What’s happening with Haditha prosecutions?

posted at 10:00 am on June 5, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

I have not commented much on the Haditha incident, mostly because I trust the military to determine whether wrongdoing occurred in the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the November 2005 incident, or whether they came as a result of the fog of war. Time Magazine’s investigative report appeared to indicate the former, and the Pentagon opened an investigation shortly afterwards. They brought charges against eight Marines ranging from murder to willful disobedience to a lawful order.

Now it looks as though the prosecution made a big mistake. Five Marines got exonerated even before coming to trial, and a sixth just won a not-guilty verdict from his court-martial:

A court martial has acquitted a US Marine for his role in the deaths of 24 civilians in Haditha in Iraq in 2005, the sixth man to be exonerated in the affair.

Lieutenant Andrew Grayson, 27, was declared “not guilty on all charges” by a jury, said a spokesman for the Camp Pendleton military base in southern California where the hearing started on May 28.

Grayson had been charged with making false statements and attempting to fraudulently separate from the Marine Corps. He was also charged with obstruction of justice, but the military judge dismissed this charge Tuesday.

He was the first Marine to stand trial in connection with the killings of 24 men, women and children in Haditha, the most serious war crime allegations leveled at US forces since the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

Prosecutors have more responsibility than just litigating. They represent the community as a whole, as crimes are injuries to the reputation of the whole. They have an obligation to determine whether the charges they file can win conviction based on the evidence at hand, and to avoid charging people when the evidence does not support the indictments.

It seems clear by now that, at the least, the JAGs did not have the evidence necessary to support these charges against the majority of the Marines in question. That doesn’t mean that everything went by the book at Haditha, but in a war zone where terrorists attack under cover of civilian populations, one should give the men in uniform at least the benefit of the doubt. These trials seem more concerned about maintaining appearances than about seeking justice.

Losing the first six cases out of eight gives a strong indication that the Pentagon got this one wrong, as did those who attempted to use Haditha as a political weapon, most egregiously John Murtha, but also including Barack Obama. The remaining cases should get reviewed by a fresh set of JAG prosecutors with a mission to determine whether the DoD should embarrass itself further.

Update: Gary Gross has been keeping close tabs on the Haditha story and has more here.

Update II: Bruce Kesler has also written extensively and in great detail on Haditha. Start here and follow his links.

Update III: Fixed both links; they should work now.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

The military is so infected with the PC virus that they’re going to extremes to appear “fair” in bringing charges. Nevermind that it’s not fair to the accused, they look good to the liberal Congress, MSM and World opinion.

TooTall on June 5, 2008 at 10:05 AM

I’m curious – when will Jack Murtha offer some comment on this?

He was free with his input when the Haditha incident first occurred.

Corky on June 5, 2008 at 10:09 AM

They have an obligation to determine whether the charges they file can win conviction based on the evidence at hand, and to avoid charging people when the evidence does not support the indictments.

Ed, this is so true. However, there are many who do not understand this. My wife is a defense attorney, her office has won many trials here because the state has brought ridiculous charges which have not merit. I see it far less here in the military system, though, that is why I am a little confused about this case.

Squid Shark on June 5, 2008 at 10:10 AM

Hope Murtha and company like the taste of crow…

ZK on June 5, 2008 at 10:10 AM

The military is so infected with the PC virus that they’re going to extremes to appear “fair” in bringing charges. Nevermind that it’s not fair to the accused, they look good to the liberal Congress, MSM and World opinion.

TooTall on June 5, 2008 at 10:05 AM

And there is never a reassessment by those who tried so hard to smear these good men either. Instead, the next story from Time will probably try and focus on how the prosecutors screwed up.

Someone needs to introduce a measure on the House floor that chastises Murtha for his stupidity on this issue.

NotCoach on June 5, 2008 at 10:10 AM

Jack Murtha can crap in his hat and the people from Pennsylvania who voted for him can join in the hat crap.

Wade on June 5, 2008 at 10:11 AM

Hope Murtha and company like the taste of crow…

ZK on June 5, 2008 at 10:10 AM

The taste of crow would be a welcomed diet for Murtha after all the crap that comes out of his mouth.

Wade on June 5, 2008 at 10:13 AM

This should show up in a campaign ad for Murtha’s Republican opponent for Congress, complete with video of Murtha screaming that the Marines “killed civilians in cold blood”.

