Boorda’s raft of military ribbons and medals reflected the rise of an enlisted man to the highest rank in the United States Navy. His, by available information, was a career of dedication and service to the Navy, and to the Nation. That a man would suffer under such pain of feared humiliation for the Navy, for his family, and for himself, that he would end his own life may be odd to some.
We also experienced the pain of seeing failings in these principles.
We had also, of course, followed the news coverage of the
I think it likely that the high personal toll of those ideals weighed heavily on Admiral Boorda’s mind. I regret that the toll was so high. I acknowledge, however, his determination that the threatened exposure of an alleged false claim of entitlement to certain military honors could only be soundly answered by the act of suicide. Of course, he was wrong in that. Suicide was not the only answer, nor was it an answer at all. The Nation, one that then was prepared to tolerate a President using an intern for oral gratification in the Oval Office, would have embraced him forgivingly given an appropriate acknowledgment, resignation, and removing himself from the National stage.
As it turns out, we have a rather high tolerance for high jinx from persons of position, prominence and wealth. To prove the point, simply contrast Admiral Boorda’s wrong – wearing
Brian Williams now seemingly pays the price for having enhanced his resume. Williamshad claimed that, during coverage of the war in Iraq, he was aboard a helicopterthat was forced to make an emergency landing after it was hit by enemy fire.
Then there is the curious case of Hillary Clinton.
On several occasions, Hillary Clinton embellished her telling of the tale of avisit she and daughter Chelsea made to Bosnia back in 1996. As the storygrew wings of imagination, Hillary recounted how she and Chelsea were forced to run from the plane that just landed bringing them to Tuzla, Bosnia,to ground cover. This mad dash was, Hillary claimed, made necessary by the presence and actions of a nearby Bosnia sniperwho firing on them.
The story had a ring of plausibility to it. After all,
In the end, our losses from the lies and dishonesty are disproportionate. Admiral Boorda need not have committed suicide, and could have remained a strong reminder of the equality of opportunity that military service in the
Neither Clinton nor Williams appear so moved by notions of duty, honor and country that anyone appears concerned that a suicide watch would be necessary now, for Williams, or back in 2008, for
Our loss of Boorda is just that, a loss to the Nation. Our despatch of Williams into the Hall of Television Shame seems like no loss at all. That we might even have the opportunity to vote against Hillary Clinton despite her lies about Bosnia, when no need to lie existed, says much about how little honor, duty and country seem to matter any more.