Updated: Army, sex and plots

15 05 2012

The story is a big one on the web, social media and so on. It gets to the Bangkok Post and this turns up at the bottom of a story they have had to change, presumably under pressure from the Army brass:

The discussion board on this article has been turned off, because commenting on the above issue may cause legal dispute. More information in our terms of use.

Usually the Post reserves this censorship for lese majeste stories. Perhaps the Army is threatening the Post too?

The story is one that is difficult to comment on simply because it causes disgust, but let’s try.

The Post states that there is “a growing scandal over a three-year-old viral video clip involving a group of soldiers having sex with a woman…”. Initially the story stated that the woman involved was autistic, but that is now deleted, but with this comment: “army and other sources have denied that the woman involved in the incident is autistic.”

Not that the denial makes any difference to the story, for apart from the details of the event, it is Army boss General Prayuth Chan-ocha who makes the story so disgusting.

He is quoted as making an unsubstantiated claim that “the six conscripts had acted thoughtlessly and that the woman should not have given in to them…”.

Right, blame the woman, who was faced by six soldiers and another military man videoing the event. What were the odds of not “giving in?” What were the consequences of not “giving in?”

And it just gets worse. Yes, the alleged conscripts involved are already out of the military and mild sanctions have been implemented against the more senior military men involved. But, Prayuth turns lawyer by stating: “a group of soldiers having sex with a woman was not rape and may not even be illegal.”

He adds: “it might be a case of “mutual consent.” He doesn’t know, but that doesn’t stop him blathering on. Of course, Prayuth could have held his tongue and waited for legal investigation, but he preferred to be a loudmouthed and unqualified legal representative of the men involved.

We deduce that the General thinks laws and legal process are nonsense. After all, he was a part of a junta that illegally conducted the 2006 coup that trashed the country’s basic law.

And it gets even worse. He continues to sprout on, attributing motives with no knowledge:

“I’m not sure what the woman was thinking,” he said. “She might want it all to be fun, wanted to take a photo, wanted to have activities with soldiers… I don’t know but the soldiers did the wrong thing and they’re not gentlemen.”

He doesn’t know, but he is still attributing motives to those involved which reflect on the woman in particular ways that suggest her “immorality” and complicit participation. We guess that is what a real “gentleman” does in Prayuth’s patriarchal world.

And then it gets really, really bad. Prayuth goes for the deep end:

“I don’t know if this is a plot to discredit the army,” he said. An army source said  the army chief instructed legal unit to consider if the army can take legal action with those who released the photos via the internet.

PPT would have thought that the Army, which has regularly shot and killed Thai citizens engaging in political activity, wouldn’t require a “plot” to discredit it; it is already remarkably disreputable. But in this comment we see Prayuth blaming the messengers and whistle blowers.

This is a pattern amongst the royalist elite. It was seen in the Royal Health Rumor 4. More closely related, this approach was evident in the case where the royalist judiciary was shown to be corrupt during the tenure of the Abhisit Vejjajiva regime.

Update:  A reader rightly points out that PPT missed an important question in this post. She points out that Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra – if she wasn’t off polishing links between a murderous Bahrain regime and royalist Thailand – should have already come out and made a clear statement on this situation without a sideways glance at the grotesque military leaders behaving like accomplices in sex crimes. But, then, we’d also expect that she would have done something to deal the military’s crimes in 2010….


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