Steve Z on June 5, 2008 at 10:13 AM

The left will spin this like a top.

tree hugging sister on June 5, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Yeah, me too — When will we hear from Murtha. Most would take your position Ed, but Murtha was way out there with the sentencing before the trial, which has a distinctly un-American story line to it.

tarpon on June 5, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Isn’t Murtha being sued?

moxie_neanderthal on June 5, 2008 at 10:16 AM

Innocent only matters as it keeps these fine young men out of prison. The Club will still railroad these men. The officer, done, innocent or no. The enlisted men, road blocked in advancement. They might make e-6, nothing more. That gives the military the opportunity to chop off their legs at 18 years of service. Memories are long in your 201 file.

Thanks, Mr Murtha, for showing these fine men how powerful you are.

Limerick on June 5, 2008 at 10:16 AM

It seems clear by now that, at the least, the JAGs did not have the evidence necessary to support these charges against the majority of the Marines in question.

This is the result of “trial by CNN” The media was so hyped up on the story that Marines were killers that the truth didn’t matter. The Marine JAGs were in the position of filing weak charges or being labeled as white washers for the DOD. I blame the military in this case with being more concerned with what the media says than being the advocate for the troops.

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 10:23 AM

I heard that the Pentagon lawyers, (JAG?), found out that a lot of terrorists in Falluja had been shot in the head. The first thing they thought of was the Marines were executing prisoners. They started an investigation.

They ran into a small problem called Forensics.

No powder burns on the terrorists, and the ballistics indicated that they had been hit from at least 100 yards away.

Umm, how did that happen? They were all hit in the head. They must have been shot at close range.

Dimwits…

Two things about the Marines.

First, they pride themselves on their marksmanship.
Second, if you look at the videos, you’ll see that a lot of the troops have mounted scopes on their rifles even if they had to pay for them out of their own pocket.

This was urban fighting. The terrorists would stick their heads over and around walls so they could see who to shoot at. Of course the Marines were going to aim at the only thing they could see.

So much for THAT investigation!

evilned on June 5, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Lets see if that kid from the young americans group can pin down Murtha again and see if he again says “the trial is still ongoing”.
Murtha is a traitor

gzelmiami on June 5, 2008 at 10:24 AM

gzelmiami on June 5, 2008 at 10:24 AM

Jason Mattera?

James on June 5, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Dimwits…

In that instance they did the right thing, held an investigation…

Squid Shark on June 5, 2008 at 10:28 AM

The military is so infected with the PC virus that they’re going to extremes to appear “fair” in bringing charges. Nevermind that it’s not fair to the accused, they look good to the liberal Congress, MSM and World opinion.

TooTall on June 5, 2008 at 10:05 AM

If you thought the Bush Pentagon was eager to bring these kinds of prosecutions forward, just imagine an Obama pentagon. As a military wife, it scares the heck out of me. Pay cuts and budget cuts we’ve seen and coped with (the entire Clinton administration). Too small of active duty force we’ve dealt with (Bush 43).

But Obama would be all of that stuff PLUS a whole boatload of other crap too.

funky chicken on June 5, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Hearing of this report, presidential wannabe Barrack Hussein Obama suggested that in the future the US military should take the following action when attacked by hostile enemy forces:

.
.
.
Er,
.
.
.
Uh,
.
.
.
Hmmm,
.
.
.
Smile,
.
.
.
.
Uh,
.
.
.
.
Try talking to them,
.
.
.
.
Er,
.
.
.
.
Hand them your weapon

BHO Directive on ROE, June 5, 2008
cc: DOD, OBL

fogw on June 5, 2008 at 10:33 AM

James on June 5, 2008 at 10:26 AM
Yeah that’s the guy
He’s with the conservative student movement young america
I loved the video when he pawned that jerk Murtha in the elevator

gzelmiami on June 5, 2008 at 10:34 AM

It’d be great if these guys all finally get aquitted, the charges were such BS and look more like a NYT fiction piece. If they are maybe McCain can ask Obama his feelings on finding these men guilty before we knew the facts.

Rbastid on June 5, 2008 at 10:37 AM

The military is so infected with the PC virus that they’re going to extremes to appear “fair” in bringing charges.

“The military”, eh? This was probably a mistake (as it appears) and 5 of 8 didn’t even have to go to trial. Can you point to any other “PC” prosecutions?

