Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Lootenant Culpepper’s Defense

“The [court-martial] went off all right with all the precision of a well drilled cast doing a well rehearsed play, the [court-martial] looked fine, up to the very last minute. The three witnesses told their stories clearly and simply, as if quoting their typescript statements from memory; their stories all jibed. The prosecutor explained with incontestable lucidity the infractions of the [Uniform Code of Military Justice] that had been committed and the penalty required by the [UCMJ] that had been committed and the penalty required by the [UCMJ] for such infractions…Everything looked rosy, everything was according to Hoyle. Then, at the last moment, with a sort of abortive outrage against destiny, Lt. Culpepper suddenly entered a furious plea of guilty and appeal for clemency on the grounds that all good soldiers were drunkards...

The accused could gladly have shot him...”

-James Jones

From Here to Eternity (1951)


I call it the “Lootenant” Culpepper’s defense, that is—no defense at all—because all accused military men are guilty doncha know. In America’s military courts-martial system “it is absolutely legally impossible to get…an acquittal.”

Those familiar with James Jones’ novel know that Culpepper’s client, Army Private Robert E. Lee Prewitt, was an innocent man.

Not that it made much difference.

Last January I was amongst a group of military folk closely watching the Ray Girouard case anticipating Ray was going to be coming home to Sweetwater, Tennessee after Girouard’s March general court-martial.

Ray is, after all, an innocent man.

Not that it makes much difference.

The columns in Ray’s defense were as numerous as they were strong and reliable proving Ray blameless. Tidbits of information—a glimpse here, a dissembling there—one built upon the next supporting the belief Ray’s release from shackles was eminent.

Witnesses against Ray had clearly impeached themselves by way of perjury encouraged by over-aggressive, predatory, outlaw Army prosecutors. Word had gotten out that Ray’s commanding officer, Colonel Michael Steele, had already been administratively reprimanded—fully responsible for the events of that day—begging the question why Ray hadn’t already been released outright. Then television news reporter Demetria Kalodimos discovered the existence of Colonel Steele’s pre-combat “hoo-ah” speech captured in a new film documentary.

Then ex-Army JAG Anita Gorecki had her “come-to-Jesus” meeting with Alan Dershowitz and everything went dark. Suddenly Ray found himself on a fast track leading directly to Fort Leavenworth.

Ex-Army JAG Gorecki, it turns out, is as much a traitor as she’s a less successful seductress.

Gorecki, influenced by the infamous Alan Dershowitz, added Ray Girouard’s general court-martial to a long list of rigged courts-martial (many publicly reported on these JAG Hunter pages, military ceremonies all, acts of attainder every one) that put Staff Sergeant Raymond Girouard in the dungeon at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Anita Gorecki was paid 28 thousand dollars to present the plain view defense that was available to free Ray Girouard. Community leaders in Ray’s hometown of Sweetwater, Tennessee fought hard to raise and then pay Anita Gorecki the $28k to bring Ray home.

Gorecki stole that money instead and sent Ray, an innocent man, to America’s martial catacombs.

Gorecki met with Alan Dershowitz in February 2007. The two of them brokered a deal to protect senior Army commanders from exposure and embarrassment. Readers need know little more than that Ray Girouard’s commanding officer, Colonel Michael Steele (of Black Hawk Down fame), was found fully accountable and administratively punished for something (we’re not exactly sure what, thanks to Gorecki and Dershowitz) that occurred in the same operation for which Steele’s men, including Girouard, faced court-martial.

Gorecki won a motion to force Col. Steele’s public testimony. Suspicions regarding Gorecki’s true loyalties erupted when Gorecki voluntarily declined to call Steele to the witness stand only after Gorecki met with Alan Dershowitz, and without Gorecki supplying any truthful explanation.

Anita Gorecki was paid cash money to dissolve the Army’s myth that formed the basis for false accusations thrown at Ray Girouard. I’m speaking about the perjury suborned under duress voiced by soldiers Graber, Huntsaker, and Clagett. One learns in lawyer’s school, in the “DEFENSE 101” class, that a case based upon lies, once its foundation is washed away, is a case where the accused gets to go home a free man (fruit of the poised tree stuff).

