The court-martial of MAJ Nidal Hasan begins next week. Here is a preview of some of the government’s likely tactics at the trial from the San Antonio Express-News. Appears they are going to paint MAJ Hasan as a terrorist.
PVT Chen Suicide Related Plea
From the Fayetteville Observer, here, is coverage of the a plea in one of several courts related to the suicide death and hazing of PVT Danny Chen. SPC Ryan J. Offutt awaits a Big Chicken Dinner and six months confinement “for his role in the hazing and maltreatment that drove Pvt. Danny Chen to suicide last fall. Offutt [pled] guilty Monday as part of a plea agreement” to assist the government in other related cases.
USS Pittsburgh CO Relieved
Another Navy CO has been relieved. This brings the total to 13 according to Time. The Day of New London, CT (via Stripes, here) reports that the relief for cause of CDR Michael Ward only two weeks after he took command came after an investigation revealed an extramarital affair with a 23-year old woman The reports states that, “The woman said she met Ward, 43, on a dating Website in October 2011. She said he told her he worked in “special ops.” She said Ward, who is married with children, told her he was separated. She said he impregnated her and, in an effort to end the relationship, faked his death in an email communication in July.” Official Navy release here.
Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals Sets Aside Hazing Related Conviction for Sentence Appropriateness
We doubt that the differences in convictions provide a rational basis for the disparity in outcomes between Appellant’s case and each of the companion cases, and the Government does not argue that they do. The Government does argue that the differences in the sentencing cases provide a rational basis for the disparities between Appellant’s sentence and the sentence in each of the six companion cases. It is difficult to avoid the impression that the Government seeks to maintain Appellant’s bad-conduct discharge because his generally negative service record warrants a less-than-honorable discharge. We will not support use of this court-martial as a convenient opportunity to discharge a servicemember whom the service does not want to retain. We decline to approve a punitive discharge upon the junior-most accused, given the minimal sentences, with no punitive discharges, adjudged against the other six accuseds, in these seven closely-related hazing cases.