I don’t know the evidence that the pre-trial authority looked at before referring this to hearing, but save your anger for that person. Not the military as a whole. I sure haven’t seen this epidemic of PC of which you speak.

major john on June 5, 2008 at 10:42 AM

When will Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani be cleared? He’s being represented by the Thomas More Law Center………a vision of hope in the liberal insanity that is Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dr.Cwac.Cwac on June 5, 2008 at 10:52 AM

major john on June 5, 2008 at 10:42 AM

My thoughts exactly, I have rarely seen a case like this get so messed up. The GCMCA should have vetted this better. I dont know how the Army does it but our GCMCA get all of their packages reviewed by the CNO’s JAG before the Admiral will even look at it.

Squid Shark on June 5, 2008 at 10:57 AM

major john on June 5, 2008 at 10:42am

Thanks for injecting a small glimmer of hope that the Military has not gone entirely PC on us, Major John.

I always felt that the whole Abu Graib thing was a completely PC prosecution, and there wasn’t one damn thing done there that warranted jail time for any one of our soldiers. Merely humiliating prisoners who were captured on the battlefield trying to KILL our soldiers? Whoopeedamndo. It all smacked of prosecuting our soldiers for “thought crimes” to me and it still pisses me off.

Fishoutofwater on June 5, 2008 at 10:59 AM

I always felt that the whole Abu Graib thing was a completely PC prosecution, and there wasn’t one damn thing done there that warranted jail time for any one of our soldiers. Merely humiliating prisoners who were captured on the battlefield trying to KILL our soldiers? Whoopeedamndo. It all smacked of prosecuting our soldiers for “thought crimes” to me and it still pisses me off.

Fishoutofwater on June 5, 2008 at 10:59 AM

They were being held as POW’s and on top of that, there were alot of other charges in there as well, like PFC Englund being the Baby Momma to her boss.

Squid Shark on June 5, 2008 at 11:00 AM

major john on June 5, 2008 at 10:42 AM

I agree with you to not indict “the military” as a whole, but to say that PC isn’t rampant in the DoD is ridiculous.

How many times have you had homosexual sensitivity training? It’s an annual requirement in the AF.

And as far as military justice goes, the prevailing thinking is guilty until proven innocent (in A LOT of cases) – especilly in high profile cases which pols glom on to.

The military justice syustem is usually more interested in CYA, than the individual member (again, not in ALL cases, but quite a few). When it comes to high profile cases like this, even more so. These guys were charged, relieved of duty and (I think) imprisoned (pre-trial confinement) before the evidence was even collected. Why? Because politicians like Murtha made this incident a poltical issue – not an issue of justice – and the knee jerking began in earnest.

The insidiousness of DoD PC isn’t in the high profile stuff, it’s in the details like I mentioned above.

Clarification: Most of those “scopes” on the rifles aren’t scopes, they are electronic red dot sights. Telescopic “scopes” are of limited value, except in certain conditions/situations – street fighting ain’t one of them.

catmman on June 5, 2008 at 11:06 AM

I always felt that the whole Abu Graib thing was a completely PC prosecution, and there wasn’t one damn thing done there that warranted jail time for any one of our soldiers.

I’d disagree that this was a PC prosecution. I think the prosecution was too public but there was some serious wrongdoing going on and the troops knew it but did it anyway. Taking photos, for example! Or the fact that the rat-faced girl was pregnant with her (married) seargent’s child. Or the cover-up by the leadership……

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 11:10 AM

The military justice syustem is usually more interested in CYA, than the individual member

How so? The rules are different but in 23 years of active duty I’ve yet to come across a situation where the UCMJ system favored institutional CYA over protecting the rights of the individual member. If anything the opposite is true.

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 11:14 AM

fishoutofwater, my husband disagrees with you. He was just enraged by the Abu Ghraib stuff. I was shocked because I didn’t see why it was such a big deal, but he explained it to me. His complaints started with the propaganda value to the enemy, to the damaging effects it would have on undecided folks, and ended up with just disgust over how damned unprofessional the whole thing was.

The Brig Gen in charge? Janis Karpinski (spell?) a Clintonian loser “general” was most at fault, IMHO, but the officers working below her should have shut that sh*t down.

BUT if you spend well over a year waiting to go to war and don’t increase your active duty force, you end up having to use sadasses like Lynddie and her boss/babydaddy in sensitive and important positions.

