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December 20, 2013

Important Military Purge Update

The blog princess has written a few times about grossly inaccurate and misleading reports that the Obama White House, when not micromanaging the design of Marine headgear, is "purging" the military in a manner reminiscent of Stalinist Russia. Whilst perusing the day's news, the princess ran across the horrifying details of one such politically motivated "purge":

An Airforce general in charge of nuclear missiles was sacked because he got so drunk on a delegation to Russia that he bragged of the 'hot women' he had met, boasted of saving the world... and tried to 'fist bump' a guide during a tour of a monastery. Maj. Gen. Michael Carey was removed as chief of the 20th Air Force Global Strike Command, based in Wyoming and responsible for 450 ballistic missiles at three bases across the country, in October. And today it emerged he was relieved of his duties for a catalogue of misdemeanors while leading a U.S. delegation to a nuclear security training exercise in Russia in mid-July.

...An investigation into his behaviour said Carey was frequently rude to his Russian hosts and others, and that he associated with foreign national women whom he acknowledged were 'suspect.'
During a stopover in Switzerland, the report reveals, he bragged loudly about his position as commander of a nuclear force, saying he 'saves the world from war every day.'

Upon his arrival in Moscow he and an unidentified man were seen visiting a nearby hotel to meet 'two foreign national women' not to return to his Marriott hotel room until the early hours of the next day.

It meant he was 45 minutes late for in joining the delegation to the Moscow suburb of Sergiyev Posad. He blamed his lateness on jet lag, saying his body clock was out of sync.

He then drank so heavily at an official lunch that afternoon that he began talking loudly about sensitive issues including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and the civil war in Syria.

We are outraged.... OUTRAGED that this man should have been fired for absolutely NO reason other than partisan political gamesmanship.

When such jackbooted oppression becomes the norm, can similar "purges" of the Secret Service be far behind? Heaven forfend!

Posted by Cassandra at December 20, 2013 07:16 AM

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35 years ago such actions would have been career ending under the Human Reliability Rules. Back then the Human Reliability Program reached from the very top down to the lowest ranking individual.

This was not a standard for Officers or enlisted in other career fields. Nukes is not a career field where getting Knee Walking Drunk and or letting a Hound Mouth Overload the Hummingbird Brain is tolerated.

Posted by: Bill Wilson at December 20, 2013 09:59 AM

I have very mixed feelings about some of the rules applied to officers.

On the one hand, I completely agree that officers should be held to a FAR higher standard than enlisted. They get paid more, they are older, and they are supposed to set the example. Plus, there's nothing more corrosive than seeing the bigwigs flout rules that junior folks are fried or drummed out of the service for violating.

On the other hand, I sometimes feel that the Marines in particular are losing some of what made them special. "Eccentricities" (we're not talking major rule breaking here - more things like getting trashed off duty or lack of tact/circumspection in language) used to be tolerated if the officer was otherwise sound.

I rarely feel sorry for general/flag officers. With great power comes great responsibility, and their actions are highly visible (and thus less easy to condone when they screw up). And the thing is, no one knows this better than they do, which only makes it worse when they embarrass the service.

I don't really understand the idea that somehow we should wink and nod at bad behavior from senior leaders.

Posted by: Cass at December 20, 2013 10:33 AM

During a stopover in Switzerland, the report reveals, he bragged loudly about his position as commander of a nuclear force, saying he 'saves the world from war every day.'

Stop right there.
Buh-bye, General Napoleon.
Leave your stars on the bar.

Posted by: spd rdr at December 20, 2013 12:02 PM

I don't see what's so special about saving the world from war.

I save America from income inequality every day. I am *so* the change that I seek.

Posted by: Barack Obama at December 20, 2013 01:17 PM

Hi Guys,
Guess I may have a different point of view as a (prior enlisted) Submarine officer.

To Bill, more recently it has been the 'Personnel Reliability Program.' Basically everyone with an official capacity to observe anyone involved in either maintenance or employment of nuclear weapons was required to report *any* suspect behavior. Not fun.

To Cass, I quite agree officers ought to be held to a higher standard, and I have no sympathy whatsoever for flag/general officers.
That said, we have indeed required our military to enforce societal rules that are not fair to be applied to young men that we have asked to offer up their very lives. This is a *huge* mistake, and greatly unjust. Our current CommanderinChief has been lousy in supporting the troops that must be willing to suffer and die at his command.

I'm a nuc, by definition a pencil necked geek w/ no sense of humor that is both capable and willing to *destroy* any enemy foolish enough to threaten our homeland. I'll admit that during a period of my life when sleep deprivation was a significant issue, I spent many hours awake off-watch pondering the consequences of what we were tasked to do.

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at December 21, 2013 12:20 AM

I'm glad you're back to blogging. After multiple deployments, the death of my wife [cancer]I no longer recognize my country. What happened while I was deployed? It seems that Aliens have taken over the media and other print media.

Posted by: Michael Collins, Esq at December 25, 2013 06:43 AM

Oh Michael, I am so sorry to hear about your wife.

I know there's no expiration date for grief, but I hope that with the passage of time your memories of her will bring comfort to you.

Thank you for standing guard over us. We owe men like you a great debt that we can never repay.

Posted by: Cassandra at December 26, 2013 10:58 AM

The first thing I have to wonder is how a like that (1) made it to 2-star General in the first place, and (2) got to be chief of the 20th Air Force Global Strike Command.

His 'af.mil' bio page is still up. He made Brigadier General in 2008 - that takes a Congressional OK. His resume looks pretty good - both command and staff appointments.

Posted by: ZZMike at December 27, 2013 09:20 PM

Hi ZZMike,
FYI, all field grade appointments must be confirmed by the Senate. For Navy, that starts at Commander.
Am acutely aware, as my own promotion was delayed while witch hunters did many screenings of my list looking for Tailhook offenders from years ago.

Best Regards,

Posted by: CAPT Mike at December 29, 2013 12:38 AM