Wednesday, February 28, 2007

NCIS Special Agent Connolly testifies Marine said he shot Iraqi man in head!

Connolly said he only realized something was wrong with Hutchins' account when the Navy corpsman attached to the squad, Melson J. Bacos, told agents a very different version of events...

___________

JAG Hunter here: Supervisory Special Agent James H. Connolly is a criminal. Connolly, with many other NCIS sycophants and Navy/Marine Corps JAGs are actively involved in extraordinary illicit business running now for nearly two decades. These events are widely known, widely reported, and completely ignored.

Connolly's singular role in the investigations regarding those infantry combat episodes occuring in Haditha, then Hamdania renders them incompetent. Conolly's investigative work is beyond repair. Connolly is joined in this criminal enterprise by hundreds of other senior uniformed and civilian Defense Department officials.

Navy Commander Tim Zeller confirmed this all just two months ago. Rigging courts-martial to convict is business as usual.

The practical effect of yesterday's revelations are that Marine Sgt. Larry Hutchins and Army Staff Sergeant Ray Girouard must be released instantly. Connolly stands as poster child for CID/NCIS in the industrial manufacture of crime scenes were no crime is committed. Girouard, Hutchins, and their comrades in arms are being sacrificed in politically correct atonement responsive to a press corps generally condemnatory of America's military magnified by inappropriate Iraqi government pressures.

Courts-martial already completed are not just voidable, they are void.

Here endth the lesson.

The JAG Hunter. Copyright©2007.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/28/2007 05:27:00 AM   0 comments

Attorneys for Marines charged with murdering Iraqi got 20 minutes in Hamdania to investigate

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

RAY SHOULDN'T GET A COURT-MARTIAL...RAY SHOULD GET A MEDAL!

Hometown fights for soldier charged in Iraq slayings

"He's been fighting for our freedom, and now he needs our help," Cleveland, a schoolteacher and the wife of a dairy farmer, told fellow parishioners.

JAG Hunter: Here endth the lesson.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/25/2007 06:14:00 AM   0 comments

Saturday, February 24, 2007

WATE-TV (ABC) VIDEO COVERAGE (Court-martial planning notes)

Nationwide support for Staff Sergreant Ray Girouard, a Sweetwater, TN soldier accused of murder

Thousands of people from all over the country are donating money to help a Sweetwater soldier charged with murder.

_________________


JAG Hunter here: "RAY SHOULDN'T GET A COURT-MARTIAL...RAY SHOULD GET A MEDAL."-- Also see this message from Mr. Rick Amato.

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Friday, February 23, 2007

REGARDING STAFF SERGEANT RAYMOND GIROUARD'S GENERAL COURT-MARTIAL ABOARD THE FORT CAMPBELL ARMY POST:



DRIVING DIRECTIONS:


>From US41A, enter FORT CAMPBELL thru Gate 4 (Main Gate) and stop at the Visitors Center to obtain a visitor’s vehicle registration certificate. Request that the vehicle registration be made effective (dated valid) for an eight or nine day pass (depending on which day you get your pass (see below); the expected length of the trial is eight days). This allows you to pass through the gate freely for the expected duration of the hearing. To register your vehicle on the first day you will need:
  • A valid drivers license (photo identification).
  • Proof of insurance.
  • Current vehicle registration
Your vehicle will be searched.

The registration/search process will take from 15 to 20 minutes, longer if there's a crowd.


Once registered, continue on Screaming Eagle Blvd/26th Street, thru two stop lights, to the 3-way stop sign at the corner of 26th and Tennessee Avenue (veer to the right as when Screaming Eagle Blvd splits).

Turn right onto Tennessee Avenue. Your turn is marked by the Fort's Museum, a large brown metal building with Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum painted on the front.

After turning right turn onto Tennessee, you'll see the "court-house" down the road about a block, to your left. It's clearly recognized by four white pillars in front and a brown sign. Parking is across the street from the court house, to your right.



