The Sinclair Court-Martial

The following is a synopsis of the investigation, charges, and Court-Martial of US Army Brigadier General Jeffrey Allen Sinclair, the highest ranking military officer to be charged with sexual assault.  The events of the Sinclair case took place with a backdrop of an ongoing controversy regarding rates of sexual assault in the US military, with political interests involved, the usual over-wrought handwringing involved in any moral panic, the unique military justice issue of command influence, and a recent history of politicization of the military justice system.  Many of you will not like what follows.  Such is life.

Long story short–Sinclair is a major dickhead on multiple levels.  But that’s not illegal in any jurisdiction.  His accuser lied about facts about the case, and may have perjured herself, and was not regarded as a credible witness by anybody.  The Army, seeking to quell the political issues, and some members of the chain of command, possibly going as far as the Chief of Staff, broke the law in seeking to influence the prosecution and the court.

DISCLOSURE—In 1993 I was falsely accused of rape by a subordinate, and confined in pre-trial confinement in Mannheim, Germany for five weeks.  My confinement was ended and no charges were preferred after the Article 32 investigation revealed that my accuser had lied in order to prevent my unit from processing her out of the Army for failure to adapt to military life.  Since events that transpired in mid-February in the case, I’ve had flashbacks, panic attacks, and anger management issues.  This is the primary reason that I haven’t been around a great deal.  I’ve gone round and round with myself about whether or not I should say anything, but I decided in the end that I needed to put this out there.  For those who don’t know, or who didn’t serve extensively in the 90s and later, the idea that the Army doesn’t take sexual assault allegations seriously is sadly laughable.  The Army routinely prosecutes cases that would never result in charges in civilian jurisdictions.  Civilian Defense Counsel of my acquaintance regularly comment on the amount of easy work they get defending military personnel from charges that are easily defeated because they cannot be proven, even in the military’s relatively prosecution-friendly environment.  Convening Authorities frequently prefer charges and let the courts-martial figure it out rather than refuse to prosecute cases that their own advisers recommend to not go forward.  Had my unfortunate incident happened today, I’d likely be remaining in confinement and going to trial even in the absence of DNA evidence.

Public awareness of BG Jeffrey Sinclair began in mid-May, 2012 with a report in the Fayetteville (NC) Observer that Army Criminal Investigation Command (CID) was investigating him for various charges, and that he had been recalled from Afghanistan to Fort Bragg, NC.  At the time of the beginning of the investigation, BG Sinclair was serving as Deputy Commanding General for Support, 82nd Airborne Division. Note—assignment of a field grade officer or general officer to that division is generally considered to be a mark of prestige, such postings given to the best of the best, men and increasingly women who are recognized as rising stars destined for higher rank. 

On the 16th of September, 2012, BG Sinclair was charged with forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual contact, adultery, violating a lawful general order, violating a lawful order, possession of pornography and alcohol while deployed, misusing a government travel charge card, and filing fraudulent claims.  The Article 32, UCMJ hearing began in early November, 2012.  Right from the start, the Government ran into difficulties.  Sinclair’s counsel made an issue over 16,000 emails that CID had obtained that were privileged confidential attorney-client communications, and had been marked as such in the subject lines of those emails.  Counsel asked the hearing officer, then-Major General (MG) Perry Wiggins, to dismiss the charges due to misconduct by the Government and after a brief hearing, this was refused.  NOTE—Wiggins was the Deputy Commanding General, US Army North and 5th US Army at the time, and has since been promoted to Lieutenant General (LTG), USANORTH/5A, Commanding.

On the 18th of December, 2012, LTG Daniel B. Allyn, 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, Commanding, referred charges against BG Sinclair.  Military Judge Colonel (COL) James Pohl, JA(RET) was recalled to active duty and appointed to preside.  LTG Allyn was the first General Officer in BG Sinclair’s chain of command after his relief from 82nd ABN, and as such was the General Court-Martial Convening Authority.  In February of 2012, some of BG Sinclair’s supporters created a website and began releasing to the public information that was part of the Article 32, UCMJ hearing records.  This information included text messages between BG Sinclair and his primary accuser, so that information that military defense lawyers could not release to the public would be put out there to combat, as one contributor put it “Army prosecutors have carefully managed a public relations campaign to try and convict General Sinclair in the public sphere, before he even has his day in court.”  Note–This is indicative, along with having four paid civilian defense counsel, of the fact that Generals have more resources at court-martial than Sergeants and Privates do. In that respect, the military justice system is unfortunately very much like the civilian criminal justice system. 

Neither the general, his wife nor lawyers are directly involved in the website, said Carreen Winters of MWW, a New York public relations firm hired by Sinclair’s supporters. Winters says the general’s military attorneys, unlike civilian lawyers, can’t mount a public defense in this very public case.  “The facts are his best friend,” Winters said in an email to the Los Angeles Times.


I’ll just note here that I’ll never be able to unlearn the term “papa panda sexy pants” that Sinclair’s accuser used for him before things went sideways between them.

In May, 2013, Judge Pohl held a four-day hearing to assess multiple claims of Unlawful Command Influence, and scheduled the trial to begin June 25th, 2013.  Unlawful Command Influence, or UCI for short, occurs when the Convening Authority or other members of the chain of command use their positions to encourage certain trial outcomes that might not be reached by an impartial trier of fact or law.  It can also occur when government counsel are pressured to pursue charges that may not be supported by the available evidence.  One of the most glaring UCI claims made by the Defense team was that General Officers of the Army, knowing that Congress members would halt or damage their careers if Sinclair were not convicted, were doing everything they could do to stack the case against him.  Subsequent to this, Judge Pohl issued the first of what would be many postponements, this one to July, 2013, and most of the charges and specifications related to pornography were dropped by the Government.   The Defense elected trial by members panel, which caused another delayNOTE– as the panel could only be members who were equal or higher in rank than the accused, and who did not know the accused or officers on the witness list (several Generals themselves,) this was a brilliant delaying tactic.  There are 231 General Officers in the Army, not including retired GOs subject to recall.  This is a very small community of people who usually know each other after long careers.

It wasn’t until August 14, 2013 that the trial commenced, with a panel of five General Officer members.  NOTE—A military panel of members is NOT a jury. Only for capital cases are they required to reach a unanimous verdict. In this case, it would take guilty verdicts by three of the five members to convict on any charge or specification.  Testimony was at times sordid.  The trial was delayed again on September 25, 2013 so that the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) could consider an appeal by the Defense of Judge Pohl’s ruling in pre-trial denying a Defense motion to dismiss the case with prejudice due to UCI.

