June 12, 2006
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Lord Harry

You have to feel sad for Rear Admiral Harry Harris, USN. He's the fellow who recently explained that the suicides of three desperate prisoners held at Guantanamo was an act of war against the United States.

This is the terrible thing about being a soldier or a sailor: your entire career may be preparing for one crucial moment, and you never know when that moment will come. Harry Harris started as a midshipman at Annapolis and has been stationed all over the globe. Maine, the Saratoga, the Pentagon.

Whatever Admiral Harris does for the rest of his life, now, he'll always be the man who said those shameful words. It doesn't matter if he meant it, or if he slipped up, or if he didn't sleep well the night before. What went before won't matter, and what comes now probably won't matter, either.

Conrad wrote a book about this . So, for that matter, did Herman Wouk .