Instead, ex-Army JAG Gorecki worked aggressively to Ray’s demise making good use of Lootenant Culpepper’s defense—that is, no defense at all.

It’s one thing to inform a client the other side is ready to deal. It’s altogether another matter to aggressively push for a client to accept an offer. Gorecki’s duplicity is most dramatically betrayed by her begging Ray to take a take a deal that wasn’t even yet on the table.

Gorecki freely admits, almost to the point of blustering boast, she employed her womanly ways to seduce Ray (at the time a man who’d already suffered forced celibacy for over a half-year) to cave under extraordinary government pressures. Anita acted out with her self-admitted overly emotional assault on Ray’s psyche. Crying tears profuse enough to drown rats, Gorecki flipped through pictures of Ray’s wife, and Ray’s son Hunter. Anita cried Ray a river assuring Ray would never see his family again unless Ray took a deal.

Forty years (40 YEARS!) in a military cave was what Captain Fischbach offered first.

When Ray bravely told Gorecki (Dershowitz) and Fischbach to go to hell, Gorecki (Dershowitz) contumaciously tossed Ray and Ray's solid defense on the trash heap.

As vividly exampled above Gorecki refused to call Col. Michael Steele to the witness stand. Gorecki further refused to subpoena a film central to profiling the command climate Ray served under, "I Am an American Soldier: One Year in Iraq with the 101st Airborne, a documentary directed by John Laurence. In the film Col. Steele waves a World Trade Center flag to rouse men such as Staff Sergeant Girouard and Girouard’s subordinates (Grabber, Huntsaker, and Clagett) before a combat engagement, inciting those men to fight…later celebrating their battlefield performance.

In the days leading up to the court-martial ex-Army JAG Gorecki limited information, completely cut off communication between court-martial participants and those closely following its progress. Fischbach’s team reinforced this unofficial cloaked gag order. No one was to talk to anybody.

A group of three or four men barged into the Ms. Joy Girouard-Oakes military motel room at 2:00 a.m. just hours before Joy was scheduled to testify on Ray’s behalf. Joy’s frightened response quickly forced the group’s retreat. Alerting the front desk of the break-in, the front desk employee expressed surprise that Joy was still in the room.

The clerk explained that witness coordinator, Ms. Cheryl Young, called the front desk earlier—prompted by someone on Fischbach’s JAG team—that Ms. Girouard-Oakes’ room was empty and available for new occupancy. Captain Jerry Dugan, it turns out, directed Ms. Young to call motel management giving a green light to rent what Dugan and Young represented was an empty room.

Dugan was working for Fischbach.

Joy expressed her outrage to Gorecki hours later, before Ray’s court-martial reconvened, in a corridor outside the hearing room. Captain Dugan, overhearing Joy’s animated complaint approached with a smirk on his face punctuating his uninvited question, “How’d you sleep last night?”

This tactic is described in the law books as witness intimidation and it’s a crime. Consequently, because of actions reported here (combined with many others) Army JAGs Fischbach and Dugan are described as criminals.

Gorecki was unconcerned. “No big deal,” ex-Army JAG Gorecki said. “Let it go…forget it.” Whether Gorecki knew about or encouraged Fischbach and Dugan’s witness intimidation beforehand is unknown.

Gorecki sloughed off another report of witness intimidation. Ray’s advocate (defender), Anita Gorecki accepted the government’s explanation there were not enough vehicles to transport Ray Girouard, Huntsaker, and Clagett to prevent their talking to (influencing) each other. Huntsaker and Clagett, of course, worked hard on Ray in their importunities for Ray to take the government’s “deal.”

Gorecki, again, didn’t think a second example of intimidation and coercion of Ray meretricious (as Gorecki would know). Why would she? Gorecki had tired herself to seduce Ray into taking a plea agreement and failed (hence, a scorned, rejected woman).

