The Prudes Win Again
Air Force Cashiers Top General for Suggestive Emails

The epidemic of micromanagement of the love lives of top American military officers has spiraled into madness. The Washington Post:

The Air Force has fired one of its most senior generals after an investigation into whether he had an affair with a married female officer found that they had exchanged emails that were “sexually suggestive.”

Lt. Gen. John Hesterman was removed from his position as Air Force assistant vice chief of staff, service spokeswoman Anne Stefenek said Thursday. Hesterman previously served as the commander of Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT), leading the early days of the U.S. air war against the Islamic State militant group while deployed at Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar from July 2013 to last June.

If the British had been as cretinous and moralistic as the DC sex police these days, Napoleon would have conquered Europe. Nelson would have been beached long before Trafalgar, thanks to his notorious relationship with Emma Hamilton. The Duke of Wellington would never have made it to Waterloo, as his marital life was anything but irreproachable. There were even security issues: at least two of his lovers had also been intimate with Napoleon. But as the tricolor rose above parliament and Napoleon slept in Buckingham Palace, the British would have had the inestimable consolation of knowing that hypocritical priggishness had had its day.

If the fools making U.S. military policy today had been in charge through history, they would have fired General Grant for drink, dumped Eisenhower for even the appearance of impropriety and tried to impeach FDR. JFK would have been dragged out of the Situation Room during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

As the dangers confronting the United States grow, as enemy nations build up their forces and probe us for weakness, as the Pax American creaks, genocidal wars spread and the most dangerous arms race in world history accelerates across Asia… we seem to be dedicating ourselves to eliminating the scourge of adultery from our military command.

This is the worst kind of folly, especially in an age in which no one in the United States thinks that the Washington policy elite is a den of propriety, where chaste and monogamous couples spend the long winter nights playing Canasta with each other by the fireside. In a perfect world, officers wouldn’t cheat on their spouses. But in a perfect world we wouldn’t need armies and air forces, because there would be no war.

The very existence of armed forces is a sad testimony to the imperfectibility of human character. To insist that only those as pure as Galahad and Percival can wear the uniform of the United States is suicidal folly. This kind of petty over-moralism produces hypocrisy rather than virtue, corrodes the respect of those in uniforms for the wisdom and judgment of civilian officials, and ultimately endangers the nation by sidelining the unruly and sometimes deplorable character traits that often go with genius.

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