are key underpinnings of the military. Without them, the team doesn’t function. In high risk situations, people can die. And not the enemy, but your own.
This is a rant. Skip it, if for some reason you think a president pardoning someone for posing with a person as a hunting trophy is all right.
In which case, I am afraid you and I don’t have much in common. I thoroughly believe that all of us have a responsibility to leave this world a better place than we found it. That involves creating all people with dignity and respect. You and I may not agree on a lot of things, but I firmly believe you have a right to your opinion. If that opinion makes you my enemy, then I will shoot back if you shoot at me. I spent too many years as a military officer not to defend myself. But still, you are a person acting on your beliefs. Treating your enemy’s corpse with disrespect is not done. Not only is it outside the law of war, it is the act of animal (and most scavengers eat the remains).
I always thought the US was better than that. We prosecuted Mai Lai. We don’t shoot unarmed civilians, in fact we are even starting to hold police officers who do that accountable for their actions. We still have the shame of Gitmo which may well be a blight on our country and history for decades.
When fellow team members turn in a Seal for going beyond the limits, for acting unprofessionally, for posing an enemy corpse as a trophy, we need to respect their request for the military justice system to investigate, act, and disciple if appropriate. That courts martial found reason to reduce the petty office. That should stand; the judgement, like all others of that severity due to rank and years of service will be reviewed as per regulation. It should not be flippantly over turned because “it isn’t fair.”
What that man did was a disgrace to his fellow Seals, the Navy, and all of us in uniform. We have to be able to count on the system. Our allies have to be able to count on us to police our own. Commanders have to have the ability to count on order and disciple in the ranks in order to accomplish any assigned mission and bring everyone home safely.
Seriously, I thought we, the US, were better than that: that someone with power but no military background would do something so awful. An act, trigged by who knows what, that will have far and long reaching consequences.
Think about it at the next election. Is this a person you would trust with your life, your child’s life, your grandchild’s life if they can so blithely do what seems to be politically expedient without any understanding of the long term implications. Or, as one of George’s colleagues said – if this man was the preacher on the pulpit – are his morals those of yours? Would you attend?