Four-star general faces demotion over misspending allegations
August 15th, 2012
06:42 PM ET

Four-star general faces demotion over misspending allegations

By Barbara Starr

The first four-star general to command U.S. military operations in Africa is facing the possibility of being demoted after an investigation by the Pentagon inspector general found that Gen. William "Kip" Ward spent thousands of dollars on inappropriate travel expenses, according to several administration officials directly familiar with the case.

Ward had been known to be under investigation but this is the first indication of the results of the probe.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was presented with the findings this week and is expected to make a decision on the case within days, the officials said Wednesday.

The inspector general found that Ward had engaged in several "inappropriate" activities, including submitting expense reports with extravagant and unacceptable charges, inappropriate use of military staff, and misuse of government funds, according to one administration official. The official described the amount involved as "not an insignificant sum of money."

Panetta must now decide whether to allow Ward to permanently retire at a four-star rank with full retirement pay, or demote him back to a three stars, the last rank at which it is believed he served honorably. Retirement pay varies widely depending on years of service, but many four-stars receive well over $100,000 a year.

It is not yet publicly known if any charges will be recommended through the military justice system.

Under military rules and laws, a secretary of defense makes personnel decisions about three- and four- star officers.

Ward went through a public retirement ceremony from Africa Command in April of last year, but did not retire pending the outcome of the investigation. Since leaving Africa Command, he has worked in an Army staff job out of the limelight, serving as a two-star general. Under Army guidelines, a four-star who is not serving at that rank for 60 days is automatically demoted until the case is resolved.

CNN has asked the Army for a comment from Ward but has not yet received a response.

soundoff (490 Responses)
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  3. Master Sergeant

    Duty,Honor,County. ..We do not lie,cheat or steal or tolerate those who do...really?

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  6. revhunter

    Top-notch all the way. Knew him from college days at Morgan State. Absolutely outstanding man and officer.

    September 20, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
  7. Eric K

    General "Kip' Ward is a stuttering under-achiever. Yes, he truly stuttered, was always nervous because he did not have a clue. He was my commanding officer as a Major General (2-star) while assigned to the US Embassy Cairo, Egypt 1998-9. There he would threaten to 'fire' his staff if they made a mistake yet he was more interested in photo-ops and receiving awards/foreign medals from his Egyptian counterparts than managing the mission and working issues in the Office of Military Cooperation (OMC). Guess he finally get got caught goofing off with his travel junkets and fraudulent abuse of govt funds. Retire him back to the grade of colonel, which is still too generous, whereas he should never have been promoted beyond that. Lt Col K (USAF-Ret.)

    August 22, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • Michael Valentine CW4,USAR, Ret'd

      Certainly not the Kip Ward I worked with. The troops loved him. In my 35 years I must say that 0-5's were among the most bitter group, if generalizing is at all acceptable. Particularly those who did not make 0-6. I hope there is no negative OER working its sad magic in those comments. The comments on his speech impediment are just mean spirited. He inspired many soldiers and officers in Bosnia.

      August 22, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
      • Eric K

        Others more responsible would disagree... Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has demoted the former head of U.S. Africa Command who was accused of spending thousands of dollars on lavish travel and other unauthorized expenses. Panetta stripped Gen. William "Kip" Ward of a star, which means that he will now retire as a three-star lieutenant general and has been ordered also repay the government $82,000.
        Being 'loved' by the troops (doubt that) does not make one a responsible leader. He finally got caught and is now paying a small price for his transgressions. Are you still enamored with him? Or do you wish to make further negative comments towards someone providing their own opinion who you don’t even know.

        November 15, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  8. Gillski

    It's ok...he is a general. he will get a slap on the hand and told "nooooo". Then he will get some sort of assignment where there is no way his doings will ever be highlighted or his name mentioned. It's the military and he is high ranking so he will get his way--just the way the military cookie crumbles......now if it was some E-5 or E-7 that misappropriated funds--they'd be court martial and the military would make sure that their fate was publicly announced so that the U.S. can see that the military will not "tolerate" nonsense-–I don't care if he was in for 2 years or 40 years and that he is the equivalent of a company CEO--he screwed up and now he should face the music-–at $18-19K a month and he still wanted more--something should be done.

    August 18, 2012 at 8:07 am | Reply
    • Cal Green

      He is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wasteful spending done by the pentagon. There are warehouses on every base with widescreen tvs, needless computer purchases and other spending to get rid of budget excess so as to get more money. Panetta needs to look at every base in the country to find the "ordered" spending. If they don't spend it all, the next budget is less. So it is with smaller government. But you know that Panetta already knows about the waste. Government creates job with its spending!!!!!!

