This interconnected and evolving sex scandal remains as the top news story around the world. On November 14, 2012, President Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta expressed their “continued confidence” in General Allen, and had nothing but praise for David Petraeus. These statements, issued while multiple investigations are still on-going, compromise and all but preclude any prosecution of the offenders. That has been the policy of the Obama Administration and its predecessor, the Bush Administration, which have no concept of personal responsibility and accountability.
Within the U.S. military, dereliction of duty and displaying an absence of leadership during wartime (i.e., conduct unbecoming an officer), used to be courts-martial offenses. That has all but disappeared. Last week General William E. Ward, head of U.S. Africa Command was given a simple demotion and allowed to retire as a Lieutenant General, instead of being prosecuted for abuse of authority and gross wasting of taxpayer funds by himself and his family. It is a familiar story.
With the Allen and Petraeus scandals unfolding, where is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marty Dempsey? Why is he in hiding and not out front demonstrating leadership? This reporter argued against his Dempsey’s appointment based on his dismal record and his eagerness to please his political mentors even at the expense of the mission.
Barack Obama, at his press conference in Washington, D.C. on November 14, 2012, also defended U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice, who likewise has been in seclusion since her mid-September appearances on all the Sunday morning U.S. talk shows. Her unqualified pronouncements of an obviously false version of events surrounding the Benghazi consulate attack have opened her up to legitimate Congressional and media scrutiny. She should have the courage to either step forward and defend herself, or resign. Instead, she has the President of the United States trying to shield her. Ambassador Rice has set a poor example for women in Government. They are entitled to equality with men, but that effort falters if they have to hide behind men whenever controversy arises.
While all this is occurring, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has opted to vacation in a remote area of Australia this week as Administration officials scurry out of Washington, D.C. Secretary Clinton did issue a press statement vaguely pronouncing that none of America’s allies are worried by the Allen scandal. This statement, if true, simply reveals how low the West’s standard is for integrity.
The victims in these sordid tales are U.S., NATO and Afghan military personnel who are fighting and dying while Generals in Kabul and Langley, Virginia spend their time romping with socialites. These antics are supported by a loudly silent corps of Generals and Admirals who place loyalty to their fellow Generals above their duty to the nation and to the troops.
The victors in these scandals are the Taliban, al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliates. Their propaganda about Western depravity, lack of honor and corruption can only be legitimized by Western officials displaying depravity, lack of honor and corruption. The Roman Empire collapsed, not due to external aggressors but largely due to internal decay. Roman emperors likewise expressed their continued confidence in their corrupt commanders, even as Germanic tribes were crossing the Tiber. Unlike building which rot from the bottom up, governments and their militaries tend to decay from the top down.