Dana Priest and Anne Hull have a major story about the case and Article 32 investigation of 1LT Elizabeth Whiteside in today’s Post. (They are the same reporters who broke the Walter Reed story in February.) Here’s a link. The Whiteside case arises from an incident that occurred at Camp Cropper in Iraq on 31 December 2006. During the incident, 1LT Whiteside allegedly pointed a loaded weapon at a major, shouted that she wanted to kill other soldiers, discharged two rounds into the ceiling and ultimately shot herself in the stomach. According to the article, the charges against her include assault on a superior commissioned officer, aggravated assault, kidnapping, reckless endangerment, wrongful discharge of a firearm, communication of a threat, and two attempts of malingering without intent to avoid service.
The article indicates that at the Article 32 hearing, the “psychiatrist who performed Whiteside’s sanity board evaluation testified that he found the lieutenant insane at the time of the shooting. One of the doctors said that Whiteside had a ‘severe mental disease or [defect]” and that she “did not appreciate the nature and quality of her actions.”
The article also recounts a dramatic exchange:
[MAJ Stefan Wolfe, the trial counsel] pressed a senior psychiatrist at Walter Reed to justify his diagnosis.
“I’m not here to play legal games,” Col. George Brandt responded angrily, according to a recording of the hearing. “I am here out of the genuine concern for a human being that’s breaking and that is broken. She has a severe and significant illness. Let’s treat her as a human being, for Christ’s sake.”
A decision on disposition of the charges is pending.