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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sixth Amendment Wounded By Coast Guard Court.

http://www.amazon.com/CONDUCT-UNBECOMING-Officer-Lady-Conviction/dp/1460978021

Good news travels fast, bad news even faster. Webster Smith is one step closer to the Supreme Court. That is the good news. He lost his appeal to the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals. That is the bad news.

There is no joy in Mudville; Webster Smith has struck out. As far as the Coast Guard and its ability to right a terrible wrong is concerned, all men of goodwill are left bewildered. The Coast Guard no longer has the power to correct its own mistake.

The Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals by a narrow margin has made the wrong decision for the wrong reason. They have left the Sixth Amendment to the U S Constitution in shreds. {Footnote.(1)} By a majority of 2-1, they voted against Webster Smith.

The Decision was not unanimous. It was a majority opinion. Only one member of the Appellate Court was able to see clearly the errors made by the Trial Court and to vote his conscious.

I see no reason to waste m time reciting the strained, biased, and contorted illogic of the Majority Opinion. Chief Judge Lane I McClleland was determined to bring one home for the Ole Girls' Network, no matter how rediculous the decision read. It will forever stand as one more piece of evidence to history and to the majority of reasonable people as to just how institutionally biased the Coast Guard Military Justice apparatus really is.

The dissenting opinion was more persuasive. In a clear, cogent and convincing analysis that flowed logically, the dissent appears to has fashioned a minority opinion that could easily become the majority opinion if the Supreme Court grants Certiorari. It was a masterpiece of scholarly legal reasoning that is sure to take its place with the likes of Learned Hand, Oliver Wendell Holmes, and Thurgood Marshall.

The 2 judge Majority opinion assumed such a contorted illogical path that it resembled a pretzel draped out in a straight-jacket; whereas, the Minority opinion is so straight and logical, it could show the way to San Jose. It should be christened "stare decisis".

The judge who wrote the Minority opinion should be commended. He not only has courage but also a brilliant legal mind. His only fault is that he could not convince at least one of the other two judges on the three judge panel to see the error of their ways.

The Writ of Ccertiorari is the writ that an appellate court issues to a lower court in order to review its judgment for legal error and review, where no appeal is available as a matter of right. Since the Judiciary Act of 1925, most cases cannot be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court as a matter of right; therefore, a party who wants that court to review a decision of a federal or state court files a "petition for writ of certiorari" in the Supreme Court. If the court grants the petition, the case is scheduled for the filing of briefs and for oral argument.

Several pieces of the puzzle were missing at the Trial and the Appellate level. For the moment, let us provide just one missing link.

The Missing Link In the Webster Smith Case: Katie Collela

Most people know the basic premise of the story, the collusion of several young women that resulted in the court-martial of the first cadet at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. Shelly Raudenbush Wyman was the lone victor of the several women that accounted for the 22 charges against Webster Smith. Why did she come forward over two months after Webster Smith was removed from classes, following the allegations by then Regimental Commander-Kristen Nicholson, her two best friends Shannon Frobel, Kristin Strizki and Nicholson's subordinates: Stacy Chmielecki, Keri McCormack, and Katie Collela?

During the Court-Martial, Webster was represented by LT Stuart Kirkby and Merle J. Smith. Neither believed that the charges would prevail for the government. They did not pursue details of Shelly's relationship with the other female cadets. They could not mention Katie Collela or call her to the stand, Captain Judge denied her as a defense witness. Besides Kristen Nicholson, she was the only person who could detail how and why she came forward. Her father had just been appointed the Dean of Students and wanted no part of it. This was not the only reason that Smith's attroneys did not further pursue Shelly. Shelly Raudenbush Wyman was charged with two UCMJ violations--including disobeying an order--by the Coast Guard Academy, to push her to cooperate. She consulted with an attorney before the Smith trial and would not testify in the May pre-trial hearing so that she would not incriminate herself. The academy did not give her prosecutorial or testimonial immunity until the day she testified.

Why did she come forward?