There wasn’t any “coverup” from the military that I can recall. So that whole thing about Rumsfeld ordering coverups or whatever was total BS.

funky chicken on June 5, 2008 at 11:19 AM

Or the cover-up by the leadership……

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 11:10 AM

You mean Karpinski, right?

funky chicken on June 5, 2008 at 11:21 AM

I think the prosecution was too public but there was some serious wrongdoing going on and the troops knew it but did it anyway. Taking photos, for example! Or the fact that the rat-faced girl was pregnant with her (married) seargent’s child. Or the cover-up by the leadership……

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 11:10 AM

Ill-advised actions? Yep. Did they hurt the POW’s feelings? Maybe so, and reprimands/loss of rank might well be in order. But JAIL TIME?!?!?! Jail is for criminals who pose an imminent threat to society at large just by walking free. That was a completely PC “prosecution” resulting in PC punishments that went far beyond the seriousness of the infractions.

Fishoutofwater on June 5, 2008 at 11:23 AM

This thing never passed the smell test from the get-go, from the initial accusations, to the unwillingness to let the bodies be examined, to the conflicting accounts of the accusers.

The JAG’s that brought these charges should be immediately removed from duty and discharged from the service. They are a f’ing disgrace. Ditto to those in the JAG’s chain of command that let this PC circus charade go on and on like this.

By now it has to be clear to everybody that the narrative of the accusers, the MSM, Murtha, and all of those that were only too willing to believe the worst about our Marines was total bullsh!t.

thirteen28 on June 5, 2008 at 11:25 AM

What happened with the Seattle prosecution?

corona on June 5, 2008 at 11:25 AM

terrible headache, gotta go

but yeah, they definitely deserved jail time.

Squiddie and Maj John can explain the legal stuff a hell of a lot better than I, and highhopes and I seem to be in somewhat of an agreement here, so he can explain the thing from the enlisted troop’s side.

Military justice is different from civilian justice, but there are good reasons for that.

bye…

funky chicken on June 5, 2008 at 11:26 AM

The JAG’s that brought these charges should be immediately removed from duty and discharged from the service. They are a f’ing disgrace. Ditto to those in the JAG’s chain of command that let this PC circus charade go on and on like this.

By now it has to be clear to everybody that the narrative of the accusers, the MSM, Murtha, and all of those that were only too willing to believe the worst about our Marines was total bullsh!t.

thirteen28 on June 5, 2008 at 11:25 AM

I’d encourage folks to donate to the Haditha (and Afghanistan MARSOC) guys’ legal defense funds. These families have lost a lot of money fighting the accusations.

OK, gone now

funky chicken on June 5, 2008 at 11:28 AM

G_d Damn Ohio Rep. John Murtha!

byteshredder on June 5, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Fishoutofwater on June 5, 2008 at 11:23 AM

Yes JAIL TIME! You brush off some really serious infractions as “ill advised actions” and I’m not talking about the interrogation techniques.

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 11:36 AM

byteshredder on June 5, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Murtha’s from Pennsylvania and, yes, there is a special Hell just waiting for the fat old ex-Marine bastard.

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 11:37 AM

Would someone like to explain the criminal prosecution of a former Marine Iraq combat vet by a Federal prosecutor in California? The Marine in question is Nazzario(sp?). Another Marine, Nelson, who served with him has spent time in jail for refusing to answer grand jury questions.

Tom

marinetbryant on June 5, 2008 at 11:45 AM

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 11:10 AM

OMG, we just agreed on something

*pigs flying by*

Squid Shark on June 5, 2008 at 11:49 AM

thirteen28 on June 5, 2008 at 11:25 AM

JAG’s dont bring charges, Article 32 panels and Court Martial Convening Authorities do.

Squid Shark on June 5, 2008 at 11:50 AM

One key factor is that the microscopic media attention now possible distorts the historical independence of a General, and thus infects the whole Chain of Command.

Face it, most of what the military does in war is horrible.. and if looked at from a Civilian viewpoint, would not be tolerated in society. But in war? its what you needs to do to win, and standard.

Now, put this information before the public, with elected officials who can scream about it for political aims, and you have a REAL problem, because even well meaning elected officials will have to answer the allegations.

