Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sanchez was in charge

What a loser this retired general Sanchez is. Now he's complaining about Bush. He didn't complain back when he was in charge in Iraq and could have done something about it.

Sanchez is the poster boy for what's wrong with the US military. It's all about career to these clowns, nothing else. When Sanchez was in charge in Iraq he had 3 stars. He expected to get a 4th star out of the assignment and in order to ensure that he kept his head down and his mouth shut and just did what he was told, even though he knew it was wrong and knew it wouldn't work. He was willing to sacrifice his soldiers and his country to get that 4th star.

Then he got caught. Abu Ghraib came along. He was in charge, it was his watch, but the general that got thrown under the bus was a reservist one star general (and a woman). To a guy like Sanchez, a careerist, a female one star reservist doesn't even count as a real soldier. Throwing her under the bus was an easy one for him.

But he didn't get off completely free. As a result of the way he screwed up Abu Ghraib (the screw up wasn't the torture, it was getting caught) he never got that 4th star.

Now he's pissed. He thinks he played the good soldier but didn't get the reward he expected so he's pissed.

What he doesn't seem to understand is that he was the guy in charge. He screwed it up and should have been court-martialed, he got off easy.

Update:
Okay, after his last comment I realize who Major Bob is and understand why he's got such a bone to pick with me. He posted a lot on rec.gambling.poker for a couple of months back in 2003 as Harry Clyde. Back then he and I got in a few debates about Iraq on rec.gambling.poker, I never did think the invasion of Iraq was a good thing and was predicting a the likelihood of a really bad outcome back in 2003. He disagreed with me.

I also couldn't figure out his comments about variance until I realized who he was and looked up our history on variance. It's a pretty trivial history. Somebody had asked a simple question about calculation of variance of a simple binomial model. Harry Clyde gave him the general formula for the binomial variance, and I followed up with the general definition of variance for computational use in models with more than 2 possible outcomes. I hadn't realized tht I'd hurt his feelings when I did that.

I don't talk about statistics much in this blog. I do talk about it some at mathandpoker.com. I'd certainly be interested in seeing Major Bob's comments about variance and game theory on that blog.

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7 Comments:

Blogger Major Bob said...

10 years since I last read your rants and you've become no more lucid nor have you come to grips with your own ignorance; you're still commenting on things and situations you know nothing about. Yes, Sanchez was "in charge." There is a military maxim that a commander is "responsible" for everything his command does or fails to do, but there is a BIG difference between "responsibility" and "criminal culpability."

Suppose that last night three soldiers gang-raped a woman in a barracks on Ft. Hood. Is the commanding officer of Ft. Hood "responsible" for that malfeasance? Of course not! He wasn't there, didn't see it, didn't hear about it, could do nothing about it. Neither was the Brigade commander, Battalion commander and even the Company commander. Why, even the Charge of Quarters NCO (who heard and saw nothing) wasn't "responsible." It was the RAPISTS who are criminally responsible.

As with Abu Ghraib - a HUGE prison complex with thousands of inmates and hundreds of guards, only those officers and NCO's directly in charge could bear any criminal blame.

Ah, but then you leftists come up with your "climate" argument. Pure bull! If that hypothetical commander of Ft. Hood took measures to address every conceivable mischief under his command, or reacted to such, he would be needlessly micromanaging and creating havoc for the 99.99% of soldiers who serve honorably.

And that is EXACTLY the percentage of soldiers in Iraq who have served honorably. The sophomoric antics of the lunatics at Abu Ghraib are neither reflective of soldiers in general nor of their commanders. As Military Police, they received SPECIFIC briefings on the Law of War and should have known better.

Why are you focusing on the isolated Abu Ghraib incident in the face of hundreds of thousands of soldiers doing great and honorable work. Yes, indeed, you ARE a traitor and an enemy propagandist by playing the enemy's anthem of their moral superiority. Abu Ghraib was a horrible moment of shame, but it was hardly representative and hardly even “torture.” Have a veteran of the Hanoi Hilton explain to you what “torture” is!

