Here is Sen. McCaskill’s response to this op-ed by the WSJ’s James Taranto.  The Daily Beast is an odd place to post her response, but here is an excerpt:

I had reservations about responding to the multiple columns from the Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto, in which he makes a lengthy and spirited defense of a convicted sex offender.

. . . .

Ultimately, in the sexual assault case he references against Capt. Matthew Herrera, the task of examining the evidence and hearing the witnesses’ testimony doesn’t belong to columnists or elected officials—it belonged to a judge and a jury—two words that you won’t find in Mr. Taranto’s piece.

A judge and jury had the opportunity to hear the case, and decide if Capt. Herrera committed sexual assault, and they found him guilty. It is also important to note that this was a jury selected by Lt. General Helms.

(emphasis added).  I wonder if Sen. McCaskill will let the nomination proceed to a vote now that she has talked to LTG Helms?  We shall see. H/t DR

8 Responses to “Sen. McCaskil Response to WSJ Op-Ed on LTG Helms Nomination”

  1. Charlie Gittins says:

    Unsurprisingly, Senator McCaskill fails to address the point of the OP-ED — that she is one vote stopping a clearly qualified officer from getting an up or down vote on the Senate floor, as the Constitution provides, for advice and consent.  Maybe LTG Helms will not be confirmed on a floor vote; but she deserves the opportunity to have the vote take place.  I weary of a single bloviating Senator (of either party — yes, Senator McCain, you are equally blameworthy) holding the confirmation process hostage.  That is a practice that needs to be changed.   

  2. Joseph Wilkinson says:

    Mr. Taranto’s response to her is here.

  3. k fischer says:

    Col. Williams has integrity evidenced by his willingness to have any future confirmation placed on hold for standing up to a Senator who was perpetuating a falsehood.
     
    Here are some parting words by ADC, Capt. Collin Delaney published in the Cannon Connection regarding sexual assault defense:
    Should you find yourself accused of sexual assault, you can expect the following:
    • You will enter a world where the decisions to prefer and refer court-martial charges can be guided by politics, not justice;
    • you will face a prosecution team that includes a Senior Trial Counsel, an elite class of prosecutors drawn from the best in the Air Force;
    • beyond the prosecution team, your accuser will also be detailed their own JAG, known as a Special Victims’ Counsel, in addition to a victim advocate and a Sexual Assault Response Coordinator representative;
    • your ability to defend yourself in court will be significantly limited by the Military Rules of Evidence;
    • your jury pool will be handpicked by the same general officer that referred the charges against you;
    • a unanimous vote will not be required to convict you;
    • and if convicted, opportunities for clemency may be practically nonexistent due to the overwhelming scrutiny placed on general officers that have granted clemency in sexual assault cases.
    Can’t say I disagree with the good Captain.

  4. stewie says:

    A bit of hyperbole there KF.
     
    I don’t believe the MRE unfairly or significantly limit the ability to defend oneself at trial.
    The panel being hand-picked? Not as government friendly as you appear to believe.
    The decisions to prefer courts-martial MAY be affected by politics, but the decisions to refer in my experience have absolutely not been.  I’m sure it happens, just like bad things happen in any system…but I don’t think government JAGs are recommending referring cases they ethically believe shouldn’t go forward left and right.

  5. Ed says:

    read the exhibits in Herrera’s trial. Other than fraternization et al the rest is a package that no intelligent civilian prosecutor would take to trial.

  6. Michael K says:

    I just tried to click ‘Like’ on Mr. Gittins comment and realized quickly that this isn’t Facebook.

  7. Phil Cave says:

    The “like” button was removed years ago.
    Now you have to say, echo-Charlie.  Or if you are lazy EC.

  8. k fischer says:

    Stewie,
     
    After looking up the definition of Hyperbole (I admit that I got B’s in English at Community College),  I see your point.  Perhaps Capt. Delaney should have said: 
    Should you find yourself accused of sexual assault, you can expect the following, don’t be surprised if any of the following applies to your case:
    I think that your experience differs greatly from mine.  I have been at Ft. Benning through six SJA’s, and there were two regimes whom I would not have gone to in good faith and lay my defense out on the table.  The first regime had quite a reputation, so I did not give them the opportunity to screw my client over.  With the second, I negotiated in good faith to try to have to charges dismissed or dealt with at a lower disposition.  After all the witnesses changed their stories, I saw the writing on the wall and held my cards close.  
     
    So, you are right, you can trust most CoJ’s and SJA’s to do the right thing.  And, the system works great for them.  But, you are also correct when you say bad things happen in this system.  You’ve just been fortunate to not have had the experiences I and a lot of our colleagues have had.
     
    If you are referring to MRE #8, then I think you are right; a ham slice does not unfairly limit an accused’s ability to defend himself.  But, if you are talking about MRE 412, then I think that the it’s application can significantly limit your ability to defend yourself.  When compared to MRE 413, then I think it becomes unfair.