The defense team has appealed a decision by the military judge, Col. James Pohl, to deny pretrial motions seeking to have the bulk of the case thrown out.  Sinclair’s lead defense lawyer, Richard Scheff of Philadelphia, has raised several motions concerning unlawful command influence, or UCI. The defense argues that President Obama’s public promises to pursue and punish sexual predators in the military put improper pressure on the Pentagon to charge Sinclair, despite what his lawyers contend is a weak case by the prosecution.  Scheff told The Associated Press the government agreed with his assessment to delay the trial.  “Separately, we have sought appellate review of the denial of our UCI motions, and that is working its way through the system as well,” he said.

On October 5, 2013, CAAF denied the Defense appeal.  From the CAAF daily journal for that date:  Misc. No. 14-8001/AR.  Jeffrey A. SINCLAIR, Appellant v. United States of America, and James L. Pohl, Colonel, U.S. Army, Military Judge.  CCA 20130751.  On consideration of the writ-appeal petition, Appellant’s motion for a stay of proceedings, and motion to appear pro hac vice, said motion to appear pro hac vice is hereby granted, said motion for a stay of proceedings is hereby denied, and said petition is hereby denied without prejudice to Appellant’s right to raise the issues asserted during the course of normal appellate review.

But then the trial blew up on February 15, 2014.  The lead Government Counsel (prosecutor) recused himself from the case.

The departure of the prosecutor, Lt. Col. William Helixon, JA came just days after defense lawyers said in interviews that the colonel told them that he had come to believe that a jury would not believe the testimony of the prosecution’s chief witness, a 34-year-old captain who had lodged the charges.

According to the defense, Colonel Helixon also disclosed that he believed the captain had not told the truth during testimony at a pretrial hearing.

It was impossible to confirm the defense team’s description of conversations with Colonel Helixon, who did not respond this week to emails or to messages left on his wife’s cellphone.  Army officials at the Pentagon declined to comment.

NOTE—LTC Helixon’s only public statement to date regarding this trial and his recusal are that he was suffering an illness such that he could not continue as lead government counsel.

Counsel for the Accused, as Defense Counsel are titled in military courts-martial, had raised questions about her testimony in January, when she stated under oath that she had found an old cellphone in December, 2013, after she finished a sworn deposition with government counsel.  A forensic computer expert hired by the Defense testified that the captain had charged, restarted, and attempted to use the phone several weeks earlier than she had claimed to have found it.  The CID forensic computer specialist agreed with that assessment.

In the third week of February, 2014, the Army named new lead government counsel to replace LTC Helixon.  According to an AP story that I cannot find but have seen referenced, the new prosecutor had “indicated that the woman’s immunity agreement remains intact and that the case will proceed to trial.”  On the 24th of February, 2014, the defense filed another motion with the court requesting that the charges be dismissed on the grounds of UCI.

 Sinclair said in a motion filed last Friday that he offered in December to plead guilty to adultery, which is a crime in the military. Lead prosecutor Lt. Col. William Helixon recommended to superiors last month that the offer be accepted, and he recused himself from the case on Feb. 10 after he was told to press forward with the court-martial, according to the motion.  The defense contends that the captain, who served with Sinclair in Iraq and Afghanistan, committed perjury in a January hearing about finding text messages form Sinclair on an old cellphone, making her a poor witness on which to build a case against the general.  The captain said in the January hearing that she came across the old phone in December and charged it up to see if there was anything on it that would affect Sinclair’s court-martial. A defense forensics expert contradicted her testimony, saying she had turned the phone on several times in the months before she said she found it packed in a box.  The defense argues in the motion that the Army continues to press the case only to support a get-tough policy against sex assault in the military.  “The (fact) that top military leaders outside the proper chain of command have injected themselves into these proceedings and the current political environment has instilled fear into any officer with authority in connection with a sexual assault prosecution, leads to no other conclusion than the decision-makers in this case fear the adverse personal and political consequences of taking the ethically, morally, and just action of dismissing the charges that rely upon the testimony of the Government’s discredited primary accuser,” the motion states. “Because no reasonable observer could possibly determine that such a proceeding was fair and just, this case should be dismissed as a result of unlawful command influence.”

See also this story that includes details of the motion to dismiss for UCI, the allegations of influence from the very top of the Army: “The motion also claims that Helixon has disclosed that General Ray Odierno, the Army’s top commander, is ‘aware that the charges relying on the captain’s testimony are likely to fail.’” And that further, “During a February 9 phone conversation between Helixon and Scheff, the motion says Helixon ‘acknowledged Sinclair was not guilty of sexual misconduct charges, nor did he deserve to be dismissed from the Army, go to jail or register as a sex offender.’ It says Helixon believed that ‘politics and outside pressures were driving forces pushing the case forward,’ telling Scheff that former 18th Airborne Corps SJA, Brigadier General Paul Wilson, would be ‘in charge’ of the prosecution.”

Note—SJA is short for Staff Judge Advocate. Basically the top lawyer for 18 ABN Corps was set to prosecute the case himself at that point.  This is unusual in the extreme.  Also, GEN Odierno is the Army Chief of Staff, the highest ranking Soldier in the Army.

After many delays, the General Court-Martial US v BG Jeffery Allen Sinclair finally convened at Fort Bragg, NC. On Wednesday, March 5, 2014.  The next day, BG Sinclair entered blind pleas (no plea agreement with the Convening Authority) of guilty to nine specifications of three charges.  The defense renewed their offer for a plea agreement on some of the remaining charges and specifications while continuing to maintain Sinclair’s innocence on the forced sodomy, wrongful sexual contact, and the other charges including maltreatment of subordinates and misuse of funds and fraud.  That afternoon, the primary accuser, the captain at the center of this case, testified for the government.  With cross-examination by counsel for the accused to begin the following Monday, 10 March, the defense renewed their motion to dismiss the charges after 14 pages of emails were provided to the defense by the government over the weekend:

Lacey wrote of the accuser: “The forensic analysis of the phone indicates she accessed the phone before 9 December, which brings her credibility into question.”  An email from another high-ranking Ft. Bragg legal officer, written after the accuser disclosed finding the phone, appears to suggest that the Army accept Sinclair’s offer to plead guilty to lesser charges.  “For my part it’s 90% there,” Lt. Col. James Bagwell, whose title is Chief, Military Justice at Ft. Bragg, wrote of the plea offer in a Dec. 16 email to Brig. Gen. Paul Wilson, then a colonel, a senior Army legal officer at the Pentagon.  Bagwell wrote that a lot was happening in the case, “virtually none of it good for Govt.”  He asked Wilson for his thoughts on the plea offer.  The emails turned over by the prosecution do not include a return email from Wilson or indicate whether he responded.