Leave it to a liberal to stretch the veil of responsibility (and criminality) all the way to the White House if it serves your purposes.

Here's another military maxim: "Don't hold someone responsible for something they do not control."

Stick to poker where you have at least a passable knowledge. Your writings on game theory and variance still don't stray beyond chapter two in an elementary textbook, but at least you're trying.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

Here's another military maxim: "Don't hold someone responsible for something they do not control."

That's nonsense.

The lower your rank the less likely it is you'll get credit for good outcomes and the more likely you'll get blamed for bad outcomes.

The higher your rank the less likely you'll get blamed for bad outcomes and the more likely you'll get credit for good outcomes.

In neither case does the decision itself enter into it, it's about outcomes and status.

The military has always worked that way, and it has in pretty much every country with a large military.

Spouting off words in a classroom does not mean that's what actully happens.

What kind of training in the LAW of WAR does an E4 reservist get when they're guarding prisoners who according to the US government aren't protected by any law of any kind, including LAW of WAR. They were not POW's according to her command.

So exactly what training are you talking about? Where they given special briefings to be told that the Geneva Convention didn't apply?

Sanchez was more worried about getting a fourth star than he was about service to his troops or service to his country. He's a typical career shithead. Starts whining after he retires, not when he's in a position to actually do something. Because he was a coward, afraid of being punished for doing the right thing.

If those soldiers at Ft. Hood had been gang-raping someone in the barracks every Friday night for the last 3 months, then I think the CO of Ft. Hood needs to answer for why he didn't know about it.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Major Bob said...

Before you say another word, tell me: Have you ever served in the military? If so, in what branch and what MOS? Do you have any direct knowledge at all on the topic?

I was a LEGAL SPECIALIST in the Army for four years before I became an officer. Not only did I receive training on the Law of War (including the Geneva Convention), I TAUGHT these classes to soldiers from E-1 to O-6.

Yes, indeed, E-4's receive training on the Law of War - and ESPECIALLY Military Police who are primarily responsible for guarding prisoners.

The Articles of the Geneva Convention do NOT apply to unlawful combatants, but other international laws prohibit abuse as that which happened at Abu Ghraib. The soldier's actions also violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Terrorists are NOT Prisoners of War - they don't get 9 swiss francs a day, and they don't get Red Cross visits. They may be held INDEFINITELY, without charges, without trial, and without lawyers. That's the LAW. I didn't write the law. Bush didn't write the law. It doesn't matter what you or the ACLU think about the law. That's the way it IS.

When the infamous photos of Abu Ghraib hit the media, the US Army had ALREADY been investigating it as a criminal case for MONTHS.

What you say about credit and punishment in the military is, at best, urban legend supported only by anecdote. As a field grade officer in the US Army, I've seen situations that both mirror and contradict your assertion. Again, what is your experience? What is your evidence? I've seen a lot of medals go to junior enlisted and a lot of officers blamed for things they don't control.

I've met plenty of "career shitheads" and I agree with you that Sanchez was probably one of them. But this fact is totally unrelated to this situation. He did not know what was going on in this one prison block and could not have known. If he had known, he would have went ballistic on those in charge.

You do not understand military law. Sanchez was NOT the first General Court Martial convening authority in the chain and the cases needed to be REFERRED to him by lower authorities. Even if he personally knew of what happened, he could not take immediate legal action other than STOPPING it.

You keep alluding to a phony, baseless conspiracy theory of a "torture" environment directed from Bush/Rumsfeld/Gonzales. Funny, I guess the MP's in the other cell blocks missed the memo because THEY DIDN'T ABUSE PRISONERS.

If your son was selling drugs out of his bedroom in YOUR home and you didn't know about it, should you go to jail?

If Congressman Barney Frank had a teen homosexual prostitution ring running out of the basement of his home, should he have known about it and gone to jail for it? Hmmmm!

Sanchez is NOT criminally culpable for anything that happened at Abu Ghraib and he took the appropriate actions as soon as he knew about it.

