Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Prepared statement of Mr. Charles Gittins, civilian attorney representing USAF Major Harry Schmidt:
We have reviewed the decision by General Carlson and are shocked by the fact that General Carlson found Harry guilty of an offense of which he was never charged: the unpremeditated murder of the four Canadians. If what General Carlson claimed were true -- that Harry used self defense as a pretext and recklessly released ordnance without legal justification -- that constitutes unpremeditated murder under the UCMJ. Not even Brig. General Steve Sergeant, the Air Force's chief hatchet man at the Article 32 investigation, could look Harry in the eye and [make] that specious allegation.

This accident was the product of a personal failure on the part of General T. Michael Mosely, who recklessly failed to cause his command and control system -- for which he bore responsibility as the Commander CENTAF -- to provide adequate and necessary to the safe planning and execution of the missions being flown into Afghanistan. By placing the blame at the lowest possible level -- the lowest ranked American in the chain, the Air Force has protected the criminal negligence of its general officer corps. This bodes ill for the rank and file USAF combat aviator -- they can expect to be sacrificed for the careerist generals who claim to be Air Force leaders but lack the moral courage to stand up and do what is right.

Major Schmidt is contemplating his appeal and whether to pursue his claim for an intentional violation of his Privacy Act rights by General Carlson's unlawful release of service record documents protected from public release by the Privacy Act.


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