US army increases use of moral waivers to meet demand for troops The US army doubled its use of "moral waivers" for enlisted soldiers last year to cope with the stress of the Iraq war, allowing convicted sex offenders, people convicted of making terrorist threats and child abusers into the military, according to new records released today.
The army gave out 511 moral waivers to soldiers with felony convictions last year, relaxing its recruiting standards in order to admit them. Criminals got 249 army waivers in 2006, a sign that the high demand for US forces in Iraq has forced a sharp increase in the number of criminals allowed on the battlefield.
The felons accepted into the army and marines included 87 soldiers convicted of assault or maiming, 130 convicted of non-marijuana drug offences, seven convicted of making terrorist threats, and two convicted of indecent behaviour with a child. Waivers were also granted to 500 burglars and thieves, 19 arsonists and 9 sex offenders.
The new data was released by the oversight committee of the House of Representatives, which also noted that "poor record-keeping and maintenance" prevented the military from tracking how many convicted criminals had received moral waivers before 2006.
That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen. Let's bring a bunch of child molesters into a country where half the people are under 20 years old! :P