From commenter D, we get this comment:

The state sees cops as “unimpeachable witnesses” meaning whatever they say is gospel unless you can prove otherwise.

For this reason, I will always side with my fellow citizen and give him or her the benefit of the doubt.

When I was in the Navy, we had a commanding officer who was incredibly authoritarian, Captain Macke. He was a douche, but retired after getting his fourth star. More on that in a minute. Why was he a douche? He would hold Article 13 (Captain’s Mast) like this:

They would put all of the accused on an aircraft elevator at the hanger deck level, maybe 20 or 30 of them, and the Captain would be standing behind a lectern on the flight deck. They would raise the elevator to the flight deck, and the Captain would say: “You all must be guilty, or your officers wouldn’t have sent you here. I find you guilty as charged. You are hereby reduced in rank one paygrade, fined one half pay for two months, restricted to the ship for 45 days, and 2 hours of extra duty every day for 45 days, to be served under the duty master at arms. Dismissed.” (This is the maximum punishment he can give without a courts martial)

The reason that this is important is that Macke believed that officers were absolutely unimpeachable. One of the things he used to say was, “If I have 100 enlisted men with 100 video cameras that show me 100 videos of something taking place, and I have one officer who tells me that isn’t how it happened, I will believe the officer every time.”

Of course, it’s also telling that he retired after being investigated by the Defense Department inspector general for allegations that he used military aircraft for personal trips and improperly fraternized with female subordinates while he was CINCPAC. They dropped him two paygrades for that. His new civilian job appeared to be using his military contacts and influence to arrange funding and lucrative government contracts. So much for unimpeachable officers. The best thing that I can say about the hypocritical sunovabitch is that he died last year.

So you’ll excuse me if I don’t buy into the “unimpeachable officer” trope.

Categories: MilitaryPolice State


D · August 9, 2023 at 10:06 am

> So you’ll excuse me if I don’t buy into the “unimpeachable officer” trope.

Maybe my wording was poor. To use a very simple example:
Let’s say a cop pulls you over and says “You were speeding, here’s a ticket for doing 70+ in a 65”.
Now you know you weren’t doing over 65, so you decide to go to court and fight it.

You ask how the cop determined your speed. Was it a radar detector? Did he pace your vehicle? The cop says “I just looked up from my doughnut and in my professional opinion you were doing about 73, so I jumped in my cruiser and pulled you over.”

Unless you can prove otherwise, you will lose. The cops “professional opinion” is enough. It doesn’t matter if you say “I looked down at my speedometer and it said I was doing 65”. Your word against his, and they’ll side with the cop every time.

    Divemedic · August 9, 2023 at 10:25 am

    I got that, and I agree with you. I still disagree with it. The courts take cops at their word every time. I happen to know that they are liars.

      D · August 9, 2023 at 10:29 am

      Aah..then I misunderstood you. I thought you were saying that courts didn’t consider cops unimpeachable witnesses, not that you thought the practice was bullshit. Apologies.

Papa · August 9, 2023 at 12:01 pm

It has been my experience in the work world that the retired officers and lifers, seem to have forgotten that they are no longer in “the service”.
I have also met some good ones.
The bad ones make me wonder what life was like for their service subordinates.

Barnes Is Reality · August 9, 2023 at 12:38 pm

Fragging always works on the little Hitlers with a Napoleon complex.

unknownsailor · August 9, 2023 at 12:47 pm

So, Camden or Ike?

I did a cruise on Ike, 2006-2007. We made the papers ourselves, our XO was fucking one of our PO2 personnel types for months, and days after he takes over as CO he advances her to 1st class. To say that did not sit well was an understatement.

    Divemedic · August 9, 2023 at 12:57 pm

    Ike. 1986 to 1992

      Unknownsailor · August 10, 2023 at 10:45 pm

      I can tell you that ship hadn’t improved any after you left. My squadron did several 10 day dets to that ship in 2005 to help them get their flight deck certified after they came out of SLEP, and to say the crew was inept would be too kind.

      AIMD asked us to try and induct one of our worn out main mounts as a test. They hadn’t even built the requisite part number record in the system (aircraft tires are assemblies, and are repairable to boot), and tire shop LPO was the only guy who had ever worked on tires in the shop, and was the only CDI. We eventually tried to induct it on paper, and that didn’t work either. They gave the tire back to us in pieces when we left.

      Aparently AIMD and Supply had been fiddly farting around for 5 years while they were in dry dock, and no one had a clue how to do anything. The S-6 division officer tried to draft me when I was in his office trying to unfuck the system.

      After cruise on the ship I wished the whole thing would roll over and sink, with the crew.

Iwoots · August 9, 2023 at 8:52 pm

Normally when I read an obituary that lists a whole lot of “professional accomplishments”, but no wife nor children, I think “Sad.”

However, based upon your description, maybe the “best thing I can say about the hypocritical…” is that at least he didn’t destroy the souls and minds of any children or wife, nor raise his replacements to be twice the hypocritical s.o.b. that he was.

Rick T · August 9, 2023 at 11:13 pm

At this point the only evidence I would accept would be physical/mechanical. If a cop can’t produce the results of a properly calibrated speed measurement device his ‘estimate’ of speed isn’t beyond a shadow of a doubt. In fact, I wouldn’t accept ANY purely verbal testimony if I was ever on a jury.

If I had been on your ship and gotten screwed over that way at Captain’s Mast I’d have asked for a Court. So glad I was on a submarine with sane COs.

    Divemedic · August 10, 2023 at 6:46 am

    Yeah. People tried demanding a court. Denied.

Toastrider · August 10, 2023 at 10:52 am

This seems like a great way to drive ship morale under the keel, but what do I know?

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