The biggest story is the court-martial of Army General Jeffrey Sinclair (click here for prior coverage). Here are the highlights:
The New York Times has this overview of the case and the climate on Capitol Hill.
The Los Angeles Times has this story about the departure of Lt. Col. Helixon from the case. Additional details are in this AP story. And this Reuters story also discusses Lt. Col. Helixon’s departure, noting that he “disclosed serious personal health and family problems.” As such, I’ll likely not mention the subject again, and I wish the Lt. Col. good luck and a speedy recovery.
The Government will be permitted to show the members some of the pornography found on the General’s computer in Afghanistan, but it will not be allowed to argue that the pornography is evidence of intent or a plan to commit forcible sodomy. It also won’t be permitted to show it during the opening statements (apparently, the prosecutors wanted to show 50 videos and 125 images during the opening…). Story here and additional coverage here.
Opening statements are scheduled for 9 a.m. on Thursday.
In other news, the court-martial of Army Staff Sergeant Solis is over. The case hasn’t been part of our coverage, but the accused faced allegations that he assaulted one of his ex-wives and raped the other (yes, two ex-wives). This local media report has details of the trial, including commentary that, “Perhaps the day’s most emotional testimony of all came from Solis’ second wife, who was brutally raped by him seven months before they were married” (emphasis added). According to this report, SSG Solis was convicted of just one specification of assault consummated by a battery, and sentenced to reduction to E-5 and forfeiture of $1,500 pay per month for two months.
Reader “T” alerted me to this story about a junior Airman who claims she was raped while working as an undercover informant for the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Notably, the Air Force hasn’t been shy about using junior personnel as informants, as revealed by this Colorado Springs Gazette report and this Air Force Times story (both mentioned by Mike last December in this post).
Finally, the President has nominated Colonel John Ewers to be the next Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps.