May 16, 1997


Image of today's outrage

This is a parable about people living in glass houses and still throwing rocks.

You may recall the tragic case of Navy Admiral Mike Boorda who killed himself last year after being accused of wearing medals that he had not earned. Boorda had worked his way up in the Navy and had an honorable and distinguished career before shooting himself within two hours of learning of the accusations against him.

His accuser was Newsweek correspondent and retired Army Colonel David Hackworth. Even after Boorda had shot himself in the chest, Hackworth said “It is simply unthinkable that an experienced officer would wear decorations he is not entitled to, awards that others bled for. There is no greater disgrace.”

Perhaps there is a greater disgrace — blatant hypocrisy.

Hackworth had aggressively pursued Boorda to learn the truth. When Boorda committed suicide, another Vietnam veteran, Terry Roderick, began to subject Hackworth to the same scrutiny.

Hackworth had been called the army’s most decorated living soldier. However, it appears that some of the decorations were self-awarded. Hackworth now admits that he had no right to some of his decorations. For example, he attributes one of his unearned Flying Cross awards to a mistake by “a sleepy clerk.”

(Source: New York Daily News.)

© Copyright 1996-98, The Outrage is produced by Athens New Media. All rights reserved.

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