      August 18, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  9. Craig

    ANOTHER high-ranking CRIMINAL!

    August 17, 2012 at 7:49 pm | Reply
    • HiDsrtGrrl

      ANOTHER misinformed IDIOT!

      August 17, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
      • ZL

        Who is the mis-informed idiot? I am retired from the Marine Corps. Trust me, I know what I am talking about. Unless they make his demotion/bust retroactive from the date he supposedly committed these crimes, he will still get his high three years of pay as a four star. You are the idiot.

        August 19, 2012 at 12:45 am |
  10. Alex

    I have a great deal of respect for Gen Ward and his service. The problem I think he faces is that since AFRICOM at the time of his arrival was a new command, there was a great deal of money being thrown at it. The issue with certain types of funding is that if you don't spend every dime you end up losing and then next year the overall budget of the unit shrinks as a result of it. Gen Ward may have been afraid that he would up losing a substantial amount of money and probably made some bad decisions on where to spend it. He could have spent it on base infrastructure projects but perhaps decided to spend it at off-sites or spend it at lavish parties while he was in Africa which he travelled to regularly. Also you have to consider his area of responsibility – Africa. It is almost impossible to do anything in many African countries without spending out a significant amount of money impressing the locals. Corruption in many of these countries is present at every level.

    August 17, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  11. seawarrior

    hmmmmmmmmm...........

    August 17, 2012 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  12. Stuttgart Guy

    GEN Ward is a great leader, soldier, man. I know him, worked for him, and would serve with him again. IG investigations are brutal and seldom work out for anyone – regardless of how much one tries to defend themselves. This article says nothing. Here's to you, GEN Ward - I'll be your Teammate any day!!!!

    August 17, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
    • HiDsrtGrrl

      Absolutely.

      August 17, 2012 at 9:01 am | Reply
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  14. Tiating

    I think it is asking a bit too much, don't you, to retire him at E-1 pay?

    August 16, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Reply
    • cellblock131

      Yes, that would be a bit much. It would be better for him to just pay back what he took from the government. He had to be a good officer to make 4-star. I am sure he will retire with more than enough to be able to relax for the rest of his life.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  15. t3chn0ph0b3

    Africa is one messed up place. I can understand having to cut a few corners to get things done there.

    That said, if there is major malfeasance, that's just poor form.

    August 16, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  16. Joe

    It funny how much of a double standard there is. If an enlisted guy misappropriates $200 he loses a promotion, is denied reenlistment, and loses all retirement and health care benefits. This guy squanders almost a $1M and will get to collect a check for the rest of his life, he should be court martial'd and sent to prison. If it was the civilian world he gets indited for embezzlement and goes to jail. Way to show the American people that a flag officer can break the law and still get the reward of a retirement check. So they take a star, big deal the difference in retirement pay is a drop in the bucket for this guy.

    August 16, 2012 at 8:50 pm | Reply
    • cellblock131

      He has already done at least 20+ years to reach 4 star. An enlisted who gets demoted for stealing and booted most likely didn't have 20 years. An E7 and above is most likely to be able to finish their 20 years and get out. E6 and below generally have 13 years of service or less. Its the timing in your career when you do decide to become a criminal that will determine if they keep you...plus how heinous the crime was. Hope this helps.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • Number4

      They are just like our politicians.

      August 16, 2012 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  17. Bentley

    You can bet your sweet A$$ he'll retire a 4 STAR!!!!Or he'll pull the usual!!!

    August 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm | Reply
  18. LibertyBelle

    Way to disgrace your race, jerk. I WAS proud of you till you took the low road. Why must they always revert?

    August 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Reply
    • HiDsrtGrrl

      I was just thinking the same thing about you. Especially the disgraceful part.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  19. ZL

    He still gets his "High 3" of retirement pay. They can bust him to a Colonel, but he will still make the same amount of retirement pay, so what does it breally matter?

    August 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Reply
  20. Jim40

    You can take the neegro out of the ghetto but you can never take the ghetto out of the neegro

    August 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • JS

      Stay classy, Jim40. Nothing like racist trolling to elevate the discussion.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Reply
    • Pearl Jane

      so true Jim40, totally agree, see it so many times

      August 16, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  21. mmanr1918

    very but very bad luck for him , he is a bad loser he loos his head and the starts in africa .

    August 16, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Reply
    • Pearl Jane

      not bad luck. but bad morals....big difference

      August 16, 2012 at 8:28 pm | Reply
      • HiDsrtGrrl

        Reallly? You're going to try to talk about morals when you just posted a racially motivated hate statement? Wow.

