“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

US Air Force in UK, Disgraced by a Few Bad Actors, or Just Having Fun?

Even if pretending to use drugs, troops may be punished under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The article addresses general conduct that discredits the U.S. military.

Video Shows Airman Snorting White Powder

Stars and Stripes | Sean Kimmons,
March 06, 2008

RAF MILDENHALL, England -- Base officials have identified an airman shown in a controversial Internet video snorting a line of white powder.
The four-minute video clip, labeled "USAF Mildenhall Military Drink and Drug problem," was posted by a British man on YouTube last week. The video also shows an alleged airman riding in a car off base with an open beer bottle, another airman slicing the air with a sword, and others drinking and dancing at a dorm.

The name or unit of the airman snorting the unknown powdery substance was not released as part of an ongoing investigation into the video, according to base spokeswoman Capt. Tisha Wright.

On Wednesday, base officials issued a news release saying that the video allegedly displays "illegal drug activity" and such action is not tolerated in the Air Force.

Stars and Stripes contacted the person who posted the video via e-mail, and the man later called the newspaper. A Mildenhall landlord -- who asked to be anonymous since he rents out properties to airmen -- said he posted the video to highlight social problems of troops stationed at nearby U.S. bases.

"I'd like people to see what's going on … to expose the failings of the U.S. military," he said. "They need to take a proactive stance in dealing with these airmen."

The man said he had additional incriminating videos that he planned to post at a later time.

A DVD with the video and others was given to him by a former tenant who has since left the country. The former tenant worked for the Mildenhall-based 100th Security Forces Squadron, he said.

Before putting the video on the Web, the man said he approached base officials with the DVD but his concerns seemed to go unnoticed.

"They didn't express any interest in it," he said. "They said they were already aware of their problems."

Base spokesman Master Sgt. Charles Tubbs said Wednesday he did not know if the man had indeed contacted the Air Force.

Since the video -- posted Feb. 28 by "MilitaryClassified" -- the man said he has received a number of e-mails from other worried local residents. He believes the video has hampered community relations with the Air Force.

"I think it's very damaging," he said.

Even if pretending to use drugs, troops may be punished under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The article addresses general conduct that discredits the U.S. military.

"If it's determined that there's defamation of the Air Force, then that's an option," Wright said.

In the past three years here, there have only been two convictions of active-duty members stationed at RAF Mildenhall for illegal drugs use. Its "robust drug detection program through random urinalysis" is one of the reasons for the low numbers, the release said.

"The urinalysis program is a strong deterrent, as any potential drug user never knows when they may be ordered to provide a sample," Lt. Col. Mark Allison, Staff Judge Advocate for Mildenhall's 100th Air Refueling Wing, said in the release.

Web users have been giving their feedback on the recent video.

"What a disgrace they are to the Air Force. they sure do not go by the Air Force core values? How is getting drunk and snorting a line ... having [integrity]?" said one comment.

Another used a more sarcastic approach.

"I see members of the American armed forces partying and having fun in this video. How dare they enjoy themselves under the guise of protecting our country!"


  1. No. 10 thinks he's Michael Jackson and the dude with sword is going to hurt himself.

    Other than the apparent snow blower, is there anything out of the ordinary in the video?

    In light of world opinion, it wouldn't surprise me to see lots more complaints about the US military abroad.

  2. Look for Fallon to be Barry's running mate.
    Better, they should just mate and leave us alone.
    Had our fill of Fallon in the Pacific.
    "Admiral demonstrates how to give away even more defense secrets to the Chi-coms."
    The new Guv to be has been legally blind since he was 3!

  3. I can't play the video, but I can guess.

    This is nothing. At Drudge: Gilligan's Mary Ann Caught With Dope.
    Mary Ann was the "good girl" castaway known to millions who watched reruns after school in the Seventies. What's the world coming to when Mary Ann goes bad?

    As to the video, seems like a landlord had a tenant problem or a grudge to bear. Or both.

    The military in the 60's and 70's was awash in drugs, nowhere moreso than overseas. By the time I went in the tide had turned, no doubt a consequence of command enforcement and quite possibly a different generation of young people. It's more or less stayed that way.

    Frankly, I WOULD rather see this than the puppy video, which I desperately avoided.

  4. Judging from the rest of the unremarkable video, I'd say the "coke" is a joke. My guess: A counseling statement or (due to the discomfort and attention caused through YouTube) an Art 15.

  5. I agree trish. These online videos are toxic.

  6. way back when, an identical social function celebrated in three clubs went as follows:

    Officer's Club:____ Social event
    NCO Club:________ A great time
    Airman's Club:____ Riot

  7. Hey, comeon!
    NCO Clubs were good for a riot from time to time!

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    check it out ..