And those immoral and illegal events were, as I said, ISOLATED incidents which you seem to think are worth bringing up again years after the fact. The next time terrorists attack somewhere, I'll be awaiting your ardent condemnation on your blog.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

I was a boatswains mate and have a couple of service ribbons, a unit commendation ribbon (for metorious service in combat) and a combat action ribbon. I have a combat service related partial disablilty.

I'm not impressed by some dipshit REMF with gold braid on his hat.

I also have a couple of master's degrees and finished the coursework for a PhD in criminal justice.

If you'd read the blog you'd know all that.

I didn't say one word about criminal liability for Sanchez.

I said he was a typical careerist who was afraid to do his job and now wants to blame somebody else for it. You sound a lot like him.

1:04 PM  
Blogger Major Bob said...

No, you didn't say ONE word about criminal liability for Sanchez. You said THIRTEEN words:

"He screwed it up and should have been court-martialed, he got off easy."

Do you actually think while you're typing or just ramble like a frothing idiot?

You haven't got the faintest idea what Sanchez did or knew with respect to Abu Ghraib. Like a typical liberal, you prefer to substitute your own facts to fill the void or your gaping ignorance.

I am not a REMF. I was an INFANTRY officer and served in Infantry, Cavalry, and Special Forces units. I served for 21 years, 10 of them active duty, and have campaign ribbons of my own.

(BTW, the 1 star female general you were defending WAS a REMF)

Unlike you, I actually HAVE a Ph.D...in Economics. I also have a M.S. in Economics, and a B.S. in Mathematics and Economics. So I'm not impressed by your education either.

I've taught at the University of Illinois (Champaign/Urbana), the University of Kentucky, and the University of California at Berkeley - not the second-rate schools which let you teach a few classes part time.

I've taught economics, statistics, econometrics and game theory for over thirteen years. So, I'm not impressed with the Chapter 2 understanding you have of measures of dispersion.

Sorry Charlie, I'm the real deal and you are still an ignorant swabby who watched the glow of combat from your ship. BTW, thanks for delivering the mail to the 11 Bravo's.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Only those of us with knowledge, education, experience and intelligence have INFORMED opinions.

Warren Buffett says to invest in what you know. I suggest you WRITE about things you know. Stick to poker where you have at least a minimal level of understanding. Your writing on tight/loose games is a step forward from the traditional snake-oil salesmen, but you still have a long way to go.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Gary Carson said...

I'm still not impressed. I still think Sanchez is whiner who screwed up when he had the job.

You should know better than to claim that the military has any relationship to what might or might not be taught in a military classroom about leadership.

You are correct I shouldn't have used the term court martial.
An article 15 and a couple of pay grades would have been more appropriate.

And, no, you aren't the real deal. You're a pompous twit.

But thank you for your comments.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Major Bob said...

Being impressed by Sanchez is not required.

But saying that he should be "court martialed" and then denying you ever said he bears "criminal responsibility" reveals your lack of lucid thinking.

Non-judicial punishment (Article 15) bears the SAME burden of proof and the SAME elements as a court-martial charge. If he is not criminally culpable for a court-martial, then an Article 15 isn't appropriate either. You're spreading your ignorance thick and wide!

Your continuing statements about "military classrooms" are incoherent. Classes on the Law of War for soldiers are NO DIFFERENT than classes on Miranda Rights Warnings, Probable Cause, and Escalation of Force for police officers. It's an integral part of their TRAINING.

The Law of War is not an esoteric, academic concept. They are the LAW which governs the actions of soldiers in combat. The MP's at Abu Ghraib were trained extensively in these laws. They violated those laws and were punished. But there is NO EVIDENCE that Sanchez had broken any laws, including Dereliction of Duty. No judicial or nonjudicial punishment was warranted.

You are engaging in what someone called the "Criminalization of Politics." You don't like Sanchez' actions and statements vis a vis your frothing hatred of Bush, therefore he is a criminal. This demonstrates perfectly your unbalanced state of mind (and the state of mind of so many other liberals here in San Francisco).

Why did you feel the insecure need to read me your CV instead of responding to what I said?

Thank you for maintaining lively entertainment.

9:55 AM  

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