Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Duck and Cover

Here’s a hypothetical for you to consider.

A successful U.S Army Recruiter has been sexually harassing some of his 17- and 18-year-old prospective recruits. Someone discovers this and reports it to his Battalion Commander, a fairly senior officer. The Battalion Commander looks at the statistics and decides that without this Recruiter, his Battalion is going to come up short on their recruits for the year. He doesn’t report it, he doesn’t initiate an investigation, he doesn’t move the Soldier to a less-sensitive position. Instead, he covers the whole thing up and looks forward to making his annual goal.

Several months later, the papers get hold of the story. Certainly, the Recruiter is going to get slam-dunked – probably court-martialed. But what’s going to happen to the Battalion Commander? A brief “watercooler survey” of some Soldier friends of mine suggest that even if the media wasn’t involved, the officer would be transferred to a staff position and probably never again promoted. With the public watching, he’d more likely be relieved of his command (that’s a career-ending move, for those of you not in uniform), and possibly court-martialed alongside the Recruiter he protected.

Now, let’s replace some of the people involved. For the Recruiter, former Representative Foley. For the Battalion Commander, Speaker of the House Hasturt. And for the recruits, let’s substitute 15- and 16-year-old Pages.

So what should happen to The Honorable Mr. Hasturt?

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