PLANNING NOTES:

  • The court-martial is scheduled to begin at 0900 hours, Tuesday 13 March 2007 and run to Wednesday, 21 March 2007. It can and probably will have weekend sessions (Saturday and possibly Sunday).
  • Seating is limited. First come, first served.
  • Family members, friends, and other visitors who wish to attend the court-martial should contact Counselor Anita Gorecki (lead prosecutor) who can provide advance notice to Master Sergeant Webster to avoid delay or denial of access to Fort Campbell.
    • Counselor Gorecki's office phone: 910.860.5472
    • Counselor Gorecki's Email: lawyers@defendingsoldiers.com
    • Media representatives contact Master Sergeant Webster -- Family, friends, visitors contact Counselor Gorecki.
  • Arrive as early as you can each day. Registering your vehicle on Monday 12 March 2007, after peak rush hour (0730 - 0830) at Gate 4 (the Visitor's Center) is a good plan.
  • Peak rush hour at Gate 4 is 0730-0830 (repeated for emphasis).
  • Bring lunch/snacks/drinks. There's a Burger King on Post, however, the place is packed to capacity with soldiers every day. There's nothing "fast" about getting your food.


FOR MEDIA REPRESENTATIVES:

  • Army Master Sergeant Terry Webster is you point of contact. Make arrangements with him for media passes and press escorts. Call ahead: SEATING IS LIMITED!
  • ALL media representatives, film crews, journalists, reporters, photographers, stringers, and commentators, etc. must contact Master Sergeant Webster to arrange public affairs officer escort. Media representatives must further sign their acceptance and agreement to the Fort Campbell media ground rules immediately available from MSgt. Webster.
  • Repeating for stress and emphasis: MEDIA PERSONNEL MUST CONTACT MASTER SERGEANT WEBSTER PRIOR TO ARRIVAL. UNESCORTED MEDIA EMPLOYEES WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE FORT CAMPBELL INSTALLATION.
  • No press conferences will be allowed in front of the court-house. Again, Contact MSgt. Webster regarding Fort Campbell media regulations and restrictions.
  • Media representatives contact Master Sergeant Webster -- Family, friends, visitors contact Counselor Gorecki.

Contact The JAG Hunter

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/23/2007 05:53:00 PM   0 comments

LAWYER SAYS SSgt. GIROUARD DID NOT GIVE ORDER TO KILL PRISONES

“Sgt. Girouard did not order anyone to kill those Iraqi detainees,” said attorney Anita Gorecki. “He did not give an order period.”

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Airman is accused in deadly Iraq shooting

Airman 1st Class Kyle Dalton of the 15th Security Forces Squadron at Hickam, will face a court martial on April 23 at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia. He is charged with shooting Airman 1st Class Carl Jerome Ware, Jr. who was in the same Hickam unit.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/22/2007 07:12:00 PM   0 comments

NCIS

Father, Son Contracting Firm Indicted for Ripping Off NAVAIR

The indictment alleges that from May through December 2001, the defendants caused UPI to submit invoices to the Navy by mail that contained fraudulent labor costs.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Not the best or brightest: Increased granting of 'moral waivers' dangerously lowers standards for military recruits

The savage conflict in Iraq has placed enormous stress on even the most level-headed, scrupulous of soldiers. Abu Ghraib and other moral lapses should be incentive enough to redouble efforts to enlist the best and the brightest. Instead, it seems that the lowering of standards will have the opposite effect.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/20/2007 11:05:00 AM   0 comments

Air Force Captain Devery L. Taylor pleads not guilty to raping 4 men

Capt. Devery L. Taylor, former chief of patient administration at Eglin Regional Hospital, is accused of drugging and raping the men, three of whom were in the military, after meeting them in bars in Pensacola and on Okaloosa Island.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lance Corporal Pennington gets 8 years in Hamdania killing

Clo Shivnan of Long Beach contended that despite the admissions from the men who have pleaded guilty ---- and said that they knew what they were doing was wrong ---- 'we're still not getting the full story."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/17/2007 10:55:00 PM   0 comments

Lance Corporal Pennington - Psychologist: War damaged accused Marine's mental health

Pennington faces life in prison, but a shorter sentence is likely part of his pretrial agreement.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/17/2007 12:33:00 PM   0 comments

Mother asks for light sentence for Hamdania Marine

[Lance Corporal Robert Pennington] told the court Friday during an unsworn statement, meaning he could not be cross-examined by prosecutors, that he feels remorseful.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/17/2007 12:27:00 PM   0 comments

Padilla brig officials must testify

Ordered to appear at the competency hearing are: Sandy Seymour, who was technical director at the brig in Charleston, S.C., while Padilla was there; Craig Noble, brig psychologist; Mike Reheuser, a Defense Department attorney; and Andrew Cruz, a brig social worker.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/17/2007 11:36:00 AM   0 comments

Business: Florida weaponsmaker finds unwanted NCIS glare

"For the record, Knight said he has never done anything wrong, and wonders about the legitimacy of an investigation when NCIS has never interviewed him and refuses to tell him its focus.

