Top US general in Africa may escape being court-martialed

The former top U.S. general in Africa won’t face court martial over accusations he misused hundreds of thousands of dollars, former military lawyers predict.

A report by the Defense Department’s inspector general says Gen. William “Kip” Ward committed a variety of non-criminal offenses as the first head of Africa Command…

Among the offenses, the inspector general said Ward was reimbursed for personal travel, spent $18,500 on gifts at his change-of-command ceremony and accepted free meals and tickets from a prohibited source.

While Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is due to decide in the next few weeks whether to charge Ward, former military attorneys said court-martialing a senior officer is a difficult task.

Military rules require that jurors deciding any court-martial be of equal or greater rank than the defendant. In Ward’s case, it’s not certain that his alleged wrongdoings reach the level appropriate for a court-martial. However, he could be tried for failing to obey an order or regulation.

It’s more likely, the attorneys say, that Ward will face a battery of non-judicial administrative punishments…He could be reprimanded and fined, and forced to retire at a lower rank, which would slash his monthly benefits.

Rank still has its privileges. Including how to escape from a jury because of scarce peers.

One thought on “Top US general in Africa may escape being court-martialed

  1. Kent McMillen says:

    Having a double standard for military officers opens the US military to ridicule and loss of respect in the world! AlQueda will use any refusal to prosecute an officer to davance their propaganda throughout the world. This will damage our position with unaligned nations, to our detriment!

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