ONTD Political

General's wife speaks out on his misconduct probe

5:14 pm - 11/20/2012

As an Army general faces a string of sexual misconduct charges involving female officers, his wife is seeking to stir a broader look at often taboo subjects in military marriages: adultery, the strain of separation and the stress of war.

Rebecca Sinclair stayed away from the days-long military hearing earlier this month at Fort Bragg, N.C., where the allegations against her husband, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair, were revealed in detailed testimony. Women officers described an affair, forced sexual encounters and a series of explicit email exchanges with the former deputy commander of the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan.

But his wife has since made herself a public face of his defense, and of what she sees as the toll of a decade of war on military couples, many of whom have found themselves in a repeated pattern of deployments, homecomings and moves.

"I am not condoning anything, and I'm not excusing my husband's infidelity. I'm not saying that just because we're on this deployment cycle and because of the war, that causes infidelity," she said by phone Monday from New York, where she had traveled for interviews after airing her feelings in an opinion piece Thursday in The Washington Post. "I'm just trying to understand it, and I'm trying to get conversations started so that people can look behind and see the bigger issue."

Her piece came as adultery in the military has flared up as an issue, following retired Gen. David Petraeus' resignation as CIA director over an affair with his biographer and the disclosure of what officials have described as suggestive emails between a Florida woman and Gen. John Allen, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan; he says he's done nothing wrong.

It also comes as Jeffrey Sinclair waits to hear whether he'll be court-martialed on charges including forcible sodomy, wrongful sexual conduct, misusing a government travel charge card, and possessing pornography and alcohol while deployed. The 27-year Army veteran was relieved in May of his duties overseeing logistics for the 82nd Airborne.

At the recent evidentiary hearing, a female captain who was his direct subordinate in Afghanistan testified she had a three-year affair with her married boss. But she also said that on two occasions, the general forced her to perform oral sex and that he also threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone about their relationship. Two other officers testified that they provided nude photos to him, part of allegations involving his conduct with five women.

The Associated Press does not name victims of alleged sexual assaults unless they agree to be identified or come forward publicly.

Defense lawyers portrayed Sinclair's primary accuser, the captain, as a lying, jealous lover trying to ruin his family and career. Defense lawyer Maj. Elizabeth Ramsey suggested in her closing argument that the general was guilty only of adultery and fraternization, punishable by a written reprimand. The defense team said Sinclair had passed a polygraph test during which he denied sexually assaulting the captain.

Rebecca Sinclair, who said her husband called last spring to tell her of the affair and allegations, said she hoped "the Army will see the evidence for what it is and will clear him of any wrongdoing."

In the meantime, the Sinclairs are trying to mend their relationship, she said. And she is pointing to her personal story as a testament to the pressures on military marriages and families.

Her husband has been deployed to Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere five times since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, spending a total of six of the past 11 years away from his wife and two children — the eldest, a sixth-grader, has attended six schools so far, Rebecca Sinclair said.
Many military wives know their husbands are unfaithful but stay silent to preserve their families or their financial security, especially because their spouses' own careers can be hampered by frequent moves, said Rebecca Sinclair, who has taught business at various community colleges during her 27-year marriage.

Her husband's affair and the fallout "is very painful for me, very hurtful, but I just really feel that this is something I need to talk about," she said. "Because it's not an isolated case."


Yes that's it. It can't be that your husband is a power hungry douche bag that forced his soldiers to perform sexual acts on him and with him. Many people go to war and back and don't cheat on their spouses nor do they assault their fellow soldiers.
thefathomist 21st-Nov-2012 01:28 am (UTC)

Yes that's it. It can't be that your husband is a power hungry douche bag that forced his soldiers to perform sexual acts on him and with him. Many people go to war and back and don't cheat on their spouses nor do they assault their fellow soldiers.

