JAG HUNTER HERE: (POSTING FROM THE SWEETWATER, TENNESSEE LIBRARY)
No Article 32 probable cause hearing was conducted before Ray Girouard's general court-martial. Ray's court-martial-- in consequence--is rendered void even by Defense Department procedural standards. A Supreme Court ruling is consistent on this point and worthy of consideration.
Ray Girouard, belonging to the army is not subject to the illegal and irresponsible general court-martial he suffered, when the law for convening his court-martial and directing its proceedings and organization were so blatantly disregarded. In Ray's general court-martial, "everything which was done is void, not voidable, but void."
Ray's is an innocent man who must be released.
Beyond these facts, what remains of the narrative regarding Operation Iron Triangle becomes instructive if not interesting regarding requisite duties left to perform. The immediate release of Ray and his men for beginners.
U.S. Army and Iraqi Army commanders conceived, planned, and executed Operation Iron Triangle (OIT) based upon--in part--intelligence collected, evaluated, and confirmed by Iraqi Army planning and intelligence officers.
One U.S. Army planner and boots on the ground OIT participant remarked, "The partnership between Iraqi Army and Coalition Forces was one of the many successes of the [OIT] mission. Expanding on his compliment the American officer said, "The Iraqi Army is becoming more and more competent in the planning and execution of missions. In regards to that, they are very capable of doing their own tactical operations and reacting to intelligence."
Iron Triangle force levels deployed a reported 230 U.S. troops and nearly 200 Iraqi soldiers, all supported by about 80 wheeled vehicles. CH-47 Chinook and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters were used in the airborne assault.
Pete Chiarelli, the senior in-theater Coalition commander, was primarily responsible for launching the 72-hour raid into a 93-square mile footprint. This complex combat event was a scrimmage for the Iraqi Army testing them in a joint-service assault on hard target objectives. Rules of engagement (ROE) varied depending upon the operational command level.
Ray's squad deployed against the Multhana Chemical Complex production facility after U.S and Iraqi intelligence sources pin-pointed the site as an active insurgent training camp.
Michael Steele, the senior on-scene OIT commander, issued written and verbal orders to Ray and his men to "kill all military age males" at their assigned objectives.
48 Iraqis died at Muthana. From 2 to 23 more died at other OIT sites (between 50 - 71 OIT total dead). At least 2 Iraqis were injured.
Coalition (friendly) forces reported one soldier injured, no deaths.
(Note: These OIT casualty numbers are not previously, publicly reported).
Almost immediately, and very quietly events surrounding Operation Iron Triangle came under military criminal investigation.
Mike Steele and his men faced charges in varying degrees of murder, manslaughter, assault, dereliction of duty, false statements, and failures to report.
Only the charges against Ray and his men came to public attention. Men in Ray's squad were tied to three (3) of the 48 Iraqis killed at the Multhana objective.
Army officials faked Ray's Art. 32, and later his court-martial to obstruct attention from the more sensitive IT operational details. All military criminal proceedings against Ray and his squad mates were pure deceptions, DOD intrigues.
The seriousness of these deceptions is difficult to describe. Death penalties were sought for men known to be innocent.
Pete Chiarelli, due to the scope and reach of the accusations, was required to divorce himself and all subordinates from investigative duties if the results were to be credibly relied upon. But rather than recuse himself from the several criminal investigation of his own combat event, Chiarelli illegally maintained command control over all inquiries.
Colonel Mike Steele was Chiarelli's OIT on-scene brigade commander.
Down Chiarelli's command chain, Nate Johnson was the battalion commander on the ground during OIT. James Daniel had carried out OIT intelligence assessments and operational planning.
These two lieutenant colonels were closest to Ray's fake Art. 32. Both officers were lawfully barred from investigating matters that could have reached to their own conduct and performance, not to mention reaching much higher up the food chain to their senior commanders. Indeed, it became Johnson's and Daniel's assigned duty to contain information regarding OIT by concealment and to keep their examination tightly focused.
Daniel's betrayed their criminal hands when he lied to the assembled audience at the fake Art. 32 regarding the roles of both light colonels.
Daniel, posing as a legitimate hearing officer, constructed a crime scene which as blatantly disregarded protections afforded to the accused service members as it was systematic (even in haste) toward enhancing the government's best advantage.
Jim Daniel was an imposter. Daniel, with his lies, endorsed the fraud of a fake Art. 32 and the part Daniel played in its conduct.
Under Johnson's watchful command perch, Daniel sorted out and eradicated all information Ray and his men needed to defend themselves. Daniel also made it impossible for any negative effects creeping up the command chain beyond Michael Steel.
Impostor Daniel's fake Art. 32 was the only probable cause hearing (leading to general court-martial) while there should have been many more. One for Mike Steele, and one each for each of Ray's men in the dock. Reducing the number of pre-courts-martial hearings minimized release and exposure of dangerous information that required tight control.
Daniel the impostor was the only officer who had to be compromised.
Daniel's clandestine appointments with Mike Steele and other OIT accused were completely illegal. Daniel took on the role as a biased law enforcement officer reading these men their rights. It then became impossible for Daniel to sit as an impartial fact finder at the probable cause hearing.
With malice of forethought characteristic to the morality of cannibals, Daniel the impostor became a criminal accessory in those illicit acts he suffered upon Ray and his squad mates.
Daniel the impostor allowed coerced testimony to be spoken while tightly restricting testimony impeaching witnesses who were clearly under duress. Mike Steele, for instance, did not appear at the fake 32 hearing scared away by Daniel's threat of a general court-martial.
Daniel obstructed and manipulated physical evidence. For example, Samarra hospital medical records and death certificates for the OIT dead are concealed or are destroyed.
Tersely, the plan of Daniel's fake 32 was to manage and control information, and not to discover facts. The fake 32 was under the command and control of officers who were personally involved in the planning and conduct of OIT, that specific combat event under direct examination. Those officers manipulating the fake 32 held a personal interest in its outcome.
This beginning to Ray Girouard's general courts-martial process is so completely compromised that nothing that follows can be supported. Daniel the imposter's fake 32 illustrates with precision the already established Army practice of dissemination of false information (recall Abu Ghraib and Army Corporal Pat Tillman). Ray's court-martial is completely consistent with the Army track record in the handling of bad information (as practiced by what Tony Taguba calls a military "mafia"). The command racketeers involved here are characteristically impassive and unconcerned to the obvious risk of discovery.
Those racketeers need to think again.
No Article 32, no general court-martial!
Release Ray and his men now!
More to follow in Part V.
HERE ENDTH THE LESSON!
Copyright © 2008 THE JAG HUNTER
Copyright © 2009 The JAG HUNTERGet subscribers