Wednesday, July 05, 2006


It was not only a failure in leadership that led to the court-martial of cadet Webster Smith at the Coast Guard Academy. It was a character flaw in Doug Wisniewski, the Commandant of Cadets. He declared war on Webster Smith and waged a personal vendetta against him.
Webster Smith was going to graduate in the Class of 2006. Doug Wisniewski had graduated in the Class of 1979. He was 27 years senior. He had 27 years of experience in the officer corps. He had a gross disadvantage over Webster Smith. They were hardly evenly matched.
Cadet Kristin Nicholson (KN) was the Regimental Commander of the Cadet Corps. That was like being the Admiral Chester Nimitz or the General Dwight D. Eisenhower of all of the troops. Kristin Nicholson (KN) was personally chosen by Doug Wisniewski.
Webster Smith was the most popular football player and athlete on the campus. All the girls loved him. He could have had his pick of any girl on the campus. He chose Kristin Nicholson. She was not his on-again, off-again girlfriend. She was his steady. They were an item. She spent the Christmas Holidays with Web and his family in Houston, Texas. She and Webster brought in the New Year together. They started the year off right. They started it together.
A good start ended tragically. Kristin Nicholson got pregnant. She was taking birth control pills and Web used a condom; yet, she got pregnant. When he found out Doug Wisniewski went wild. He was furious. He went ballistic. He declared war on Webster Smith. He was out to destroy Webster Smith. He marshalled all of the forces at his disposal. As a senior captain, as Commandant of Cadets, and as a member of the Class of 1979 with friends and classmates strategically placed all over the Coast Guard, he had considerable resources.
First, he he separated Webster and KN; then he isolated Webster. He issued an order that Webster could not go within 100 yards of his living quarters. Then he moved him out of the barracks. Then he assigned him to hard labor indefinitely. Instead of going to class he was to report to the boat dock and scrub the decks every day. He was punished for months without being charged with a crime. He was punished for months without ever being sentenced. His father was denied access to him.
Then Doug Wisniewski began issuing press releases to the news media. He wrote and placed articles in the Coast Guard Alumni association Bulletin to support his position. He would not let Webster's father see him. He would not let Webster attend classes. Then he questioned every female at the Academy who had had sex with Webster and conspired to put him away. He also call in every white female cadet who had expressed displeasure at seeing an inter-racial couple. They conspired together until they weaved a web of lies.
Doug Wisniewski decided that he was going to drive Webster Smith out of the Coast Guard, and he used a General Court-martial to do it. Ironically, the one charge he was counting on to do the job, fizzled. He had no physical evidence of rape. It was like trying to prove a murder case without having a dead body.
While he was trying to prove that Webster smith raped his girlfriend, a real rape occurred in Chase Hall. A white male cadet raped a white female cadet. She was taken to the hospital and there was objective documented physical evidence of rape. This was a classic textbook case of a prima facie case of rape. It would have been a slam-dunk to prosecute, but Doug Wisniewski was fixated on the persecution of an innocent man. So, what does Doug Wisniewski do about the real rape? He allows the white cadet to quietly resign from the Academy and slip away into the night. What a contrast! Web Smith was inhumanely whisked from his bed, led from his room in the barracks in the middle of the night by a phalanx of Security Guards; and, the white cadet who savagely raped a cadet was allows to quietly slip away into the night. Well, he has not slipped away into everlasting darkness. Justice will be looking for him. He and Doug Wisniewski will have to account.
The American justice system has all the justice money can buy. There is still a bit of justice in military justice. A nine member jury panel found Webster Smith "not guilty" of rape. There was no other reasonable conclusion. Reason people could not disagree that the Government had not carried its burden of proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Webster Smith had commited the acts that he was unjustly charged with.
Doug Wisniewski, however, did not put all of his eggs in one basket. Through the process of multiplicity, he manufactured a laundry list of charges and subpoenaed enough jealous females whose stories changed with every change in the wind. Doug Wisniewski managed to get a conviction on some other trumped up charges that will be thoroughtly debunked in due course, right here.
When Doug Wisniewski left the Academy and went to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington DC, he left a skunk at the picnic. Webster Smith had been segregated from the barracks. The press had been briefed. The plot was set. The conspiracy had been hatched. The lawyers had been picked. Wisniewski went to Washington to watch.



Blogger ichbinalj said...

The first verdict in the Sea Services Summer Carnival of Courts Martial is in.
A panel of Coast Guard officers convicted cadet Webster Smith on five charges Tuesday, including coercing a female classmate into oral sex and sexually assaulting her. He faces up to 13½ years in a military brig.

He was acquitted of the more serious charge that he raped his former girlfriend, one of four women who testified against him over the past week and a half in the first court-martial of a cadet in the Coast Guard Academy's 130-year history.
After about eight hours of deliberation, the panel found Smith guilty of indecent assault, extortion in exchange for sexual favors and sodomy, which in military parlance includes oral sex. All those charges involved one of the four accusers.

He was acquitted of several charges that stemmed from alleged sexual encounters with the other three female cadets. The defense had argued that the sex was consensual and that the women had colluded against Smith.