The case fell apart completely at that point.  Judge Pohl ruled on the motion to dismiss for UCI that afternoon:

The sexual assault case against an Army general was thrown into jeopardy Monday when the judge said the military may have improperly pressed ahead with a trial to send a message about its determination to curb rape and other widespread misconduct.

Judge Col. James Pohl refused to dismiss the charges against Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair but offered the defense another chance to plea-bargain the case with a set of military officials not previously involved with the matter.

The judge reviewed newly disclosed emails in Sinclair’s case and said he found the appearance of “unlawful command influence” in Fort Bragg officials’ decision to reject a plea bargain with the general in January.

Under the military code of justice, the decision was supposed to be decided solely on the evidence, not its broader political implications.

Pohl said the emails showed that the military officials who rejected the plea bargain had discussed a letter from the accuser’s lawyer. The letter warned that allowing the general to avoid trial would “send the wrong signal.”

See also, The New York Times, March 10, 2014 “Faulting Army, Judge Puts Off Assault Case

Also on March 10th, from Reuters, “U.S. general’s sex crimes trial delayed indefinitely”:

A military judge dismissed jurors shortly after the case resumed on Tuesday without scheduling a restart date.

The judge, Colonel James Pohl, found on Monday that politics had been unlawfully injected into the rare court-martial of Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair, but refused to dismiss the sexual assault charges.

The judge said he would allow Sinclair to renew a previous offer, rejected by military leaders at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to plead guilty to lesser charges in exchange for the most serious allegations of coercive sex acts being dropped.

Scheff said the convening authority in the case, Lieutenant General Joseph Anderson, rejected the offer after the accuser’s lawyer warned Anderson in the letter that it “would have an adverse effect on my client and the Army’s fight against sexual assault.”

The letter from the lawyer, Captain Cassie Fowler, also referred to a debate among U.S. lawmakers about whether prosecution decisions in sexual assault cases should be removed from military commanders.

Also, “The general pleaded guilty last week to lesser offenses that carry a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and possible dismissal from the Army, but his attorneys said they could move to withdraw that plea after the events on Monday.”  Given the situation they had, the defense could have withdrew the guilty plea and demanded to include any of those charges in a plea bargain, or to re-litigate them at another trial.  NOTE–For reasons unknown to me, BG Sinclair and his team did not then withdraw their previous guilty pleas.  Perhaps he felt that he was actually guilty of those crimes.  Or maybe he just wanted to go home at that point.  We likely won’t know until someone’s book (inevitably) comes out.  It is very concerning that the government had these emails from back in February and January and only just gave them to the accused this last week.  They certainly fit within the bounds of the documents demanded by counsel for the accused in their multiple motions to dismiss.

On March 12, the following occurred, as reported by the Washington Post: Attorneys for an Army general charged with sexual assault said Tuesday that they have decided to try to renegotiate a plea bargain with a new set of military officials after the judge determined that the case may have been improperly influenced by political concerns.

Judge Col. James Pohl sent the jury of generals back to their duty stations around the world after attorneys for Brig. Gen Jeffrey A. Sinclair announced their decision. The two sides will enter negotiations to try to resolve the case. A new general and legal advisers would have to be brought in to approve any new deal…

Even though the defense team appeared optimistic it could reach a deal, Scheff said it might still be weeks before the case is resolved.

Lt. Col. Robert Stelle, the lead prosecutor, declined to comment.

Here is a much briefer run-down of events.

On the 17th of March, the accused, BG Sinclair, reached a plea agreement with the new Convening Authority (I don’t know which general this is, but it must be one in a command capacity somewhere in the Army).  While the charges that would lead to Sinclair having to register as a sex offender were dismissed, he did plead guilty to Maltreatment of a Subordinate, in addition to the other guilty pleas he had made earlier.  This additional charge was described by an unnamed member of the defense team as “critical” to the accuser:

In that portion of the plea document, General Sinclair admits that he treated the captain “in a manner which when viewed objectively under all the circumstances was unwarranted, unjustified, and unnecessary and reasonably could have caused mental harm or suffering during the course of an ongoing inappropriate sexual relationship.”

Sinclair’s final sentence was a judicial reprimand and a fine of $5,000/month for four months.  No confinement and no dismissal.  This was after Sinclair asked the judge, weeping, to not harm his wife and children who were, as he described them “the only innocent parties” in this whole mess.  Were Sinclair dismissed, his wife and children would have no support at all.  No income, and no health insurance.  Note—before you ask, there is no mechanism under the law by which the Army could give his wife and children a check and benefits but not him.

Apparently, as part of the bargain with the convening authority, he will retire immediately and the CA will approve the retirement (necessitating the CA to disapprove a dismissal from service if adjudged,) and will not contest an administrative action to reduce his retired rank and pay to that of Lieutenant Colonel, O-5, the last rank he held in which he did not commit any criminal acts and therefore served acceptably.  He will retire with 27 years of service.  Note–It is common in the military to do this to commissioned officers and NCOs who are eligible for retirement but have committed misconduct necessitating their removal from service through administrative means.  About three years ago, a Colonel (O-6) Legal Officer named Michael D. Murphy in the USAF was found to have been disbarred when he was a Captain, but didn’t bother to tell his command this.  When he was administratively separated after a Court-Martial that did not result in dismissal, he was given the retirement of an officer of the grade O-2, First Lieutenant. A couple of civilian defense counsel of my acquaintance postulate that Judge Pohl issued the sentence he did to send a message to the brass that their behavior was unacceptable.  He could have sentenced Sinclair harshly and let the plea agreement take effect, nullifying his sentence, but he chose to do something that was very blatant and very obvious.  Being retired, it’s pretty much impossible for him to suffer any consequences for this.  He has no career to damage.

Since the results of the Court-Martial do not include confinement for more than six months or a punitive discharge, the sentence is not open to appeal under Article 62, UCMJ.  The plea agreement also includes a waiver of appellate rights by the accused.

As a Brigadier General (O-7) with 27 years of service, Sinclair’s base pay is $12105.60/month.

As a Lieutenant Colonel (O-5) with 27 years of service, Sinclair’s base pay is $8675.70/month.

With 27 years of service, the retirement pay rate would be 67.5% of base pay.  Therefore, his retired pay would be $8,171.28/month as an O-7, and $5,876.10/month as an O-5, for a difference of $2,315.18/month for the rest of his life.  He’s 51 years old, and in supreme physical condition so it is safe to assume he’ll live another 35 years, making his grand total forfeiture $972,375.60

His ability to supplement that income with other employment is highly compromised.  Who would hire him?

Now, I know that a huge number of you will be pissed that he’s not being hung up by his balls with a hot poker shoved up his ass for the next 30 years.