The only cadet that knew about Webster and Shelly's sexual relationship was then-cadet Katie Collela.
Katie Colella and Webster went out several times in November of 2005. Over Thanksgiving break when Webster decided to stay at the academy, he picked her up from Captain Collela's home in Ledyard, CT. They went out on the first of two or three dates, with the blessing of the Captain. The first night, they went to a club called Complex and outside of the Complex Webster told Katie about Shelly. Katie asked Webster to end it if he wanted to hang out with her.
Before the investigation, as the evidence revealed, Katie had not told the Regimental Commander about Shelly.
Katie played as integral of a role as Kristen Nicholson did in pushing the charges but when it came time to end Webster's career, she was nowhere on the charge sheet.
The circumstances around their relationship could not be crafted for a charge sheet and maybe she had a little more integrity than the others.
In February of 2006 when CAPT Wisniewski realized that Webster was not going to plead guilty to the original charges, he stood before the Corps of Cadets in the Chase Hall wardroom and asked for any additional female cadets to testify against Webster Smith.
Katie Collela, Shelly's track teammate, told Kristen of the conversation about Shelly. Kristen, the acting Regimental Commander, approached Shelly (Shelly admitted in trial) and several days later, she was interviewed by CGIS
Not only was there a question of criminal prosecution for Shelly, she squelched rumors to save her engagement to Grant Wyman by agreeing to help the girls with Webster Smith.
Shelly's fiance was not there to support her during any of the hearings or the trial
Shelly did not attend or testify against Webster at the sentencing hearing
Katie Collela was later kicked out on an Honor Violation.
Webster's continued relationship with Shelly was never allowed into evidence in court. Breakfast and physical therapy in CDR Richard Shumway's office the next day, her lobbying Webster to join the track team, and her frequent trips to Webster's dorm room to comfort him after several issues that Webster had with his ex-girlfriend Kristen Nicholson in early November were never allowed into evidence.
The court of appeals majority ruling stated that there was no reason for Shelly to misrepresent the truth in trial.

Footnote.(1)
U.S. Constitution: Sixth Amendment
Sixth Amendment - Rights of Accused in Criminal Prosecutions

Amendment Text | Annotations
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) will hear the WEBSTER SMITH case. Oral Argument has been scheduled for September 2009!

After savoring the good news, Webster Smith had this to say: "Often times, I lose sight of what I am fighting for. I forget why there are D.C. lawyers calling my phone or why some people go out of their way to bring up the very issues that spawned this web site. It is only when I sit back and read the most recent 41 page brief to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces that everything comes back to me. United States v. Webster Smith was supposed to have been an open and shut case that ended with a guilty plea about three years ago; but the case still has life. By all indication, the case has more life now than it did when many first heard about it. LT Stuart Kirkby, bless his soul, had about 100 men and women on his JAG docket. Merle Smith had a line to toe and he toed it well, with diplomatic and political savvy. The content of the brief to CAAF couldn’t have been raised as issues to the court, back when. They would have had Kirkby sanctioned and Smith barred from ever pursuing employment within the community that has defined his life, supplanted his purpose and provided for his family.

As much as this case is about people, it is also about a system. Never should a person be defeated by the investigation, itself. A person should never be influenced to make a decision about the sanctity of their freedom based on what they read about themselves in the print media or hear from nationally prominent politicians. Facts of the case, media scrutiny and the intensity of the investigation can break the best of men. Yet in still, facts-despite the media scrutiny and investigation-are often enough to get a man through it all. The latter is where I stand. Some people preferred it when negative media scrutiny over-shadowed logic or facts. To them, U.S. v. W.S. was more reasonable, more tolerable, when I didn’t say a word. It was more reasonable when most of the facts had yet to speak for me. If you believe that there is finality where I currently stand, I ask you not to insult the CAAF judges. They have already positively changed the lives of several men that I once knew.

Some of the anonymous messages to this site have ramped up recently. There are people that are infuriated that this fight continues; it was supposed to end with me breaking down in a room before anything ever went public or something, I suppose. It was supposed to be over before any testimony was scrutinized.

