– Secrecy Lifts on General Charged With Sex Abuse (Wired, Nov 5, 2012):
Here’s what the deputy commander of the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division allegedly said when subordinates objected to his crass attitude toward women: “I’m a general, I’ll do whatever the [expletive] I want.”
That and other details emerged from the beginning of Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair’s court-martial, which kicked off Monday morning at Fort Bragg, for offenses including “forcible sodomy.” The hearing represented a first glimpse into a case that the Pentagon and the Army have gone to surprising lengths to keep quiet — lengths they haven’t gone to in other high-profile cases, including the one against a sergeant charged with much more serious crimes who also begins his court-martial on Monday.
Even if Sinclair gets convicted, the process might inadvertently vindicate his alleged view that generals get special treatment. “This doesn’t just smell bad,” a former Air Force lawyer, Col. Morris Davis, tells Danger Room, “it reeks.”
The first wave of details about Sinclair’s case began to emerge on Monday. Little has been revealed about Sinclair’s case besides the list of charges against him, including “wrongful sexual conduct,” forced sodomy, misusing official funds and more. But at the military version of a grand jury hearing on Monday morning, the Army disclosed that Sinclair’s alleged misconduct involved five women, four of them subordinate Army officers, in locations as varied as Fort Bragg and Afghanistan. The Fayetteville Observer reported from the hearing that Sinclair’s “encounters” with the women occurred “in a parking lot, in his office in Afghanistan with the door open, on an exposed balcony at a hotel and on a plane, where he allegedly groped a woman.” At least one of these encounters, the military contends, was forced.