During the first day of testimony, the prosecution called LCpl Humberto Mendoza to the witness stand. LCpl Mendoza testified that he never saw SSgt Wuterich kill any Iraqis inside either of the two home, that 19 November 2005, in the town of Haditha, Iraq. LCpl Mendoza finished his testimony by stating “I think he’s a great Marine, sir,” after questioned about his opinion of SSgt Wuterich.
This began the Government’s presentation of evidence against Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich in his Article 32 investigation into 18 charges of murder arising from his actions in Haditha. The investigation is being conducted by LtCol Paul Ware who has the responsibility of investigating the facts underlying these charges and making a Continue reading
After having his Article 32 investigation reopened, two additional charges for dereliction of duty have been add against Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani. LtCol Chessani was the battalion commander of the Marines involved in the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in Hadita, Iraq.
The Investigating Officer, Col Conlin, in LtCol Chessani’s case had originally recommended three charges for violations of Article 92 of the UCMJ, for dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order.
These additional charges are only recommendations at this point, the decision to send these charges to a court-martial rests with the Convening Authority, Lieutenant General J. N. Mattis, USMC.
According to his attorney, former Marine Judge Advocate Brian Rooney of the Thomas More Law Center, LtCol Chessani plans to sue Congressman John Murtha. See HotAir.
For more information: Haditha Investigations
On 28AUG07, a court-martial found Lieutenant Colonel Steven Jordan, USA, not guilty of charges that he was responsible for the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail. LTCOL Jordan was found guilty of disobeying an order, UCMJ Article 92, not to talk about the investigation. This order was given by his commanding general.
LTCOL Jordan was acquitted of cruelty and maltreatment (subjecting detainees to forced nudity and intimidation by dogs); dereliction of duty by failing to properly train subordinates; and failure to obey a lawful general order by allowing the use of dogs during interrogations without the approval of higher authorities.Colonel Thomas Pappas, LTCOL Jordan’s superior officer, received areprimand and a fine of several thousand dollars for approving the useof dogs during interrogations.
LTCOL Jordan faces a maximum of 5 years confinement, total forfeitures, dismissal, and a dishonorable discharge. Sentencing should begin tomorrow.
The Article 32 investigation for Sgt Frank Wuterich, USMC, is set to begin on 30AUG07 aboard Camp Pendleton. LtCol Ware will be the investigating officer. LtCol Ware was the investigating officer for LCpl Stephen B. Tatum and and LCpl Justin L. Sharratt, in both cases he recommended no charges.
Sgt Wuterich’s lawyer, Neal Puckett, a retired Marine Corps lawyer, said Sgt Wuterich “has nothing to hide. We have faith that the military justice system will support split-second decisions made during combat.”Given that the momentum has turned against the government it is likely that LtCol Ware will not recommend charges in this case.
Additionally, in his previous report LtCol Ware cited a number of evidentiary problems with the government’s case that will exist in Sgt Wuterich’s case also. These include inaccurate translations of witness statements, inability of the government produce Iraqi witnesses who would be required at a court-martial, inability to conduct an autopsy on the bodies, and unlawful command influence relating to the statements by the Honorable John Murtha.
According Ares users computer users from the DoD are very busy editing entries on Wikipedia.
the Department of Defense, whose .mil account holders have been very busy on Wikipedia. The defense agency with the most edits originating from its .mil address is Army’s Network Information Center, with 43,823 edits. The U.S. Air Forces comes in second with 21,478 edits, while the Naval Surface Warfare Center has 18, 591. The numbers drop dramatically from there with fourth and fifth place going to the Pentagon overall and the Office of the Secretary of Defense at 3,355 and 2,685 edits, respectively.
It appears that the Leathernecks either don’t understand computers or don’t care about what is on Wikipedia, because according to VIRGIL.GRiffith‘s WikiScanner there have been only 30 edits from usmc.mil.
LtCol P.J. Ware, USMC, filed the report of his investigation into charges against LCpl Stephen B. Tatum, wherein he recommended no criminal charges. LtCol Ware characterized the shootings as tragedies, but LCpl Tatum did not violate the law.
LtCol Ware previously recommended no charges be brought against LCpl Justin L. Sharratt. LtGen Mattis accepted the recommendations and dropped the charges against LCpl Sharratt. The decision to send LCpl Tatum to a court-martial now rests with LtGen Mattis. It will likely be two weeks before he hands down his decision.
The first hearing of the U.S. Court of Military Commission Review is scheduled to hold its first hearing on 24AUG07. The hearing will hear argument regarding the dismissal of charges against Omar Ahmed Khadr because of a flaw in the Combatant Status Review Tribunals for Guantanamo Bay prisoners. See United States v. Khadr.
Sgt Jerrod M. Glass, USMC, a Drill Instructors at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, was charged with 244 counts of abusing recruits. The accusations against Sgt Glass include striking almost every member of his platoon, a total of 60 recruits. The four officers who oversaw Sgt Glass have been relieved of their duties.