        August 16, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
  22. Joseph Biden

    He just be tryin to keep up wit da Obamas!

    August 16, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Reply
    • Chris

      LOL !

      Brilliant!

      August 16, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Reply
      • BK

        You have very low expectations of people if you think that was brilliant. It was mildly clever at best.

        August 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • HiDsrtGrrl

      Not LOL and not brilliant...bigotted, small minded, ignorant. That man has put his life on the line for your freedom. You DO NOT deserve it. He's better than you could ever be.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:06 pm | Reply
      • meemee

        NO, even bigger LOL! That man never put his life on line for anyone, higher officers and generals in particular just order other to do that.

        The real punchline is "When in Africa,..........." The other is, "Must be in the blood."

        August 16, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
      • HiDsrtGrrl

        No one is born a General. I can assure you he has put his life on the line, more than once, for every single person who has commented on this article. Every time he got on a plane to go to Africa, he put his life on the line. For you. Every time his wife accompanied him for humanitarian efforts, she put her life on the line. For you.

        What do you do besides sit behind a computer screen and spew hate? You are such a sad individual. Your life is for naught, and he has protected that life, again and again.

        August 16, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Jackson

      Ah, racism. How clever. eighth grade? Too high? You're down there somewhere....

      August 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  23. Michael

    I served as part of GEN Ward's security detail in Bosnia. Prior to that time I had provided security for four SECDEF's, two DEPSEC's, Three CJCS, four SECARMY's and a number of visiting foreign counterparts. Kip Ward was by far the finest
    protectee I had, right up there with Adm Crowe and SEC Perry. His soldiers loved him wherever he went and cried to see him go. I would sincerely hope that SECDEF Panetta will look at this gentleman's incredible career, leadership and
    love of country and let him move into retirement with all four well deserved stars. I don't know that it should make any difference but I am as white as any 65 year old 35 year veteran retired CW4 can be...

    August 16, 2012 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • meemee

      So it's okay to do what he did IF he put in such a marvelous career first? It is actually worse when someone who ought to be a role model does such things. You may be white, but this just smacks of the, "good ole boys club," mentality.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Reply
    • LibertyBelle

      It is always helpful to spell out what the acronyms stand for, for the layfolk. Thank you.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply
    • Joe

      WOW is all I can say. Cause you and I both know if this was an enlisted member they would be getting ready for jail time and a dishonorable discharge. It's a double standard that makes me sick as a former enlisted member that was dragged through the coles after one bad judgement call after being told to make sure they we used our budget of over $300K. I lost my promotion, my ability to reenlist, my retirement, and health benefits of a $200 mistake. So this in no way sits well with me.

      August 16, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Reply
      • HiDsrtGrrl

        They probably meant for you to use the money on something legal and necessary...like military gear or supplies. I've seen plenty of enlisted members make bigger mistakes and not be prosecuted. Most of how you are dealt with is a direct result of how you carried yourself up to that point. If you were a dirtbag, then yes, any excuse to Chapter you. If you were a model soldier, sailor, airman or marine, in my experience, you would get another chance. Any of this ring true to you?

        August 16, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
      • Joe

        I made a couple of mistakes early in my career(young and stupid mostly), but had 12 years of perfect service and was awarded Maintainer of the Year prior to the incident. It was a misstep in judgement on my part that I took responsibility for and received a reprimand that stripped me of a promotion. I saw a lot worse things happen within the squadron I was a member of that were dealt with in a lot less severe way were careers were not taken away.

        August 16, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  24. eroteme

    This case better be handled gingerly. This is an African American four star general. So a four star general receives retirement income of over $100,000? That is close to what a retired garbage collecter receives in California.

    August 16, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • BK

      Why would any of that mean this had to be handled more gingerly than any other military tribunal?

      August 16, 2012 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  25. USMCBBALLER

    I'm sick to my stomach reading this crap.... I fought for 20 years for you idiots... Lord please help my country... We are a good people but we just don't know it... We have done so much together... We are all the same but yet we can't get along because we are different. Will it take another catastrophe to bring us together once again? During 9/11, we stood together as a nation and all cried together... Some of us were already serving in uniform, but those that were able took up arms to help track those down who were responsible. Lord please bring us back together again... We can do things for one another and help all of humanity, we are a good people but selfish and arrogant... Punish those that are corrupt and dividing us... Amen... Anyway, he may get off he may not... Rest assured that the IG found something wrong with the way he does business. Is he a great leader, I don't know, I never served under him but obviously he was in the wrong and was stripped of command. We just had an IG here on Okinawa with my command and they only found 6 findings with us. :-) After the inspection, one of the contractors I work with showed me. Broadside comic out of the Navy times and I laughed. The Captain of the boat was shaking the hand of the IG when he was leaving and stated "thank you for coming aboard and doing the inspection. Your team has found more things to keep us busy for the next to years let alone destroy my career." and the IG stated, "Skipper, you are hurting my hand..." hahaha anyway....semper fidelis

    August 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  26. Horacio

    Personnel....or personal?

