US Generals Secrets: An Open Book

By: Lázaro Fariñas

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2012-11-21 | 13:15:26 EST
My friend, Cuban journalist Luis Báez, published some time ago a book entitled Secretos de generales (Generals’ Secrets) where a group of Cuban generals speak of their personal stories. I have stolen a part of his title to name my commentary for today.

In the United States, scandals are like a contagious disease. Anytime a scandal arises in a certain sector of society, a chain of similar events explodes within the same sector.

There was a time where the Christian fundamentalist preachers faced many scandals. When one of the television evangelists was caught having sexual intercourse with a prostitute, it was like an epidemic, for lots of cases in the same vein were unveiled. The same has happened with Catholic priests and their paedophilia crimes.

Something similar has happened with the shootings at schools. When a crazy boy gets a gun and begins to kill students with no mercy at a school diner, then many other crazy copycats show up.

Once, some years ago, there was a bomb explosion at a clinic where abortions are performed on pregnant women. Sometime later, similar clinics were attacked and doctors who performed abortions were also murdered.

For some time now, US generals have been the leading figures of these scandalous epidemics. Even though the military world in the United States is almost an alternative, different to the rest of the society, it is not made of aliens; they are all human. Generals have the same problems as the rest of the population. However, in the military world they have different behaviour codes, and even, they abide by different rules than the rest of the society.

In the last weeks, some US army generals have been involved in problems which have caused them to be reprimanded or investigated by civilian authorities. Is it a plague? A chance? Nobody knows, but first of all let’s review what is going on within the scenario of the generals of the US military.

Four-star General William Ward has just been removed from his position by the Secretary of Defence for having been found guilty of corruption charges. Ward was stripped of one star and retired. By the way, this stripped star will cost him $30,000 less per year from his retirement plan. Besides, he has to pay $82, 000 back to the State.

CIA director, four-star general David Petraeus was obliged to resign because the FBI found out that the general was also a Don Juan. He had had an affair with the lady who was writing his biography.

Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair had kept his secret very well until it came to light, and now he is facing several charges for inappropriate sexual behaviour, where he is being accused of forced sodomy with five women.

General Stanley McChrystal, together with his advisers, openly criticized President Obama, that’s why he was called to Washington and forced to resign.

General David McKiernan was also obliged to resign a year before the end of his term, after publicly speaking badly of Washington authorities while drinking French wine in Europe.

General John Allen, top commander of the US troops in Afghanistan, is now being investigated for keeping an inappropriate relationship with a woman in Tampa, Florida. Allen was about to be appointed commander of the NATO troops in Europe, but right now no one knows whether he will be able to rule his family in the United States.

And so on, and so forth. There is no enough space to describe the very many cases of adultery, corruption and abuse of authority that have taken place in the US military scenario. These are well-kept secrets but, sometimes, no one can prevent them from coming to light.

Within that alternative universe the military live in, in the US, adultery is not allowed. However, it is no secret that General Dwight D. Eisenhower kept an extramarital relationship without major consequences. It is like that saying which goes: Do as I say, not as I do.

These are the secrets of generals, not about historical moments of their lives, as in Luis Baez’s book on Cuban generals, but about their dark episodes.

*Cuban journalist settled in Miami.

Translated by ESTI

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