…to the UCMJ.

More than two weeks ago, Sullivan said he expected murder and kidnapping charges would be brought soon, and a Pentagon official confirmed charges were imminent. But none has been filed and the delay has not been explained.
According to Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Sean Gibson, charges must be filed within 120 days of servicemembers being taken into custody. Gibson put that date at May 24, which would mean charges might not be filed until September.

Maybe now people will understand why ACTIVE DUTY members are reluctant to speak out. You sign your life and every right you ever had away when you swear that oath. ‘Military justice’ provides many safeguards, but ‘timely manner’ isn’t one of them. Michele Malkin with more. ( Don’t confuse the manner of the Marines’ confinement with ‘military justice’. That/shackles/etc. are at the discretion of the Commanding Officer. There is nothing that prevents him from doing the same to any service member in his command, except the counter order of a senior officer.) It’s harsh and there are reasons for it, but don’t ever think that there aren’t abuses and those can be arbitrary and hateful. And whether you make it to a Court Martial, an NJP (Non-Judicial Punishment ~ stand in front of the Old Man’s desk for a peepee whacking) or they drop everything, don’t think for two seconds that you get a shot at addressing your treatment or the ‘violations’ of your rights. Remember? You signed those away.
They could have held those Marines and sailor in any brig on any station. But the pictures on TV and the articles in the papers and the Congressman on the floor of the House had them chained like animals. And WTFO? Even Saddam Hussein gets to swing his arms.

10 Responses to “Welcome”

  1. That’s what is so outrageous. Scumbags to whom the laws of war do not apply are treated with kid gloves instead of the rope they should get.

  2. The_Real_JeffS says:

    Well said, THS. This treatment is unduly harsh — I hope that their commanding officer gets a few days in solitary confinement as well.

  3. Jim P says:

    I have written my representatives in Congress about the ‘Pendleton 8′ and Cpl. Josh Belile (Hadji Girl’ song) asking my reps. to help in getting just treatment for these men. I also wrote the Commandant of the Marine Corps expressing my disapproval of their treatment. I urge all concerned to do the same. You can get much more info and the email address for the Commandant at Michelle Malkin’s blog, and at HOTAIR.

  4. Mike Rentner says:

    Tha’s a pretty unusual understanding of the UCMJ.
    No commander would be allowed, especially in a base such as Camp Pendleton which is huge and heavily watched by superiors, lawyers, and peers, to abuse Marines like this.
    Notice that you’re only hearing from one side, and there are a lot of questionable statements. For instance, a “former” military lawyer says that the death penalty hasn’t been approved in over 200 years. Nonsense. Eisenhower had a soldier executed for desertion, and several in WWII were executed for crimes. The number of soldiers and sailors executed in the Civil War are almost uncountable.
    No one gives a reason for why these men would be held in shackles, and no one in the USMC confirms that they are held in shackles. I am skeptical that it’s even true.
    For instance, Michele Malkin is not a very reliable source for much. I’ve emailed her info about the Haditha incident but she still insists that those Marines are being unfairly targeted.
    Lawyers of those charged with crimes in the military have successfully defended their clients in the past by bringing their case into the public, often distorting the truth and building public opinion in their client’s favor based on lies. The military, being obliged to not speak on the issue is thus coerced into dropping charges that are often very deserved.
    I trust military law. If these men are in shackles, and I find it difficult to accept, it would be for a very good reason.

  5. … men would be held in shackles, and no one in the USMC confirms that they are held in shackles. I am skeptical that it’s even true.
    Considering the shackle report is via the Marine Corps Times, Mike, with the removal being confirmed BY a Marine Corps spokesman…

    Military officials on Friday said they have decided to remove shackles put on seven confined Marines and one sailor whenever they’re outside their individual cells at the Camp Pendleton brig, a Marine Corps spokesman said.