The military justice system, as created by Congress and administered by the President exists for two purposes, the first being the administration of justice to members of the military, and the second being a tool for commanders to implement good order and discipline, without which the military cannot function.

Neither of those goals have anything to do with making a bunch of outrage monkeys who don’t particularly care about actual justice, happy.  BG Sinclair received the outcome he did because his accuser almost certainly perjured herself and his superiors in the chain of command threw him under the bus in order to show Congress (who doesn’t care about actual justice as much as they do votes) and everybody else (who also do not particularly care about the truth) that they could be hard on sexual assault and get convictions.

If this nation were working right, everybody would actually care about seeing justice done.

Suggested readings:

The Pentagon Has Issued A Flawed Report On Sexual Assault–Panicked Prosecutors and Leaders Do Not Send a Message of Strength

It’s Time To End Rape Culture Hysteria

86 replies
  1. 1
    Anne Laurie says:

    Thanks for writing this, Soonergrunt — I can only imagine how hard it must have been for you, but I do appreciate your guidance through the thickets of military linguistics & practices!

  2. 2
    Fuzzy says:

    Our military leaders continue their FUBAR tradition. All these assholes should not only be discharged but LOSE THEIR PENSION. Same with all employees of the US Government including congress.

  3. 3
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The sentencing is an absolute joke. This asshole didn’t follow orders. That alone should have resulted in dismissal for the good of the service.

    This whole thing is appalling. That this man was elevated to flag rank is a crime in and of itself.

    Disgrace to the officer corps, Jeffrey Sinclair is.

  4. 4
    MazeDancer says:

    Wow, Soonergrunt, very impressive post. Learned much. Didn’t realize the extent the accuser perjured. Glad the ex-BG will forfeit close to a million over the next 35 years.

    And must add – yay, you, for coming forward and not letting the bad side and wrongful demons win by suffering in silence. You’re such a stand-up guy in all your posts, from state of affairs in OK, to taking care of your wife and family, and creating the best for you daughter. How wretched, horrid, absurd, and insanely unfair you had to suffer such wrongful treatment. And now to endure re-living of that is double the wretched and unfair.

    Big props to you, Soonergrunt. Thanks again.

  5. 5
    Baud says:

    Under the military code of justice, the decision was supposed to be decided solely on the evidence, not its broader political implications.

    Can you imagine of the civilian justice system had such a rule?

  6. 6
    jo6pac says:

    Sorry I just see this an another nothing to see here inside of the belt wave. No one is held respond in the so-called elected govt. or their puppet masters. The general walks with a small fine for an affair, no cares but us in Main Street Amerika but that’s why the 1% could care less. Full pension at this level well look it up.

  7. 7
    Cassidy says:

    Neither of those goals have anything to do with making a bunch of outrage monkeys who don’t particularly care about actual justice, happy.

    Hey man, that’s not fair. Sometimes these assholes replace outrage with pretension.

  8. 8
    gussie says:

    I don’t understand much of this. The accuser’s big perjury was that she–or someone–turned on the phone a few times before she said she did? As for politicization, that’s kinda like ‘playing the race card.’ We only call it that when someone in whom political power usually adheres is on the wrong side of the equation.

    But, as I said, I don’t understand most of this, so don’t feel qualified to really have much of an opinion. I will say, though, that this is misguided: “Were Sinclair dismissed, his wife and children would have no support at all. No income, and no health insurance.” He was making more in two months than I make in a year, plus all sorts of extras. He could get another job–like I have. She could work too, like my wife does. So fuck him for that.

  9. 9
    scav says:

    personally rather more appalled by the constellation of other behaviors that were side-issues in the show-trial. That skit in front of the wives sounds like drunken sophomore frats without oversight, and that speaks to licit command both under, over and around this idiot general. The hairball of a trial and how it (legitimately) broke down in no way gives me confidence in the military’s ability to police its own behavior either.

    I also somehow rather doubt this will have much of an impact on his future income. His peers are involved in the hiring.

  10. 10
    RepubAnon says:

    The military judicial system really needs to get rid of the inherent conflicts of interest resulting from the courts not being independent. Minor disciplinary infractions are one thing, but misdemeanor/felony-level criminal acts need to be adjudicated by a fully independent judiciary. Having judges that are themselves within the military’s command structure raises too many conflicts.

  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Can you imagine of the civilian justice system had such a rule?

    Military justice is to justice as military music is to music. — attributed to both Georges Clémenceau and Groucho Marx. Take your choice.

  12. 12
    Seth Owen says:

    While I don’t necessarily agree with the outcome, you did an excellent job of explaining how it came about. Thank you.

    Given your explanation I’m more comfortable that this was an acceptable result, if not the ideal one. We still have a society-wide accountability problem where being a powerful person counts for more than it should. In a healthy military a brigadier general would be held to a higher standard of conduct than a sergeant, and we are not at that stage yet. Frankly, even throwing aside all the alleged criminal acts, his conduct was unacceptable for an officer of any rank. I saw careers ended for much less.

  13. 13
    Trentrunner says:

    Well this is all over the place. First, your expertise is outweighed by your own horrific experience being falsely accused, I’m sorry to say. Would love to see you write a corresponding long form piece on a rape victim whose rapist went unpunished BECAUSE THOSE HAPPEN ABOUT 100 TIMES AS MUCH as a false rape accusation.

    Second, I’ve read the “rape culture hysteria” article, and it’s SHITE. Once again, it’s all about policing FEMALE behavior, with absolutely not so much as a feint to training MEN NOT TO RAPE.

    This thread is going to be appalling.

  14. 14
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    “Outrage monkeys.” True that. The Reichwing are not the only ones who disdain process when it conflicts with their sense of “justice”. What we want, after all, is a fair trial, followed by a first class hanging. Kabuki instead of justice.

    Thanks for the summary, SG.

  15. 15
    dr. bloor says:

    His ability to supplement that income with other employment is highly compromised. Who would hire him?

    This is a great, and greatly appreciated post, but you lost me here. He’ll be pulling down six figures someplace within 180 days if he so chooses–book it. Corporations might be people, but they are sociopathic people.

  16. 16
    Baud says:


    And military intelligence is to…well, you know.

  17. 17
    kc says:

      Were Sinclair dismissed, his wife and children would have no support at all.  No income, and no health insurance.

    They could get Obamacare.

  18. 18
    JPL says:

    Sooner, When you mentioned the other day that you would write about it later but you were dealing with personal issues, I was concerned about your daughter. How is she doing? Thank you for your insight.

    @gussie: She had sent him messages that might be construed as romantic in nature. I don’t know how I feel about this but if she was not reporting directly to him, I’m not sure what’s appropriate. Obviously, he’s a sleaze but in civilian court he probably would have walked.