One more item about Anita Gorecki: Anita’s husband, an Army officer wearing a Ranger tab, once served under Michael Steele’s command. Anita did not disclose her personal connection to Steele while money was being collected to pay Gorecki’s legal fees. Not until the court-martial hearing officer and Captain Fischbach announced the news during the court-martial was it publicly revealed Anita’s husband and Steele had once enjoyed a senior/subordinate command relationship.

Questions are swirling now about how Anita Gorecki introduced herself to Ray’s defense, and how it was she was to low-ball any other civilian attorney. From all appearances, Anita invited herself to this dance.

About to join Ray is Marine Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins, III (taking for granted nothing reported on these JAG Hunter pages will be effective in time).

Consistencies between Ray’s court-martial just completed and Larry Hutchins’, about to begin, and the consistencies between those military discipline hearings to the many others profiled at The JAG Hunter and JAGMIRE makes clear that what one man can hide, another can uncover.

Congressman William Delahunt (D–10th MA) asked his counsel, Atty. John P. Kivlan, to act on Delahunt’s behalf to gather evidence in support of Sgt. Hutchins’ innocence. Regrettably (working for Delahunt) attorney Kivlan introduced Alan Dershowitz to Richard Brannon (Hutchins’ lead defense counsel). Now that Dershowitz and Brannon are good friends, Marine Sgt. Larry Hutchins finds himself defenseless and on a fast track to join Ray Girouard at Ft. Leavenworth.

Kivlan informs us (in a conversation with Tim Harrington) that students matriculated by Alan Dershowitz are perfecting Lootenant Culpepper’s defense (no defense at all) in the looming court-martial of Marne Sgt. Larry Hutchins.

During a recent phone conversation between Lawrence (father) and Kathie (mother), parents to Sgt. Hutchins, John Kivlan implied heir son was going to prison. All that was left to do was to determine for how long. Moreover, in a separate conversation, Kivlan explained further to Tim Harrington that he (Kivlan, with other staffers nodding heads north and south in agreement) knew the courts-martial system was crooked, but couldn’t be repaired in time to save Marine Sgt. Hutchins.

All this while, right there and in plain view, there exist clear and rock solid reasons to release Marine Sgt. Hutchins immediately.

I’ve embraced the teachings of W. Edward W. Deming for many years, especially his emphasis upon the business practice regarding trend analysis. Watching trends is also aggressively advocated as a best practice in the engineering disciplines.

It is significant then to recognize in the study of military discipline the anomaly (the outlying discrepant practice) is when advocates employed to defend a military member actually put up a fight protesting their client’s innocence.

For anyone keeping any sort of score card I’d like to observe:

Ray Girouard is an Army Ranger,

Larry Hutchins is a Marine from a family proudly steeped in Marine Corps service,

Alan Dershowitz is an ogre,

Lootenant Culpepper, er…I mean Rich Brannon is a bastard, and

Anita Gorecki is ah…well, a monster.

With that I offer this gentle suggestion that attorneys are feeding upon America from within, and that we’ve got the wrong people in our prisons.

Here endth the lesson.

Copyright © 2007: The JAG Hunter

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Copyright © 2009 The JAG HUNTER

Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 6/27/2007 05:53:00 PM   1 comments


At Wed Jul 04, 07:42:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The military justice system is very fair, more so than the federal criminal system. Visit any military legal defense shop and you will find that it is not uncommon to see new counsel earning multiple acquittals, or lose the merits phase of the trial and yet draw a very light sentence for a relatively serious crime. On the other hand, because of the federal sentencing guidelines, you rarely see defendants in the federal system plead not guilty. And even less common are outright acquittals for those brave souls who decide to exercise their right to force the government to prove their case. There are many reasons for this disparity. The main reason, in my opinion, is that military juries play a role in sentencing. Military juries tend (not always of course) to shy away from putting someone wearing the same uniform as they wear in a cage for a long time. (The exception is a servicemember found guilty of child abuse.)


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