I have been watching the news reaction in regards to the General Sinclair sentencing and found the analysis as I expected to be flawed:
(CNN) – A former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan was ordered Thursday to pay thousands of dollars but avoided prison time in a case that put a spotlight on the military’s handling of sexual misconduct among troops.
Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair was told he’d get a reprimand, and he must forfeit $20,000 and pay restitution of $4,157 related to travel fraud charges, his lawyer, Richard Scheff, said.
Sinclair’s court-martial came at a time when many have accused the military of not doing enough to address sex crimes and harassment targeting women. [CNN]
You can read the rest at the link, but don’t bother because it is because it is just more of the same flawed analysis often seen in the media on this issue. The common theme I have seen today in the media is surprise he received no jail time for the adultery and inappropriate relationship charges. However what the media fails to tell people is that many of the crimes he was convicted would not be crimes in a civilian court. Adultery and having sex with subordinates in the civilian world can lead to the loss of your job or career which is what this sentencing did to Sinclair. How quickly we forget that a US President did the same thing Sinclair did and he did not go to jail and he even got to keep his job.
However with that all said I am surprised Sinclair did not get jail time. Usually in just adultery cases the person convicted does not go to jail. For example in USFK court martial results for December 2013 saw an E7 convicted of adultery and receiving no jail time. However for people that commit adultery combined with other crimes they do usually get jail time. For example in the May 2013 USFK court martial results the E6 involved in the pellet gun incident in Itaewon was court martial end for adultery, inappropriate relationship, and disobeying orders. He received 8 months in jail.
What I think Sinclair deserves jail time for are the government travel card charges. He spent thousands of dollars on the governments dime to go see his Captain mistress. How is this any different then all the soldiers who go to jail for BAH fraud? For example in the February 2011 USFK court martial results an E6 received 22 months in jail for BAH fraud.
I am sure the judge took into account Sinclair’s outstanding service history and lack of past crimes for sentencing, but I have to wonder if the over prosecution by the government and the biased and sensational media coverage also played into the sentencing? Maybe one of the JAGs who read this site can enlighten us with what they think of the sentencing.
Finally how long do people think it will be before the special interests blame the Army for covering up for Sinclair while not mentioning the lies told by the accuser to include lies on the stand? Additionally they will likely not mention the government’s over prosecution and command influence due to political pressure that caused the jury to be thrown out. However I expect special interests not to tell the whole truth, what bothers is when the media does not keep them honest and on this issue is even complicit with them.
By the way does anyone think the accuser will be charged with perjury?