Army denies appeal of Afghan child rape whistleblower

Yesterday we found out that the White House is claiming to really not know much about the whole Afghanistan boy raping thing except what they find out by watching Morning Joe. But now that the news has broken, will they be doing anything about it? If they plan to they’ll need to move quickly because The Daily Caller reveals that Charles Martland, one of the soldiers accused of beating down a child rapist, has had an appeal of the decision to kick him out of the service denied.

The U.S. Army has just rejected the appeal of Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Charles Martland, who received a discharge scheduled to take effect Nov. 1 for shoving an Afghan rapist to the ground.

“Consequently, your request for an appeal and continued service is disapproved,” U.S. Human Resources Command said in a Sept. 14 memo sent to Martland.

The reason for the denial? The office said that Martland’s appeal attempt “does not meet the criteria” because it brings no new information to the table. Later, the letter added that the decision is final, Fox News reports.

Martland was the soldier who helped his team leader, Dan Quinn, in the administration of some behavioral correction to one of the rapists in the form of a good old fashioned butt kicking. Quinn was relieved of his command and found his military career at an end for saving the child, as we learned in the initial New York Times report.

The denial of the appeal comes in stark contrast to what the Army claims is standing policy. The accusations are that all of the soldiers are being told to look the other way when such abuse is observed, but the Army is denying that.

Gen. John F. Campbell, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, has strenuously denied the existence of any such policy requiring soldiers to ignore what they see. Instead, Campbell said he’s taken the time to speak to President Ashraf Ghani about the problem.

If we were to examine this strictly on paper and leave all the emotionally charged aspects of the story out of the mix, I suppose the Army could try to make their case here on disciplinary grounds. Assuming that Campbell can support his claims with documentation, then perhaps they’ve been instructing soldiers to go ahead and report the abuse even if they know that the reports will be ignored and nothing will be done. In that scenario, they could claim to be charging Quinn and Martland for simply beating up one of our allies and a prominent figure in the local police. But that’s a pretty unsatisfying answer given what led to the beating in the first place.

Martland isn’t entirely out of options yet. He has one last round of appeals left with the Army Board for Correction of Military Records, but that might not take place in time to stop his forcible discharge on November 1 of this year. Can anyone intervene? It certainly seems like they should be able to. Either the President or John McCain (head of the Senate Armed Services Committee) should be able to pick up the phone and at least get the discharge proceedings placed on hold until an investigation can be completed. But that’s going to require the White House to get their hands dirty, so Barack Obama finds himself at another decision point. I somehow doubt that Martland is feeling too confident about his chances.

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