  19. 19
    scav says:

    Odd how the dependent women and children are suddenly so much a mitigating factor. Must be a special special characteristic of the chosen few, to have such tender families that must be coddled and protected from all consequences.

  20. 20
    Soonergrunt says:

    @scav: That’s not that uncommon. In many cases where confinement is adjudged, the Convening Authority will waive the forfeitures of pay and allowances that are always sentenced (automatically by law) with confinement if the accused has dependents. But when the accused is dismissed or punitively discharged, the pay stops anyway, as does any money that might have been received in retirement.
    That’s a lawful and proper function of the Convening Authority’s clemency powers.
    Those clemency powers, in their entirety, have been deleted from the UCMJ by Congress recently. That change takes effect in July, if I recall correctly.

  21. 21
    raven says:

    Thanks for your work on this.

  22. 22
    planetjanet says:

    I am sympathetic with Soonergrunt’s pain. The dismissal of rape culture was disturbing to me. One consequence of rape culture is the judgment that because the victim was incorrect about when she found a cell phone, everything she ever said is a complete lie. There was a complex situation here, involving domestic abuse. The victim admitted that she loved him. But Sinclair also threatened her life and those of her family members and was found to have abused her (maltreatment).

  23. 23
    srv says:

    Great post.

    @Soonergrunt: Either the UCMJ has to do away with outdated views of adultery or spouses need to get a bit more selective.

  24. 24

    Thank you for writing this and sharing your experience and knowledge.

  25. 25
    rikyrah says:

    thanks for this in-depth post. the ‘sentence’ was a sham.

  26. 26
    notoriousJRT says:

    For those who don’t know, or who didn’t serve extensively in the 90s and later, the idea that the Army doesn’t take sexual assault allegations seriously is sadly laughable. The Army routinely prosecutes cases that would never result in charges in civilian jurisdictions.

    Can you provide sources for this?

    I am sorry about your experience with a false accusation. Maybe this colors your view of this issue; maybe not. Like some others have mentioned, I have spent a little time trying to determine what the accuser’s testimony was and what led to conclusion that she may have perjured herself. Unfortunately, I have not yet found anything more that it had to do with her finding a cell phone and the date she found it.

    OTOH, my response to this case is colored by being a female and life-long observation that some men are all too capable of the bullshit of which Sinclair was accused. I would think the army would WANT to root out this sort of behavior. Gee, too bad that Sinclair (at the top of the command food chain) seems to be the poster boy for complaints that civilians have about people at the top of the command food chain making decisions about whether to go forward with sexual assault cases. But, then again, maybe the army would rather protect its prerogative for farewell skits that suggest extra-marital blow jobs. Sinclair’s subordinates and associates did not respect their own wives enough to resist such a hilarious farewell gesture. What sort of respect do you think they hold for females in general? Who set that tone? Finally, the comments about Sinclair’s future employment prospects leave me unmoved. I have no doubt he will find a place somewhere where a sympathetic male runs the show. Sinclair made his bed, and I feel no impulse to make it comfortable for him. Actions have consequences, and living with those consequences is part of that deal. Maybe all this makes me an outrage monkey. So be it.

    Now, I will admit that my view of the accuser is keenly ambivalent. It seems to me that she could have made other choices that might have produced happier outcomes for her. It is possible that facts will come out that will clarify how she wound up where she did. But the fact that I do not presently find her very sympathetic does not change my original assessment that Sinclair demeaned his command and should be happy his sentence was not more harsh.

  27. 27
    Howard Beale IV says:

    The military is under civilian control, so should its judicial system.

  28. 28
    Culture of Truth says:

    Thanks, interesting post.

  29. 29
    rb says:

    @notoriousJRT: But the fact that I do not presently find her very sympathetic does not change my original assessment that Sinclair demeaned his command and should be happy his sentence was not more harsh

    This right here.

  30. 30
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The shit this guy copped to should have rated a dissmissal for the good of the service.

  31. 31
    Ruckus says:

    First, thanks Sooner for writing this, it didn’t sound easy at all.
    I’m conflicted here. I’d like to be pissed at this general for being what sounded like a complete asshole. But it sounds like he was run over in the process of trying to make the army look good. This woman seems to be the one taking the brunt of the crap that the army and this general have been pushing. Is she in trouble and will she suffer even more at the hands of the army? She doesn’t sound completely innocent here, apparently she did lie at least about some things but it seems she was and remains the major victim here.

  32. 32
    Schlemizel says:

    I just sat on a jury with two guys charged with rape this past week. It was not a pleasant time. One of the two guys was the ex-boyfriend the other his roommate. The two guys had been drinking at a club, they saw the ones ex. The 3 left together. What happened after that was contested. The guys were ‘convenient’ just drunk enough to not remember the details but had really clear memories about events that put them in a good light. She said she went with them because they said they had some of her stuff & wanted to return it. They all admitted to having sex but the guys claimed she was OK with it.

    It came down to the guys not being very believable but I hated every minute of being there, of having to try to sort through different stories, having to share her pain as she testified, not knowing for a fact what really happened. I only hope the guilty parties have images they can’t erase like the ones I have from having to deal with their shit. They will have years of time in jail (god I hope they did it – I think they did it, they did not seem like good guys, a bit too cock sure a bit to positive about some things but suddenly too drunk to rmember others at all) but what if they didn’t?) to think about it.

    Like them, this BG is scum & can’t claim innocence. Unlike that guy these guys will do time & have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives. The woman will have to live with a violence against her that I can’t even imagine.

  33. 33
    Mathguy says:

    I am sorry for your terrible experience, but there are people that say that the armed services do not take rape seriously. Bateman’s series over at Charles Pierce’s place is damning indictment of the system.

  34. 34
    ruemara says:

    I appreciate the clarifications. It’s enlightening and I understand the nature of the sentence. HOWEVER. The man is not a good guy and I think the sentence was way too light. I also find siting that ridiculous, insulting article about rape hysteria a bridge too far. I think UCMJ is harsher than I would ever be able to survive, but frankly, the rules are made pretty clear. I don’t think justice was well served here, but we’re also allowed to disagree.

  35. 35
    Ruckus says:

    My post above makes it sound like I’m on the general’s side. I am not. It sounds like he is getting far less than he deserves in the way of punishment. I get that he spent a long time in the service before he was accused of anything so should that count and he is allowed to retire at a pretty good amount for the rest of his life? I know times have changed but I got $350/month when I was in. Had I stayed in for 30 I probably would have gotten to maybe $2200-2500/month. And I would have retired at what 3/4 of that. He commits acts that should have gotten him kicked out and he gets to retire with almost $6000/month. Sorry that’s not right.

