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Golden boys

May 7, 2013 - Harry Eagar
When it comes to sex, the Air Force is descending rapidly into territory that had been owned by the Catholic Church.

Today in Washington was a twofer, first, the newly appointed commander of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response command was arrested:

"A police report says that the 41-year-old Krusinski was drunk and grabbed a woman’s breast and buttocks. Police say the woman fought him off and called police."

Hours later, another three-star general was revealed to have arbitrarily overturned the conviction by court martial of another fighter jock/rapist.

RtO will forbear to restate the obvious on this one, as no doubt you've already seen it several places and thought of it yourself. It's that obvious. However, there is something else obvious about these cases, and so far as I get around, I have not seen it stated, so let's go on with it.

The reason lieutenant generals won't uphold a conviction of the pilot of a hot fighter plane is that the USG cannot afford to replace experienced fighter pilots. Although you will never hear Lindsey Graham of the Judge Advocate General corps (reserve) say so, a veteran fighter pilot is about as expensive for the taxpayers as Solyndra.

It costs at least tens of millions and probably hundreds of millions of dollars to produce a fighter pilot with, say, 2,000 hours flight time in hot jets. Those hours don't come cheap. If the military started washing out pilots just for being drunken rapists, the Fed couldn't print bonds fast enough to pay for replacements, not to mention that it takes some years to replace a lieutenant colonel, even if he was a straight arrow.

You would think this would be obvious, but apparently not. Perhaps it wouldn't have been obvious to me had I not subscribed to I.F. Stone's Bi-Weekly back in the late '60s.

For those youngsters who never heard of him, Stone was a widely admired commie reporter (and also a capitalist small businessman, publisher of I.F. Stone's Bi-Weekly out of his Washington apartment).

He was admired not for his communism -- despite what you've heard, the average American newspaper reporter is and always has been anticommunist -- but for what he discovered.

Stone went deaf. Although newspaper publishers believed that reporters could get all the calories they would ever need from the free lunch counter of the saloon that lay just outside the newsroom door in every city and town, reporters have to eat regular.

When deafness foreclosed Stone's career as an interviewer, in desperation he began reading government reports. He learned, as he used to later teach us cubs, that the government does not have any secrets. It publishes everything it knows, somewhere. You just have to find it.

Stone was soon exploding bombshell after bombshell under the government, and although he could be and was ignored by the people who owned the big presses, he couldn't be contradicted. He was, after all, just quoting official sources.

Stone was perhaps the only American reporter who understood the Vietnamese. In particular, there was a time in 1968-69 when those paladins of morality, the Nixonians, were denouncing the Viet commies as moral lepers for refusing to an exchange, even up, man for man, of prisoners of war.

Few if any newspaper editorialists of the time thought that was anything less than fairplay and humanity. In the Bi-Weekly, Stone, ever market-oriented, revealed the truth of the matter.

The US was paying $600,000 to train a combat pilot (here Stone way underestimated the ability of the Air Force and Navy to spend money), while a Vietnamese infantryman cost approximately nothing. Being poor, the Vietnamese wanted to bleed the US Treasury dry, so that we would give up, which they did and we did.

The sums are different today but the calculus is the same.

This also explains why the Navy was unwilling to do anything real about the Tailhook scandals.


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