Richard Macke

What was the accusation?

In November 1995, three U.S. servicemen stationed in Okinawa (a Japanese island in the East China Sea) pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kidnap and rape a 12-year-old girl. Admiral Richard C. Macke, then commander of U.S. military forces in the Pacific, added further strain to the situation when he later commented to reporters: “I think it [the crime of kidnapping and rape] was absolutely stupid, I’ve said several times. For the price they [the U.S. servicemen] paid to rent the car, they could have had a girl [i.e., prostitute].” Swift public backlash followed, and Admiral Macke soon retracted his statement, admitting his mistake and attributing it to “frustration over the stupidity of this heinous and incomprehensible crime against the young lady,” a victim for whom he had, according to The New York Times, “repeatedly expressed sympathy.” Shortly thereafter, Admiral Macke retired from his post.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Mortification, Differentiation, Bolstering






Fired admiral gives public apology. (1995, November 20). CNN. Retrieved from

Graham, B., & Harris, J.F. (1995, November 18). Rape case comments sink admiral. The Washington Post. Retrieved from

Molotsky, I. (1995, November 18). Admiral has to quit over his comments on Okinawa rape. The New York Times. Retrieved from