EXPECTATIONS

As odd as it may sound, I have embraced this whole (long) process; that includes the good and the bad. No one has to remind me of the shame, dishonor and regret because I have already coped and moved on. I have a daughter who I hope to raise as a moral and compassionate person but believe me; I first had to reconcile fatherhood with my own flaws. I wouldn’t have grown, gotten married nor had a daughter, so soon, if I remained the person that I was. That was the good that came of it and it makes me feel safe and secure. The bad, however, keeps me moving forward. It is an engine for progress; I enjoy it. Every time that I get one of those messages or hear some discouraging news, it reminds me of what I set out to fight for. No person veiled with my transgressions, would ever give up on themselves when they know that they are right. Yesterday, the Easter message at our church was about expectations. About never lowering one’s expectations, no matter what realities we face. Pastor Fleming also talked about the many ways that God turns curses into blessings. Personally, without all of the negativity and doubt, I would lose my way. I don’t remember life without it. The harsher the bite, the closer I feel I am. No matter the amount of discouragement, I have never lowered my expectations. The line of demarcation, guilty or not guilty, has long since been forgotten.

Whatever the outcome of this next stage, it will impact me and I will move on. I am simply trying to continue on with a pure and obedient heart, everything else will take care of itself. I have put all of this in God’s hands and I am watching it unfold. Don’t ask me to accept my current situation as reality, that would be lowering my expectations."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

450 E Street, Northwest

Washington, D.C. 20442-0001



SCHEDULED HEARINGS




United States v. Webster M. Smith, No. 08-0719/CG

(Appellee) (Appellant)



Counsel for Appellant: Ronald C. Machen, Esq.

Counsel for Appellee: LT Emily P. Reuter, USCG



Case Summary: GCM conviction of going from place of duty, attempting to disobey an order, sodomy, extortion, and indecent assault. Granted issue questions whether the military judge violated Appellant’s constitutional right to confront his accusers by limiting his cross-examination of [SR], the government’s only witness, on three of the five charges.



NOTE: Counsel for each side will be allotted 20 minutes to present oral argument in this case.


DAY OF JUDGEMENT FOR WEBSTER SMITH.

Those who were not present on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at the

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (USCAAF)

450 E Street, Northwest

Washington, D.C. 20442-0001

for the oral arguments in the case of United States v. Webster M. Smith, Case No. 08-0719/CG, missed a real burn burner.

The judges of the USCAAF are civilian judges and sit as a single panel on all cases. Typically, all five judges participate in each case. The judges came out firing questions fast and furious to the two Appellate Attorneys. The first one up was Counsel for Webster Smith: Ronald C. Machen, Esquire. He was prepared and completely unflappable. He responded to every question put to him. When he was interrupted in mid sentence, he did not forge on and try to finish his thought; he immediately responded to the Judge's question. He gave reasoned responsive answers to every question. Some judges fired hard ball questions, and one judge even offer up a soft-ball question which was answered in the same serious manner.

Then came Counsel for U S Coast Guard: LT Emily P. Reuter, USCG. She had a cold or was recovering from the Swine Flu and began by pleading for leniency because of her weakened voice. It was downhill from there for her. She did not appear to give responsive answers to most of the questions put to her. She may have not even clearly understood some of the question before she attempted to respond to them. Frequently she appeared to retreat to her notes or her brief and read the holdings from cases that she had cited in her brief. Perhaps this was her first time arguing before the court or maybe this was a case that no one else wanted to argue, but there surely was not her finest hour.


This was an appeal from a General Court-Martial (GCM) conviction for going from place of duty, attempting to disobey an order, sodomy, extortion, and indecent assault. The ISSUE on Appeal was whether the military judge at the court-martial at the Coast Guard Academy violated Webster Smith’s constitutional right to confront his accusers by limiting his cross-examination of Shelley Roddenbush [SR], the government’s only witness, on three of the five charges.

Counsel for each side was allowed 20 minutes to present oral argument in the case.


The judges of the USCAAF are Judge Andrew S. Effron is the Chief Judge. The other four judges are Judge James E. Baker, Judge Charles E. “Chip” Erdmann, Judge Scott W. Stucky, and Judge Margaret A. Ryan, the most recent appointee.

The first issue that they tackled was the jurisdictional issue. The Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals had denied a request for reconsideration on 14 May 2008. It was not clear whether this was in the Appellate Record. There was a question of how many days had elapsed from the notification of the denial to Webster Smith's attorney and the date that Attorney Machen filed his appeal to the USCAAF. The Coast Guard had sent the Notice of Denial via DHL, a German company, rather than simply using the U. S. Mail as required by the Rules of Court. Apparently there are two time periods that may be relevant under Article 67(B) of the USCAAF's Rules. One is a 61 day rule and the other is a 95 day rule.