Capt Patrick J. Callahan, USMC, the defense lawyer for Sgt Glass, requested all charges against he client be read aloud in court. Customarily, the reading of the charges in a court-martial is waived, as the accused has had adequate time to read the charges. The Military Judge was LtCol Jeffery Meeks, who was surprised by the number of officers already punished for the incidents.
The allegations against Sgt Glass include having a recruit jump into a trash can and sticking recruits with a tent pole and flashlight. The prosecutor indicated that he may call every member of the platoon to testify at the court-martial. Given the deployment tempo of the Marine Corps, this may require some of the Marine to return from Iraq. The preliminary date for Sgt Glass’s court-martial is early November 2007.
Written by a surgeon, this book is a collection of essays about medicine and much more. Dr. Gawande is a staff member of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, graduate of Stanford, Oxford, and Harvard.
The essays are seamless and extraordinarily easy to read, even when explaining complex issues. The overarching theme of he book is the importance of attention to the details and the profound effects that can have on performance. A theme that transcends medicine.
The essays cover the attempt to eradicate polio in India, military surgeons Continue reading
The Supreme Court added to its docket United States v. Kimbrough, 06-6330, which involves the application of the United States Sentencing Guidelines (“Guidelines”).
Note – Crack cocaine (hereinafter “crack“) is cocaine hydrochloride that is processed with baking soda to form of cocaine capable of being smoked. Cocaine in powder form will be referred to as “cocaine.”
Synopsis – Kimbrough was sentenced to 120 months for possession of 50 grams of crack cocaine. The range under the Guidelines was 168 – 210 months. The judge made the downward departure from the Guidelines based upon his disagreement with the sentencing disparity between crack cocaine and powder cocaine. This disparity in sentencing is known as the “100:1 crack/powder ratio,” which means that a defendant who deals 100 pounds of powder cocaine faces the same punishment as the defendant who deals 1 pound of crack.
Issue – The Court will decide whether a judge may deviate from the Guidelines if he disagrees with the decreased punishment for powder cocaine by giving a shorter sentence than required.
State of the Law – In United States v. Booker, the Supreme Court held that sentence enhancements, under the Guidelines, based upon facts found by the sentencing court and not a jury, violated the Sixth Amendment. The Booker majority remedied this Continue reading
This clip shows a very motivated and talented Marine eloquently explaining the drive to serve, in the wake of 9/11.
As moving as this is, it should not replace the Marines’ Hymn, if only for the selfish reason that the verse beginning “Here’s health to you and to our Corps” was difficult enough to remember.
yojoe (in motivated mode) out
The Staff Judge Advocate, SJA, – the senior legal adviser, roughly equivalent to in-house counsel for a business – for LtGen Mattis removed himself form the case of LCpl Tatum. The SJA, LtCol Bill Riggs, contacted LtCol Ware and criticized him for holding the government to too high of a standard when evaluating the charges against LCpl Tatum. LtCol Ware replied, via e-mail, “I viewed Lt. Col. Riggs’ comments as inappropriate and imprudent. … I was … offended and surprised by this conversation.”
LtCol Ware was the investigating officer for LCpl Sharratt. LtCol Ware unrecommended no charges against the Marines, and LtGen Mattis concurred with this recommendation and dismissed all charges against both LCpl Sharratt and Capt Stone. LtCol Ware will also be the Investigating Officer for SSgt Frank Wuterich.
More on Haditha
In a very pleasing announcement, there will be no criminal charges brought against Capt Randy Stone and LCpl Justin Sharratt. LtGen Mattis announced his decision on 9AUG07. For more on Haditha click here.
Two Marines, LCpl Tyler A. Jackson and LCpl Jerry Shumate Jr., were released from confinement by order of LtGen Mattis. Both Marines were members of the same unit as Sgt Hutchins, Cpl Magincalda, and Cpl Thomas. The two Marines had previously accepted deals for a 21-month cap on confinement in exchange for their guilty pleas.
LtGen Mattis met privately with both Marines before ordering their release. Cpl Robert Penington is the only Marine, who pleaded guilty, who remains in custody. Sgt Hutchins was sentenced to 15 years confinement, thus he remains in confinement. There are no further cases pending for the death in Hamandia, Iraq.
If you have not seen it, this is very cool. Street View allows you to go to a location and see it as though you were standing on the street. Street-level view on the Las Vegas Strip in front of Treasure Island and the Mirage Hotel and Casino. Google gives a tour of Street View at this link. This is incredible the amount of detail involved. And having been to a number of these areas, the view is a good as memory serves.
The following areas have Street View:
- Las Vegas
- New York City
- San Francisco Bay Area
- San Diego
Just click on one of the cameras to go to ground level.
yojoe (in Tech mode) out