  36. 36
    Ruckus says:

    I’ve served on one jury(a doctor and drugs) and was called for a special murder trial that the guy copped to just before jury selection. I can not imagine sitting on a rape trial. How often are there hard facts to see? There were way too many on the trial I sat on and the outcome was not a hard decision. But often a rape trial comes down to who do you believe.

  37. 37
    sdhays says:

    Thank you for this post. Very enlightening, and I appreciate how hard it must have been to write it.

    I suspect (hope) that there’s more to the phone thing with the accuser that made it such a big deal, making her so non-credible. The descriptions in the media seem like they must be leaving something out.

    It seems clear that this whole trial process was a mess. It’s hard to conclude that justice was served, even if Sinclair isn’t a rapist (which it appears we’ll never know). I don’t know what I think about the deal to leave him his pension for the sake of his wife and children (as others have mentioned, this is surely applied unevenly, just as it is in the civilian court system), but I know that I’m not pleased to hear that the US Congress in its infinite “wisdom” has taken away clemency powers from the UCMJ. Because that has worked out sooooo well in the civilian courts.

  38. 38
    MomSense says:

    I’m sorry that this has been a trigger for you, Sooner. Thank you for explaining this to all of us.

    I had a bad experience last week with a young man I didn’t know at my work who became extremely angry with me without warning and it was a trigger for me. And then yesterday I saw a police warning about him for a string of robberies which is highly unusual where I live. I don’t get panic attacks but I was not able to sleep at all and have had a lot of anxiety. I guess all this is to say that I appreciate what you are going through and I am sending you my sympathy and support.

  39. 39
    pete says:

    Well, this was horrible. The NYT article yesterday seems to bear out sooner grunt’s skepticism. I can see why adultery with a junior officer in your command would be anathema to the military; I’m not sure how I feel that should be enforced, or what is an appropriate punishment. And at this point I really don’t know what happened in this case.

  40. 40
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    Thank you for this SG, as I know it was not an easy post. My view is colored by my life as a female, and as a result, personal understanding of the default position is “she’s lying.”

    I’ve also seen, firsthand, the culture of excusing social aggression and refusal to honor even clearly stated boundaries of women because “that’s just Jimmy,” or “she’s being too sensitive.” Even predation is often overlooked because “”the multiple different] she[s] must have done something to lead him on.”

    That said, in my criminal law career, I saw the infrequent cases of accusers who were not honest. So I’ll not claim it doesn’t happen. But the two are not mutually exclusive. All of this colors my view of the leniency of the sentence given all the circumstances involved in Sinclair’s case. That’s my stuff, and I own it.

    I appreciate the time and effort you put into the post. Thank you.

  41. 41
    RuhRow_Gyro says:

    That was actually a fair representation of the facts. Well done Soonergrunt.

  42. 42
    guachi says:

    Fantastic review of the case.

    As an E-6 with 12 years and counting in the Navy, I feel this sentence was far too light. It wasn’t the adultery I have an issue with, it’s the fraternization and abuse of power.

    The military, at least once a year, has fraternization training that even an E-nothing should know by heart. I feel he should have been confined for some period of time and stripped of his pension.

  43. 43
    Kazanir says:

    Is there an explanation anywhere for why the woman’s error in talking about the phone constituted perjury to the point that it would have thrown her entire testimony/credibility into question? Was the fact of not finding the phone until a specific date that essential to the government’s case? That seems like a pretty big reach. In contrast, the subsequent UCI issues seem like a very strong reason to toss the case or reach a plea agreement as they did.

  44. 44
    Mike in NC says:

    I can recall back in the late 1980s when in I lived in Newport, RI it became known that a reservist rear admiral had a relationship with a reservist CPO in REDCOM ONE. They were expected to end the relationship per Navy fraternization policy at the time, but instead they both retired to end the issue.

  45. 45
    Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN) says:

    @notoriousJRT: My understanding is that if the woman had been truthful as to when she found the phone it would have changed the context in which the text messages should be understood. It also implies that the prosecution improperly withheld evidence from the defense.

    And that’s the thing that seems to be being missed here: it’s not just that the accuser lied. It’s that the prosecution engaged in systematic misconduct over the course of the case. Not just the unlawful command influence but also failing to turn over evidence and misrepresenting facts both to the defense and the judge.

    The accuser’s perjury is damaging enough on its own. One of the inescapable facts about a lot of rape cases is that they hinge entirely upon the testimony of those involved without any physical evidence that can sort out which party is telling the truth. And the basis of our legal system, namely the need to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, means that ANY damage to the credibility of an accuser can undermine an entire case. The credibility of the accused isn’t as fragile due to the standard needed for conviction in a criminal trial.

    That’s not fair. It means that justice for rape victims is often cruelly denied. But quite aside from any questions of rape culture and slut shaming, many rape cases simply aren’t possible to prove given the structure of our legal system. That’s troubling, but I’m not sure that I want to give up a presumption of innocence and a high bar to criminal conviction to deal with it. Any case, involving rape or any other crime, that rests solely upon the testimony of those involved to establish that a crime was even committed is going to suffer from that limitation and I’m not sure what a good way to deal with that is.

  46. 46
    karen marie says:

    “Who would hire him?”

    Hahahaha. Same people that hire Oliver North and Jack Abramoff.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @karen marie: DING DING DING DING DING!

    It took the personal intervention of the shitty grade-Z movie start to say North from what he deserved, dismissal for the good of the service.

  48. 48
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Tissue Thin Pseudonym (JMN):

    That’s not fair. It means that justice for rape victims is often cruelly denied. But quite aside from any questions of rape culture and slut shaming, many rape cases simply aren’t possible to prove given the structure of our legal system. That’s troubling, but I’m not sure that I want to give up a presumption of innocence and a high bar to criminal conviction to deal with it. Any case, involving rape or any other crime, that rests solely upon the testimony of those involved to establish that a crime was even committed is going to suffer from that limitation and I’m not sure what a good way to deal with that is.

    Yes. Sinclair is clearly a first class, copper bottomed shit, but the main charges in the criminal case against him were based on the testimony of someone who turned out to have severe credibility issues. Honestly, in a civilian court, I doubt that he would have been convicted of anything.

  49. 49
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    You know, something else that needs to happen irt this guy:

    The promotion board that selected Sinclair to be advanced to flag rank needs to be investigated. How did this guy, with his open history of sexual abuse of subordinates, get a star in the first place?

    His junior officers felt comfortable with mocking his relationship with that CPT in front of the man’s wife!

    Some generals have a lot to answer for. This is serious shit that this guy got a star.

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: For me, the ban on extramarital relationships in the military is silly. I don’t suggest that cheating is okay, but calling it a crime is silly.

  51. 51
    mclaren says:

    Is it just me?

