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March 20, 2014

FINALLY!!!, Terrifying "Witch Hunt" Ends with Stern Talking-To and [GASP!] Fine

The bottom line is: I have no tolerance for this... I expect consequences. So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

- Our Commander in Chief

Watching all this Smart Power transform the planet is truly a marvelous thing. And really, it's hard to argue with the results:

An Army general who carried on a three-year affair with a captain and had two other inappropriate relationships with subordinates [Editor's note: AND misused his government credit card, AND disobeyed his commander's orders AND pestered a third female officer to go out with him] was reprimanded and docked $20,000 in pay Thursday, avoiding prison...

...Sinclair's fine breaks down to $5,000 a month for four months. He earns about $12,000 a month.

"I can't believe it," said Solis, who served 26 years of active duty in the Marine Corps and tried hundreds of cases as a military judge. "I know Judge Pohl to be one of the best judges in the Army judicial system, but ... this is an individual who should not be a general officer. He should have gone to jail and dismissed from the Army."

Sinclair will now go before Fort Bragg commander Maj. Gen. Clarence K.K. Chinn, who approved Sinclair's plea deal, and he'll get either an oral or written reprimand. Then he'll appear before a board to determine whether he will lose any rank, which could cost him hundreds of thousands of dollars in benefits.

...In closing arguments, prosecutors argued Sinclair should be thrown out of the Army and lose his military benefits, while the defense said that would harm his innocent wife and their two sons the most. Prosecutors did not ask the judge to send Sinclair to jail, even though the maximum penalty he faced was more than 20 years.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys offered contrasting arguments about the seriousness of the misdeeds that felled the general.

"It's not just one mistake. Not just one lapse in judgment. It was repeated," prosecutor Maj. Rebecca DiMuro said. "They are not mistakes. We are not in the court of criminal mistakes. These are crimes."

The general also pleaded guilty to using his government-issued credit card to pay for trips to see his mistress and other conduct unbecoming an officer.


... it will be a STERNLY WORDED letter of reprimand, so who can say there's a double standard when it comes to crime and punishment in the Army? ///Sarcasm off///

Talking trash while carrying the world's tiniest stick is pretty much the defining characteristic of this administration.

Posted by Cassandra at March 20, 2014 05:20 PM

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Oddly, perhaps, I'm guessing I'm even more angry than you.
It is quite easy for me to see why the USA (US Army) might wish to sweep this under the rug(1). There were obvious ways to do that:
1. Chickenshit plea deal in which he admits some guilt of something, and is then given token punishment (which is obviously what actually happened.
2. Use procedural bullshit to let him walk, then wring their hands about the awful situation.
3. Let the process play out, then have the Convening Authority set aside all punishment (except get out of my Army and *Shut.Up*)(Navy lingo: STFU).
For the record, I count the Convening Authority a coward.

(3) above was the only honest and arguably honorable way for the 'good old boy' Army Generals to get this off the daily news.

(1) above IMO is the worst possible outcome;
- 'they' (Army, Presiding Officer and this ratshit general) are *ALL* admitting he behaved badly, then conspired to make a deal that was both trivial . . .
let this miserable prick retire as a general officer. What a terrible message to send to everyone in uniform.

I try to avoid direct comments / comparisons to the USMC; in this case I'd *LOVE* to see what your senior officer jarhead hubby has to say about this little kerfuffle.

Very Respectfully,

(1) note that both the Army and this jerk general deliberately avoided a proper Courts Martial. If they had had the balls to do it, mark my words the members of the Court woulda hammered him.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at March 20, 2014 06:26 PM

The progressives have finally invaded the last bastion of sanity in the Western world - the US military. I was raised in the military. I served in the military. I took an oath to defend this country and its constitution. I used to be very proud of our military. I am slowly losing faith.

Posted by: Mike Roark at March 20, 2014 06:29 PM

I cannot even begin to know what these people were thinking.

Not confidence inspiring at all.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 20, 2014 06:40 PM

I thought this was another Duffleblog story when I first saw it.

Sad but true: some officers are scum and must be dealt with as such. This used to happen to police officers, too.

Posted by: htom at March 20, 2014 11:07 PM

I thought this was another Duffleblog story when I first saw it.

To answer Capt. Mike's question, when the Spousal Unit got home last night, I said, "Did you hear the Sinclair verdict came out? I can be cynical at times, but this really shocks me."

He said, "Me too. It's hard to believe they aren't kicking that (*&^%$ out of the service and into a jail cell."

Later we were discussing the other case at the Nasal Academy and I said, "All four of them - the accuser and the 3 accused - should be kicked out".

His response, "Officers like that don't belong in my Navy."

I don't understand the inability to separate out issues. The issue of guilt on the charges is one thing, but just getting that drunk when you're underage and the whole circumstances surrounding these incidents are offenses themselves. How does that get lost, and what kind of message does it send when the services just wink and nudge at infractions by future leaders? These people aren't entitled to a commission.

I, too, am losing confidence in senior leadership's ability to command :p

If you don't like the law, lobby Congress to change it. But don't flagrantly ignore it, punishing lower ranks harshly for infractions and then turning a blind eye when more senior folks do the same thing.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 21, 2014 08:48 AM

One more point.

Another reason senior leaders need to be punished MORE harshly than juniors is that power itself presents temptations of its own. To counter those temptations, there need to be strong disincentives in place to help fallible people make good decisions.

