Miligate: Geishas, Courtesans And Groupies – OpEd


Congress, particularly that uppity Senate club of multi-millionaires, seems always ready to remind us – the hoi polloi citizenry – that it is much more than the legislative, law-making branch of government. At some historic point, or perhaps at a series of evolving points, this august body became self-appointed guardian of both America’s national security and American morals.

If only the nation’s Founding Fathers could see us now! A Supreme Court totally gone wild, de facto legislating and imposing its will; a Congress, lair of lazy career politicians and self-serving scoundrels; and an Executive, wearing reversible togas colored blue and red, running the nation as an empire, and using the country’s military as police force for multi-national predatory capitalism… subsidized by taxpayers from America’s lower and middle classes. [Yes, the lower classes, contrary to how Romney and the Thug-elite view them, do pay taxes (indirectly) when their labor is not properly compensated.]

It is now beginning to look as if the nation’s economic problems, the “fiscal cliff” that Congress imposed earlier in the year in lieu of compromise –a powder keg set to explode by year’ end – might have to share in importance with an investigation of extracurricular behavior exhibited by top military brass. It could potentially become a new tantalizing distraction being brought to the American coliseum by an irresponsible Congress and an equally irresponsible corporate media.

Are we at the embryo stage of a major military scandal… a Miligate?

Many of us would interpret the word “miligate” as a misspelling of mitigate; that is, unless we capitalize the M and use it in the context of recent behavior exhibited by top military brass, flag officers commanding our empire’s legions: two field marshals of expeditionary campaigns… for now. Perhaps we should be asking the question, are some members of Congress in a salacious or sexually aroused mood to bring about Miligate?

The US military has almost a thousand flag officers (950 +/-), wearing from one to four stars, commanding the activities of a million and a half souls, nearly 80 percent 35 years of age or younger… at times referred to as warriors, other times as heroes. Of course, those terms are for home (US) consumption, while the epithets assigned to them in foreign lands tend to be at the opposite end of the flattery spectrum.

Now two elite 4-star officers, David Petraeus and John Allen are under the gun – Petraeus, the military genius [by Washington accounts] who took on directorship of the CIA a year ago – and from which he has recently resigned; and his replacement at the helm of the Afghanistan black hole, and recently nominated to assume command of NATO – nomination now on-hold, the marine “monk,” John Allen.

Petraeus and Allen are two Samson-characters who availed their modern day Delilah(s) with a razor-sharp lack of common sense. Gen. Allen, from all current accounts, is likely to withstand the tempest, only his judgment perhaps scathed, and a back down on his nomination to the NATO command. For Petraeus, it will be a horse of a different color, tarnishing past accomplishments and a sterling reputation.

Intellectual generals such as David Petraeus are hard to come by, but as successful as he was in Princeton defending his dissertation [The American Military and the Lessons of Vietnam: A Study of Military Influence and the Use of Force in the Post-Vietnam Era] his poor judgment will always precede and preamble any glory he might have otherwise earned. No, not his poor judgment in the affaire with Paula Broadwell, assuming that national security was never at risk, but his incredibly poor judgment in writing a recommendation – to a judge – for Natalie Khawam, Jill Kelley’s twin sister; someone he hardly knew on a child custody matter of which he knew little or nothing.

Paula Broadwell, Jill Kelley and Natalie Khawan are neither geishas, nor courtesans… perhaps more of a groupie-variety around the military, with aspirations and personal needs – you may include morals – that are none of our business; nor Congress’ business once the investigation confirms that national security was not at risk. Whatever the nature or level of investigation, such investigations, while in progress, should not be the public’s salacious concern fed by a self-serving media.

Let’s all be concerned with pressuring the politicians to defuse the “fiscal cliff,” and wait until appropriate investigations are concluded to determine whether there is a Miligate.

Ben Tanosborn

Ben Tanosborn is a syndicated columnist. Over a decade ago he started writing a weekly sociopolitical column, 'Behind the Mirror,' hoping to bring new perspectives that would allow us to see ourselves with borrowed eyes. He can be reached at [email protected]

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