'That's as criminal as anything,' he said, noting an NCIS source told him he wasn't a target of the inquiry. NCIS declined to confirm that.

Knight blames his troubles on competitors trying to undermine his business with the military by complaining to agencies such as NCIS, which he said is a common ploy with defense contractors."

JAG Hunter here: What is the NCIS doing investigating a private company working a contract for Special Operations Command (SOC)? This dosen't fall under NCIS authority (The "N" stands for Navy).

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/17/2007 11:24:00 AM   0 comments

DoD resumes mandatory anthrax vaccinations

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/17/2007 02:29:00 AM   0 comments

Friday, February 16, 2007

Lawmakers & Lawyers Challenge Bush Administration Military Commissions

"...Senator Chris Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat and a candidate for the 2008 presidential nomination, this week introduced legislation that would make substantial changes to the MCA. He was joined by fellow Democrats Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, and Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey."


JAG Hunter here:
Dodd, Feingold, and Menendez, you fully realize, are angling to put in place more legal protections for our declared enemies than they are willing to afford members of America's armed forces (under the UCMJ).

What more needs be said about what's wrong with the Congress?

Here endth the lesson.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/16/2007 11:01:00 PM   0 comments

Army Master Sgt. Timothy B. Hennis

"... the military can prosecute Hennis because the U.S. Supreme Court has long held that the state and federal governments are separate entities for the purposes of double jeopardy.

A not guilty verdict in the state system does not protect someone from prosecution in a federal or military court.

The Army called Hennis out of retirement to face the charges in the military court system. He returned to duty at Fort Bragg on Oct. 30 and was charged Nov. 9."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/16/2007 09:54:00 PM   0 comments

SHOW ME THE FLIER FROM IRAQ!

LANCE CORPORAL PENNINGTON court-martial update: Supervisory Special Agent James H. Connolly suborns perjury!


"Also testifying for the government was James Connolly, a Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent who interrogated platoon members in Iraq.

Connolly testified about having met with family members of Awad and learning that within a day or two of the slaying, a flier had been handed out in Hamdania by members of the platoon with a threatening message that if anyone was caught digging a hole for a roadside bomb they, like Awad, would be killed."

JAG Hunter here: A couple of things--

To begin Supervisory Special Agent to the PENDLETON EIGHT case, James Conolly, is a known and reported federal felon criminal. Connolly's criminal conduct is reported to FBI agents resident in Silverdale, WA.

One of Connolly's criminal acts was to hand deliver a "flier" threatening physical harm. Unlike the situation facing Lcpl. Pennington, Connolly's flier actually exists (people have seen it).

Any one seen the flier from Iraq Connolly testified about?

Than this: Jodka's and Bacos' testimonies are worthless. Any statement issued as the work product of NCIS coercion or duress is to be disregarded out of hand. Connolly is personally responsible for this subornation of perjury now in plain view.

Lastly, reporters from the North County Times, to include Mr. Walker, and The Kitsap Sun (Connolly's neighborhood paper) are completely aware Connolly is a criminal. And they've seen Connolly's flier along with much more. Those who fail to report on these facts at the expese of Lcpl. Pennington and his family are, frankly, monsters.

Repeating for emphasis: Show me the flier from Iraq!

Here endth the lesson.

The JAG Hunter. Copyright©2007.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/16/2007 07:40:00 AM   0 comments

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

THE EXPLANATION FROM LANCE CORPORAL PENNINGTON'S PARENTS

"In a unanimous decision by all four members of his defense team, it was decided none of the Marines had a chance at a fair trial."

______________________________________

Begin quote
Terry Pennington ; Deanna home

Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2007 8:18 PM
Subject: Court Martial Day


I have bad news and I have more bad news. And maybe, just maybe, some good news.

Here is the deal:

The "Pendleton 8" were convicted by the government before they ever even left Iraq. That's why they were immediately placed in shackles when they arrived at the brig at Camp Pendleton. That's why they've been in solitary cells at that brig ever since. That's why every motion we've made with our defense team to try to lessen their pre-trial punishment has been denied. And that's why our Marine, Rob, pled guilty to a couple of the counts against him today.


