Tuesday, July 31, 2007



by Walt Fitzpatrick and Tim Harrington (“Flight line”)


Tim Harrington and I received word within the past few hours that Rich Brannon, lead defense attorney to Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins, will rest his defense this morning at 9:00 a.m. PDT (0900 hours local Camp Pendleton). Hearing room observers report Brannon and his defense team have examined only Nathan Phan and Melson Bacos.

Tim and I have been frantic in our attempts to intervene in the court-martial getting word to Sgt. Hutchins that Rich Brannon is setting up Hutchins for a fall. James Connolly will not be recalled to the stand (as Tim and I are told) as this posting is published. Advising Brannon is John Kivlan, staff attorney to William Delahunt (D-10th MA.). Delahunt is Sgt. Hutchins' federal representative. Both Kivlan and Delahunt are working under the advice of Alan Dershowitz (previously reported in The JAG HUNTER). Kivlan is actually present at the Hutchins court-martial, sitting directly behind the defense table, and regularly consulting with Brannon and Hutchins' assigned military defense counsel during recesses.

In review of press reports regarding development in the Camp Pendleton Eight series of courts-martial, Tim and I have discerned James Connolly and his NCIS investigation team planted a fictional story about the death of Awad, and have successfully advanced this fantasy with the full criminal complicity and knowledge of Lt. James Mattis, Mattis' staff JAG Lt. Col. Riggs, other senior Marine Corps officials, Bill Delahunt, John Kivlan, and Al Dershowitz (recall the the court-martial of Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard).


Rich Brannon is about to willfully forfeit on an opportunity to publicly undue all eight courts-martial. Not calling Jim Connolly as a defense witness in this case is like Anita Gorecki not calling Army Colonel Michael Steele in the SSgt. Ray Girouard military ceremony. The Lootenant Culpepper defense is being played out (predictably) before our very eyes.

James H. Connolly is a liar. His theory of the 26 April 2006 combat events in Hamdania, Iraq is a total fiction. Connolly’s accusations against the Camp Pendleton Eight are completely false. And the Naval Criminal Investigative Service supervisory special agent and companion special agents have yet to produce a single shred of physical evidence, nor any record (chain-of-custody) that any evidence was ever collected. Agents working under Connolly are liars as well as Connolly.

Recalling the first five of the Camp Pendleton Eight cases concluded by way of government coerced deals—horse-trading bargains wherein sweetheart sentences were offered up for suborned, perjurious testimony—it’s worth taking note of emerging information from the contested military ceremonies over the past two weeks (as well as from earlier Article 32 hearings, plea-deal hearings, and press reports).

Ø James H. Connolly is a known and reported federal felon. Connolly is the supervisory Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) special agent in charge of the investigation of all eight servicemen now famously known as the Camp Pendleton Eight. Connolly is charged with protecting the practice of forced and coerced confessions that Connolly now himself exploits in all eight cases regarding Hamdania, Iraq.[1]

Ø Connolly’s NCIS team forced incompetent confessions form the only basis in the case against the CP8 Marines (no physical evidence exists).

Ø Connolly and his NCIS team planted the identity and name of 52-year old Hashim Ibrahim Awad into their reckless, incompetent, and politically motivated work (think Mike Nifong and the Duke Lacrosse team rape cases). Connolly even collected DNA samples. Yet, today, no person alive can verify Connolly's identification. Every mention of Awad's name after Connolly's construct is merely a repetition of Connolly's big lie.

Ø Physical evidence reported to exist has either been destroyed (Lt. Phan's computer records) or is being concealed (Connolly's "fliers," Connolly's DNA samples, unmanned airborne vehicle camera footage, and DNA autopsy lab reports).

Ø Connolly perjured himself in the Corporal Trent Thomas court-martial.[2]

Ø NCIS officials are withholding exculpatory evidence from the defense teams (citations below).

Ø Connolly did not read the Marines their Miranda protections prior to initial questioning.

Ø The Marines repeatedly requested, and Connolly repeatedly denied, attorney representation during NCIS interrogations.

Ø NCIS medieval interrogation techniques were employed. Questioning was conducted immediately after the men had returned from a battlefield patrol, was conducted for upwards of 14-hours without “head-calls” (bathroom breaks), and in the stifling Iraqi heat. The Gulag-like inquisitions were neither video nor audio recorded.

Ø Connolly’s NCIS goons found no physical evidence. Connolly is unable to produce the two DNA samples Connolly reported under oath he collected. No chain-of-custody is in evidence. Marine “Prosecutors called James Connolly, the lead investigator who has 19 years experience with [the NCIS], who said that he [Connolly] took samples from one of the alleged victims (sic), as well as from a pair of pants seized from Hutchins, the squad leader.”

Ø No one knows the identity of the alleged “victim” who first misidentified as Hashim Ibrahim Awad, was reduced to an “unknown Iraqi male.” Although medical experts from Dover AFB conducted an autopsy on a headless cadaver, no DNA was matched in support of a positive identification. Outside observers are scratching their heads trying to figure out how anyone even knows the sex.

Ø Sgt. Hutchins is charged with firing three “dead-check” head shots. How can that charge possibly be advanced considering the exhumed corpse reported returned to Dover for autopsy was severely decomposed and decapitated? No photos were taken.

Ø There is no corpse . It’s reported a copse was exhumed, examined, and returned to Iraq for reburial, but there’s no independent confirmation any of this occurred.

Ø An autopsy was conducted, but upon whom? Defense team forensic pathologists were denied access to the corpse for independent autopsy scrutiny. No pictures were taken. The complete autopsy report remains concealed. No DNA was recovered nor matched at least two DNA samples S/A Connolly stated under oath he obtained.

Ø Connolly once testified "arrogant" Marines distributed fliers in and around Hamdania two days after (28 or 29 April 2006) the initial combat that announced, in Arabic, AWAD had been killed caught trying to plant an explosive device. Connolly planted this story and it's a lie. Connolly's "flier" are missing.

Ø Witness intimidation tactics are ubiquitous (threats of charging perjury against Marines at Lt. Phan's Article 32 hearing, and yesterday as voiced by Lt. Col. John Baker in threatening HM3 Bacos).

Ø Earlier reports of Awad’s “relatives” reporting war-crimes committed by our Marines are completely undone. There are no relatives. There are no witnesses. There are no accusers.

Ø Connolly can be queried regarding problems found in the timeline.

Ø Lance Corporal Robert Pennington narrated during the ongoing Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins’ court-martial that Connolly’s NCIS henchmen commanded Pennington three times to rewrite his “statement” until it satisfactorily conformed to the NCIS’s fantasy theory of the war-crime.

Ø Jackson and Jodka have testified (during the Hutchins’ court-martial) that Connolly’s NCIS team forced their written statements and actually personally authored parts of the Marines’ written narrative.

Ø Marines and at least one JAG participated in the destruction of (then) Second Lieutenant Nathan Phan’s computer records. In a press release, Phan’s defense team decried the seizure and destruction of Phan’s thumb (flash) drive containing operating orders, after action reports, insurgent identity lists, and operational notes and details.

Ø Photographic evidence is compromised. Pictures used to force plea deals are different from government displayed photos during the Trent Thomas hearing.

Ø Marine intelligence experts quietly report their forensic analysis supports the Marines’ complete innocence. Classified information proves the Camp Pendleton Eight acted fully within the laws of land warfare, and their rules of engagement.

Ø Lcpl. Robert Pennington is caught in numerous testimonial contradictions. (See endnote 2)

Ø Previously leaked NCIS reports are proven false. No one knows yet who leaked the NCIS investigative work product.

Ø Unmanned airborne vehicle camera footage cleared all eight men of any wrongdoing. That UAV film footage is being withheld from public view.

Ø Connolly planted an unsubstantiated story regarding the UAV footage that Sgt. Hutchins and his squad were able to disguise ground activities by “tricking” the drone. The UAV film footage is not reported seized by NCIS agents as evidence.

Ø Defense teams were denied full access to the Hamdania urban area to conduct an independent and comprehensive investigation regarding accusations made against the Camp Pendleton Eight. Our government maintained Hamdania was too hostile and investigators could not be properly protected.

Here endth the lesson.

Beware the fury of the patient men!!

























[1] In a criminal complaint filed with the FBI, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, and NCIS.

[2] As reported by court-martial observers.

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