    Or is everyone else on this site crawling like a fawning toady to praise an accused rapist (soonergrunt) who contorts himself into verbal pretzels to excuse and argue out of existence the forcible sodomy of a general officer against a lower-ranking woman?

    Yeah, that’s America for you. As I’ve said so many times, nothing fills your Americano with delight like seeing a woman gang-raped…unless it’s helping to hold her down. Americans are crowardly bully-worshipers who spontaneous rise to their feet and recite the pledge of allegiance whenever they see someone rich and powerful brutalizing someone weaker and more helpless.

    So I was right all along when I tagged soonergrunt as the most extreme sociopath on this website. He whimpers and whines after getting accused on rape about his night sweats and panic attacks. How about the woman you werew accused of raping, you cowardly little piece of scum? You think she suffers from panic attacks? Night sweats? Think she might have trouble sleeping?

    Then the sociopath and accused rapist soonergrunt rushes forward to assure us that ” the idea that the Army doesn’t take sexual assault allegations seriously is sadly laughable” despite overwhelming evidence that one out of every three women in the army wind up sexually assualted, and the women in the army report that they need to take a K-bar with them before they go to the latrine.

    Lies, lies, and more lies — exactly what we’d execpt from the grade-A sociopath and accused rapist soonergrunt. I’ve never been accused on rape. You know why? Because I’m NOT A FUCKING SOCIOPATH.

    This post is a disgrace, like the sociopathic front-pager misnamed soonergrunt. Both are pieces of excrement that stick in the craw of the American body politic, and both need to be flushed out like waste.

  52. 52
    Fred Fnord says:

    There are some people who shouldn’t write about some things. That clearly includes this.

    Your personal experiences have led you to wholesale invalidate the personal experiences of a whole bunch of other people, and indeed to more or less imply that rape is totally blown out of proportion and that false accusations are an objectively worse problem. This indicates an obvious disconnect from measurable reality, you link to a basically vacuous Time article cements it.

    You are too close to this problem.

  53. 53
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Nah, you are simply an asshole. I could see how you might be a bit confused, if I was a douchebag.

  54. 54
    Biff Longbotham says:

    @karen marie: Took the words right out of my mouth.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Fred Fnord: He wrote a post that clearly took his personal experience into account. You may disagree with his conclusions, but saying that his personal experience disqualifies him from commenting is daft.

  56. 56
    Biff Longbotham says:

    @mclaren: Somebody is sleepy-cranky. Lights out time!

  57. 57
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @mclaren: Are you even remotely familiar with the 4th, 5th, and 6th Amendments to the Constitution? Are you familiar with the common law principle of being innocent until proven guilty? Obviously not. You attack someone with innuendo and gossip. Find evidence or be considered a scandalmonger.

  58. 58
    Biff Longbotham says:

    @Fred Fnord: If SG were called to jury service for a rape case, he could legitimately be recused (or whatever the proper term is). But to say that his personal experience means he can’t write about this (or other rape cases) is wacky. Let’s tell Krugman he can’t write about economics anymore. He’s obviously too close to the subject to be dispassionate.

  59. 59
    tk says:

    @mclaren: jesus. You call all Americans cowardly bully worshipers and then claim you’re not a sociopath? Maybe not but you’re a shit_ton short of stable.

  60. 60
    Peter says:

    @mclaren: Holy shit, mclaren, take your fucking medication. This isn’t complicated.

  61. 61
    sharl says:

    Thanks for posting this SG. Best to you.

  62. 62
    Comrade Scrutinizer says:

    @mclaren: I saw what you did there.

  63. 63
    debbie says:


    While this general is definitely a real dick, no one compromises the seriousness of rape more than the false accuser. Keep your anger where it belongs.

  64. 64
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @scav: Yes, it is all about ensuring that his family’s standard of living is maintained, right?

    But without knowing all of the facts [although I greatly appreciate SG’s excellent reporting] it should be very difficult to come to an absolute conclusion one way or another. But obviously that is not stopping many from doing that.

    If I had to, I would vote that justice was done here. According to military standards. This would probably not have seen the light of day if it was between civilians, but the military has different rules and standards, and the BG [admittedly] broke them.

  65. 65
    NorthLeft12 says:

    @Schlemizel: I have never served on any jury and am a little terrified of eventually having to. I think we all have internal biases that effect how we view and judge situations and would hate to being in a situation exactly like yours.

    I don’t know if I would sleep very well for a long time after delivering a verdict in a trial where it comes down to who you believe. To be honest, my bias would be towards the victim, and I would probably need the defence to provide a very strong case to cast my vote in their favour. I wonder if there is anyway I could communicate that to the judge and lawyers prior to my being selected?

  66. 66
    RAM says:

    This was one helluva post.

  67. 67
    PJ says:

    Why was the prosecutor disclosing perceived problems with the case with the defense? I know nothing about military justice, but if he were a civilian attorney, this would be a serious ethical violation.

  68. 68
    Han says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He wrote a post that clearly disclosed his personal experience having previously been accused of rape. Nowhere do I see the post clearly took that into account. SG has expressed some pretty loathsome views in the past on this subject. It could be perceived as impacting this post. Example, the accuser in this case is a lying liar who lies. Yet the only evidence given is she stated she used a phone on a certain date, but the evidence is the phone was accessed earlier. Presumably by her. I have little knowledge of this case. Haven’t been following it. I would appreciate more information, and less editorializing.

  69. 69
    Han says:

    @Biff Longbotham: Krugman had not been previously (falsely) accused of rape by an economy. You know that old joke that a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged? That’s SG & rape accusations.

  70. 70
    Steve says:

    “It’s Time To End Rape Culture Hysteria”

    Because nothing gives credence to your views like using a belittling and condescending term used to dismiss the concerns of women for hundreds of years to dismiss the concerns of women today.

    I am sorry for your experience but neither it nor the details of this case allow one to extrapolate as you have. Claims like, ” the idea that the Army doesn’t take sexual assault allegations seriously is sadly laughable,” or the implication that people worried about sexual assault in the military are simply “outrage monkeys” need a lot more backing than your personal injuries.

  71. 71
    D58826 says:

    Thanks for the excellent post. I understand the details a lot better now. Given the lack of credibility of the witness it seems to me that justice was served on the sexual abuse charges. WE still live by the rule of reasonable doubt and better to free 100 guilty than wrongly convict one innocent.
    The military (as well as society at large) may have a problem with how to deal with these types of accusations but creating a scapegoat just for appearances is not the way to handle it.
    I still have a problem with the misuse of the government credit card however, as small a point as that may be. I realize he paid the money back and he wasn’t cashiered because of the impact on his innocent family. However if I misused my employer issued credit card I would be out the door so fast it would leave a smoke trail. The bank (and the prosecutors)would not give two hoots about my innocent family losing health and retirement benefits. They would say I should have thought of that before I stole the money.

