Virtually every media outlet has a PFC Bradley Manning court-martial preview, so I won’t list them.  WaPo here and Baltimore Sun here.

Here is an editorial from the NYT editorial board on the sexual assault issue.

Here is the Baltimore Sun’s coverage of the USNA rape allegation mentioned in the NYT editorial. And also from Annapolis, a Marine Corps Major and former USNA instructor was acquitted of rape charges stemming from an incident at the Academy, Balto Sun report here.   The major was found guilty of indecent acts and other charges/specs, and will be sentenced Monday. I am guessing the next bill in the House is one to permit higher legal authorities to overturn acquittals . .  oh wait, we’ve already seen that attempted.

And here is the Defense Report Of The Subcommittee On Military Justice In Combat Zones.  There are a series of recommendations beginning on page 28, Section 4.0 of the report.

6 Responses to “Military Justice News for June 3, 2013”

  1. Bill C says:

    If Major Thompson had been convicted, I might have been joining Charlie Gittins in looking for a new career.

  2. Contract Lawyer says:
    60 days confinement, reprimand, and $2500 per month.
    Not sure if he has his 20, but this is equivalent to a bust to O-3.  If he can retire, he will be busted to O-3.

  3. k fischer says:

    $2.5 per month for TWO YEARS.  Forfeiture of $60k is a pretty stiff punishment for the “crime” in which he was convicted.  And of course, Ensign “I guess you could say he christened me” Stadler (nice visual there, Stadler) gets nothing.  She committed all of the crimes for which Thompson was convicted, but she gets to walk with immunity.  Of course, now the Convening Authority will probably not even come close to considering clemency in this case, even though this case is where the powers under Article 60 would be best exercised.
    If I were the CA, I would dismiss the charges and give Thompson a letter of reprimand.  I would provide the following explaination in the action:
    I referred this case to a General Court Martial because I was advised that this was a rape case and there is an insurmountable pressure to refer such cases to a General Court martial in today’s military.  As I read through the record of trial, I realize that the referral was a mistake, as there were many facts that I did not know from the Article 32 that came out in the trial.  Maj. Thompson has spent 60 days in confinement, exhausted much of his savings on a civilian attorney that he could not afford to keep, and felt the stress caused by this court martial where he was accused of a crime that carried a maximum penalty of life without parole.  While I do not condone the acts for which Maj. Thompson was convicted, the going rate for such misconduct is generally a letter of reprimand, not a General Court Martial.  I believe that 60 days of confinement that he has already spent and a felony conviction is far more harsh than a letter of reprimand, so I believe that the only way I can ensure that justice is met and fulfill my duty as the Convening Authority is to dismiss the charges.  
    I am taking these measures fully realizing that I will most likely be lambasted by members of Congress, feminist groups, and those members of society who lobby to take away UCMJ authority from Commanders.  However, the aforementioned might fail to have the integrity to do so, I cannot reconcile the hypocrisy and, while I am not legall trained, the violation of Maj. Thompson’s equal rights under the law that the accuser in this case will receive no punishment for her actions in this matter, all of which she is guilty as a principal or aider and abettor, simply because she is not a heterosexual male.  If I were not able to exercise my authority to dismiss these charges against Maj. Thompson, then I would feel compelled to prefer charges against Ensign Stadler and her fellow accuser in this case, which I believe would be a waste of taxpayer’s dollars and a failure of the CNN test, as well.

  4. Charlie Gittins says:

    KF:  I would not hold my breath for anything so courageous to come out of Annapolis.  Even though the Supe is not competing for a 4th star by virtue of accepting the job he has, there is little in the way of moral courage to be found within the leadership of USNA, as the referral of the ridiculous sex assault charge amply demonstrated.  Strip poker and let’s all three get in bed naked. . . . Sexual assault?  Puhleese! 

  5. k fischer says:

    I’m wondering if any of that happened at all.  From all the news reports Thompson said he never hooked up with Stadler at all, and on the night of the alleged rape, he had three alibi witnesses, one of whom was his live in girlfriend who was supposed to testify according to one of the military sites.  I’m wondering if the defense counsel advised that neither of them testify based on the text message from Stadler to the accuser:
    The defense also introduced a series of texts between the alleged victim and Stadler. One from Stadler says, “What is the story so I don’t mix it up?” The alleged victim told Stadler to “say anything and everything…haha.”
    Does anybody have the inside scoop on what evidence might have caused the conviction?  Because to me, a text from Stadler asking what the “story” is and the response by the accuser to say “anything and everything….haha”, like a Marine Officer being charged with a crime where he could go to jail for life without parole is a laughing matter, is enough for me to acquit on the theory put forth by the defense.
    While I might be accused of being a victim-blaming misogynist, I must say that these two female officers are oxygen thieves cut from the same cloth as Ariana Klay.   What is really scary is that I know that some SVP could use my tax dollars to pay some shrink expert to testify under oath that it is quite a normal reaction for a victim of rape to use humor to deal with the trauma of her being raped and her use of humor in that text does not mean that the victim has a flippant attitude towards this process like someone who fabricates a false allegation might have.  What is really sad is that nothing will happen to them for their misconduct, which is either a false allegation or exactly the same misconduct for which Thompson was convicted.  

  6. Charlie Gittins says:

    Good point, KF.  In the light most favorable to the accusers, though, this was BS from the start.  And there are different rules for females who commit sexual misconduct who claim to be victims.  I had a female ensign accuse a Captain select of frat and adultery and caught her red handed lying under oath at trial — I mean beyond a reasonable doubt, proved perjury.  The prosecutor was dumbfounded by her brazeness and lies that were exposed with documentary proof.  She was actually fratting and having sex with another guy on the deployment on the down low and made up the accusation against the CO to protect her fratting boyfriend (and herself).  The members acquitted my client and the lying accuser was discharged with a General Discharge, not even NJP.  A knuckle dragging moroin could have convicted her of perjury and they let her walk.  Meanwhile, my innocent client has his career wrecked.  Don’t get me started . . . . .