CAAFlog » Court-Martial News » SSG Bales

Lots o’ military justice news, but not a lot o’ No Man time.  Alright, here we go.  The short, short version. (Do you? Yes. Do you? Yes. Good. You’re married. Kiss her!)

  • SSGT Bales hearing updates:  Here (KING 5 News, the accused’s wife’s perspective), here (Seattle Times), here (LA Times).
  • SGT Hurst court-martial in PVT Chen suicide:  Here and here (Fayetteville Observer).
  • Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair Art. 32 hearing:  Here (Marine Corps Times) and here (ABC News)
  • Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson, former Aviano IG, sentenced in his court-martial:  Here (Air Force Times).
  • MAJ Nidal Hasan and Ft. Hood shooting victims:  Here (Reuters, victims sue DoD) and here (AP via FoxNews).

Families of Victims of Ft. Hood Shootings Talk About Delays
As CAAF now reviews whether MAJ Hasan must shave his beard when standing trial for the Ft. Hood shooting spree, families are now 3 years out from the tragedy without any resolution. Reuters report here.

Bales Case Art. 32 Hearing
SSGT Robert Bales will face an Art. 32 hearing over the next 2 weeks at Joint Base Lewis McCord. Many reports on the facts behind the 16 premeditated murder charges and numerous other charges related to the shooting spree in Afghanistan, here (Chicago Tribune) and here (Seattle Times).

BGEN Sinclair to Face Hearing Today
Here is AP’s (via USAToday) version of the scant facts available about the Art. 32 hearing of former 82nd Airborne Deputy Commander BGEN Jeffrey Sinclair. Charges include forcible sodomy and possession of pornography in theater [corrected].

Bales Art. 32 Still Scheduled for Sep. 17, 2012

Accordings to the Gig Harbor Patch (here and here?) the Bales Art. 32 is still scheduled for Sep. 17th.  But it is not on the JBLM or Ft. Leavenworth dockets and Sep. 17th is the beginning of the JMJAT Conference.  So either the Bales convening authority is not following past precedenc=t in these high profile cases and is using an Art. 32 officer other than a military judge or the hearing has been moved (date or location).

“Navy Officer Losing Spanking Appeal”

Reports the Sydney Morning Herald.  Ok, so he’s an Australian officer.  But the headline sure is . . .

A former Navy Lieutenant Commander convicted of indecently spanking a junior female sailor has lost his appeal to the Federal Court.  Lieutenant John Alan Jones was found guilty in December last year of seven acts of indecency by a General Court Martial. . . . Other convictions were over incidents in which he told her to take off her pants, pulled down her underwear, made her lift up her top, and touched her bottom. . . .

Manning Court-Martial Access Writ to be Argued at CAAF on Oct. 10, 2012

From Politico, here:

The military’s highest appeals court has announced that it will hear oral arguments next month on a bid to allow the press and public direct access to records relating to the pending court martial of Pvt. Bradley Manning, the Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking hundreds of thousands of diplomatic cables and military reports to Wik[shhhh].

Will try to confirm it on the calendar, here.

According to this WaPo article, in addition to facing 16 specs of premeditated murder, Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales now also faces charges that he used alcohol and steriods in Afghanistan.

Afghan Shootings/Bales Court-Martial

Here from CBS News is an article on the Bales case that highlights interesting cultural differences in the Afghan and US military justice/justice systems.

US Rule of Law Lessons in Iraq Fading?

A few stories about individual rights and rule of law in Iraq.

MAJ Hasan Court-Martial

On Wednesday counsel for MAJ Nidal Hasan pleaded for additional time and a government-paid forensic pathologist to review autopsy reports, says AP (via Yahoo News here).  The judge, COL Gregory Gross, granted the expert request, but wiuthheld ruling on the continuance.  The case, now 2 years and 5 months removed from the shootings at Ft. Hood, has been previously delayed at the defense’s request, see here.

Bales Case – More on SSGT Bales and his family’s financial troubles, here (Seattle Times).  Maybe a theme at trial could be to blame the financial crisis?

Russell Fragging Case – SSGT John Russell court-martial continues to be bogged down in mental health of the accused issues.  This AP (via Yahoo News, here) report says that his lawyers have recently asked the military judge to order additional psychiatric care for the accused.  It also notes that, “A military judge recommended that Russell not face the death penalty for the charges. A final determination is pending with Army authorities [presumably the convening authority] at Lewis-McChord.”  Prior coverage of SSGT Russell’s charges in the shooting deaths of 5 US soldiers and a Navy officer here and here.

USS NEW YORK – This is just a feel good story from the Virginian-Pilot (here):

A Navy warship built with steel salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center left Norfolk on Tuesday on its maiden overseas deployment.

. . . .

Cmdr. Will Herrmann, commanding officer of the New York, is a native of Long Island – and nephew of a New York City firefighter. He said the ship represents everything the nation has overcome since the 9/11 attacks. Its bow incorporates more than 7 tons of steel taken from the rubble of the twin towers.

Tea Party Marine Ad Sep – Sgt. Gary Stein, the Marine political activist we discussed here, faces an ad sep board this Saturday morning, says the  San Diego Union Tribune, here.  Prior coverage of Stein’s Tea Party/Anti-Pres. Obama Facebook page here.

USS COLE Bomber Commission Hearing – Miami Herald coverage here of the upcoming testimony in the COLE bomber military commission hearing, which will likely be closed.  Carol Rosenburg reports that:

Defense lawyers write in a motion unsealed Monday that they’ll call Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, 47, as a witness to describe the trauma of his CIA interrogations in their bid to win a court order that he be unshackled during prison camp meetings with his attorneys.

. . . .

Declassified abuse investigations show that, while Nashiri was shackled, CIA agents waterboarded him, racked a semi-automatic handgun near his head and used a power drill to frighten him in 2002 and 2003.

I-Law Geek Corner – And speaking of secrecy, this from the head of NSA and CYBERWAR Commander, from the Washington Post, here:

Cyberattacks on enemy computer systems should require presidential authority — and not be launched at the discretion of individual military commanders — the nation’s top cyberwarrior told Congress on Tuesday.

I-law geeks feel free to talk amongst yourselves in the comments about jus ad bellum, orange juice, and who’s got the juice.  The MilJus geeks will leave you alone.

Media thrist for all things related to SSGT Bales’ alleged murder of 17 Afghan civilians is insatiable.  Here are a few:

  • Family’s financial condition here (Tacoma News-Tribune)
  • Review of chain of command regarding why SSGT Bales was allegedly able leave base twice to commit the crimes here (AP via FoxNews)
  • Clarifying one of the victims was not an unborn fetus, which would be permitted under Art. 118, here (MSNBC)
  • More on the identity, or lack thereof, of the 17th victim here (CNN)
  •  Matt Lauer’s interview of SSGT Bales’ wife on the Today Show is available after the break, here: Read more »

Here is an AP report (via Stars and Stripes) on the charges served today on SSGT Bales for the shooting deaths of 17 Afghan civilians and attempted murder of 6 others.  NYT coverage here.  Will try to update with a copy of the charge sheet when it is available.

[Update]  USFOR-A press release here.