Regarding the June 15 front-page article “Still a colonel: Johnson sentenced to reprimand, fine for fraud, adultery, bigamy”: Are you kidding me?
That panel of colonels literally let Col. James H. Johnson III off the hook. Then to top it off his plea to the judge wasn’t about leniency so he could try to repair the damage he did to his ex-wife and family, but about trying to rescue the Iraqi woman, and the judge went for it.
This guy had no regard for the U.S. Army and took full advantage of the system that has been put in place for senior leaders. With this result, he wasted taxpayer money by being educated at the U.S. Military Academy, and has been a fraud to the thousands of soldiers he has led. I have never seen a court-martial where the defendant is given the option of paying a fine or going to jail. If he doesn’t have the $300,000, I am sure his father will see to it.
This case was a classic in supporting the fact that rank has its privileges. There is no way an enlisted man charged with the same crimes would have walked away with his pay and retirement intact. This case is such a travesty of justice for the federal government, and truly a waste of limited Defense Department funds to put him on trial.
This whole investigation and trial was a farce because it would basically have been the same if Col. Johnson had gotten a letter of counseling. This is a big slap in the face of all the soldiers who may have had a small slip-up for far lesser offenses, but have been crucified, jailed, lost retirements, and lost rank.