Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Frankie say relax, I've been discharged

The NYTimes notes that the US military has been issuing more "moral waivers" than ever, and have welcomed an increasing number of felons among their new recruits:

Last year, such waivers were granted to 8,129 men and women — or more than one out of every 10 new Army recruits. That number is up 65 percent since 2003, the year President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq. In the last three years, more than 125,000 moral waivers have been granted by America’s four military services.

Most of last year’s Army waivers were for serious misdemeanors, like aggravated assault, robbery, burglary and vehicular homicide. But around 900 — double the number in 2003 — were for felonies. Worse, the Army does no systematic tracking of recruits with waivers once it signs them up, and it does not always pay enough attention to any adjustment problems. Without adequate monitoring and counseling, handing out guns to people who have already committed crimes poses a danger to the other soldiers they serve with and to the innocent civilians they are supposed to protect.

Meanwhile, the military discharges over 700 soldiers a year under its absolutely fucking genius "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.

So, what's a soldier to believe? Clearly, the military is sending mixed signals in regards to their duties and responsibilities. Several soldiers at Abu Gahraib, for example, were disciplined and even jailed, even though they were following the orders of their superiors. Because the Pentagon says that you are supposed to follow the Geneva Convention, even if your superior tells you not to.*

So, who is more likely to be difference-between-right-and-wrong-challenged? A homosexual, or a convicted felon?

*some restrictions may not apply if you are the Attorney General


kiki said...

david hicks and other guantanamo detainees know all about US military adhering to Geneva Protocol

vikkitikkitavi said...

I know, baby. It's just awful, and now the awful US Supreme court has backed BushCo up (what a fuckin surprise), and they only thing we can do to stop it is elect someone good in '08.

Johnny Yen said...

My father-in-law, a 79 year old lifelong Republican, is in town for a funeral, and is staying with Kim and I. He and I had a chance to chat last night. His disgust with these people is thorough-- maybe worse than mine because he, at one time, actually believed in them. We were talking about the whole sorry spectacle of the Libby trial, and the scorched earth politics they practice-- imagine, for a second, if Clinton's people had been accused of outing a CIA agent because her husband had refused to lie to fit facts for a stampede to war. There'd be Republicans rioting in the streets.

People like my father-in-law are devastated. They supported a Republican party that had reasonable goals-- fiscal conservatism, national defense, economic progress-- and what they got was a party full of whack-jobs with bizarre agendas and a junior high school bully mentality.

It'll take decades to repair the damage this fucking right wing supreme court has done, as well.

kiki said...

we have an election in November, i'll keep you posted.
however, our leader can be re-elected for eternity, if he so wishes, not just two terms.

Grant Miller said...

Johnny Yen noted it'll take decades to repair what the right wing supreme court has done...it might actually take longer because all the lower courts are being stocked with Republican judges too.