn't have to cut me off 
Make out like it never happened
and that we were nothing 
And I don't even need your love 
But you treat me like a stranger 
and that feels so rough 
--Somebody That I Used to Know,

The latest big Army Horn Dog to fall -- Brig. General Jeffrey Sinclair (="General Sin clear"?) -- has found a safe place to land following his indiscreet dalliances. His wife submitted a statement read before the court today requesting a lenient penalty be dealt her husband, not just so she could retain the income to which she'd become accustomed, mind (ahem), and it seems some additional sympathetic testimony has turned the judge's heart

Adultery, which is a felony charge in the military, could have earned up to a 25-year sentence for Sinclair. By this yardstick, Ranger knew a lot of felons while serving in the Army.

He wonders why adultery is a felony in the military when it has been decriminalized in most states? In traditional English common law adultery was a felony but we have come a long way since the 1700's, for better or worse(In the states which maintain adultery's criminality, it is a misdemeanor rather than a felony. The crime is rarely prosecuted, mainly used as evidence in divorce trials.)

Sinclair follows in the ignominious footprints of General David Petraeus (= "General Betray us"), and his military career is probably now over. It is understood when one enters the military that such disorder will not be brooked. But it does seem hypocritical to have permitted Generals Pershing, Eisenhower and Patton their mistresses in the past. Ditto the various philandering Commanders in Chief.

Perhaps society or the media was more discreet in their treatment of such stories in the past. Perhaps the immediacy of social media demands the public flaying of the once-mighty whose hubris leads them to think they can outrun the ever-watchful eyes. Or perhaps it is the general disillusionment with a military which has led us into numerous fiascoes which has caused it's leaders to lose their immunity from censure.

In any event, it does seem selectively damning to choose adultery as criminally prosecutable while other questionable military actions are granted immunity. This is not to argue for the excellence of extramarital sex, but perhaps the hypocrisy of discretionary punishment.

As gay Air Force Technical Sergeant and gender-rights crusader Leonard Matlovich had inscribed on his tombstone: "When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men and a discharge for loving one." Not that screwing around should be a medaled behavior; everyone knows the cost. But if we were truly talking morals, there is a lot more that goes on that ought to be prosecuted and is not.

For a simple start, it could be argued that killing and maiming in the service of discretionary wars is immoral.

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