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Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

By David G. Hanger


December 10, 2012
Monday PM

The most disturbing aspect of this Petraeus mess is the incredible lack of judgment demonstrated by these four-star generals in their association with Jill Kelley, her husband and Jill’s twin sister. Party animals and grifters in all but name, these are not the kind of people with whom we should ever expect close association from generals controlling the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans in uniform. Purportedly educated in the most rigid of honor systems to inculcate in these future commanders the discipline, the dignity and the integrity requisite to expending American lives in pursuit of a purpose, their most personal associations are corrupted by the freaks they are hanging out with, all for the glitz of sex or party favors.

What forces the issue of General Allen’s soon to be reported retirement is the simple fact that these two idiots in gold braid and glitter attempted to use their positions to influence a judge in a child custody case, both Petraeus and Allen intervening on behalf of Jill Kelley’s sister; who despite these boneheaded contributions was found by the court to be a chronic liar and an unfit mother. But somehow these two fools actually thought the weight of their combined eight stars might somehow change the mind of a U.S. judge. Not only is that really, really, really stupid; it is also incredibly corrupt.

The academies are essentially a guarantee that you are going to have a lot of insecure, sexually repressed, usually homophobic, individuals graduating from them. I went there awhile, so I can tell you a little about it. Class is six days a week; on Sunday church is a mandatory formation; in the afternoon on Sunday you might have a little time to buy a lousy hamburger before you go back to your studies. With the exception of three or four hours on Saturday night when women are driven in on buses from nearby women’s colleges (you can imagine the selection) there is no opportunity at all for any contact with the opposite sex, and no opportunity at all for sexual gratification. There is no privacy at an academy; except the traditional “flirtation” walks, reserved for upper classmen; and how much action do you think really happens when your bedbug mates are ants and chiggers, and other such creepy-crawly affairs. The mere notion of “flirtation” walks gives you some idea how repressed sexually these people are. Most high school seniors are more experienced sexually than the graduates of these academies. I find no surprise in the reports of major problems since the academies have been opened to women.

Perhaps in recent years there have been some improvements in this area. At the very least the young people in the academies have access to email and, if allowed, cell phones or ipads; which might at least facilitate some communication with members of the opposite sex, but they are still confined to quarters or to class except for a few hours each week; so there is next to no time.

Generals Allen and Petraeus, however, attended the academies back in the day when all you had was the occasional letter, so their opportunity to grow in this area was extremely limited. While the rest of the students (and non-students) 40 years ago were discovering the advantages of birth control pills, our academy grads were comparatively virgins in the woods.

Another factor that may come into play here in reference to the “sexual peccadillo” attribute of this mess is the tendency toward a high divorce rate among military spouses within a short time of retirement from the military. Particularly with officers this is a big change. From being the big “kahuna” feared and respected by one and all, merely by being, you become just another schmuck, flipped off by the other schmucks routinely. This is natural ground for things like affairs and divorces.

So even General Allen’s so-called “flirtatious” emails to Jill Kelley (of which there are not 20,000 to 30,000 pages of substantive discourse) I do not in themselves find in any sense particularly disturbing. But the recipient is a high-rolling party freak, and that is disturbing. That Jill Kelley can ask and receive from two four-star generals letters to a judge asking him to reverse his decision in a child custody case involving Jill Kelley’s sister is just plain nuts. Jill Kelley has spent millions of dollars of other people’s money partying hearty without any ability whatsoever, and apparently no intent, to repay.

And the glitter sucks these four-star generals in so easily!? Jill Kelley may be a whack job, but she is not the number one whack job in this case; these two generals are leading that herd.

The only advantage I see to this is the discrediting of David Petraeus. That is long overdue, and perhaps this might change that. Hailed as some modern genius of a new type of asymmetric warfare, what Petraeus actually was doing was modeled methodologically after what the French had succeeded in doing in Morocco in the first third of the twentieth century. He never bothered to tell anyone, and apparently no reporter or politician ever bothered to look, but the combat part of the Morocco operation lasted for 26 years; and just look at the damned messes we got ourselves into in Iraq and Afghanistan. The French at least intended to hold onto Morocco, and did, but we don’t pretend to be interested in holding onto anything; yet despite this we are willing to pour trillions in treasure and thousands in lives on a misdirected effort that is going nowhere.

The goofballs running this show are partying down in Tampa with a bunch of party animals and outright grifters. They lack the judgment necessary to choose even decent personal associations. Ultimately, this is an educational problem; but for the moment it is a problem of leadership guaranteed to fail, whose past failures might now be a bit more understandable.

David G. Hanger
Ketchikan, AK


Received December 10, 2012 - Published December 10, 2012




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