In a unanimous decision by all four members of his defense team, it was decided none of the Marines had a chance at a fair trial. The jury pool, some 205 military personnel, was made up of their "peers" as mandated by military law. Their "peers" had no combat experience. Not one of them had any "trigger time". None of them could possibly fairly judge the actions of our Marines. All available evidence pointed to convictions.


In the military world, a conviction of conspiracy to commit murder or the commission of a kidnapping offense has only one possible mandatory sentence. Life in prison. The only question left to be answered after such conviction is with or without the possibility of parole. That's it. No more discussion. Since we knew these things our defense attorneys went to the "convening authority" Lt Gen James Mattis and asked if there were any possibility for a "deal". He said yes - he was willing to cap Rob's sentence at something far lower than life in return for a guilty plea. This meant admitting, in open court, on the record, to the things he has been charged with. Or some of them, at least. He has now done that. He has admitted he knew what they were doing on that dark night in Iraq last April was "illegal". He must also testify against the remaining three from his squad not already convicted should they continue on the road they're on and contest their trial.


What's the good news you ask? The good news is he will not spend the rest of his life in prison. I cannot at this time divulge what the cap is on his sentence. The second bit of good news is that Rob is doing well and is looking forward to the healing process that will get him out of the hell that has been his life since his experiences in Fallujah. We have also come to know and understand just how devasting the effect of the losses that he suffered in November and December of 2004, and how they have forever changed his life.


We will all be in court for the next few days, possibly until sometime Friday, talking about how much we love and support him and what a great guy he is in an effort to get him the lightest sentence possible. After that we'll be seeking your help in getting out the word that we need letters written to the aforementioned convening authority, Lt Gen James Mattis to try to secure a clemency deal for Rob. Failing that, we have a lame duck president who will be passing out a few pardons at the end of his next term. He could use your input as well.


Due to the fact that we have to try hard to not aggravate General Mattis at this time (since he can do us some good) we have to lay low and not go on network TV and radio blasting what has occurred. I don't know where I'll find the strength to control myself but hopefully it will turn up. We will advise you of mailing addresses, email addresses, that sort of thing when we need your letter writing help. There is also an appeal process that's automatic in military law but that could take years if not decades so there's not much help there.

More when we know more,
Terry & Deanna

Close quote

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/14/2007 06:50:00 PM   0 comments

TRIAL LAWYERS AND FELONS IN THE BATTLESPACE...A MATCH MADE IN THE PENTAGON!

Military Grants More Waivers to Recruits

"More than half of the Marine recruits needed a waiver in 2006, a bit higher than in 2003, and largely due to their more strict drug requirements. Felony waivers made up about 2 percent of the Marine waivers, while other lesser crimes made up about 25 percent, both up slightly from 2003."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/14/2007 08:34:00 AM   0 comments

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

PENNINGTON UPDATE--ANOTHER PLEA DEAL!!

Local Marine enters split pleas in murder case

"Pennington faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, though this jail term is likely capped by the pretrial deal."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/13/2007 07:34:00 PM   0 comments

REPEATING FOR EMPHASIS

PENNINGTON RECANTS!

This email just in from my Marine Corps associate and friend, Don:

It was just announced on the 0930 Channel 7 local
news that LCpl Robert Pennington, USMC withdrew
his "Guilty Plea". Things are looking better all the time.
I feel certain all four will now have a "Full Blown" GCM
in front of a panel and not just a Judge. If these four
are exonerated of the charges, I wonder where that will
leave the other four who took the plea and are now
considered sentenced prisoners?

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/13/2007 02:31:00 PM   1 comments

Court-martial due to begin Tuesday for Marine accused of murder

"Lance Cpl. Robert B. Pennington, 22, planned to appear for a court-martial in Camp Pendleton on Tuesday, almost 10 months after Hashim Ibrahim Awad was dragged from his home and shot by the eight member squad who were looking for an insurgent."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/13/2007 10:26:00 AM   0 comments

Sunday, February 11, 2007

NCIS part of North Carolina Community Drug Busts

"The effort included Jacksonville Police Department, Carteret County Sheriff's Department, Jones County Sheriff's Department, Morehead City Police Department, Beaufort Police Department, and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service at Camp Lejeune."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/11/2007 10:06:00 AM   0 comments

Lexington Herald-Leader: Facing court-martial, soldier gets home boost

"'Anybody that knows Raymond knows his character, and this is not Raymond,' said his grandfather, 64-year-old Ron Bentley."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/11/2007 09:11:00 AM   0 comments

Saturday, February 10, 2007

IT'S JUST AN ACCUSATION!!

