There are a few things said by Hastings, here, that are transparently inciting. Cred rating goes down automatically. Please. For a guy who’s covered P4 for years, there seems to be a lack of basic understanding of either a) human nature, b) war, or c) both. While we can all arm-chair quarterback from the comfort of our own digs, the dealings of top political and defense officials play out an inherent part of our humanity most of us we can’t - or won’t - access. We are a walking contradiction, the truest reflection of how we fit into the grand scheme. Some good, some not. So: 1. Agreed, who cares who sleeps with whom.
2. We will *never* know what decisions are made and for what reasons in war or highly-charged political environments.
3. There are “good” people and “bad” people in every business, country, army, bus - you name it.
4. We are mostly good - or we humans wouldn’t have survived this long.
5. Sometimes good and bad are relative.
6. Sometimes good people have to make bad decisions.
7. Sometimes to make progress you have to make deals of convenience with the enemy (du jour).
8. For better or worse, when one joins the military, one has no choice but to follow orders from the Commander in Chief (and, from outcomes from 2000-2008, we all know what can happen).
9. It’s one thing to make a post-event objective assessment of an event or individual’s performance, but quite another to layer in ignorant subjectivity.
10. This cheap approach to journalism always cuts both ways. Rise above it. You got your eyeballs not from your skill, but from hyperbole. P4 lived a life of compromise. It is baked into his job description. The only thing we know about how things worked during his career - with his direct involvement or not - is where we’re at today. This says little-to-nothing of his character, or who this guy really is, but more about his ability to survive in that environment. It is just the nature of the beast: that beast is all of us. Bottom line. Assertions are different from assumptions. With the former, you need facts. Hard facts. What I see here is mostly conjecture and one person’s perception of another. This is not to say we don’t all do it, but to present this story with such hand-waving and floor-stomping is suspect at best. I don’t doubt morality has been compromised, but what I doubt is a willingness to understand that a major part of human nature is the fluidity of our morality. From there, one could put a good and honest effort into one’s reporting.