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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday Morning Outrage

Some of you may recall the series of articles in the Baltimore City Paper that described the unsavory behavior of recruiters for the Maryland National Guard. Well, that wasn't the end of it:

The Maryland National Guard's top general has stripped his senior Army recruiter of his command and disciplined 13 additional soldiers after an internal investigation found members of the recruiting battalion misappropriated $40,000 in training funds and, in at least two cases, signed up soldiers who were ineligible to serve.

Officials said yesterday that the accusations of impropriety in recruiting efforts were first raised in December. The Guard launched an internal investigation immediately but found little to substantiate the initial allegations involving the mistreatment of new recruits, according to Guard spokesman 1st Lt. Wayde Minami.

But as more accusations poured in, including fraternization between officers and enlisted personnel, the Guard quickly launched a second investigation. The lieutenant colonel in charge of that probe found merit in some of those claims and discovered additional wrongdoing independently.

If you want to know how unpopular the war in Iraq is, look no further. Most parents are not going to let their children be sent off to near-certain death, dismemberment, or PTSD when the cause is so doubtful and the leadership so incompetent. But with the Army and National Guard under heavy pressure to recruit more bodies, the pressure to hold on to people, even those with personal problems that would otherwise disqualify them, is intense. Of course, this results in people who don't belong in the Army fighting in perhaps the most volatile place on Earth. At least one atrocity can already be attributed to this situation, and I fear it may not be the last.

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