As we have civilian control of the military in this country, that “pressure” gets sent down the Chain of Command from the Political Appointees on the Joint Chiefs, down to the indidvidual commanders…

Historicly, it is a GENERAL who must courtmartial his subordinates, and thus would be the buffer between outside civilian pressure, and the realities needed for military action… but somehow in the last couple of generations this changed.

IMO it all boils down to the court cases after My Lai massacre in Viet Nam, where the Chain of Command was not held accountable for command decisions, but the individual soldier was. It distorted the historic Command Power vs. Responsibility link.

Romeo13 on June 5, 2008 at 11:52 AM

quick observation, or question:

one could say that the Abu Ghraib stupidity made Murtha’s hysteria surrounding the Haditha investigation possible, and his statements palatable?

motrin time

funky chicken on June 5, 2008 at 11:57 AM

The last thing you want to do in the middle of a shooting war- especially one with urban warfare involving a terroristic and unconventional enemy- is to start throwing out charges against our guys for what is usually considered simply “the unfortunate civilian casualties” caught in the middle of raging crossfire in a battle zone.

Caution should always give our men and women in uniform the benefit of a BIG doubt when confronting an enemy that knows how to use psyops and a compliant media to slander and impugn the actions of our troops.

The military (and civilian) leadership is at fault for over-reacting to the accusations and for giving them global weightwhich is ALWAYS used against us and our soldiers and Marines by our enemies.

Murtha and his ilk should be drummed out of office for piling on to the hysteria, in utter ignorance of any facts, and harming our national interest and smearing the men and women who serve us for mere political gain.

First collect the all the information on the event, then make judgments.

Instead, presumed guilty was the mantra.

And the jiahdists laughed at our folly.

profitsbeard on June 5, 2008 at 12:04 PM

I just this moment put a check in the mail “Russell for Congress.” Eat sh*t, Murtha.

thebookkeeper on June 5, 2008 at 12:09 PM

JAG’s dont bring charges, Article 32 panels and Court Martial Convening Authorities do.

Squid Shark on June 5, 2008 at 11:50 AM

Thanks for the correction. Regardless, whoever is guilty of attempting the railroad these Marines should be punished for doing so.

thirteen28 on June 5, 2008 at 12:39 PM

one could say that the Abu Ghraib stupidity made Murtha’s hysteria surrounding the Haditha investigation possible, and his statements palatable?

I don’t think it would have mattered. Murtha had an agenda of discrediting the troops so that he could say that the administration was failing the military. Haditha is just one example of many where Murtha has made irresponsible statements.

In contrast, Abu Grahib was an example of the military eventually doing the right thing. That MP company was out of control (as witnessed by that photo of rat-face-girl and her boyfriend giving the thumbs up sign behind a pile of naked rear ends). The leadership up to a one-star general initially tried to minimize the problem until the press got those photos. In the end, the general lost her star and was forced to retire, the perpetrators were given their day in court, and Abu Grahib was turned over to the Iraqi government.

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 1:01 PM

Thanks for the correction. Regardless, whoever is guilty of attempting the railroad these Marines should be punished for doing so.

thirteen28 on June 5, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Murtha is being sued for his comments but how do you punish the media?

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Called bullshit on Haditha from the onset, and it’s nice to see that assessment vindicated.

So where do these Marines go to get their name and reputation back now? IMHO, the reporter who broke this story and asswipe Murtha should be tasked to rectify that.

irongrampa on June 5, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Is this case in and of itself not the very example of the military covering its A?

There has never been any real evidence against these Marines. The whole reason was for politics.

At the time of this incident, Iraq was going roughly. It was post Abu Ghraib. Pols like Murtha were screaming bloody murder demanding the DoD “do something”. They did and have ruined the lives of the Maruines in the process.

For what? Investigators looked and looked and looked and turned over billions of rocks to hamstring these guys – and came up with zilch.

And no one in the CoC did anything to put a stop to it. I can only speculate as to why they didn’t put a stop to it, but CYA is at the top of that list.

In my 21 years of service, I have seen plenty of examples of senior leaders delegating blame or cooking it up just to save their own A. There are very few times I have seen senior leaders resign or take responsibility themselves.

Of course in this case we have eight Marines who did what they were trained to do – and were left out to dry by their CoC.

In this case in particular, though pols like Murtha were leading the charge, the DoD is responsible for dragging these guys through the mud. It doesn’t take 2-3 or more years to find evidence of a crime, especially one as heinous as this was supposed to be. It was a phishing expedition plain and simple.