When people don't think they'll be punished (or - incredibly - that they can get away with open refusal to obey the laws, as evidenced by that incident with the skit), that doesn't help them resist the temptation to abuse the power they've been given.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 21, 2014 08:53 AM

I realize this is a small nit to pick, but since you guys have already destroyed the so-called punishment....
His fine was broken down into four monthly installments?!! Since when? Oh, general officer in a PC show trial.
When MH had pay errors that the .gov made, they took every single penny back the very next fucking payday. These were simple pay errors not a fine for the conviction of criminal behaviour! One time they forgot MH was still in the Marine Corps and stopped paying him. There wasn't any concern about "innocent family members". Hell, they didn't even pay the OD fees at the bank for the checks and auto withdrawals that bounced due to their incompetence. One PCS they overpaid our BAH for a month and a half, the next payday they took it all back and left us $300 for the entire month to pay rent, gas, food, utilities, etc. There wasn't any concern about "innocent family members", and this wasn't even a mistake of our own making.
They screwed up.
We got sodomized to make up for it.

Posted by: DL Sly at March 21, 2014 02:54 PM


True story: when the Spousal Unit graduated from OCS he wasn't supposed to go to Basic School for another few months (next class). They asked him to volunteer to jump into a Basic course that had already begun (placing him squarely behind the 8 ball and in catch up mode with no break after OCS - graduate Friday, show up Monday for Basic).

So he salutes and says, "Yes, sir." This puts us into a tailspin. We've lived apart for a year already and had been eagerly looking forward to finding a new place to live and being a family again. Instead, the day he graduated I was out looking for an apartment. Found ONE, tried to rent it and the Housing Office says, "NOT SO FAST - you can't sign a lease until WE have told you you can't have housing."


Now Basic School is only a few months long, so this is completely ridiculous and they are being utter jerks as they so often were in those days. So I lose that apartment, we have to live apart for no (*&*^ reason, etc. FINALLY Captain Obvious shows up and says, "Ummm.... you're not getting housing". Well no freaking kidding. There's ALWAYS a waiting list.

So finally I get a crappy apartment and our son has to sleep in a closet because all the good apartments are now gone. Whatever - at least we're together.

Flash forward 5 months or so. He has graduated and we report in to our next duty station. We're out looking for a place to live and payday comes and we got paid....

$100. I kid you not.

Turns out the pay folks had decided that we had occupied housing from the day he graduated without actually ever giving us base housing or - apparently - deducting our housing allowance for this housing that we didn't actually have. So they decide to deduct their "mistake" and I'm standing there 4 months pregnant (gotta love reintegration after a long separation) and thank God we had savings or we would not have been able to put down the security deposit on a place to live.

So yeah - it must be nice to get that kind of special treatment after so many violations of the UCMJ.

Posted by: Cassandra at March 21, 2014 03:13 PM

Ohhh, the Housing Officers....when we were checking out the new base at Barstow, we were sent to the housing area to see what our quarters would be: a two bedroom duplex apartment without any form of yard for the VES or our two dogs. But we could share the center quad area with the most junior enlisted families on station. MH was a GunnySgt with 22 yrs in the Marine Corps. I went back and told the lady in no uncertain terms that what she was offering was completely substandard housing. To which, she explained that that was all they had available due to the base CO deciding to open up housing to Ft. Irwin. Those families were being slotted into the new, renovated housing as soon as they were open, Marines were told to deal with the early 40's duplexes.
I kinda felt sorry for the HO, though. It was bad enough that I was there and hot (both physically and emotionally), but with us was also my Mom who just happened to have been a Housing Officer for 5 yrs at my Pop's last duty station and then parlayed that experience into a 20 yr career as HUD Executive Director for three counties. She was spouting regs that had the HO looking like, "Oh shit, am I going to lose my job?"
She gave us the letter saying we didn't have to live in base housing that day. I'm pretty sure there was a "good riddance" from under her breath as well. Until she found out MH was the new Provost Sgt.
And people wonder why I'm glad we're retired.

Posted by: DL Sly at March 21, 2014 03:45 PM

I hated having to deal with base housing until we were stationed in Seal Beach. They were such a breath of fresh air - happy to help in any way they could, always cheerful when you called to ask a question or let them know about a problem.

I was in mild shock :p What kind of bothered me was that I hoped they were that nice to everyone and not just b/c the Unit was the CO of one of two commands on base (it was a small base). But I hope they were.

When we first got in, I did contract cleaning for people moving out of quarters. The woman I worked with was a Navy Lt.'s wife and we were the only officers' wives on the approved list of cleaners.

They used to do weird stuff like unscrewing light switchplates and dinging cleaners if there was dust behind the switchplate (I kid you not). One day I put my hand up an exhaust pipe over the stove to clean it (they made us unscrew the fan from the vent pipe and leave it that way until the inspection and God help you if there was a single speck of grease 1 foot up the exhaust pipe....) and a swarm of angry hornets came pouring out. I'll never know why they didn't sting me but it we couldn't get back into the house until the next day.

So, a bit excessive on the cleanliness-is-next-to-Godliness front, but I'm sure they had some good tenant from Hell stories too. That same house had another ginormous hornet nest under the soffit outside. They had let the shrubs grow right up under the gutters and that just happened to be the only house we did that we said we'd do the yard too.


Fun times!

Posted by: Cassandra at March 21, 2014 04:00 PM

If you guys really want to get fired up over the quality of Navy/Marine base housing, and the fin e folks that administer that benefit, then drive around the base housing at a couple USAF bases.

Posted by: CAPT Mike at March 21, 2014 05:39 PM

Nah, I'd rather not get fired up like that on a Friday evening, CAPT Mike.
I prefer to drink beer.
In case you haven't noticed, there's a theme here....besides, I have a contest to judge later.
*lifts beer*

Posted by: DL Sly at March 21, 2014 09:06 PM