And the hits just keep on coming in the Army, see CNN report here and Military Times report here.  Form Military Times:

The Army announced it has suspended the commander of Fort Jackson, S.C., amid misconduct allegations that include adultery and a physical altercation, according to a spokesman for Training and Doctrine Command.

Brig. Gen. Bryan T. Roberts was suspended today as commander of the Army Training Center and Fort Jackson by TRADOC commander Gen. Robert W. Cone, based on a preliminary investigation by Army Criminal Investigation Command. The investigation pointed to a breach of good order and discipline, “which was contrary to Army values and could not be condoned,” said spokesman Harvey Perritt.

I guess at least the report isn’t sexual assault.  H/t AG.

From WaPo, reports on the motions decisions in the PFC Manning case:

The judge in the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning said Tuesday that she will close portions of the trial to the public to protect classified material, a ruling that is likely to frustrate civil liberties groups that have alleged the case is being shrouded in secrecy.

And more on yesterday’s goings on in Manning from the AP’s Dave Dishneau (via Seattle Times) here:

Lawyers in the court-martial of an Army private who sent more than 700,000 classified U.S. documents to WikiL[shhh] said Tuesday they have reached a deal that may eliminate the need for testimony from a member of the military team that killed Osama bin Laden. Prosecutors also agreed to accept Pfc. Bradley Manning’s guilty plea to a lesser version of one of the 22 counts he faces.

Under the agreement, both the prosecution and defense teams would acknowledge at Manning’s trial next month that there is digital evidence indicating bin Laden saw some of the material Manning released. The raid team member, presumably a Navy SEAL, was expected to testify that the evidence was recovered during a May 2011 raid on the al-Qaida leader’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

16 Responses to “Military Justice News for May 22, 2013”

  1. k fischer says:

    This is getting a little ridiculous.  I would imagine that if CNN caught wind of a high ranking Officer getting married, it would report the story something like this:
    General Snuffy got married on Saturday and will take one weeks leave to honeymoon with his lovely bride in Hawaii.  While the General and his bride will most likely engage consensual intercourse, the miltiary has been plagued by a series of sexual assaults.  Recently, it is estimated that over 26,000 unreported sexual assaults occurred in the military during 2012.  CNN will not print Mrs. Snuffy’s first name because she is a potential future victim of a military run amok with sexual misconduct.
    I understand why a Commanding General being suspended for adultery would make the news in the military papers and the Miltiary Times does a good job at keeping the other named officers somewhat relevant without mentioning sexual assault.   But, tthe CNN’s story tie-in to sexual assault is a stretch

  2. Phil Cave says:

    To paraphrase Lewis Carroll, let’s have the hanging, then the trial.

  3. ResIpsaLoquitur says:

    Well, the story involves allegations of sex and an assault, so I guess that’s good enough for them.  (Rolleyes.)
    For peace of mind, I’ll recommend reading a Michael Chrichton novel, “Airframe.”  It’s about an aircraft manufacturer that comes under public scrutiny when one of its passenger planes has a serious accident.  One of the scenes that struck me was a later development in the story when another plane has an engine malfunction.  The press uses the second story to amp up the criticism of the manufacturer, even though it wasn’t an engine they built.  The novel ultimately becomes a critique of the press and how it uses distortion and spin to get sales.  I don’t know if it applies here (oh, heck, of course it does), but it might make those of you suffering from press-fatigue feel better.
    I almost wish we could embed a reporter in a JAG office so that he/she could give real-time reports on how a court-martial works.  Of course, there’s no plausible way to make this happen–the reporter would be bored out of his mind waiting a year for the trial, and would be p.o.’d that he’s not allowed into witness interviews or trial strategy meetings.

  4. Dyskolos says:

    Res Ipsa –
    It wouldn’t matter.  The reporter would write what he/she wanted to in the first place. I can recall several interviews that I and the Public Affairs Officer thought went very well only to be flabbergasted by what was attributed (misattributed I should say) in the resulting article.

