Army: Voices carry, so it's not rape

Today's look at war from the cheap seats

I used to dig this song, and I still do, but I'm pretty sure 90s me missed the fuck out of what was really going on in this song. Never saw the video until today. And so now this is a little darker than I'd planned for a Thursday.

I try so hard not to get upset
Because I know all the trouble I'll get
Oh, he tells me tears are something to hide
And something to fear-eh-eh
And I try so hard to keep it inside
So no one can hear

THIS IS NOT THE MIXTAPE I REMEMBER.

We'll get to why that's relevant, because today we're talking about decisions: good, bad, and questionable as fuck. Mostly that last bit, because the Navy wasn't a united front when it came to figuring out what to do with Greitens after that whole...incident?

Not sure that we have a word for what kind of monster this man is.

And the Navy couldn't make up their mind what to do with him.

Richardson, writing May 26 in an email to other admirals, said the “recent events involving the transition of Mr. Greitens” have “excited a persistent frustration of mine that I want to address more comprehensively.” The Navy’s policies and practices for addressing personal misconduct are “too cumbersome and slow,” creating situations where officials end up retaining people “we’d rather see dismissed from our ranks.”

In case you’re not 100% sure that the ex-gov was a showboating douchecanoe, here he is rappelling into a rodeo arena because SEALs.

Easy enough, Navy: take a page from the Army's playbook, and just decide that rape isn't rape because the victim didn't make enough noise.

Fuck I wish I was making that up.

Because that’s the crux of the argument behind the decision of an Army appeal court to overturn the 2017 rape conviction of a West Point cadet.

Further, the appellate judges concluded that because of the noisiness of the survivor’s bedding set-up, with their squad mates sleeping nearby, “it is hard to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that appellant could complete the charged offenses without cooperation or detection.”

The judges went on to write that they thought it was unlikely that the survivor wouldn’t gasp or cry out when she woke up next to Whisenhunt, which would have alerted others to an assault.

“This is particularly true when there is no evidence that appellant threatened [the victim] or took any steps, such as covering her mouth, to prevent an outcry,” they wrote.

And, they added, they did not believe that Whisenhunt would have brazenly assaulted her, knowing that she could easily identify him in a rape report, or that he would have left his semen behind on her bedding, if he had committed a crime.

Fuck.

That.

The Army (and the military in general) has a rape problem.

Rulings like this push whatever progress has been made in the reporting of sexual assault back. And fuck me if that panel wasn’t all dudes. No, I don’t know, but…I’m guessing it was.

And he’s free to go back to school if he wants to, so hooray #MeToo.

But instead of trying to figure out if Rape-y McExtortion is a good enough guy to wear a uniform, the Navy would rather worry about whether the LSOs are making the nuggets buy their booze.

For decades, landing signal officers have stood on air strips and flattop decks, assessing student pilots coming in for landings, grading how those freshly winged aviators handle carrier qualifications, a penultimate step in a Navy fighter pilot’s schooling.

But many of those officers, known as LSOs, had been making so-called “bottle bets” with their charges.

And according to documents obtained by Navy Times, the long-time practice was both widespread in that tiny world of trainers and almost completely unknown to outsiders.

The reason the Navy’s putting a stop to this?

A whistleblower.

Because some pilot thought it wasn’t fair that they had to give the LSO all the alcohols if they missed certain qualifying marks on landing, now no one gets to have any fun.

And that’s what this is, is the death of fun.

It’s not some “boys-will-be-boys” locker room bullshit at the expense of someone else.

It’s part of the process of making the terrifying task of landing an airplane on a moving surface on the issue more interesting for everyone.

Apparently stitches do not get stitches in the Navy.

And in case you thought the Navy never did crazy shit, I bring you C-130 landings and takeoffs from the USS Forrestal circa the 1960s. Because this is what happens when the LSO goes, “You know what would be cool?”

But sometimes old ideas need to give way to new ones, even if the new ones are pretty terrible. Having never used Tinder, I’m pretty sure those of you that do would be less than enthused if your national security service knew who you were swiping right.

Good thing you’re not Russian, huh?

Russia is requiring dating app Tinder to hand over data on its users — including messages — to the national intelligence agencies, part of the country's widening crackdown on internet freedoms.

No word on why the FSB wants that info. Maybe they just really like dick pics?

But then we have old ideas that sucked and people are repackaging for the Philippines.

To fight extremism.

The survey showed that while some people may back local jihadists, there was significantly lower support for foreign militant groups such as the Islamic State group and the al-Qaida militant network. Religious intolerance, dire economic conditions and exposure to violence spark extremism more than religion, Natali cited the survey as showing.

"It's not about religion; it is about living conditions. There is an economic component to this," Natali told reporters.

The survey also showed that there was strong public support for the government's effort to combat extremism, she said.

That doesn’t sound familiar at all.

Glad that the studio heads aren’t the only ones fresh out of new ideas

COIN is dead.

Long live COIN.

Which even though it didn’t work…at all…in Afghanistan, looks like some of the Taliban’s commanders in the country are less than enthused about continuing to fight their fellow Afghans. Which brings us to the decisions made by one Zabet Khan, whose Taliban name was Commander Zarqawi.

Here’s a guy who was going to school in Nangarhar, and picked up arms against American troops in 2008 because that’s kind of what you did in Nangarhar at the time.

But when the Americans left in 2014, he was less enthusiastic about continuing to fight Afghan troops. Which he had a propensity to let go more often than not. And then he gave it up entirely, heading to Greece to find work.

Since he had no legal status there, and homesick, he came back to Afghanistan, where his Taliban bosses wanted him to pick up where he left off. Which he did, grudgingly.

Until 2018, when during the cease fire that year, he got himself a little internet famous.

“This is one of the best memories of my life,” he said in an Afghan television interview that spread far and wide on social media. “The government people treated us well. At every check post, they congratulated us on Eid, and we would congratulate them back.”

And then he fucked up. He went for…ice cream.

For the first time in nine years, he said, he had visited a famous spot near Jalalabad where families came for hand-churned ice cream.

“It was 1 a.m. when we returned from ice cream and we roamed Jalalabad city,” the young commander said. “I still haven’t slept from happiness.”

The Taliban had been clear to their minions: stay in the hills during the ceasefire, worried that their troops would get a taste of the city life and change their minds about the case. So a few weeks later, Commander Zarqawi was killed by a package bomb left in a grocery store.

Damn.

Over fucking ice cream.


Like this? I mean, enough to pay for it?

Then make it rain.

Or mist?

For $5/month or $50/year, you can help me keep the lights on.

First month’s free.