August 12, 2005, - 3:41 pm

Too Tough: Double Standard in Firing Male Army General

By Debbie Schlussel
Is there really equality for women in the military? The firing, this week, of four-star Army General Kevin Byrnes, shows that the equality may only be present in the benefits. It certainly isn’t there in the punishment.
Byrnes served 36 years in the Army and was three months from retirement when he was suddenly fired. The cause was a sexual relationship he had with a woman who was not his wife. Adultery regulations prohibit such a relationship, but Byrnes was legally separated from his wife and was going through a divorce. Experts say firing for this for a four-star general is rare and that early retirement or a letter of reprimand was more appropriate.
Clearly, Byrnes is a victim of media and feminist pressure to make examples out of military men–in a torrent of whining–including on “Oprah“–about the sex scandals and alleged sexual assaults at the U.S. Air Force Academy (many of which have turned out to be consensual “he said, she said” encounters).
Compare Byrnes’ treatment with that of Lt. Kelly Flynn (has also been spelled “Flinn” in a number of news stories), a much bally-hooed female Air Force pilot who had a similar relationship with a married man (who was NOT separated or divorcing). Flynn was allowed the luxury of being warned first–an order from her commanding officer to stop dating the man. She chose to disobey. As a military JAG friend of mine said, “Do we really want a B-52 pilot who may be carrying nukes unable to obey orders!?”
But the female Flynn did not get the Byrnes treatment. The Air Force dropped the case against her and allowed her to leave the service.
The double standard is even more noxious when considering that Flynn was having an affair with the husband of an Air Force enlistee, a double no-no. Byrnes’ girlfriend had no connection to the military.
That’s important because, according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, adultery, in order for it to be an offense, must not only be adultery, but the act must be either service discrediting or conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline. A sexual affair with the spouse of an enlistee would certainly be prejudicial to good order and discipline. But how did Byrnes’ relationship discredit the service (it wasn’t public) or prejudice good order and discipline? The Army didn’t establish that.
After 36 years of loyally serving his country, General Byrnes deserved better. The Army’s punishment was out of line.
And Oprah is nowhere to be found to save his career.

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6 Responses

Debbie:
The Air Force academy is a disgrace. These young people are tomorrow’s military leaders.
Cadets are trained in combat techniques – any woman destined to be an officer should be able to defend herself against unwanted sexual advances, seveam, or react with a carefully placed foot, knee, or foot.
And truth is treated unequally – woman’s truth is accepted as more imortant than man’s.
And what about General Karpinski from Abu Grahib fame – does any sane person believe that a man with a similar track record would remain in charge as long as she did?

Frank on August 12, 2005 at 5:35 pm

Not sure what the Air Force Academy has to do with this, but anyways, does the general have any recourse? Can they really throw away 36 years of honorable service and leave him without his retirement?
If the UCMJ was followed to the letter, there wouldn’t be anybody left to serve in Iraq.

MichaelRoland on August 12, 2005 at 5:46 pm

Round The Reader

In The News:
9/11 Tapes Released
This next entry really isn’t in the news but it is about a news person. I found this old interview, on American Catholic’s website, with Linda Vester, my all time most favorite news woman.
The White House…

anamericanhousewife.com on August 13, 2005 at 9:37 am

I know I am missing the point when I say that I am glad someone else out there doesn’t care that much for Oprah.

An American Housewife on August 13, 2005 at 1:44 pm

I wonder how much longer the world is going to have to suffer the PC drivel of this (Orca) bleeding heart. Her show mainly consists of the studio camera panning around and zooming in on women who nod in agreement.

Rich B on August 15, 2005 at 12:27 am

Unfortunately for as long as Doprah wants. I despise and detest her immensely and just don’t “get it”, but most women I know worship the ground she walks on. They have this glazed, mesmerized look watching her trash show. I guess it makes the chick flick type gals feel good for supporting a black woman (double bonus!), offers the celeb, glamorous lifestyle illusion those chicks love, along with the new agey I’m OK You’re OK spiel. That Stepford Audience is downright bizarre.
As long as there are truly strong, smart, sexy women like Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin, and many others, most especially Ms. Schlussel, it’s bearable.

The_Man on August 15, 2005 at 1:11 am

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