  5. Contract Lawyer says:

    ResIpsa – Ah, a potential procurement fraud issue.  Something in my lane.
    I suppose the altercation was with the wife or girlfriend.  This is how audultry sometimes comes to the attention of the system.
    To praraphrase Judge Hodges (quote not suitable here), never have a relationship unless the partner has more to lose than you.

  6. ResIpsaLoquitur says:

    @Phil Cave,
    You’re just depressing me now.  I recomemnd on clicking on the link “6 Army Tattoos Gone Wrong” in the same article to counterbalance that sinking feeling you’ll get reading the shower-article.

  7. Dew_Process says:

    How many SVC’s are they going to need?  This appears to be a “growth” industry for the legal profession in general and the JAGC in particular!
    If they mandated “co-ed” showers there . . . . no, logic never works.

  8. Contract Lawyer says:

    Dew Proc – Your comment reminds me of that scene from the movie Starship Troopers.

  9. Phil Cave says:

    RIL, seriously funny.

  10. AF CMJ says:

    Preaching to the choir, but still:

  11. k fischer says:

    I read this article about some of the good work that SVC’s are doing in the Air Force and it actually made me sincerely think that they are doing some good things.
    But, as far as a”growth” industry is concerned, I agree; and it might be necessary.  And, when I start thinking about all of the VA appeals for service connected MST and sexual assault defense cases there will be, I am thankful for the training that I received in the military on how to prosecute and defend sex cases.  If no one can stop the change that’s coming, then I might as well make some money winning one case at a time on both sides of the v.

    The ethical question I have is, if I get a Servicemember acquitted of sexual assault, can I then file an appeal for the victim’s MST claim in the Court of Appeal for Veteran’s Claims when the victim is discharged?  (I’m kidding, of course)

  12. Vic Ferrari says:

    This US Army-West Point shower video story has got to be the last straw.  The President and Congress need to fire every single general officer in the entire DoD tomorrow.  I’ve been an ardent supporter of the current iteration of the UCMJ and I think that by and large Art 120 cases are handled fairly.  But this is now going way beyond just a problem (or lack thereof) with Art 120 and its cases.  Maybe the military really does have a deeply engrained mysogonistic culture.  Heads need to roll, period.

  13. Paleo Living says:

    @Vic Ferrari……This is the piece that Congress is not coming to grips with. Unless and until the flag ranks feel major, knee-buckling pain, this will not end. The measures that Congress is taking are just going to create a zero-tolerance environment which is going to make the military a miserable environment. The solution must hinge on commander and command team accountability and ending the perception (reality) that standards apply to everyone subordinate to a given command team (or senior rank, officer or enlisted) but not the command team itself. All actions need to be evaluated. If they wrongfully discharge someone, erroneously reverse court-martial, it needs to be tracked. Three strikes and they are gone. Retired immediately with no pension, no recognition as a flag officer, sergeant major, etc. If already retired and later records (like from the review boards agency) show they jacked stuff up, recall them and take their pension. Let them keep medical, but take the monthly check. When they start seeing their cohorts going broke, their names removed from legacy documents, pictures taken down, etc, they will clean up their ways and start policing each other. Officers are taking a beating here, rightfully so, but our senior enlisted are culpable in this as well. They are leaders too and their actions have serious effects. 

  14. Wildcat says:

    The USMA case is not just the last straw; it is another example of the the double-standard when it comes to military justice. I am confident a guy like the shower guy had other complaints about him before. I am sure he probably exuded a “creepy factor” to the female cadets in his charge. I have seen a hundred guys like him and you can smell the type from a mile away. But he was allowed to keep rising within the ranks because he probably had patron saints in the right place to make that possible. Meanwhile, you got leaders there hammering cadets over the so-called “Honor” Code violations for what in many cases amounts to tempests in a teapot.  Meanwhile, they didn’t see what the real cancer was within their house.