They kept coming back to this jurisdictional issue again and again. I do not think they hammered it out definitively during the hearing. Webster Smith's attorney said that it is not in the Record that he was notified on 14 May. LT Emily P. Reuter for the USCG said that it was in the Record. I am sure the USCAAF judges will settled the issue before they issue a decision.

This is troubling because I would hate for the judges to dodge the ISSUE on Appeal because of a technicality like jurisdiction. I could hear a couple of the judges contemplating doing just that. The tone and the tenor of the questions leads me to just that conclusion. It would be a shame after all this time and effort to be cheated out of a hard and definitive decision on the ultimate ISSUE.

That being said, it is my reasoned opinion that the judges of the USCAAF are poised to reverse the conviction of Webster Smith. I feel there is better than a 60-40% chance that they will reverse the conviction by a majority vote. also, there is a 51-49% chance of a unanimous decision.

I think Judge Ryan is a swing vote. She gave Attorney Machen the hardest time. If at all possible she might do like Judge Lane I. McClelland of the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals and uphold the status quo. However, I do not think she would go out on a limb and write a dissenting opinion. If the other four judges split 2-2, I think she might side with the judges who determine that a reversal is warranted because the Trial Judge abused his discretion and committed reversible error.

Judge Baker appears most eager to reverse this conviction because Webster Smith was denied his right to a fair trial. He sees this as a fair trial issue. He believes that the trial court members had a right to know what the secret was that SR wanted Webster Smith to keep, that it was of a sexual nature, that she had recently lied about it being nonconsensual when it was really consensual oral sex with an enlisted man in Norfolf, Virginia. Also, SR wanted Webster Smith to go out and lie for her so badly that she was willing to pay him with sexual favors.

Judge Baker feels this was crucial evidence that the members were entitled to know. The exact nature of the secret was crucial to Webster Smith's defense. The Trial Judge relied upon Rule 412 of the Military Rules of Evidence and allowed into evidence only the fact that Webster Smith was privy to a secret that SR wanted him to keep; and that secret concerned something that could ruin her cadet and officer career in the Coast Guard.

Even though Judge Baker is a civilian, he might have served in the military. He pointed out that there are lots of secrets that can harm one's career. It could be a secret concerning having failed a physical training exercise; or, it could be a secret involving a wardrobe or a uniform violation. The members had no way of knowing the precise nature of the secret since the trial judge protected SR from more rigorous cross-examination. They did not know that when SR was faced with rumors she lied to limit her own culpability. Giving a limiting instruction to the members was not sufficient to cure the error. It was more than harmless error. It was big, earth shaking, reversible error. It violated the Sixth Amendment of the U. S. Constitution.

As Attorney Machen so eloquently stated, SR had used the secret as a sword and a shield. It shielded her from testifying at the Article 32 investigation, and it was the sword that she used at trial to stab Webster Smith through the heart. It killed him and his career in the Coast Guard. It is what the judges referred to as the Theory of Innoculation. The secret had innoculated SR from two investigations. It saved her from testifying at the Article 32 Investigation.

LT Emily P. Reuter wanted to argue that this was not a Fair Trial issue, but it was a pattern or practice issue. As such the Trial Judge was correct to limit cross-examination of SR to stop any evidence from coming in concerning her prior sexual history or her propensity to tell lies. She argued that the Defense's Theory of the case at trial was wrong for the evidence that they were trying to elicit, and that the Trial Judge correctly used Rule 412. If he erred, it was no more than harmless error. It was not Reversible Error. She was not persuasive.

Truth crushed to earth shall rise again. The essence of truth in this case is finally coming to the surface. From where I sit, the USCAAF stands ready to right a gigantic wrong. It wants to reconsecrate the Temple of Justice in the Coast Guard. It wants to heal the wound that was inflicted on the Sixth Amendment by the trial court and the Coast Guard Court of Criminal Appeals.

