Accountability, USMC style

Peggy Noonan had an excellent column Saturday that I hope you can read (since I'm a subscriber, it's hard for me to tell whether the links I post to the WSJ are subscriber-only or not).

It's about how the U.S. Marine Corps dealt with its own culpability in a tragic plane crash that killed civilians on the ground back in December.

Ms. Noonan's point was to contrast the way the Corps owned up and held its own folks accountable, contrasted to the finger-pointing and blame-shifting that we are used to seeing inside the Beltway, and in the corporate world.

I read it shortly after finishing my Sunday column, in which I decried the tawdry Beltway obsession with the partisan spin-cycle topic of the day, so the contrast was particularly marked in my mind.

Hope you can read the whole thing. At the very least, though, here's an excerpt:

    This wasn't damage control, it was taking honest responsibility. And as such, in any modern American institution, it was stunning.
    The day after the report I heard from a young Naval aviator in predeployment training north of San Diego. He flies a Super Hornet, sister ship to the plane that went down. He said the Marine investigation "kept me up last night" because of how it contrasted with "the buck-passing we see" in the government and on Wall Street. He and his squadron were in range of San Diego television stations when they carried the report's conclusions live. He'd never seen "our entire wardroom crowded around a television" before. They watched "with bated breath." At the end they were impressed with the public nature of the criticism, and its candor: "There are still elements within the government that take personal responsibility seriously." He found himself wondering if the Marines had been "too hard on themselves." "But they are, after all, Marines."

5 thoughts on “Accountability, USMC style

  1. Lee Muller

    Now, if only Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, John Spratt, Rahm Emanuel, Jamie Gorelick and other Democrats would take responsibility for their causing this economic recession through their crooked scheme to give mortgages to minorities who were unable and unwilling to make the payments.

  2. SC Cynic

    Of course, contrast the USMC’s reaction to this incident (in which American civilians were killed by accident) with the USMC’s reaction to the Haditha massacre (in which Iraqi civilians were premeditatedly murdered). It’s easier to hold yourself accountable when you expect someone else to do it for you if you don’t.

  3. Lee Muller

    The Haditha incident was overblown by Democrats who wanted America to lose the war on terrorism because President Bush was succeeding where Bill Clinton had failed so miserably.
    The Marine Corps vigorously investigated and prosecuted eight Marines, finding some of them not guilty, and many of the charges to be false, and based on fabricated incidents.
    Democrats have refused to apologize for lying about our soldiers.


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