BGEN Jeffrey Sinclair Arraignment
Here is AP coverage (via WaPo) of the Sinclair arraignment. General £inclair deferred pleas and asked military judge COL James Pohl to send the case back for a new Art. 32 investigation because the current trial counsel were mistakenly provided privileged emails between General Sinclair and his attorneys.  Trial is set for May 13, 2013. FayObs coverage here.

General Allen Cleared In Petraeus Related Investigation

Here is WaPo coverage of the IG report in the investigation of emails from General John Allen to a Tampa socialite (and others) that came to light during the affair des Petraeus.

The Pentagon’s inspector general has cleared the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan of wrongdoing following an investigation into whether he exchanged inappropriate e-mails with the same Tampa socialite involved in the scandal that prompted David H. Petraeus to resign as CIA director, U.S. officials said Tuesday.

The FBI uncovered messages from Marine Gen. John R. Allen during its investigation of Petraeus last year. The tenor of some of the e-mails, which senior defense officials described as racy and flirtatious, prompted Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta to order a formal inquiry.

11 Responses to “Military Justice News for Jan. 23, 2013”

  1. Bill C says:

    I just spent some time reading BG Sinclair’s website.  While it is useful to dispel some of the common thinking about the case, I can’t imagine his DC are crazy about some of the postings, especially given his calling out of the TC.

  2. SFC V says:

    Why not just get some new prosecutors for BG Sinclair’s case?  If you can avoid the error you should avoid it.  It would be nearly impossible not to get a conviction on most of the charges.   Why take the risk that any conviction would get reversed on appeal?
    The forcible sodomy and fraud charges are the only ones that he hasn’t essentially admitted to.  I am a frim believer that a prosecutor is often better served by giving the defense much of what they ask for because:
    1.  It limits the errors that can be claimed on appeal.
    2.  It often doesn’t matter to the government’s case.
    3.  It improves the government’s reputation for fairness.

  3. kfischer says:

    I was reading through the 32 transcripts, texts, journal entries, etc.  If done properly, I think that a website could be a good way to fight fire with fire.  The evidence posted makes this female sound like she has snakes in her head.  The only problem is that the evidence isn’t complete.  Why not show both the direct and the cross examination on the website, so everyone can know the whole story? 
    Perhaps, there is some stuff that would be painful for his family, and the focus is to place her, and the system that is prosecuting him, under the microscope that he has been under for quite a while.  If so, then I understand why he would put out only half the picture.
    Between this, the facts of the Maj. Thompson Naval Academy court-martial, and the transcripts from Lt. Klay’s testimony accessible on  Mr. Faraj’s website, I think that the real story is that the military is on a witch hunt. These are three high profile cases being used to advance the narrative of military inaction when dealing with sexual assault, and they all involve accusers who sound like they are chock full of bs. 

  4. stewie says:

    You give the Defense what justice and fairness demands, nothing more, nothing less.
    Unless you believe all four TC lied under oath, they say they didn’t review the privileged material, so no taint. I doubt the appellate courts will view it any differently.

  5. stewie says:

    kfischer, wouldn’t you agree that the “real story” will probably come out at trial? If the evidence is as flimsy as BG Sinclair maintains, then it will be a quick route to an acquittal on everything but the adultery and a reprimand.
    If not, then there will be more. Looking at his website is no different than looking at a charge sheet or a police report, it’s only one side and part of the story.

  6. Bill C says:

    I was surprised to learn of the public reprimand given to LTC Helixon. I don’t know him, except to know that he is soon to be a military judge at Fort Stewart. I wonder if this public “outing” will change that, or if someone will pull a “Mori” on him.

  7. kfischer says:

    No, I don’t think the real story will come out.  
    Lt. Klay’s “real story” purportedly came out in “The Invisible War,” but you would have to read the redacted transcripts to know why her alleged rapist was acquitted.  As a prosecutor, I would not want her as my witness.
    When I read how the accuser in Sincair’s case testified how she came to report the incident, it sounds like TDS counsel turned a consensual fraternization and adultery case into a sexual assault for leverage.  (Similar to what Charlie Gittens says time and time again).  I have not read any bad facts about Sinclair’s accuser in the press, so kudos for him making the website to engage in some victim shaming where it is deserved.  
    Even when I got a full acquittal on a beating that resulted in posse commitatus in Columbus, near Ft. Benning, the local paper still failed to articulate why the panel acquitted based on self-defense.  We are never going to get the real story in the Sinclair case.
    So, while BG Sinclair can seek solace in the fact that he should have “a quick route to an acquittal” (five months away where he is likely to become a federal felon for adultery and fraternization), I think that the real story will never be told, i.e. the military is sacrificing its own to placate the sexual grievance industry.  Perhaps, Sinclair’s accuser will get herself some of that Class Action money procured by Lt. Klay.

  8. stewie says:

    That comes across as a bit…unbalanced of a viewpoint. You seem to be taking the website as the gospel truth. Heck, it may be, but since the government doesn’t, rightfully, get their own website, we wait til trial to hear both sides.

  9. John S says:

    Amen, stewie.  And if I were BG Sinclair I would not be calling out LTC Helixon.  His advocacy skills are second to none whether he is advocating as a TC or a DC.  No need to give him a greater incentive to work harder on this case.  Just sayin… 

  10. Charlie Gittins says:

    The text messages, which she apparently typed, show the accuser to possibly be bi-polar.  And, the possession of a sealed bottle of scotch really is over-reaching.  I do think the Army has attempted to cast Sinclair as a drunken, porn-addicted rapist as he claims.  That is the sense I had from press reports.  Now that I have seen what the accuser herself has to say, it looks more like he is General Petraeus — just having an affair with a cooperating female, and maybe looking to have some sex talk on the side with a couple of other women who were apparently willing.  Where’s the beef?  What a monumental waste of taxpayer money.  Give the guy NJP for the affair, reprimand him, take away half pay for two months and retire him in the grade of Colonel.  

  11. Charlie Gittins says:

    On the John Allen issue, I don’t trust the IG.  Maybe he didn’t commit a crime, but until I see the nature of the e-mails, I have to question whether he should be leading a 4 star (or any) command.  I have had clients get NJP in the Marine Corps because, while they were married, they engaged in sex-talk with civilian women other than their wives.     Since e-mails on G computers are not subject to a privacy claim, they should be released and et the public judge for itself whether the conversations were appropriate for a GO.