Army Faces Sex Charges Dilemma

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Do stars buy immunity from sex charges in the Army? The perception that they do may prompt the military to bring Maj. Gen. David Hale out of retirement to face charges, says TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson. An internal report has found that Hale engaged in improper relationships with the wives of four of his subordinates. But with Hale in retirement, "the real question is whether the Army is going to do anything about it," says Thompson. Hale can be recalled to active duty in order to be court-martialed. "The perception that the Army allowed Hale to retire and the comparison with the Gene McKinney case creates the appearance that officers of higher rank are more likely to get off," says Thompson. "That perception has a corrosive effect on the forces. The need to show both the rank and file and Capitol Hill that there are no double standards may create pressure for the Army to bring Hale back to face charges."