    August 16, 2012 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • Gallagher

      It's "personnel".

      If your post read less intelligently, you might write for FOX.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:55 pm | Reply
      • cellblock131

        A bit unnecessary to basically someone an idiot for not being familiar with a particular word. The word personnel is not used too often in the civilian world. You would have been better off just telling them the difference rather than cut them down. Anything to make you appear better, right?

        August 16, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  27. Alex

    I don't think GEN Ward will be court martialed. The action he will probably receive at worst is that he will retire as a Major General (MG). This is not even technically a demotion because the ranks of General (GEN) and Lieutenant General's (LTG) are temporary and go along with the position these officer's hold. In order to retire at the GEN or LTG grades an officer much serve atleast 36 months of "SATISFACTORY" performance at that grade. If his performance as an LTG was satisfactory he may retire at that grade which is probably the most likely outcome. Again this wouldn't be a demotion either since LTG is a temporary rank, in fact it would actually be a promotion since his permanent rank was MG.

    August 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  28. Bob

    Yah and our commander in chief just a small brewery installed in the white house. So why are you complaining about this guy spending a little extra. Get it together already CNN.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • joebloggs

      FUD!!!! He bought – with his private money – a home brew kit. You Obama haters really have to come up with better lies to tell.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:16 pm | Reply
      • RF Burns

        Obama is cooking up some homebrew in the White House? Cool! Not a fan of his politics but I find this interesting. Some of the homebrew I've had is a little on the stout side. Best of luck to the Brewer in Chief.

        August 16, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
      • Richard

        Glag he has so much time to kill 3-4 running wars, economy in the dumper, and reelection campigain. and still has time to play.
        LOL

        August 16, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Hawk in Texas

      How about W. Bush. he bought all new furniture , gold rimmed glass ware and all new gold rimmed china. all new curtians. plus hundreds of smaller things. and president obama spent his own money for the brewery not like bush who spent tax payer money. you republicans are some very sick people.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
      • ORChuck

        Unlike President Clinton, President Bush left the new furniture behind at the end of his term.

        August 16, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • ORChuck

      My understanding, Mr. Burns, is that the Whitehouse Chef is actually doing the brewing.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
    • Gallagher

      What, you hate American craft brewers?

      Fascist!

      August 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  29. Davehuckle

    Yet another person of great power abusing his rank. He deserves the demotion and should be retired not as a 4 star General, or a 2 star Major general, but rather a 1 star Brigadier General.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
    • rickirs

      Who did Ward think he was ..... a Congressman ?

      August 16, 2012 at 5:39 pm | Reply
      • Hawk in Texas

        Nope, he is a republican don't you know.

        August 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
      • Richard

        I don't see so much fuss over Michelle Obamas travel and shopping tripps??

        August 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • RF Burns

      How about giving him his butter bars back & allowing him to start all over?

      August 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
  30. Don

    I think everyone posting here is going WAY overboard. The article says nothing other than "not insignificant amount of money" involved. We are left with a vastly wide scenario that is subject to any interpretation.

    From this, people are indicating that he should be boiled in oil and drawn and quartered before sunrise. What are we talking about here? One post reflected personal knowledge of perhaps $25,000 for an off-site meeting, and that Gen Ward. held them several times a year. I've been to many off site meetings over the years, and at times they are essential for planning, design and engineering, or assessments. All of them I have been to involved intense work being accomplished. At the end of the long day, certainly there was a small amount of time, overall, for partying. The taxpayers got their money's worth and then some.

    Misappropriation of funds can be anything from spending for off budget office supplies to lining your pocket with millions (which VP Cheney was famous for). We have no idea from this article what kind of money we're talking about, nor any perspective. A million $ is not even a drop in the bucket when you're talking about a large military operation.

    A demotion is not called for unless we're talking about some serious money. The only thing I can glean from some of the posts indicate maybe he went overboard on gov't affairs, or he "improperly" had his wife accompany him, for free, on TDY's. If that's it, whoopee!

