May 5th, 2005

deserve life

Grave digging

I got some more use out of a gift from firedrake_mor yesterday.

It's a shovel he gave us to celebrate Maggie Rose's birth. The joke was she's so cute I'd need to warn every teenage boy in the region "I have a gun and a shovel." But now I had to dig a real, if small, grave. Our cat Pouncequick died yesterday. Her brother Pixel had died in December. His grave has flowers on it. They've already passed their first bloom and are looking a little droopy. Pouncequick's grave went on the south side of his. By the time I got home and had a bite to eat the rain had stopped, so I got to do the work without excessive Young Frankenstein references. Her personality didn't really suit flowers, so the plan for her grave is to put knotwork garden tile on it. I gave her a few words as I laid her down. She was always crotchety, hopefully she'll be happier in the next place. Or at least I hope she'll find plenty of things to complain about if that's what she wants.

I guess this makes the shovel even better for the original purpose--I can say it's already dug two graves.

Cleaning Up a Mess

Leashgirl's court martial has been making headlines, but the Army has been dealing with those actually responsible for what happened at Abu Ghraib. Here's the scoreboard:

Demoted: One general, from BG to colonel.
This is a tremendous punishment in the military--it required personal approval from the president.

Discharged: One captain, one 2nd lieutenant.
Since this is "other-than-honorable" they're not just losing their jobs but also picking up conviction that will seriously restrict future employment. Oh, if they were active duty they may be losing their house as well as their job.

Awaiting Court Martial: Three captains, two 1st lieutenants, two chief warrant officers.
These are guys either unwilling to plea bargain or about to receive punishment worse than they could get in one. Probably the latter.

Article 15: One colonel, two lt. colonels, one major, one captain, one 1st lieutenant.
This is the "plea bargain." You accept punishment rather than go to a court martial.

Letter of reprimand: Two lt. colonels, two majors, five captains, one 1st lieutenant, one 2nd lieutenant.
This is probation, effectively. No direct impact, but it probably trashes their chances of getting promoted again. So for any of them active duty they'll probably be on the street in a few years.

The court martials may be handing out prison time to the worst. The rest seems reasonable for severe negligence. It's certainly going to make it clear to the rest of the officer corps that they will be responsible for what the troops do on their watch.
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