Maariv: Army Chief Has Better Things To Do
Maariv got the scoop on what might be the most infuriating news story of the year. Within hours after the Lebanon War started, while thousands of troops were moving north to combat positions, as soldiers were fighting for the lives on the front, and while the top officers and civil leaders were in emergency meetings to figure out what to do next, Dan Halutz, Army Chief of Staff, decided he had enough time to call his stock broker, and sell off his portfolio. Sort of like insider trading, but with a bloodsport tinge.
Ha’aretz (in English) has an article on this story. Seems Halutz has admitted to the facts, but disputes the crime.
In response to the report, Halutz confirmed to Ma’ariv that he sold the portfolio on that date and at that time, but denied it had anything to do with the possibility of an imminent war. The IDF chief said he sold the portfolio because of recent losses he took prior to July 12.
“It was my portfolio of shares, on which I had lost NIS 25,000,” Halutz told Maariv. “It is true that I sold the portfolio on July 12, 2006, but it is impossible to link that to the war. At the time I did not expect or think that there would be a war.”
Okay, so maybe we take his word for it, and it’s not exactly insider trading. Even still, if this is how he thought he should best spend his business hours, then clearly his priorities are off.
I’ve defended Halutz and the General Staff throughout this entire war. It’s a soldier’s instincts. We trust our officers, because if they don’t know what’s going, then we’re all dead. But this isn’t a story about bad strategy, tactics, or even bad soldiering. This is about a person who has no respect for his office, or the lives of people on either side of the border.