    Ruin a stellar career for a measly few grand? I don't think so.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • Davehuckle

      He caused his own problems and has to take the hit for it. What he did is not ok and he should be punished. He should be demoted further to a 1 star Brigadier general and his pension should reflect that. Why do people with power always think they don't have to follow the rules?

      August 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply
      • Bob

        Well Dave you should ask Obama that same question.

        August 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
      • David Land

        @Don, I have to agree with Davehuckle. An office of his rank and experience knows where the line is. He made the decision to cross the line. A self-inflicted wound, and one for which he should not only be punished for, but he should be compelled to repay any moneies he is found to have misspent.

        August 16, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
      • Don

        Because they make "the rules".

        August 16, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  31. Squeezebox

    The Anti-Deficiency Act Strikes Again! Even Generals need to remember purpose, time, and amount!

    August 16, 2012 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  32. dom

    He's just following the command in chief's example.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  33. twotwotango

    This is peanuts in wasted money on travel compared to Obama constantly using the the Air Force 747s for CONUS travel instead of more economical 757.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • cleareye1

      Whine, whine, whine.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Reply
    • joebloggs

      Really??? You want the country to pay for a third "airforce one" aircraft? Not only the cost of the aircraft but also outfitting it as an Airforce One? Crazy.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:50 pm | Reply
      • twotwotango

        They are already are in service dumb dumb (aka C-32s or Air Force Two). There's SIX of them. No reason that these only be used for VP and cabinet travel. These have more than enough room for staff , media etc for a presidential trip in the States and would save taxpayers $millions!

        August 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
      • joebloggs

        @twotwotango: Funny. According to Boeing there's only four of them. Two of them must be imposters. And NONE of them are outfitted for the needs or security requirements of the POTUS.

        And as for immediately turning to name calling and personal insults – absolutely typical behavior of republicans today. As a breed they seem to be incapable of rational and civilized discussion. And we wonder why the country is so divided.

        August 16, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Wes Scott

      I am willing to bet everything I own that you never made such a suggestion about Reagan or either Bush.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • RF Burns

      Just remember, at some point the GOP will occupy the WH. Please critisize the same as you do now.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Reply
    • Hawk in Texas

      How about all those trips bush made back to crawford. he spent more on that in 8 years than obama has spent all together. you so called consertives are a real bunch of brainwashed nuts.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:03 pm | Reply
    • ORChuck

      The 747-based aircraft are equipped to handle the communications, staff, and security needs of the President. The 757-based aircraft are not as well-fitted.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  34. Philip

    This general, if guilty, should be charged with defrauding the US taxpayer just the same as those whom defraud military enti tlement programs. We don't just demote criminals, we prosecute them.
    @Tom 3:03. Good point. Both politicians and government employees should be convicted as criminals if caught defrauding the US taxpayer, or costing US time and/or money out of carelsessness or neglect of duty. Demotions or dismissals do not equal criminal justice.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  35. Tom

    This may be a re-run, but what is to be done about all of the POLITICAL misspending that is done on a daily basis in Washington. It is time that we, the American people took a good look at that and demoted a lot of Senators, Representatives and President.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Reply
    • David Land

      @Tom.....You comments are spot on!! No matter who you are, if you spend tax payer money, you should be held accountable for misappropriation of that time, money or assets. For far too long, we the people have talked about this, but no one dares to take action.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  36. idb

    Political correct promotions. Sad, because it sheds a bad light on those that do achieve greatly with their own skillset.

    August 16, 2012 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • happy

      Did you know General Ward? Ever work for the man? He earned everything he got. Not for the color of his skin but the sweat of his brow.

      August 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Reply
      • RF Burns

        You know this to be true? I certainly hope he did earn what he got. Giving people promotions for reasons other than ability are sickening.

        August 16, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
      • HiDsrtGrrl

        Amen!

        There are those of us in this forum who do know him, who did serve our country with him and who know, for a fact, that he earned every single rank he was awarded and every single command to which he was posted. He is an inspirational leader. His career has been devoted to helping not only our country, but the citizens of countries abroad who yearn for democracy. If this goes through, there will be no justice served for this great man.

        August 16, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
      • Pearl Jane

        he's living proof how far affirmative action can get you, and Martin King dreamed of a day when nobody will look at the color of your skin....that day will never come as long as the coloreds whine about everything

        August 16, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  37. seawarrior

    WHATEVER!! One less idiot senior officer to deal with!!

