Saturday, February 16, 2008

(Third in a series)
On the subject of torture it's been said...
"Pain forces even the innocent to lie."
Publilus Syrus
(1st century BC)
Roman writer of mimes


Army Staff Sergeant Ray Girouard and Marine Sergeant Larry Hutchins were forced under extreme duress to speak against themselves. The same is so for uncounted other military personnel abducted and locked away in Defense Department dungeons. Forced confessions and the subornation of evidence and testimony is a routine and regular occurance institutionalized within the defense establishment's system of discipline.

Civilian criminal convictions in our time are consistent with our understanding of the human condition that even when seated a jury does not guarantee a defendant--falsely accused--safe refuge or full protection.

Author/attorney John Grisham arouses deep concern (in his non-fiction work, THE INNOCENT MAN) that the combination of lying accusers, and politically motivated prosecutors/politicians are not trustworthy arbiters when evidence is easily manufactured, contradictory, defective, defecient, or altogether lacking.

Juries are hoodwinked all the time.

The scheme of "JUDICIAL REVIEW" through an appeals process is intended as a corrective when jury manipulation or other prosecutorial mischief is uncovered.

McMinn County, Tennessee Assistant District Attorney James Stutts (also known as "Mr. Mayor" here in Sweetwater) would agree that the easiest way to solve and prosecute a crime is to get a confession.

Former U.S. Army Judge Advocate General ("TJAG") Samuel T. Ansell expressed the concept more forcefully repeating that, "there is no better witness against a man than himself." (Writing in the November 1919 Cornell Law Quarterly)

Army TJAG Ansell warned Americans four-score and eight years ago that the prosecutorial mischief and tyrannous interrogation methods Grisham condemns in civilian practice today (as should we all) have been and continue to be aggressively practiced as standard operating procedures in America's defense establishment throughout--unconstitutionally--U.S. history!

Ansell writes: "While the military mind is intolerant of protective principles and of rules governing a [civilian] trial, it is particularly so to the rules of evidence. The professional officers of our [military] in great numbers believed...'that the business of courts-martial is not be discuss law, but to get at the truth by all the means in its power...We...want to get at the fact (no matter how) for the sake of discipline. There is no better witness against a man than himself. That statement is axiomatic among professional officers. They [the admirals or generals...America's "Flag officers"] will hear of no qualifications nor can they see evil consequences of the generous application of what is so good. It is the basis of military third-degree methods.' "

Describing those third-degree methods, we discover special agents from each of the service dective agencies conduct themselves in the most eggregious and oppressive manner: Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) for the Navy and Marine Corps; Criminal Investigative Service (CID) in the Army, Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), and Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS), and then the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS).

"Confessions" are obtained by operating on the hopes or fears of those accused depriving them of the freedom of will or self-control necessary to make a voluntary statement. Statements are extracted from witnesses and those accused by any sort of threat or violence or promise however slight. Coercion is mental as well as physical. Special agents from the federal goon squads named above extract statements as SOP usining psychological coercion tactics that feature the length of the interrogations, the time of day (night or day or just after coming in from an extended, gruelling battlefield patrol foot patrol), and playing on the psychological makeup and military training of the person under scrutiny.

And military dectives are not obliged to honor the request of an accused for an attorney. In many instances, such as in the situations of field interrogations carried out in combat theaters overseas, an advocate for the accused just isn't available. No worries...none is required.

Language just used in describing NCIS/CID/CGIS/DCIS/AFOSI third-degree tactics has to be setting off alarms for most attorneys (memo to Sweetwater Mayor Stutts) inasmuch as it's taken from a body of Supreme Court rulings condemning those precise interrogation methods.

Defense Department goon squad agents remain unconcerned regarding any legal constraints otherwise describing them as outlaws. Interrogations are neither audio or video recorded. And even if they were these renegade agents could still (and do) operate freely. No other federal law enforcement agency will effect an arrest of a DOD detective even with their criminal conduct in plain view.

And once in the discipline hearing rooms, courts-martial are not subject of judicial review of any type or kind. Rogue JAGs don't concern themselves with the case they have to present to a JURY, because there are no juries. Moreover, JAGs find themselves as unconstrained in their criminal conduct as do the rogue DOD goon squad dectectives. There exists no such animal as an "APPEAL" for servicemen (or their families) to seek remedy or relief. And JAGs are not subject to discipline from their respective state bar associations (remember: courts-martial are not courts).

Noteworthy now to point out that in nearly every circumstance made public in the conduct of a courts-martial--just as in the cases of Sergeants Girouard and Hutchins--the government would have no case would it not be through the submissions of forced statements and confessions. These cases are void physical evidence. In the situations accusing homicide there are no bodies to be identified. There are no credible (if any) civilian witnesses. And there's no accuser with standing.

Motives behind inventing a case against an airman, marine, soldier, or sailor runs a very long list we'll discusss later in this series. For the moment it serves to paraphrase a comment made by Admiralty Lawyer/Maritime Author William James, so far as the character of any courts-martial is concerned...

It may suit "The Flags (admirals and generals)" to invent any
falsehood, no matter how barefaced, to foist a valiant character on themselves
or on their respective service.
(See Ian Toll's history masterpiece: SIX
FRIGATES, p. 461)
Here endth the lesson (for the moment).

©Copyright 2008 The JAG HUNTER

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Copyright © 2009 The JAG HUNTER

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