  72. 72
    Neutron Flux says:

    Lies, lies, and more lies — exactly what we’d execpt from the grade-A sociopath and accused rapist soonergrunt. I’ve never been accused on rape. You know why? Because I’m NOT A FUCKING SOCIOPATH

    No, you are. Clearly A FUCKING SOCIOPATH.

  73. 73
    D58826 says:

    @debbie: @mclaren: My wife was raped in 1968. No charges were filed because those were the days of ‘she must have done something to deserve it’. Hopefully we have made a bit of progress since then, even though from your comments it sounds like some of us have made less progress than others. Maybe you would prefer that we just adopt the biblical punishment – stone the woman since obviously she is an adulteress.

  74. 74
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    If I’m ever going to be dismissed from my job for malfeasance, I can simply say “Think of my wife and children!” How clever.

  75. 75
    Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader says:

    Also, Mr. Sinclair, should he be so fortunate to live to 86 years of age, will suck down over two million dollars of taxpayer money. That should enable him to continue having the wild and violent sexual lifestyle to which he has become accustomed.

  76. 76
    coin operated says:

    BG Sinclair got off easy. His leadership was compromised and his subordinates were OPENLY MOCKING his behavior. I’ve watched E-5s get busted to E-1 and sent packing for fraternization that was far less serious than what this asshat was obviously guilty of. The meaning of fraternization, and the resulting penalties, was made crystal-fucking-clear on a regular basis in the early 90’s…even more so if you made rank and had soldiers under your care. I’ve no doubt that Sinclair knew what could happen if he got caught.

    I wouldn’t be able to just shrug this one off.

  77. 77
    J R in WV says:


    Yes, you will be questioned about your background and beliefs regarding the crimes you would be asked to sit in judgement of. Voir Dire is what it’s called, and sometimes it happens in open court and sometimes in private in Judge’s chambers – private meaning with the defence and prosecution lawyers and the judge asking questions.

    Jury duty is often difficult, sometimes one learns additional things after the case is closed which colors how you feel about the verdict. After sitting on several petit juries (2 murder trials, a couple of civil trials) a single day spent on the Grand Jury hit me harder than any other.

    We heard so many cases in that one day, with the prosecutor and investigating officers describing a crime and showing us physical evidence. There were a number of child sexual abuse cases, including one case of child porn which was especially horrible.

    I was dazed after that day of work. We probably heard 18 or 20 cases in 7 hours. Because Grand Jury works on a majority rule (12 out of 17 IIRC here in WV) I didn’t vote on every case. Most cases obviously deserved to go to trial, which is all the Grand Jury does.

    Jury duty is hard, and one of the more important responsibilities we have. I have no respect for anyone who would attempt to distort facts in order to avoid it. I sat on one jury where another juror worked a full night shift underground in the coal mine, and then cleaned up to come to the court house for 2 weeks.

    I admired his sense of responsibility.

  78. 78
    Tim I says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Adultery is extremely contrary to maintaining :good order and discipline. This case involved this asshole General sleeping with other military officers. That is not a good way to run an army. It would be potentially even more disruptive if the General were sleeping with the wives of his subordinates or superiors.

    In civilian life, adultery is not illegal, but anyone who works in a large organization knows that it can be grounds for immediate dismissal which is quite similar to the penalties imposed by the military.

  79. 79
    Stan of the Sawgrass says:

    Sooner, can’t thank you enough for this. I read this through once, and I’m going to go back and give it a long, slow read. I admit I’d kind of accepted the CW on this, ie, that The Bastard Skipped Off With a Wrist Slap and a Wink, but clearly there’s a lot more to look at here, and I’d never have looked into it this deeply on my own. Putting your own troubles out front was brave and necessary,
    hope you’re getting over it.
    Again, thanks. I’m going to get a cup of coffee and go back to the beginning– the thread, too.

  80. 80
    Biff Longbotham says:

    @Han: Huh? No comprendo your refutation. Accused of being raped by an economy? As Wayne C. Booth might have said, let’s tighten up our rhetoric.

  81. 81
    windi says:

    dear mr soonergrunt, i am so sorry that this happened to you. there are not many things worse than being falsely accused. as a survivor of military sexual trauma (mst), please know that your emotional struggles are very similar to my own, except maybe that i haven’t been able to hold down a job in over 27 years and counting.

    when i was assaulted in 1986, reporting wasn’t even an option. no one was going to believe a person like me. sadly, every quantitative study that i have ever seen shows that rapes are under reported, under prosecuted and often perpetrated by the same small group or repeat offenders.

    good luck. the va often does a good job helping cis white males so you can probably find some good help (if you are a cis white male, that is) . please get the help you need. you are worth it.

  82. 82
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I share your concern about adultery as as a crime, per se, but after this guy was told to knock it off, he failed to do so.

    That having been said, it’s in the UCMJ, as is “missing transportation”.

    However, disobeying your commander’s orders, when they’re clearly not illegal (like say ordering an execution of a prisoner) is a crime I can’t forgive, ever, especially from a fucking GENERAL OFFICER.

  83. 83
    Han says:

    @Biff Longbotham: I don’t see what’s so difficult for you to comprehend. Maybe you should just try harder.

    Fred Fnord indicated that SG shouldn’t write about rape cases, having been accused previously, and clearly spelled out how it could be said to negatively influence SG’s writing. You were the one who turned “shouldn’t” into “can’t”, and somehow thought it equivalent to telling Krugman not to write about the economy. I merely pointed out Krugman doesn’t have quite the same negative experience with the economy as SG does with rape and rape allegations.

    Perhaps you should tighten up your rhetoric.

  84. 84
    Paul in KY says:

    Fox News would/will hire him.

  85. 85
    cyntax says:

    Sorry for your awful experience with being falsely accused, and good job writing this up for us, very comprehensive. Have to object to your citing of the Time article without giving equal space to some data that argues against the concept of rape culture being hysteria.

    Try looking at the site Yes Means Yes. One of the things to consider is that the FBI estimates that 2-8% of reported rapes are false but that for rapes reported against specific men, the number is even smaller. I’m very sorry that you happened to be one of the vanishingly small number of men falsely accused, but that doesn’t mitigate our society’s default behavior of blaming the victim.

  86. 86
    vitaminC says:


    Facts don’t stand a chance against the “bitches lie!” mindset, but I’ll give it a go: Among many other logical fallacies, rape apologists tend to conflate “couldn’t secure a conviction” with “FALSE ACCUSATION!!1!”. They are not the same.

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