Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Two Trends That Passed in the Night 

We are always gratified when we open the morning paper and discover a pair of news items so artfully juxtaposed as to require no further comment from us. Our thanks go out to the unknown editor who contrived for the following articles to appear side-by-side on page A4 of today's S.F. Chronicle:
GAO Finds Strong-Arm Recruiting

Military recruiters have increasingly resorted to overly aggressive tactics and even criminal activity to attract young troops to the battlefield, congressional investigators say.

Grueling combat conditions in Iraq, a decent commercial job market and tough monthly recruiting goals have made recruiters' jobs more difficult, the Government Accountability Office said Monday. This has probably prompted more recruiters to resort to strong-arm tactics, including harassment or criminal means such as falsifying documents, to satisfy demands, GAO states . . . .

According to service data provided to the GAO, substantiated cases of wrongdoing jumped by more than a third, from about 400 cases in 2004 to almost 630 in 2005. Meanwhile, criminal cases - such as sexual harassment or falsifying medical records - more than doubled in those years, jumping from 30 incidents to 70.

Military Discharges for Being Gay Rise 10%

The Defense Department discharged 726 service members last year for being gay, up about 10 percent from 2004, figures released by a gay rights group show.

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