Why you gotta vilify the guy? And why you gotta take that belittling tone towards her? She explicitly said she doesn't condone what he did and she doesn't excuse it. Kudos to her for having the courage to put her face out there, take what must be an emotionally exhausting ordeal, and try to have an honest conversation about the strain military families are under. She's trying to have a conversation about how to reduce the occurrence of the very thing that outrages you. Way to miss the point.

teacoat 21st-Nov-2012 01:57 am (UTC)
Why you gotta vilify the guy?
Maybe because he's a rapist?
zinnia_rose 21st-Nov-2012 01:29 am (UTC)
I love how she minimizes her husband being a rapist by calling the sexual assaults he committed "affairs". And by "love" I mean "it makes me want to throw up".
agentsculder 21st-Nov-2012 01:57 am (UTC)
Same here. I think she has a great point about how repeated and long deployments take a huge toll on a marriage. I imagine it's very difficult to sustain a marriage under those conditions. It's an issue that should receive greater attention by the people who run the armed services.

That said, her husband isn't just in trouble for adultery. He's in trouble for forcing women against their will to have sex with him. That's a million times worse than cheating IMHO.
thenakedcat 21st-Nov-2012 02:43 am (UTC)

Honestly, this woman is ultimately doing negative good to the cause of trying to get the military to stop regulating soldiers' private lives and getting the public to recognize the legitimate psychological toll of multiple deployments. THE OPERATIVE WORD HERE IS "RAPE", NOT "CONSENSUAL INFIDELITY".
d00ditsemily 21st-Nov-2012 02:45 am (UTC)
ultraelectric 21st-Nov-2012 02:38 am (UTC)
I don't know, maybe it's me but I'm not really surprised she's standing by him. My friend was a military wife and when she left her verbally abusive husband all the other military wives started talking shit about her and saying how she should have tried harder and stood by her man no matter what. Instead of supporting her decision, they all left her.

Though, I do think it's good shes out there talking about cheating, my friend was asked a horrifying question in front of her husband by a military dr because cheating is so rampant.
d00ditsemily 21st-Nov-2012 02:44 am (UTC)
As someone married to an active duty soldier, I wouldn't stand with my husband if he raped his co-workers. I wouldn't even stay by his side for cheating. I've been asked if what number wife I was in the ER and we're pretty young. You get asked questions because it's a stereotype that is becoming more and more true.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
the_physicist 21st-Nov-2012 09:41 am (UTC)
The defense team said Sinclair had passed a polygraph test during which he denied sexually assaulting the captain.

and that is soooo useful when statistics show that most men don't know what rape actually is.
moussaka_thief 21st-Nov-2012 10:50 am (UTC)
my thoughts exactly
recorded 21st-Nov-2012 11:11 am (UTC)
Semi-related: What's with the people talking about the military scandals like "why do we care what two consenting adults do?" Let's just ignore that the scandals revolve around infidelity/sexual assault. It's absolutely blowing my mind that I've seen this 'omg stop sexual shaming 2 consenting adults' strawman/derailing thing so often on this & the petraeus scandal.
(no subject) - Anonymous - Expand
pleasure_past 21st-Nov-2012 11:51 am (UTC)
he was ~good to his soldiers~

... I'm pretty his female soldiers would not agree.
mamamilkshake 21st-Nov-2012 05:54 pm (UTC)
I'm a military spouse and currently living at Bragg where this story has been in the news often. When I read Rebecca Sinclair's column several days ago, my mind was blown and reading the comments was even worse with so many supporters ignorant of what her husband has actually done. Military service does not make a man rape a woman. Being a rapist causes a man to do that. It sickens me that Sinclair would insinuate that the trouble her husband finds himself in is something other than criminal charges. I can agree with her that infidelity is something that is not discussed frankly enough in military circles but so it goes with another far more serious topic too: sexual assault.
tinylegacies 21st-Nov-2012 06:22 pm (UTC)
The defense team said Sinclair had passed a polygraph test during which he denied sexually assaulting the captain.

That doesn't mean shit. I wouldn't be surprised to find any rapist passing a polygraph because they don't see what they are doing as WRONG. And that is the problem!
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