US Admiral in sub mishap had racist past

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Thu Feb 15 08:07:46 MST 2001

NY Times, February 15, 2001

Admiral Who Lost Job Set Up Civilians' Submarine Trip


The submarine trip for civilians that led to the sinking of a Japanese
fishing vessel, leaving nine people missing, was arranged by a Navy admiral
who was forced to retire in 1995 after he made an offensive remark about
the rape of a 12-year-old Okinawan girl, government officials said yesterday.

Some officials said they were worried that the involvement of the retired
admiral, Richard C. Macke, would heighten the anger in Japan over the
sinking last Friday, even though he was not on the submarine.

This has been one reason the Navy has refused to disclose the identities of
the 16 civilians who were on the submarine, the Greeneville, when it
smashed into the trawler off Diamond Head in Honolulu, the officials said.
Four students from a Japanese fishing school were among those missing and
presumed dead.

Although officials remained steadfast in their refusal to identify the
civilians today, they said the group was mostly made up of businessmen and
their wives who had donated money to the U.S.S. Missouri Memorial
Association. The association is a private nonprofit group that maintains
the World War II battleship on which the Japanese surrendered.

A spokesman for the association, Patrick Dugan, said yesterday that he had
no information about the donors.

The Navy has said it is not uncommon for guests to participate in such
practice drills.

Japanese officials and members of the trawler's crew have already accused
the submarine's crew of not doing enough to rescue those on the boat and
expressed anger at hearing that civilians may have been at the submarine's
controls, although supervised by Navy personnel.

Admiral Macke, 63, was the commander in chief of United States forces in
the Pacific in 1995 when three American servicemen pleaded guilty to
conspiring to kidnap and rape the girl in Okinawa, an island that is part
of Japan.

The admiral lost his job after he said that the rape could have been
avoided if the servicemen had simply paid for a prostitute.

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Louis Proyect
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