With no physical evidence outside of e-mails and phone records, the trial pitted Smith's version of events against those of his accusers.
The guilty verdicts for indecent assault, sodomy and extortion all were tied to Smith's conduct with a female cadet, now an ensign, who alleged that Smith had come to her room on three occasions the night of Oct. 19, 2005.

The visits progressed from taking nude photographs to massages to oral sex. She said she had confided in Smith about something she had done during the summer that could hurt her military career.

Smith offered to help her squelch rumors about the incident but, the prosecution argued, also used the secret to coerce her into the sexual encounters.

Smith was acquitted of all charges involving his conduct with the remaining three women. One of those women, his former girlfriend, testified that he raped her after she became intoxicated during a party in Annapolis, Md., last June.
Not guilty of the charge that started it all, but guilty of offenses found in the course of the investigation of the one he is not guilty of. Read both above links - I'm not going to quote all the FOD there.

Here is the question: other Cadets and Midshipmen from Annapolis have committed offenses as well – all found out in the course of the investigation. Some are already Commissioned Officers. Will they be held to the same standard as Cadet Smith? If not, why? As a reader pointed out, one who is now a Midshipman admits that she was blackmailed as a result of her willful and deliberate posing for nude photographs. How does she expect to hold a security clearance? In the digital age, how many copies of those photos are out there? What will she do next time? A leader needs to take charge, because right now, there is gear adrift all over the Sea Service Academies.

A military jury has sentenced a Coast Guard cadet to six months incarceration and dismissed him from military service for sexually assaulting a female cadet last year and four other violations of the military code of conduct.
Also, this NavyTimes bit adds some more background:
Smith’s accuser testified that she blacked out early in the night and learned the next morning that she and Smith had had sex. Smith told her the condom had broken and recommended she seek emergency contraception, but she did not know whether to believe him, she said.

She also said she couldn’t remember details about that morning, including what she was wearing or whether she looked for physical evidence indicating they’d had sex.

Weeks later, she took a home pregnancy test.

“When did you realize that the accused had actually had sex with you?” asked Cmdr. Ronald Bald, the military prosecutor.

“When I saw the positive result on the pregnancy test,” she said.

“What did you think had happened?” Bald asked.

“I thought that I had been date-raped,” she replied.

Yet their relationship continued. The night after the rape allegedly occurred, the woman acknowledged, she and Smith attended a concert with friends and then spent the night together in a hotel.

Testimony during pretrial hearings suggested that the woman had an abortion, but the military judge refused to allow any medical records into evidence June 20, saying it would prejudice the jury. Jurors were told only that the woman did not carry the child to term.

The cadets remained in contact when they returned to campus, she said, exchanging affectionate e-mails and seeing each other for dinner. Months after the rape allegedly occurred, she said, they had sex in his car.
And while prosecutors say Smith was a controlling, emotionally abusive boyfriend, one of Smith’s friends testified that the young woman was equally to blame.

The friend said she was watching a movie with Smith last year when the girlfriend walked in.

“’How could you do that to me? How could you steal him from me,’” Bazinet recalled her classmate yelling. “It was scary.”

Of the four accusers in the case, a woman who testified June 22 was the only one who said she had not been drinking when she was assaulted. She described a night last fall on which she and Smith had a series of sexual encounters in her dorm room — she said all were unwelcome.

But she said she never resisted when they took naked photographs together and gave each other massages or when Smith slipped into bed next to her and performed oral sex on her. She then performed oral sex on him, even after he said she didn’t have to if she didn’t want to, she testified.

The woman, now an officer, said she was afraid to say no because she was relying on Smith to keep a secret, one involving a crime that could have jeopardized her career.
Still, we don't know the "crime."

// posted by CDR Salamander @ 07:05

5:39 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...


Jill Brown was to be the Coast Guard's first female aviator. Her father was a pilot. She was related to a Tuskegee Airman. The Navy was trying hard to recruit her. London Steverson, Chief of Coast Guard Minority Recruiting has her ready to sign up for the Coast Guard Direct Commission program. There was just one problem. It was not that Jill Brown was Black. She was. The problem was that the Coast Guard Chief of Personnel was not about to let the first CG female Aviator be a Black female. As soon as Jill Brown signed with the U. S. Navy, the Coast Guard Aviation program was opened to Vivien Crea, a white OCS graduate.
"Certainly, I personally would love to grow the Coast Guard," Crea said. "However, that is a decision for the administration and Congress and the American people and how much they want to pay for it."

Crea, who is the first woman to become the service's vice commandant, said she was honored to take the job and because the Coast Guard took the lead of all uniformed services to integrate women at many levels , there are bound to be others qualified as well.

"I am very, very aware many other extremely qualified women with tremendous potential are behind me, and I am looking forward to this," she said.

She hasn't felt any extra pressure because of the many pioneering Coast Guard roles she's had - first female flier, first woman to command a district - mainly because "I've been doing it all my life."
Excerpted from:
Two Coast Guard leaders have new roles and challenges
By JACK DORSEY, The Virginian-Pilot
© May 9, 2006

11:40 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

International Herald Tribune - France
(The Associated Press) WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2007
Lawyers for a former cadet who was the first student court-martialed in the 130-year history of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy's are seeking to reverse his convictions for sexual misconduct.
Oral Arguments before the Coast Guard Court of Military Appeals is set for 16 January 2008 in Arlington, Va.

11:10 AM  

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