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Panetta Orders Review Of Military Ethical Standards

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has ordered a review of military ethical standards. The order comes just days after CIA Director David Petraeus stepped down because of an extramarital affair.

The Washington Post reports, however, that Panetta was in the process of ordering this review despite the Petraeus scandal. The Post adds:

"The military has been scandalized by several other recent criminal and administrative probes into top officers, an exceedingly high number for a profession that prides itself on honor and probity.

"The deputy commander of the storied 82nd Airborne Division was relieved in May in Afghanistan and is now facing criminal charges that he sexually assaulted or engaged in adultery with five women. Last month, the commander of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Persian Gulf was relieved for 'inappropriate leadership judgment' and is under investigation by the Navy's inspector general."

The Wall Street Journal reports that Panetta disclosed the review in a memo to Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Panetta said that the controversies "undercut the standing of the military."

"Panetta said that rather than just complying with rules and regulations, senior officers have to 'exercise sound judgment in their stewardship of government resources and in their personal conduct,'" the Journal reports.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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