A letter to Editor Erin Schultz, North County Times
San Diego, CA

  • It takes a jury to transform accusations to convictions.
  • It takes evidence to persuade the jury.
  • There are no juries in the military discipline (courts-martial) system.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/10/2007 07:02:00 PM   0 comments

A MESSAGE FROM RICK AMATO

2-10-07

An American Soldier's Family Asks For Help

La Jolla, CA- The family of Staff Sergeant Ray Girouard, a 24 year old highly-decorated elite Army Ranger who has served two tours of duty in Iraq,is asking for your help.

While out on a mission to raid a terrorist training camp (let that sink in), Staff Sergeant Girouard gave orders to shoot three Iraqi detainees who he says had attempted escape after having been captured as prisoners. An investigation initially cleared him of any wrong doing, but he now faces charges of murder after a conflicting account of what happened was provided by a disgruntled soldier under his command.

Today Ray Girouard sits in a military prison and is unable to afford a civilian attorney for proper legal representation. He is represented only by the military equivalent of a public defender: someone who is over-booked, under-staffed and waiting for 5PM to arrive daily.

Ray Girouard deserves a fair hearing with expert representation free from politics and outside agendas. Without proper representation the military judicial system will force a plea bargain deal and harsh sentence without blinking an eye, as has happened to other soldiers in this case who also could not afford outside legal help. Sound impossible in America? Just ask Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose' Compeon.

Those interested in contributing to Girouard's legal expenses can write to:

American Legion Post 106, C/O Joe Tolson,
P.O. Box 256, Sweetwater, TN 37874.
The memo on your check should read SSG Ray Girouard Legal Expense

Best Wishes,
The Rick Amato Show
"Common Sense With Rick Amato"

Proudly Sponsored By:
Market View With Nancy Gardner
David Epstein "The Life Insurance Guy"
Prime 1 Mortgage
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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/10/2007 05:22:00 PM   0 comments

NO DEAL FOR LANCE CORPORAL PENNINGTON!!


"Pennington accused Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents of threatening him with the death penalty and telling him it would be a mistake to ask for an attorney."

JAG Hunter here:
WELL DONE to Lcpl. Robert Pennington!! It needs be pointed out James H. Connolly, supervisory special agent in the PENDLETON EIGHT investigation, is contemporaneously criminally named to the FBI for communicating a threat in a separate episode near Bremerton-Silverdale, WA.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/10/2007 10:02:00 AM   1 comments

Friday, February 9, 2007

Tennessee hometown rallies for soldier charged with Iraqi murder

"Folks in Sweetwater are standing by hometown soldier Raymond Girouard, raising more than $18,000 for his defense against murder charges."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/09/2007 05:38:00 PM   0 comments

Pilots in court martial cover-up

"A senior American general in charge of a US probe into what went wrong recommended two airmen face court martial, The Sun can reveal.

But defence chiefs over-ruled his findings into the Iraq war tragedy to clear both A10 tankbuster pilots of any wrongdoing."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/09/2007 09:59:00 AM   0 comments

Marine Cpl. Thomas withdraws guilty plea Hamdania murder

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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Judge Declares Mistrial in Watada Court Martial

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"'When my country gives me an order, I say 'Yes, sir,'' Thomas told the judge. 'I believe I had an order to carry out a mission and I believe I had a lawful order.'"

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/08/2007 08:14:00 PM   0 comments

BREAKING HAMDANIA UPDATE

MARINE CORPORAL TRENT THOMAS RECANTS!!

PRESSURE ON NCIS METHODS AND TACTICS COMING UNDER INCREASED SCRUTINY -- LEAD SPECIAL AGENT JAMES H. CONNOLLY IN THE CROSS HAIRS! Developing...

JAG Hunter here: A sharp salute to my Marine friend Tim! BRAVO ZULU shipmate!!

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/08/2007 02:47:00 PM   0 comments

ASTRONAUT COULD FACE COURT-MARTIAL!!

Nowak just sank her career, experts say


"The case has no doubt landed in the laps of the chief of naval operations and top Navy lawyers at the Pentagon, Hutson and other lawyers said. And how they handle discipline in this case could revive the controversy over unequal punishment in the ranks -- known as 'different spanks for different ranks.'"

