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Friday, October 27, 2006

Admiral Van Sice has no respect for the legal PROCESS.



Admiral James Van Sice has no respect for the legal PROCESS. He has no respect for the men and women who have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of justice. He has no respect for the men and women who have toiled faithfully to ensure that the Coast Guard military justice has an appearance of professionalism. Moreover, he has no respect for Cadet Webster Smith, who was framed, railroaded, held incommunicado, and languishes in a cold prison cell waiting for him to approve or disapprove his prison sentence.
Admiral Thad W. Allen, Commandant of the Coast Guard, speaking at the Academy on 8 September 2006 did not mention the Webster Smith Case. But, talking with reporters afterward, Allen said THE PROCESS used to deal with the issue worked as it should.
Apparently, Commandant Allen did not know that the PROCESS is stalled. He did not seem to be aware that his fellow Admiral, the Superintendent, was stonewalling the PROCESS.
This is un-American. It is not in keeping with the highest traditions of Coast Guard officers. What has happened to the leaders of the Coast Guard Academy? Why won’t they do their job? This is dereliction of duty. It amounts to gross malfeasance in office.
Webster Smith is not an enemy of this country. He is not an American enemy combattant like John Philip Walker Lindhl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Walker_Lindh) captured on the field of battle in Afghanistan fighting with the Taliban. He should not need the Geneva Convention to get his boss to do his job. He should not need a Writ of Haebeas Corpus to rescue him from a cold, dark prison cell.
It appears that the best friend Webster Smith has working in the military justice system is Father Time. Father Time has the key to Webster Smith’s jail cell. He was sentenced to 6 months in jail. It has been over 5 months and the trial record and the Convening Authority’s approval of the Record of Trial and the sentence imposed has not been approved or disapproved. Father Time is about to take action. Time marches on and Admiral Sice refuses to march to the beat of his drum. Time will not wait for Admiral Van Sice.



What happened to the Academy military justice machine that geared up to convict an innocent man accused of raping his girlfriend, the first female Regimental Commander in 7 years? Is the military justice system in the Coast Guard on hold? Is it permanently out-to-lunch? Is it slow to act like its parent agency was slow to act in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort because the convicted cadet is Black?
The Webster Smith case grows more bizarre every day. More and more it begins to look like the Trial of the Scottsboro Boys. This case will live in infamy along with the Dred Scott Decision and the Scottsboro Boys.

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4 Comments:

Blogger ichbinalj said...

By Curious Observer

September 29, 2006 10:15 AM | Link to this

Some of these posters need to gain an understanding of the military justice system. Believe me, it isn’t anywhere close to the civil justice system.

As a young enlisted Marine, I had the opportunity to “escort” prisoners from the brig at Camp Lejeune to division headquarters for their courts martial. The absurdity included carrying a loaded rifle at the ready while I walked several paces behind the hapless prisoner up the main boulevard in full view of traffic.

The point I want to make is that the chances of an accused’s being exonerated approximated the chances of a snowball’s surviving hell. The court is a stacked deck from the start. For example, the same officers who decide the accused will go to trial are the officers who “review” the trial and sentence once the court is finished. Why worry about habeas corpus when the entire military justice system is weighted so heavily in favor of the prosecution? If you take the opportunity to read the Uniform Code of Military Justice, then consider the recent legislation, you will gain a notion of how impossible it is for an accused person to gain acquittal. Only those who can afford to pay for very good civilian lawyers have the slightest chance of being exonerated.

And even with that small chance, those found innocent can continue to be jailed indefinitely under the new legislation.

Maybe we’re better off to use Winston Churchill’s solution for Nazi war criminals. He advised Eisenhower just to take the accused out and shoot them. It sounds cruel, but it’s better than making a mockery of the justice system.

6:30 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

By Captain Freedom

September 29, 2006 10:21 AM | Link to this

Van, you pinko -

The Geneva Conventions are only so much toilet paper now. That you would bother to quote this soiled document reveals the depths of your anti-Americanism.

Further — and this is the true reaching genius of Our Leader — the bill passed yesterday does not limit “enemy combatants” to those armed devils on the battlefield. An enemy combatant is anyone Our Leader says is an enemy combatant. The perfect harmony of this legislation is indeed a glory to behold.

6:33 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

The U.S. Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals has scheduled oral arguments in the Case of The Appeal of the Court-martial Conviction of Cadet Webster Smith for January 16, 2008 in Arlington, Virginia.
A legal brief filed by his lawyers claims the convictions should be thrown out because the defense team was not allowed to fully cross-examine one of his accusers during Smith's court martial. They say that meant the jury didn't hear testimony that the accuser, a female cadet, Shelly Roddenbush, had once had consensual sex with a Coast Guard enlisted man and then called it sexual assault.
Lt. Cmdr. Patrick M. Flynn, the government's lawyer for the appeal, said 27 November that the jury "heard enough" and the trial judge was within his rights to impose reasonable limits on the cross-examination.
"They didn't need to hear the additional details the defense is arguing they should have been allowed to hear."
The defense also is asking the court to set aside Smith's convictions on two lesser charges of failing to obey an order and abandoning watch.

10:21 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.

10:57 AM  

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