    August 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  38. seawarrior

    Officers are not above the law but they cover their asses quite well while the enlisted types ARE BUSTED

    August 16, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • cleareye1

      That's life. General officers are like Wall Street bankers- untouchable!

      August 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  39. SMH

    Let me first state that I am white and have served for over 22 years. I don't understand the comments about race or President Obama! I think that comments like these are not on subject and show how little most know or care to know about the workings of the military. The president is not going to get directly involved in protecting or covering up the actions of GEN Ward, especially in an election year. If anything he will probably not even address this and leave it to SECDEF entirely. In his position, as the AFRICOM Commander (Unified Combatant Comand), his boss was the Secretary of Defense. Since his former boss is making the final decision GEN Ward will not likely be crushed as he was not relieved during his time as a commander reporting directly to him.

    The process and the inconsistencies of who is prosecuted and who isn't should be a topic of discussion and not about race or politcal motives. Are we holding MILITARY personnel to the same standard, regardless of rank? The answer is a resounding "No". Black or White doesn't matter when determining who is prosecuted from my experience, but rank definitely does. Also, actions of our civilian leaders have always been an issue to the American public, but military personnel are expected to hold themselves to an even higher standard of morale conduct.

    August 16, 2012 at 2:05 pm | Reply
    • SMH

      Correction: Secretary Panetta was never his boss. GEN Ward reported to the Secretary of Defense, but not the currently Secretary. The SECDEF can make, for the most part, an impartial decision.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:39 pm | Reply
    • w2lucky

      Well put. I'm an over 20-year guy as well. I like that we are held to a higher standard to continue to disassociate myself from the trash in Washington. If he misused government funds, he needs to pay it back. Simple as that. If his intent was criminal, he needs to pay that fiddler as well. The retirement pay between O-9 and O-10 is not enough to make that big a deal out of. The real punishment is he now has to live in the civilian world like me.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
      • cleareye1

        He certainly must pay back the money. Prosecution should be left up to his superiors.

        August 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • dom

      "The president is not going to get directly involved in protecting or covering up the actions of GEN Ward, especially in an election year. "

      That's right. He has Biden to deal with...."y'all be back in chains."

      August 16, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  40. Kenny

    Why can't an officer be stripped of his rant and jailed just like enlisted men and women? What makes them so different?

    August 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      What makes them different is that to do that to a senior flag officer would bring great discredit to himself, his command and the United States of America. No one notices when an enlisted person gets busted to the lowest rank, forfeits pay and serves time for far less.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:54 pm | Reply
    • HiDsrtGrrl

      What makes them so different is the weight of their decsions. As an enlisted E-4, if I make a mistake, it affects me and my career...maybe the E-4 in the foxhole next to me. As a commissioned officer, especially as a General Officer, his decisions can affect entire units of war fighters, civilian populaces, and even the world. Don't believe me? Ask any Bosnian who Wesley Clark is. The rules are different, because the roles are different. GEN Ward is a true leader and great man. He does not deserve to end his distinguised career with this over his head.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:31 pm | Reply
  41. J2011

    The military travel system is pretty hard to take advantage of for a large amount of money as indicated here. Flight costs are fixed as well is lodging and per diem rates. It will be interesting to learn the details of this case.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Reply
    • Paul

      Hmmm. I wonder who prepares and approves HIS DTS?

      August 16, 2012 at 2:55 pm | Reply
    • ann

      Yes, I agree and there are bureaucratic processes in place which should have adjusted/approved and dissaproved the expenses...thus, I am astonished. Either the "system" does not work (which is an even greater problem) or someone did not do their job (a job which would have covered the general´s back.) I am even more worried that it seems, reading the comments, that the word "alleged" is seemingly not read by many. Can a news paper article already declare a person guilty? I do not know the general or this case, but I always had the notion one is innocent until proven guilty. Maybe no longer, because people stopped questioning.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  42. the_dude

    This guy must think he is a senator or congressman

    August 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  43. the_dude

    I'm suprised they made this info public. You know, reign in his out of control spending and give him a strict allowance but leave him be in his position for the PC crowd.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  44. Margo

    You know really, what does this have to do with Obama and sweeping things under the rug. Did the article mention Obama at all...some people will use any thing just to bash him. The one thing I do agree with is yes, I believe he will get special treatment. The little people always take the brunt of the punishment, if you have money or any so-called power it is like you are automatically revered. The honest and hard working everyday American ends up taking the crap. There is so much fraud and misappropriation going on with these wars, and we are the ones paying for it. This General is far from the only high ranking official ripping off the people. Every once in a while they have to make an example of someone like they are doing something to take the heat off themselves...they are all the same.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • Me

      Give me a break...please tell me what the average American has sacrificed in the last 11 years? Nothing.