JAG Hunter here: Interestingly, former Navy TJAG, Hutson, is himself an accused criminal for his misconduct in the handling of another military discipline case. Hutson knows all about the privileges of rank.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/08/2007 10:20:00 AM   0 comments

Bacos testifies for government against Marine corporal

"Prior to Bacos' testimony, a special agent from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service who led the investigation into what happened in Hamdania testified that Thomas was truthful except during the first time he interviewed the married father of a young daughter.

Special Agent James Connolly testified that two days after the killing, a flier written in Arabic distributed in Hamdania by an unknown source said that Awad had been killed while trying to plant a roadside bomb.

'If you're caught, you will get the same punishment,' the flier read.

Connolly testified that he thought the 'Marines who distributed it were arrogant,' although he later acknowledged that he could not be certain of the source of the flier."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/08/2007 01:30:00 AM   0 comments

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Mistrial Declared in Lt. Watada Court Martial!

"Under questioning by the judge, it became evident that the officer was not of the belief that he had signed away his right to defend himself."

JAG Hunter here: Army JAGs thought they'd effectively prevented the lieutenant from presenting a defense and made representations to the court-martial hearing officer to that effect. Consequently, until Lt. Watada's testimony today, all attempts to argue the case had been denied.

Now the government is forced to bring a case into open court. Still, there exists the problem of the missing jury.

Again, Lt. Watada's defense is that because his beef is with the commander in chief, a non-military constitutionally mandated jury is the only method by which an impartial airing of the two sides can be accomplished.

Here endth the lesson.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/07/2007 08:38:00 PM   0 comments

Gen. Tom McInerney: Haditha Defendants' Rights Violated!!

"In United States v. Thomas, 22 MJ 388, 394 (CMA 1986) the court held that unlawful command influence was an error of constitutional dimension. Specifically, Thomas applied the test for constitutional error and held that an appellate court may not affirm the findings or sentence 'unless it is persuaded beyond a reasonable doubt that the findings and sentence have not been affected by the command."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/07/2007 07:20:00 PM   0 comments

Friends, family of convicted soldier try top cope

"A trial date for the fourth soldier, Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard, is scheduled for March 13, Webster said."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/07/2007 11:33:00 AM   0 comments

Commander says he felt 'bit betrayed' by Watada

"Antonia's comments drew murmurs from among 30 spectators, most Watada supporters, in a court overflow room when he told the court soldiers are obligated to determine for themselves whether they are given an illegal order."

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/07/2007 06:34:00 AM   0 comments

NAVAL ACADEMY GRAD, NAVY CAPTAIN

Astronaut Charged With Attempted Murder

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/07/2007 06:18:00 AM   0 comments

Marine in murder case seeks extra credit for time served North County Times

After Bacos, prosecutors plan to call a Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent who interviewed Thomas in Iraq before he and his squad mates were ordered to return to Camp Pendleton.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/07/2007 02:10:00 AM   0 comments

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

NCIS must record interviews - Editorial

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/06/2007 01:43:00 AM   0 comments

A year later, Fort Carson death a mystery

The Army’s investigation has been secretive. Army Criminal Investigation Division spokesman Christopher Grey said his agency will only confirm the investigation continues and the cause of Barker’s death is undetermined.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/06/2007 01:25:00 AM   0 comments

Monday, February 5, 2007


Infantrymen are forced to think before they shoot. JAG rules of engagement (ROE) are getting’ our kids killed. Battlefields are transformed into crime scenes. Instead of conducting battle damage assessments we send in CSI clown detectives to recover evidence in service to political agendas. Trial lawyers have been disguised in military garb and inserted into war zones. Soldiers and Marines are being indicted for doing their jobs. Following orders is turned into a criminal act. The end result of these transformations is that where America once prosecuted wars, it now just prosecutes its warriors. Has it missed your attention that in the Global War on Terror we’ve court-martialed and punished more American servicemen that terrorists? Hells bells, we’ve court-martialed and locked up more Marines than terrorists.

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/05/2007 12:37:00 PM   0 comments

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Haditha Marine “Photographer” Now Charged With Rape

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/03/2007 01:38:00 AM   0 comments

Friday, February 2, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE!

"The prosecution of Lt Phan is the product of unethical, strong-arm tactics by agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, shocking instances of prosecutorial misconduct, and the intentional destruction of important evidence by government agents. It is an effort by the Marine Corps to use Lt Phan as a scapegoat to both justify its own failed policies and lack of battlefield awareness, and to cleanse itself of its own institutional responsibility and accountability by saying that an officer is being held accountable."