    …I wouldn’t think she’s too far off.
    As for a UCMJ reading, I do point out not to confuse the shackles/confinement with their right to speedy due process. However, it IS at the discretion of whomever controls the brig (In this instance, it might be either the Commanding General of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton or at the request of the IMef/Div CG) to delineate the prisoners’ confinement parameters.
    Now, innocent until proven guilty takes on new meaning in this case. Generally you don’t incarcerate people unless it’s to protect the public and only the most heinous of murders are subjected to balls and chains. Let me clarify that ~ CHARGED suspects. And, by virtue of my odd reading of the UCMJ, they could drag this out for 6 MONTHS without ever charging a soul, shackles and all. Sometimes public outrage has it’s place and, in a military context, it might well be the ONLY recourse the military member has ~ the only little light that shines into our peculiar feudal system.

  6. Jim P says:

    Mike Renter- Please share the info you sent to MM that she didn’t use. Also please tell us everything about your source(s) on the Haditha ‘massacre’. Have you sent this info to anyone else in the media? Who? If not, why not? If I was misinformed by MM et al, I most definitely want to know. Thanks in advance.

  7. jdkchem says:

    It is truly amazing how many people do not understand what military service entails, especially the Corps.

  8. Let me jump to Mike’s military service defense here poste-haste, before the pile-on starts. He’s a Marine Corps officer who just returned from Iraq a short bit ago. He went over with an infantry unit (and if I’ve d*cked that up, he’ll correct me) and I have read his poignant posts about his Marines. We’ve known each other almost twenty years, meeting as active duty Marines fixing A-6’s at beautiful MCAS El Toro, CA.
    And we didn’t agree too often then, either. {8^P

  9. major dad says:

    Can’t resist this one…Mike, please, “trust military justice”. You know as well as I do that there can be terrible miscarriages of justice depending on how much public attention a particular case has or what the convening authority wants to happen. I know not the norm but it happens. These Marines and Sailor have been convicted already just ask Mr. Murtha and Mr. Kline (who was my Group Commander long ago), it just is not right. Time Magazine pushed this story (and has retracked some of their initial reporting), sensationalizing most of it. I just love how we massacre but they just “kill” thirty or forty in a routine bombing of civilians. Why we would treat these guys this way is beyond me ~ only General Pace has said ‘let’s wait for the facts to come out’. I would argue ‘why are they in the brig with no charges filed?’ It may be that they (NCIS) want to make sure their case has the I’s dotted and the T’s crossed because they have a slam dunk or they don’t have squat,are just buying time and the General wants to put on a tough guy stance. In this society no one should be locked up let alone have to endure shackels and not be charged.
    If these men are guilty so be it, let them take their medicine. But if they are found innocent (my bet) how do you defend that kind of treatment?
    And just to let those who might question my credentials; 13 1/2 years enlisted, 16 1/2 as an officer and not done yet with active service in the USMC. Regardless, we should treat every serviceman/woman with decency and a presumption of innocence. Don’t get me started on the archaic UCMJ. I had a CO find guilty of “destruction of government property” a Marine who shot a dumpster with a paintball gun. The dumpster wasn’t government property and the two paintballs that hit it were hardly destructive, virtually undetectable. But he wanted to be a tough guy and busted the kid one rank, fined and restricted him for shooting a dumpster, jeez.

  10. Mike Rentner says:

    Maj Dad, yes at petty levels there are ding bat commanders who do stupid stuff like that. The kid should have denied NJP and taken a court, always good advice if you’re innocent or proof is lacking. But it’s been my experience that when general officers get involved things get done much more responsibly. Not always, but more often than the civilian world.
    Okay, I misread the shackles comment, I thought it was made by one of the Marines’ lawyers.
    I’m just on a big skeptical kick after all the BS being pushed around about Haditha. I’ve remained quiet about it until the Marines started talking about it and making horrible claims that what they did, in their own words, is standard operating procedure in Iraq. What they say they did is enough to convict them of at least manslaughter if not murder. I’ve even had a JAG read my blog and tell me he agrees with most of my analysis.
    Just click on the link by my name and read the entry entitled 3/1: Manslaughter in Haditha? to get a better idea of what some of the Marines involved say they were doing and what that means to people who were there.
    Like THS says, I was in an infantry battalion in Haditha and Hit just prior to this incident.
    And THS and I almost always agreed 20 years ago and still do today. Except when I’m grumpy.

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