Here’s a link to a Washington Times article previewing the court-martial of SO2 McCabe and featuring a CENTCOM PAO’s defense of proceeding with the court-martial.

6 Responses to “Washington Times preview of McCabe court-martial”

  1. Anonymous says:

    “The fact that a special court-martial has been convened rests on the key decision made by [Petty Officer] McCabe and his defense counsel to refuse administrative punishment.”

    My guess is they’d like to take back the last line presuming a guilty finding. Statements like that do not give people faith in the nonjudicial process.

  2. Anonymous says:

    But I think their last line is pretty accurate as to what I would guess at least 80% of commanders see NJP as: a punishment, not an adjudication. (The adjudication part is beforehand, when the senior enlisted tells him that someone needs to be NJP’d.)

  3. Article16 says:

    The “administrative punishment” phrase is not the only thing I find wrong with the statement.
    I don’t like the implication that turning down NJP necessitates trial by court-martial. Where in the RCM does it say that? It also implies that the charges now can’t be dismissed, because this is some special case where again, the accused turned down NJP. RCM 306 has a nice discussion section on the commander’s disposition decision–it would be nice if we could suspect that was being used as a guide instead of the whole macho reactionary attitude of “how dare you turn down NJP.”
    The other thing I dislike is the implication that the defense counsel made or contributed to the decision. That may just be carelessness on the part of the spokesperson, but since the comments are in response to the defense counsel’s complaints to the media it suggests, again, the wrong temperment on the part of the CA.

  4. Article16 says:

    I should have ended…”on the part of the CA…AND/OR his advisers.”

  5. JWS says:

    Note the passive voice, ignoring the facts, and — worse — not accepting responsibility. It is very difficult to have confidence in an officer or a system that does not accept responsibility for its actions. No wonder people and Congress are in snit over this.

    Just how did this woman rise to field grade? I was just a SNCO & none of my officers would have stood for this kind of evasion. “It’s all their fault for refusing to be railroaded” is an argument worth mentioning? I do not doubt Gen. Cleveland’s good faith and moral courage; but he needs to relieve that PIO right now. She then needs to retire before she causes serious harm.

    It is interesting to see how the factual dispute has played out. I wondered why the Gov’t would depend so much on the credibility of the prisoner. Now it looks like the MAA wasn’t so good, either. Methinks the good general was very ill-advised.

  6. RY says:

    I don’t know that this perspective has been discussed much yet but I wonder if anyone considered what the impact of these courts-martial might be on others like Abed or the terror organizations he represents. From the prosecution perspective, these courts are about upholding standards for the treatment of detainees, whether or not they are suspected terrorists. Fair enough, but there is cost for acquittals that may outweigh the alleged harm for which they seek justice.

    Consider the perspective of terrorist-sympathisers, supporters, etc. At first glance, I suspect they are not surprised about allegations of detainee abuse; probably believe it happens all the time. Hmmm, what to think when they hear the U.S. military is going to prosecute someone for abusing a detainee? Maybe they were wrong about the military? This prosecution thing doesn’t jive with their philosophy about us and the regular abuse they suspect happens. But then what- acquittal after acquittal. What do you suppose that does for their thinking?

    As I thought about the collateral impacts of these acquittals, I couldn’t help but think of our hisotry and some of the trials in the segregated south (think To Kill a Mockingbird). At first there is some optimism that justice is for all, but the result can mobilize the masses in the opposite way that was intended, particularly for those Abed represents, those who believe abuse is regular and now likely believe our justice is a joke. Now the thought is: of course, they were acquitted; that’s how they roll, protecting their own.

    In any event, I wonder if anyone considered the effect of an acquittal. I’m not saying decisions to prosecute don’t often have collateral consequences, but in a twist of irony, the intention behind these prosecutions could ultimately fuel the opposite effect.