WASHINGTON – Eight generals, ranging in rank from one to three stars, have been disciplined as a result of the mistaken shipment of fuses for nuclear warheads to Taiwan, The Associated Press has learned.
Defense officials said Wednesday that the six Air Force and two Army generals were given disciplinary letters that vary in seriousness but can often end careers or hopes of promotion.
The officers are mainly in logistical jobs and were involved to some degree in the mistaken shipment to Taiwan of four electrical fuses for ballistic missile nuclear warheads in 2006. The error did not come to light until this past March.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the actions are not being announced until Thursday.
According to officials, at least one Air Force general received a letter of reprimand, which is a more serious rebuke, while others got less severe letters of admonishment or counseling. The two Army brigadier generals received what are called "memorandums of concern," also a lower level of punishment.
Nine other lower ranking Air Force officers also were disciplined, but no details were available.
In early June, Defense Secretary Robert Gates sacked Gen. Michael Moseley, then Air Force chief of staff, and Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne, blaming them for failing to fully address several nuclear-related missteps, including the mistaken shipment.
Gates acted swiftly after a sharply critical internal report on the shipping incident found "a decline in the Air Force's nuclear mission focus and performance" and a failure by Air Force leaders to respond efferred Obama to McCain, 53 percent to 37 percent.
Sentiment over the ballot initiative to ban gay marriage also has not changed much since the institute surveyed voters in August. A majority of likely voters continue to oppose Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment that would eliminate same-sex marriage in California.
The margin has held steady since August, with 54 percent opposed and 40 percent supporting, but there have been shifts among voter groups. More Democrats plan to vote no on the measure, up 5 percent from August, and more independents plan to plan to vote yes, up 6 percent.
Nearly half of likely voters support Proposition 4, the constitutional amendment that would prohibit minors from having abortions unless their parent or guardian had been notified.
Following the longest budget standoff in state history, Californians' frustration with the process was reflected in their views about structural budget reform. Three in four voters say major changes are needed in the budget process, up 11 points since May, when the governor released his revised budget plan.
Nearly half think it would be a good idea to lower the threshold for passing the budget in the Legislature from a two-thirds majority to a 55 percent. A year ago, 44 percent thought it was a good idea.
State lawmakers received record low marks for their work, dropping 5 points since August to an approval rating of 21 percent. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fared slightly better with an approval rating of 38 percent, a 12-point drop since last year.