[EDITORIALS]Roh’s improper commentsPresident Roh Moo-hyun made remarks warning both the army leadership and military prosecutors in connection with an investigation of irregularities involving the promotion of army generals.
President Roh said, “Investigations of irregularities surrounding the personnel affairs of the army that are underway according to legal procedures should be guaranteed.” It means that he will stop the leadership of the army, which is reacting against the investigation, from doing so. He also said, “Borrowing the influence of public opinion by publicizing the progress of the investigation is not a lawful act.” With this, he has targeted the military prosecutors who have leaked information on the investigation.
The struggle between the army leadership and military prosecution has greatly degraded the prestige of the military. Although it has been more than a month since the investigation was launched, the truth has not been uncovered yet. Whether the list of officers to be promoted, prepared by a field grade officer, coincides with the actual promotion list or not has not been confirmed. Nor has it been confirmed whether the field grade officer tempered an official paper on instructions from his superiors. Both sides only tell completely opposing stories on the matter.
In this midst, the chain of command, the lifeline of the military, is ruined. Even the classmates of a field grade officer in charge of personnel affairs who was arrested planned to raise a fund to pay his lawyers’ fee. As a result, people’s uneasiness over national security is high.
It has reached the stage where even the president has intervened. Most of all, it is not proper for the president to mention a case under investigation, because his words can influence it. The Blue House explained, “It was to point out that a lawful investigation must be guaranteed. It was not an order to stop the investigation.” When such an intention is made public, however, it can be seen as “pressure” on the investigation.
Our society is in disarray because of the economic slump and serious divisions in society. Under such circumstances, the military, which must protect the life and property of the people, should not show such disorder. The military prosecutors should clarify the truth as soon as possible. The army headquarters must cooperate with the prosecutors if necessary. The military shouldn’t be divided like this.