      Anyway...this is what happens when you create whole new regional command that is not even based in that region. Everytime he needed to visit Africa he had to fly from Germany (with his whole detachment). He is allowed to travel with his wife. And I don't know about you, but if I had to visit Somolia every few weeks, I would definately make sure I had the nice/expensive rooms that didn't have AIDs laden blood stains all over the walls.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Reply
      • red

        There is only one geographical combatant command that is located in its region and that is the European Command. None of the other 5 are.

        His wife is not allowed to automatically to travel with him. She is allowed if they pay the equivelent cost of a commercial ticket though.

        August 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Bart Flaster

      This kind of stuff would never happen in a Romney administration.

      Romney's got the little guys back. You can count on that. Romney is going to take care of the little guy.

      August 16, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
      • joebloggs

        /sarcasm off

        August 16, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
      • Richard

        Romney'd just quietly fire him,, he like to do that I've heard.......

        August 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • rk

      He black so of course some people will try to connect him to POTUS because apparently they both have the same skin color

      August 16, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Reply
      • Pearl Jane

        no, they don't have the same skin color, b.o. is half white

        August 16, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  45. ICBM

    Just doing as his CIC.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  46. John

    Well you certainly don't reward his actions with full retirement as a four-star general. Demote him, reschedule his retirement pay at that scale and then send him on home. End of story.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply
    • Sporkee

      If he had been enlisted he would have been stripped of all rank, jailed and have to work of the money. Just another case of officers getting a slap on the wrist while the enlisted man still gets treated as fodder.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
      • cleareye1

        Another good reason to got to OCS and not lay around counting bullets.

        August 16, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Richard

      The same day Blankfien, Dimon and the rest of the banksters go to jail.

      August 16, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  47. DC

    He misspent thousands of $$$? How about prosecuting Congress and the POTUS for misspending TRILLIONS!!?!??

    August 16, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Reply
    • Harry Baxter

      I assume that you'll include GW Bush in your condemnation, since he misspent 66% of the current deficit on Tax Cuts for greedy billionaires, two unfunded wars, and an unfunded Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, and is responsible for 66% of the President's deficit because Congress and their 7% approval rating won't reverse those asinine actions.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply
      • joebloggs

        Exactly!!! All the non-partisan organizations (including the CBO; Center for American Progress; Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) agree that the single biggest component of the current Federal deficit is the Bush tax cuts. The only people who refute this are Republicans – and those same Republicans are happy to quote the same organizations on issues that go their way. Hypocrisy at its worst.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • Chris

        you are so funny Harry...liberal much? Must be that fuzzy math Obama uses.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
      • Chris

        You weren't complaining when you took advantage of those cuts now were ya. Oh and a good 6 years of Bush's two terms were great economicly. It wasn't until the messiah came along and was nominated that the economic took it's plung. Not sure if you know this but Obama has not done one thing to this country but divide it and make the situation worse. How come he had 2 years of Congressional control and all he did was sign spending bills(I.E. Obama Care and the failed stimulus)? Oh and what about all the money that left this country in that spending bill and also handed out money to companies that are now bankrupt(i.e Solyndria). Stop listening to your talking heads and start thinking for yourselves. Oh and stop listening to CNN because they will always have Obama's back.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
      • JJ

        Harry get off of it. When are the tax cut haters going to realize the money is not the governments...it is the peoples. If a fair tax system was to be put into effect ALL citizens would pay the same percentage. For a 10% tax someone making a G would pay $100 to the government and if you are that "evil" rich making the over $250Gs you would pay $25G+ to the government...now that would be fair. Government only robs the citizenry of their hard earnings to use to enrich themselves.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
      • joebloggs

        @Chris: You didn't read, did you? It's not me that says the biggest part of the deficit is the Bush tax cuts – it's the brightest, most respected NON-PARTISAN economic think-tank organizations in the country (do you know what "non-partisan" means??). Not CNN. Not any part of the media. You need to learn to think and do independent research, and not just believe what Fox "News" tells you.

        August 16, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
      • dom

        No. I just harangue on the insult that promised to get me out of the hole and only ended up burying me with more debt.

