Monday, December 22, 2008

JAG HUNTER here: (posting from the Sweetwater, Tennessee Library)

This narrative is intended to explain how and why senior commanders forced-marched Michael Steele into exile, and Steel's innocent subordinates into Defense Department catacombs. The four purposes served in this posting are:

(1) To discuss the "guilty memories" of Ray Girouard's commanders (Part II), exposing his Article 32 probable cause hearing as a counterfeit substitute,

(2) To justify the call for Ray's immediate release, the release of Ray's men, the release of Larry Hutchins, and every other innocent serviceman followed by,

(3) Effecting their return home by Christmas and,

(4) Using examples on these JAG HUNTER pages (this series in particular) to repeat the warning to Americans that U.S. military commanders have forsaken the U.S. Constitution.

So, anyone who has access, get the word to General of the Army George W. Bush (commander in chief): release Ray and the others today/tonight!

Anyone with access to Mike Steele, tell him God and sinners reconcile. Come forward and speak the truth!


Nathaniel Johnson, Jr. commanded the 3rd battalion of the 187th infantry regiment during the Iron Triangle Operation. Michael Steele, as the brigade commander, was one of Johnson's senior officers.

Ray Girouard was a squad leader and sergeant in CHARLIE company, one of the companies in Nate Johnson's 3rd battalion.

Nate Johnson was one of Ray's senior officers.

Mike Steele, Nate Johnson, and Ray Girouard--operating within there respective combat units--were on the ground on 9 May 2006, near Samara, Iraq, engaged in the combat actions of Iron Triangle.

Nate Johnson, as a combat battalion commander under Steele's brigade command, was intimately familiar and briefed completely on Iron Triangle operational details encompassing every aspect of urban infantry warfare. Nate Johnson had to be completely familiar, for instance, with Mike Steele's specialized Iron Triangle rules of engagement (ROE) so as to effectively deploy Ray Girouard's CHARLIE company in the subsequent battle.

Nate Johnson was present at the 4 May 2006 Iron Triangle pre-mission OPORDER briefing.

Nate Johnson was on the ground--in combat--on 9 May 2006 at and during the Iron Triangle assault, and...

Nate Johnson was present at the 14 May 2006 Iron Triangle post-operational briefing (or "hot wash-up" review and lessons learned meeting).

Nate Johnson's battlefield conduct during Iron Triangle, with that of Johnson's boss, Michael Steele came under criminal scrutiny on 11 May 2006 (OIT's third day).

In fact, Steele's entire stint as 3rd brigade combat team commander had become problematic to Army brass and had soared to crisis status as perceived a rapidly growing threat to the Army's public image. Steele's standing order to "KILL ALL MILITARY AGED MALES" had leaked to the press.

The frenetic activity that erupted to shield senior officers from examination and embarrassment locked-up Ray Girouard and his men in Fort Leavenworth.


Brigadier General Thomas Maffey (one-star flag officer) was an early actor taking notes, gathering facts, interviewing soldiers who fought at Iron Triangle, taking their official statements.

The Army Criminal Investigative Division (or CID) began inquiries.

Steele's command climate rendered the Pentagon's Courtney Masengales panic-stricken.

Steele's KILL ALL MILITARY AGED MALES standing order produced
48 dead at the Multhana Chemical site, (not all of the dead were men) (44 bodies
added to body parts identifying 4 others).

The need for a cover-story pushing the problem to the lowest level combat unit-- disconnecting combat commanders Pete Chiarelli, Mike Steele and Nate Johnson from responsibility and accountability--was as evident as it was urgent.

Staff Sergeant Ray Girouard's name and the names of his squad mates were pulled from the hat in the "Massengale lottery."

It must surprise no one that battalion commander Nate Johnson was directed to assemble and oversee the Article 32 investigation that would ensure the safety of the Army's IMAGE and the careers of many senior political officers.

Nate Johnson ordered James Daniel to appear to the public as the Article 32 hearing officer. But in this ventriloquist's performance, Daniel was the wooden dummy sitting on Nate Johnson's lap, lifeless and powerless.

Exposition of Daniel--the Article 32 hearing officer--as a government mole is dispositive and fatal. Evidence of government intrigue rapidly accumulates seen through this magnifying glass.

The Article 32 plan was to create a fictive story intended to lead a false path. The fiction became sensational once the death penalty was put in play. The scheme was audacious in its false beginning spawning something even more sinister and hideous.
In these early moments, the work of Nate Johnson is recognized as attempted murder. Physical evidence available to betray Johnson's efforts is concealed or destroyed. What's left only serves to punctuate the government's deception.
The need for secrecy was imperative!
Nate Johnson issued a gag order regarding information that exposed the government campaign against Ray and his men for what it was.

All pertinent documents are locked up or destroyed.

Samara hospital records were collected by government officials and then disappeared. Medical examiner reports are gone. Papers recording the identities of the dead are guarded or shredded.

Available film footage was confiscated never to surface.

Nate Johnson was still in command of the 187th infantry regiment during Ray Girouard's 1 August 2006 Article 32. It was Johnson's 187th infantry regiment that engaged Iron Triangle objectives on 9 May 2006. Johnson himself was a full participant in this operation, and was called as a witness to his own hearing. Johnson denied the request that Johnson appear and answer questions.

Johnson did allow men under his command influence to testify. Twenty-three of twenty-seven Article 32 witnesses were under Johnson's command and control.

Johnson denied requests that his boss, Michael Steele appear to answer questions.

Thomas Maffey's earlier investigation report was disallowed into Article 32 evidence.

When questioned, James Daniel, Johnson's wooden dummy, lied to the assembled Article 32 audience regarding his connections to the case and seven accused soldiers. Daniel, for instance, said he did not know Michael Steele formally. What Daniel the wooden dummy failed to publicly state was that Daniel had met with Steele two-hours earlier to read Steele his rights and attempt an interview.

After the government agents had sufficient time and resources to perfect there counterfeit Article 32 substitution, Johnson dumped the fraud on unalerted and already overworked defense teams. It's a small point really. A belt and suspenders approach. Johnson's other plans made certain there was no possibility to prepare a counter-offensive, even if the time were available.

For example, in agency with other government officials, Johnson populated a witness list of over one-hundred people, knowing fully that many credible witnesses did not exist. This tactic was employed to engage Ray's advocates in activities counterproductive to Ray's defense.
For his part--enjoying the full protection and power afforded him by the U.S. government--Johnson was unconcerned he would suffer any criminal consequence for his manipulation of information and people .
Johnson's insurmountable conflict manifesting himself in command of the investigation of his own outfit was of no consequence to Army brass.
Johnson's mission was to pave the way for Steele's quiet ouster. Johnson's assignment was to ensure Ray and his men ran block to curious outsiders distracting them with a series of death penalty courts-martial.
Under America's War Articles (the Uniform Code of Military Justice) a general court-martial is prohibited without first conducting a proper Article 32 hearing.
Even under its own martial system of discipline, if military governors depart from established process, the investigation or court-martial is void. A nullity. It's nothing!
These are the same pages from DOD's court-martial playbook used in the Camp Pendleton Eight courts-martial package. Marine Sergeant Larry Hutchins is innocent as well as Ray Girouard and for the same sorts of reasons.
More follows...


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