_______________________________


PRESS RELEASE
ICO UNITED STATES V. PHAN
Camp Pendleton, California

Defense Counsel:

Civilian Defense Counsel, David P. Sheldon, Esq.
Individual Military Defense Counsel, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew W. Cord, USMC
Detailed Military Defense Counsel, Major Jeffrey V. Muñoz, USMC

2d Lt Nathan P. Phan, USMC, has been charged with one count of false official statement and three counts of aggravated assault in connection with alleged crimes that took place in Hamandiyah, Iraq by the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. The prosecution of Lt Phan is the product of unethical, strong-arm tactics by agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, shocking instances of prosecutorial misconduct, and the intentional destruction of important evidence by government agents. It is an effort by the Marine Corps to use Lt Phan as a scapegoat to both justify its own failed policies and lack of battlefield awareness, and to cleanse itself of its own institutional responsibility and accountability by saying that an officer is being held accountable. The sad and incontrovertible fact is that the charges against Lt. Phan are entirely baseless and the government’s prosecution of him is an ethical abomination and an affront to any concept of justice.

Lt Phan, whose family immigrated from Vietnam, and who has served his country honorably both as an enlisted Marine and an officer, arrived in Iraq in January 2006. Rather than perform the traditional infantry mission he and his platoon were prepared and trained for, without notice or any training or guidance, Lt Phan was assigned to conduct Counter Insurgency Operations in Anbar province, the hotbed of insurgency operations in Iraq. Among other things, he was tasked with detaining possible terrorists and insurgents and stopping their use of deadly improvised explosive devices “at all costs”. By all accounts from within his unit and up his chain of command, Lt Phan was extremely successful – it is beyond dispute that his platoon gathered more useful intelligence, detained more suspected terrorists, and discovered more weapons caches than any other platoon in his company. For example, due to Lt. Phan’s tireless efforts, a deadly sniper cell responsible for several Marine deaths was eliminated, and a vicious kidnapping cell that had long plagued the area was finally destroyed.

Rather than reward Lt. Phan for his actions, the government - based upon suspect evidence, coerced statements and bizarre theories - instead has smeared this Marine’s career and reputation and now seeks to imprison him for decades. That the government has continued upon this sickening course with the full knowledge that its evidence is ludicrously thin and ethically compromised is a sorry testament to the state of justice in the Marine Corps. For example:

Despite charging Lt. Phan with making a false official statement, the government has no evidence that Lt. Phan ever made the statement alleged, nor that any person ever heard him make such a statement. More troubling is the fact that documents – which have been in the possession of NCIS and prosecutors for more than 6 months – clearly show exactly the opposite: that Lt. Phan never made any false official statements to anyone at any time.

The government has also charged Lt. Phan with using “force likely to produce death or serious injury” on three Iraqi men his platoon had detained. However, what the government has studiously avoided disclosing is the fact that the men were documented, active terrorists and listed as such by the U.S. Marine Corps – one was a documented triggerman on an IED that killed and wounded several service members. What the government has also cravenly avoided disclosing is that Lt. Phan was instructed by his superiors to “aggressively” gather intelligence from these individuals and put a stop to their activities “at all costs.” Further, the government has also disgracefully failed to explain (to either the public or Congress) that the alleged “aggravated assaults” consisted of nothing more than applying a non-lethal, non-dangerous Marine Corps approved restraint technique called a “blood choke.” While this term may sound scary, any Marine who has had it done to him/her (and most do have it done to them during mandatory training) would say that it does not injure, does not kill and is specifically taught as a restraint – not an offensive, killing move. Moreover, Lt. Phan selected a trained and approved USMC martial arts instructor to apply the move in order to doubly ensure that the move was correctly applied and that no harm would result. In fact, even the government admits that no harm came to the three terrorists. What it is reluctant to admit however is the documented fact that, as result of Lt. Phan’s decision to use this innocuous technique, all three terrorists immediately gave valuable information that directly lead to the capture of other terrorists and the thwarting of plans to kill Americans in Iraq.

In addition, the government has also alleged that Lt Phan assaulted a terrorist with a “means likely to produce death or serious bodily harm” by pointing an unloaded pistol at him. Apart from the sheer absurdity of claiming an unloaded pistol is capable of killing or seriously injuring anyone, the government fails to mention that Lt. Phan – and nearly every other Marine sent to Iraq – is instructed by the Marine Corps that Iraqi’s have a deep fear of pistols and that instilling fear in a suspect during an interrogation is a valid and often necessary technique. The rank hypocrisy inherent in this particular charge cannot be stressed enough.