        August 16, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
    • Hawk in Texas

      Yes it would be nice to see bush and cheney in jail for what they and their republican buddys in the senate did to america. so i agree with you. any one that blew a large surplus and then spent trillions for wars and his rich buddys, oh and don't forget haliburton and that missing 2 billion dollars in cash.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Reply
  48. Billy

    As a former enlisted member of the Air Force I hate to see this. Once again a top level commision officer gets in trouble but he'll still get to collect a large retriement. If this were an enlisted member he'd be busted down to E-1 stripped of all his benifits and retirements and have to spend time in jail oand/or forefit his pay for several months. It's such a double standard. A creep is a creep no matter if they are officer or enlisted.

    August 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    • redsaxgirl

      I totally agree. As a navy vet, I saw many times a junior enlisted sailor receive much harsher punishment than an officer or senior enlisted sailor. Most of the time, the transgressions on the part of the officers were much worse but they just essentially get a slap on the wrist. In my opinion, the higher ranked a member is the more severe his/her punishment should be. They should know better; they have to set the example for junior personnel.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Reply
      • dnokc

        That's because enlisted people commit crimes & officers commit transgressions!

        August 16, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Squeezebox

      Who says he's gonna collect a huge check? The money he mis-spent can legally be deducted from his pension. Let's see what the courts do to him.

      August 16, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Reply
    • HiDsrtGrrl

      It's obvious you never served with this leader, or you would know he is not a creep. And if you're so wronged by being enlisted...why not get a degree and go to Officer Candidate School? Master your own destiny much?

      August 16, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Reply
    • j2011

      If he is guilty he will likely face non-judicial punishment in which he will be reduced in rank and pay back the amount in question. Its not unusual for crimes of this nature to be handled this way as it saves the government lots of time and money. If he feels he is innocent he can go to court martiial, but that is highly unlikely. Tough to scam the Defense Travel System for large sums of money as many bureacratic safeguards in place as the General would have likely known so this is a surprising case. He likely approved his own travel, but none the less the system is centralized and even a 4 star generals DTS account can be flagged if irregularities exist.

      August 17, 2012 at 1:01 am | Reply
  49. Mike

    Don't worry...Obama will get all charges dismissed and sweep it under the rug......another case of Holder 101........

    August 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
    • Harry Baxter

      Would you like to bet on that happening, numb*nuts??

      August 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
      • Jeff

        Exactly the kind of intelligent comment this country needs to pull the national dialog out of the gutter. Bravo, Mr. PartOfTheProblem.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
      • Paul

        Well, since he WON'T be treated like an enlisted person, yes, he will get favors!

        August 16, 2012 at 2:59 pm |
    • Hawk in Texas

      Real nice post there DUNCE.

      August 16, 2012 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  50. whats_not_to_understand

    If there is no overt fraud involved he should be demoted one star and made to pay back the amount in question. OTOH, If it was a clear violation of known rules then a Court Marshal should be held. General or no General.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  51. DAVID "MUZUMBUKU" MOSES

    I know GEN. Ward and he is not the type of person who would betray public trust, or misappropriate government funds. He is an honorable man. Before y'all begin to nail him to the cross, maybe you should go after the culprits who are stealing government money in Afghanistan right now.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Reply
    • A different perspective

      Sorry, but I've been in the Army for 26 years and counting, and I can tell you no one is above the temptations dangled in front of senior leaders. There has been a surge lately in cases of misconduct among our high-ranking officers. I don't claim Ward is an evil man – just that the lines between acceptable and unacceptable conduct tend to blur when you're a person of power. Oh, and by the way, having been the subject of an Army investigation, I can tell you that the process is painstakingly thorough. If the investigation determines he did anything wrong, you can bet he did.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Reply
      • Jeff

        No one is above the temptations dangled in front of senior leaders?? That statement is patently false and should be offensive to anyone with a sense of honor.

        August 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
      • meemee

        Historically, the difference is what society tolerates in general as ethical and how culture changes when discipline and structure breaks down. We have been in a social decline for decades now and this is just some of the symptoms. I've heard of entire bases that do nothing but party all the time – all goes on, one the taxpayer's dime, of course.

        August 16, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Brad

      You can be sure every duck was in a razor sharp row and no doubt remained before ANYONE accused a FOUR STAR of crimes. Get over it.

      August 16, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • meemee

      Or during the Iraq war for that matter. Oh, was he one of them?

      August 16, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  52. Lobelia

    Sounds like he quickly picked up African ways of doing things. Waste, corruption, etc.

    August 16, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • Dave

      Interesting that the worst corruption in Africa is tired to diamonds and oil. If you thin corruption is the Afroican way of doing things see how qiuckily thise corrupt General gets hired by an American contracting firm. There are companies out there already drawing up offer letters now that they know his retirement is near.

      August 16, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
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