And highhopes, perhaps my condemnation of the “system” was a bit extreme as a generalization, but the system has failed enough to call it into question particularly in high profile cases.

catmman on June 5, 2008 at 1:21 PM

Murtha is being sued for his comments but how do you punish the media?

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 1:02 PM

I’m referring to punishment of those in the military itself that are responsible for trying to railroad these Marines, be it JAGs, their commanders, whoever.

We already know the media is a disgrace, but they are outside the jurisdiction of the UCMJ. Those who are under its jurisdiction and who abused their authority on its behalf to try to imprison these Marines on such thin evidence (if it can even be called evidence) need to be called to account.

If we are going to hold our soldiers, sailors, and Marines in the field to account when they screw up, we should do no less for those who prosecute them without evidence of a crime.

The least our servicemen should be able to expect is to not be Nifonged for doing that which they are trained to do.

thirteen28 on June 5, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Clarification: Most of those “scopes” on the rifles aren’t scopes, they are electronic red dot sights. Telescopic “scopes” are of limited value, except in certain conditions/situations – street fighting ain’t one of them.

catmman on June 5, 2008 at 11:06 AM

At risk of veering off topic: many of those red dot sights include some degree of magnification, like the ACOG. If you’re hitting targets at 100yds, I bet they help quite a bit.

TexasDan on June 5, 2008 at 1:35 PM

The least our servicemen should be able to expect is to not be Nifonged for doing that which they are trained to do.

thirteen28 on June 5, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Amen! Also our border patrol agents but that’s getting off topic.

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 1:55 PM

major john on June 5, 2008 at 10:42 AM

The courts martial of snipers over the use of weapons as “bait” springs to mind.

TooTall on June 5, 2008 at 1:59 PM

TexasDan on June 5, 2008 at 1:35 PM

Yeah we’re getting off topic a bit…sorry.

The M68 close combat optic doesn’t have any magnification – it is simply a electronic red dot sight. The M68 is used by quite a few personnel. There are others out there, like the ACOG which have some magnification though “scope” would be the wrong terminology – I know pickin fly poop out of pepper, but hey.

thirteen28 on June 5, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Amen on the Nifong comment!

catmman on June 5, 2008 at 3:08 PM

bring us the head of John Murtha.

jimmer on June 5, 2008 at 4:14 PM

Squid Shark on June 5, 2008 at 10:57 AM

Unless the authority to dispose of the offenses had been withheld to the GCMCA, he would not have seen it until after the Article 32.

It doesn’t go before him for referral until after the pretrial investigation (which is where the bulk of prosecutions stopped)

greenonions on June 5, 2008 at 9:10 PM

JAG’s dont bring charges, Article 32 panels and Court Martial Convening Authorities do.

Technically anybody subject to the UCMJ can be an accuser. Following the swearing under oath to the charged offense, the accused’s immediate commander causes him to be informed of the charges and then forwards that charge with recommendations as to disposition up the chain of command.

There’s no actual trial or until it’s referred by the Convening Authority though.

greenonions on June 5, 2008 at 9:13 PM

How many times have you had homosexual sensitivity training? It’s an annual requirement in the AF.

Never.

And as far as military justice goes, the prevailing thinking is guilty until proven innocent (in A LOT of cases) – especilly in high profile cases which pols glom on to.

Maybe at the Article 15 level–but there’s a reason contested cases result far more often in acquittals or watered down convictions than in the civilian world…

The military justice syustem is usually more interested in CYA, than the individual member (again, not in ALL cases, but quite a few).

Sure, tell that to the next E7 that gets his misconduct shoved under the rug with a reprimand while the E2 gets slammed…

These guys were charged, relieved of duty and (I think) imprisoned (pre-trial confinement) before the evidence was even collected.

Well no, charging doesn’t (and can’t) happen without evidence being present to support the charge. It’s a fairly low burden to charge and the investigation is RARELY complete when large cases are preferred.

As for being relieved of duty–yeah, that’s sometimes required. Example: do you want a drill sergeant who is accused of beating the crap out of a trainee to stay out there on the trail pending his trial? I hope not.

As for pre-trial confinement–some cases warrant it, some do not. But it doesn’t happen without a review by a neutral and detached officer and then a military magistrate.

greenonions on June 5, 2008 at 9:20 PM