Finally, the government only recently had the decency to disclose that one of the alleged terrorist “victims”– Mr. Hassan Hamza Fayall – was himself murdered by his fellow terrorists several months ago. Of course, the government has offered no explanation as to why it failed to protect this alleged “victim” or secure him in a safe area as a material witness. The fact that Lt. Phan cannot possibly receive a fair trial without the appearance and testimony of this “victim” is apparently of little concern to prosecutors who still press forward with this charge.

One of the other alleged “victims”, Mr. Ali Haraj Rbash, has, according to the government, steadfastly refused to cooperate with or give statements to investigators and refuses to testify. The last alleged “victim”, Mr. Khalid Hamad Daham, according to the unsubstantiated representations of the government, would like to testify were it not for the fact that he cannot obtain clearance to enter this country.

In addition to the hypocrisy and inconsistency regarding the alleged “victims,” the government has also dallied in gross and wanton destruction of important evidence in order to prevent its use by Lt. Phan in his effort to exonerate himself. For example, just before he was sent back to Camp Pendleton from Iraq in order to face the subject charges, a representative of Lt. Phan’s command seized from him a flash drive (a.k.a. thumb drive). This device, sanctioned if not provided by his command, was used by Lt. Phan to store important electronic information for use in his mission. Among other things, orders and messages from his commanders were transmitted to him via this device. It also contained many other notes, charts and memoranda created by Lt. Phan based on information transmitted to him by his commanders and local sources. Instead of preserving this invaluable piece of evidence, his command representative instead destroyed it – without verifying its contents or making a copy. Worse, this took place in the presence of the Battalion Staff Judge Advocate (an attorney for the government) who not only failed to prevent the destruction of the thumb drive, but actually approved it! Of course, the government now is expected to say that since Lt. Phan cannot prove what was on the thumb drive when it was illegally seized and destroyed, he is just out of luck. Since when is “luck” a valid factor in a court of law? Where is the “luck” clause of the U.S. Constitution? It is a sad day for justice and a terrible day for Marines everywhere when government agents and attorneys can willfully destroy important evidence that would exonerate Lt. Phan – then blithely shrug their shoulders.

To compound the matters highlighted above, the government has also engaged in actively withholding important, relevant information from Lt. Phan’s defense team and has thus far refused to seek out important information in the possession of other U.S. Government agencies requested by the defense. More seriously, for months prosecutors have been in possession of information that both tends to exonerate Lt. Phan as to some allegations and cast serious doubt upon the truthfulness and ethics of NCIS agents investigating the case. For example, at least three witnesses to relevant events told NCIS agents they saw no misconduct of any kind by Lt. Phan. Instead of accurately reporting these facts, NCIS agents coerced and threatened these witnesses and ordered them to sign statements to the contrary. These witnesses later informed prosecutors of these events and further told them what they had really observed and experienced. Of course, not only did these prosecutors not disclose these important facts to the defense (as they are strictly required to do), they then loudly browbeat these witnesses in an effort to convince them to stick with the NCIS-fabricated version of events. And, naturally, the government has initiated no investigations into the unethical and possibly illegal misconduct by these NCIS agents, nor has it done the right thing and taken steps to ensure that this fraudulent evidence is not used against Lt. Phan (or others).

That the government of the United States, and the U.S. Marine Corps, would sanction such appalling misconduct by its investigators and prosecutors and attempt to go forward and ruin Lt. Phan with such discredited and fraudulent evidence is nothing less than shocking.

Whatever wrong actions other members of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines may have committed at Hamandiyah in April of 2006, Lt Phan is not responsible and the government has no credible evidence to the contrary. Sadly, rather than admit that, the Marine Corps is attempting to use this young Officer as a sacrificial lamb and a salve to the egos of its commanders and prosecutors. It is, in a word, unconscionable and it should not be countenanced in any way, shape, or form by the government and people of this nation.



JAG Hunter here: Courtesy The Free Republic (Flightline), and my Marine Corps friends, Tim and Don. Another Navy/Marine team success story!

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/02/2007 08:48:00 PM   0 comments

Veterans react to Marine Corps decision to file charges in Haditha incident

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Get subscribers posted by The JAG Hunter @ 2/02/2007 07:24:00 PM   0 comments