The Pentagon Declares Marital Law

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Hasta La Vista, BabyWASHINGTON: A year ago, stung by the public outcry over discrepancies in the way adulterers of different ranks were punished, the Pentagon vowed to overhaul its adultery policy. But the new policy, released yesterday, appears to be the same as the old one. "There are no significant changes here," says TIME Pentagon correspondent Mark Thompson. "There’s still latitude for individual commanders to bring charges or not bring charges -– still the same potential for prejudicial treatment."

That said, Defense Secretary William Cohen has ordered the Army to tighten up its policy on fraternization –- socializing between officers and enlisteds -- to keep unequals from sharing beds. Other than that, the military seems determined to stick to its guns and hope that the next Kelly Flinn or Joseph Ralston just doesn’t get caught. "The same problems that triggered the complaints before are still there," says Thompson. With so much practice defending the nation's way of life, it should come as no surprise that the military is so good at protecting its own.