The top officer in charge of all the United States' land-based nuclear missiles was fired last July for unspecified reasons. Yesterday, the Air Force released a report detailing why he was relieved: He used a four-day mission to Moscow to get pickled, get sexy and party like a rock star.
When Maj. Gen Michael Carey went on the July trip to Russia, his behavior was so awful from start to finish that a member of his delegation who worked in the Secretary of Defense's office reported him to the Air Force's inspector general, which investigated the trip. Carey had started drinking on a layover in Zurich and while there, he "talked loudly about the importance of his position…and that he saved the world from war every day," according to the report, which was first posted by the Washington Post.
The delegation landed in Moscow and Carey made a beeline for the Marriott hotel's executive lounge, where he intoned on his airmen's bad morale, then he joined a colleague in dancing the night away at the rooftop bar of the nearby Ritz-Carlton. While there until 5 a.m., they caroused with two women who called themselves travel executives from Great Britain.
During a lunch banquet with the Russians, where toasts were exchanged, Carey got more blotto and "gave a toast to the group which included comments regarding Syria and Mr. Eric Snowden [sic], which were not well received" by the Russian hosts. He also bragged about the "hot women" he'd met the night before and made fun of the Russian translators.
Later, on a tour of a Russian monastery, Carey slurred and interrupted the tour guide, at one point trying to fist-bump her. "He was not totally coherent," one witness said.
He persuaded the group to go to a restaurant called La Cantina because "the General really wanted to see this Beatles cover band." As they mulled over how they'd ended up at a Mexican restaurant on a trip to Moscow, one witness said, Carey "was really intent on singing with the band."
About this time, the two "travel executives" showed up and made a beeline for Carey, in front of his subordinates. He left with them and tied another one on at some bars. The following night, he ended up drinking in the hotel lobby with the cigar sales lady, who "was asking questions about physics and optics."
Witnesses to Carey's bender said they were "mortified." "When the conference was done and we were in the airplane," said one, "I didn't want to have anything to do with him."
When questioned about the trip, "Carey either had a poor recall of significant events, perhaps due to his alcohol consumption, or was untruthful during the interview." He was, however, able to recall details about the banquet food. "I particularly liked, had a nice, uh, almost like a tortilla kind of cone with a caviar in it and a sprig of um, uh, like dill or something like that," he told investigators. "It was delicious."
[Photo credit: U.S. Air Force]