Earlier today I was sent a copy of the letter from 27 retired and former Marine judge advocates to the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. The letter, with the enclosures, is available here.

The opening paragraph:

We, the undersigned, write to you as retired or former Marine Corps and Navy officers and judge advocates. We are greatly concerned that the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, and one or more of his most senior legal advisers appear to have (1) deprived Marines of due process in military justice proceedings; (2) made misleading statements under oath about these activities; (3) engaged in abuse of the legal discovery process investigating this misconduct; and (4) endeavored to besmirch and disparage the reputation and career of the one Marine lawyer who, at great risk to his military career, did the right thing and reported all of this to the Inspector General of the Department of Defense. We ask that you commence a prompt investigation into these events, utilizing your oversight responsibilities to the fullest extent permitted by law.

6 Responses to “Letter sent by retired Marine judge advocates to HASC and SASC”

  1. John O'Connor says:

    I don’t have any idea whether there was discovery misconduct in any courts-martial, so I put that aspect of this to the side.  I have to say, however, that I am underwhelmed by the argument that the attachments to this letter are a smoking gun of UCI by the Commandant.

  2. k fischer says:

    Enclosure 2, page 4, middle of paragraph 1, the CMC actually includes the following sentence: 
     
    “I do not have that luxury.”  
     
    I wonder if the CMC or whoever wrote the answers to his Rogs gets a semi when he watches Jessup’s soliloquoy on “A Few Good Men.”
     
    JOC, I think the affidavits and Rogs are underwhelming to show that the CMC committed perjury in his answers in the Jiles case regarding the Heritage Brief.  I think he was talking about UCI from the statements that he made in the Heritage Brief rather than the letter he sent to Waldhauser rmoving him.  
     
    However, follow me on this one regarding UCI:  Waldhauser meets with the CMC who tells Waldhauser that he wants the Marines in the urination crushed.  They discuss whether Waldhauser could refer the cases to a General Court Martial.  He said that he couldn’t.  The CMC removes him as the CA and appoints a new one.  Cpt Clements faces a GCM.  The GCM gets dismissed when all the hullabaloo starts.  All this is circumstantial evidence, which generally is certainly enough to convict, but in this case is at least enough to call for an investigation.

  3. Mike says:

    Isn’t the DoD IG already doing an investigation?

  4. Advocaat says:

    Thank you for posting the letter.  (1) If a superior officer tells a subordinate CA to “crush” an accused, isn’t appointing a new CA a valid COA to remove the taint of UCI, assuming of course the new CA is not herself unlawfully influenced?  (2) If a subordinate CA informs his superior officer he is taking a certain action that the latter disagrees with (high or low), isn’t it within the superior’s purview to withhold the subordinate’s authority to act, again assuming the new CA is not herself unlawfully influenced? 

  5. k fischer says:

    Advocaat, 
     
    I think R.C.M. 306(a) would require the CMC to prefer charges himself because he took the charges out of the hands of the CA who expressed an opinion that he did not want to prefer a GCM against the Marines in the urination incident.
     
    Instead, it appears that the CMC replaced the Convening Authority with one who would refer the case to a GCM as he directed.  
     
    So, is that how you get around 306(a) and UCI?  All the superior commander has to do is ask whether or not the CA can effectuate the desired end state, and if they don’t, then commit UCI be strongly suggesting that they do, quickly followed by relieving them because of the appearance of UCI, then repeat until you find the CA who will?   
     
    Just seems like it goes against the spirit of the rule.

  6. Just Sayin' says:

    I note with some irony that certain signatories of this letter have themselves “endeavored to besmirch and disparage the reputation and career of the one [military] lawyer who, at great risk to military career, did the right thing and reported all of this to the Inspector General” in unrelated matters.
    Still wish Weirick success, though.  The system is broken.