Army's Dirty Laundry

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: Sergeant Major of the Army Gene McKinney is ready to play hardball. During hearings to determine if the nation's top enlisted man should face court-martial on charges of sexual harassment, Charles Gittins, McKinney's chief attorney, said he is prepared to "open up all of the Army's dirty laundry" if it refuses to allow his client to retire without punishment.

What does Gittins have up his sleeve? Evidence, he says, that several top Army officers faced similar sexual-misconduct allegations but were let off the hook. "If we go to trial, this is war," Gittins said during a break in yesterday's proceedings.

Will the scare tactic work? TIME's Mark Thompson thinks not. "The fact that they've done it publicly compels the Army to go forward with the court-martial," he says. "If it doesn't, it will look like it's hiding something." Far from helping his client, then, Gittins might have plunged him into deeper trouble.