Colonel James Johnson is facing a court-martial for bigamy and connected fraud.
The US Army cracks the Whip
I have been an admirer of the US army both as a fellow soldier and a student of military history. Once again the US army has acted in a befitting manner. The case concerns Colonel James Johnson who has just faced a court-martial for acts unbecoming of an officer. It is similar to section 65 of the Indian Air Force Act 1950 which is titled. Act prejudicial to good order and discipline.
Colonel James Johnson in a recent court-martial was convicted for bigamy and various other charges including fraud. The fraud charges emanated from the officer’s relationship with an Iraqi woman, who the Colonel loved. The colonel married the Iraqi woman named Haveen Al-Atar knowing fully well that his divorce with his first wife had not yet come through.
So strong was the love of the colonel for the Iraqi woman that he had her father paid as a cultural advisor in Afghanistan. Later he helped the father set up a project involving windmills in Afghanistan. In these ventures, he used up funds that were in real terms meant for other civilian projects.
Love is a Terrible Thing
In the Court-martial the colonel pleaded for mercy, citing the fact that his father was a graduate from West Point and had retired as a general. In addition, he requested that he be treated lightly as he had to take care of the woman he loved, who could not go back to Iraq as she faced danger to her life there. All for sleeping with and marrying an American.
The court-martial asked the Colonel to pay back $300,000 or go to jail. It’s a peculiar case where the case is not simple. The Colonel was madly in love with the Iraqi woman. Such things are common in long deployments overseas, but the other acts of the Colonel cannot be condoned. The US army is maintaining discipline in the best way and other armies of the world must take a lesson from this case. No army can tolerate moral turpitude or financial bungling and misappropriation of funds. From my side, I hope Colonel James pays back the money and lives happily with his Iraqi wife Haveen Al-atar.