That’s the headline on this editorial that ran in yesterday’s Washington Times concerning the upcoming courts-martial of three Navy SEALs arising from the apprehension of Ahmed Hashim Abed, who was wanted for murdering and mutilating four Americans in Fallujah in 2004, and their refusal of NJP.

Interestingly, the editorial characterizes the non-refusal of NJP as “an admission of guilt.”

The Navy Times reports here that the three SEALs will all be arraigned on Monday,  7 December at Norfolk, but each trial will be separate.

SO2 McCabe is being represented by Neal Puckett.  Neal’s firm’s web site has this page about the case.  The page also reports that SO2 Keefe is being represented by Greg McCormack and SO1 Huertas is represented by Monica Lombardi.

I haven’t been able to find any of the three charge sheets online.  If anyone has a copy or a link to a copy, please e-mail it to us at

According to the Navy Times article, SO2 McCabe is charged with one specification each of assault, dereliction of duty and making a false official statement.  SO2 Keefe is charged with one spec each of dereliction of duty and false official statement.  SO1 Huertas is charged with dereliction of duty, making a false official statement and impeding an investigation.  The article indicates that the McCabe court-martial is expected to begin on 19 January 2010.

In what must be a mistake, the article reports that “Army Maj. Gen. Charles Cleveland, SOCCent commander, preferred the charges against the SEALs and will serve as the convening authority as the cases proceed to court-martial, tentatively scheduled for mid-January . . . .”  Of course, if Major General Cleveland preferred the charges, he can’t serve as the convening authority.  It seems more likely that General Cleveland referred the charges.

Finally, the Navy Times report indicates that, contrary to much of the reporting and blogosphere commentary about this case, the alleged assault didn’t occur during the course of apprehension, but rather occurred after Abed was in detention.  Of course, we can’t vouch for the accuracy of that report any more than the accuracy of reports to the contrary.

3 Responses to “Save the SEALs”

  1. Christopher Mathews says:

    To be fair, the Washington Times is going through a rough patch right now, so they may not be focused on getting the facts right.

    Then again, when it comes to military justice matters in the press, accuracy doesn’t seem to be much of a priority — in good times or bad.

  2. Cossio says:

    Ironic, I just got down reading up on the Washington Times (and the Post) I was looking up Jeffrey Kuhner’s bio (who is a wonderful radio host fill-in). I didn’t realize the Washington Times were controlled by a man professing to be the Messiah.

    But you are correct, they are as accurate as any other Magazine/News outlet, our Stars and Stripes are just a hair better than them.

    BTW, this Post’s Title has got to be the best Double-Entendre of the year.

  3. Margaret McIntyre says:

    Cpt. Rob and “NoMan”.

    “it is rather unique for US congressman to advocate giving a pass to a member of the military that allegedly engaged in acts that violated the ROE and international treaties and then allegedly lied about it and covered it up.”
    Precisely. The American public and the legislators that they have elected to represent them see this war as a political one and we can see the military chain of command struggling to maintain control of the forces with rules and laws that are obsolete in this war. At the other extreme, our president and many democrats are also confused because they want to grant the 911 terrorist civilian rights and a trial in New York. Are we at war or are we the world’s urban police force?
    Justice is never obsolete—and the SEALS NOT the terrorists deserves favorable justice. The fact that the U.S. military’s judicial system lags the (political) reality on the ground, leads to these technical diversions under discussion in this blog. The fact that Abu Graib festered and became public, is no reason to punish the SEALS. Both the Abu Graib prison guards and chain of command were at fault. Even if you tell me these SEALS all have personality disorders and records documenting poor performance justifying ending their careers—I would still say, the chain of command is at fault because they allowed these SEALS to remain in their jobs long before this incident.