To the Editor:
A senior Marine general who commanded forces in Iraq and Afghanistan has been admonished by the commandant of the Marine Corps for saying publicly, "It's fun to shoot some people" (news article, Feb. 4).
To this retired career military officer, this is a frightening example of the state of mind of the United States military today. Trickle-down at its worst - from the White House through our new attorney general through the Pentagon - down to the lowly M.P. at Abu Ghraib. The general is scolded; the M.P. is tried by court-martial and imprisoned.
Concepts of command accountability proudly respected by me and others during our service appear to be no more.
James E. Brown Jr.
Crystal Beach, Tex., Feb. 4, 2005
I know of the military only what I am told about it. This tells me something about the military I approve of; and disapprove of, at the same time.
As the saying has it: the fish rots from the head.
Our national standards sink lower every day.