Judge London Steverson
London Eugene Livingston Steverson
 (born March 13, 1947) was one of the first two African Americans to graduate from the United States Coast Guard Academy in 1968. Later, as chief of the newly formed Minority Recruiting Section of the United States Coast Guard (USCG), he was charged with desegregating the Coast Guard Academy by recruiting minority candidates. He retired from the Coast Guard in 1988 and in 1990 was appointed to the bench as a Federal Administrative Law Judge with the Office of Hearings and Appeals, Social Security Administration.

Early Life and Education
Steverson was born and raised in Millington, Tennessee, the oldest of three children of Jerome and Ruby Steverson. At the age of 5 he was enrolled in the E. A. Harrold elementary school in a segregated school system. He later attended the all black Woodstock High School in Memphis, Tennessee, graduating valedictorian.
A Presidential Executive Order issued by President Truman had desegregated the armed forces in 1948,[1] but the service academies were lagging in officer recruiting. President Kennedy specifically challenged the United States Coast Guard Academy to tender appointments to Black high school students. London Steverson was one of the Black student to be offered such an appointment, and when he accepted the opportunity to be part of the class of 1968, he became the second African American to enter the previously all-white military academy. On June 4, 1968 Steverson graduated from the Coast Guard Academy with a BS degree in Engineering and a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Coast Guard.
In 1974, while still a member of the Coast Guard, Steverson entered The National Law Center of The George Washington University and graduated in 1977 with a Juris Doctor of Laws Degree.

USCG Assignments.
Steverson's first duty assignment out of the Academy was in Antarctic research logistical support. In July 1968 he reported aboard the Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) Glacier [2] (WAGB-4), an icebreaker operating under the control of the U.S. Navy, and served as a deck watch officer and head of the Marine Science Department. He traveled to Antarctica during two patrols from July 1968 to August 1969, supporting the research operations of the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Research Project in and around McMurdo Station. During the 1969 patrol the CGC Glacier responded to an international distress call from the Argentine icebreaker General SanMartin, which they freed.
He received another military assignment from 1970 to 1972 in Juneau, Alaska as a Search and Rescue Officer. Before being certified as an Operations Duty Officer, it was necessary to become thoroughly familiar with the geography and topography of the Alaskan remote sites. Along with his office mate, Ltjg Herbert Claiborne "Bertie" Pell, the son of Rhode Island Senator Claiborne Pell, Steverson was sent on a familiarization tour of Coast Guard, Navy and Air Force bases. The bases visited were Base Kodiak, Base Adak Island, and Attu Island, in the Aleutian Islands.[3]
Steverson was the Duty Officer on September 4, 1971 when an emergency call was received that an Alaska Airlines Boeing 727 airline passenger plane was overdue at Juneau airport. This was a Saturday and the weather was foggy with drizzling rain. Visibility was less than one-quarter mile. The 727 was en route to Seattle, Washington from Anchorage, Alaska with a scheduled stop in Juneau. There were 109 people on board and there were no survivors. Steverson received the initial alert message and began the coordination of the search and rescue effort. In a matter of hours the wreckage from the plane, with no survivors, was located on the side of a mountain about five miles from the airport. For several weeks the body parts were collected and reassembled in a staging area in the National Guard Armory only a few blocks from the Search and Rescue Center where Steverson first received the distress broadcast.[4]. Later a full investigation with the National Transportation Safety Board determined that the cause of the accident was equipment failure.[5]
Another noteworthy item is Steverson's involvement as an Operations Officer during the seizure of two Russian fishing vessels, the Kolevan and the Lamut for violating an international agreement prohibiting foreign vessels from fishing in United States territorial waters. The initial attempts at seizing the Russian vessels almost precipitated an international incident when the Russian vessels refused to proceed to a U. S. port, and instead sailed toward the Kamchatka Peninsula. Russian MIG fighter planes were scrambled, as well as American fighter planes from Elmendorf Air Force Base before the Russian vessels changed course and steamed back

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19 Comments:

Blogger John said...

You may want to check I have heard the deans daughter was readmitted this spring.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a little curious about Katie Colella being kicked out on an honor violation. Unless it happened last year and she was later readmitted or it happened in the last month, how does it explain that she played on the Academy's women's basketball team the second half of this past season.

10:31 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Journal Entry: 4/10/20083:51 PM

My mother is calling my phone, hoping that I am the same person that I was before 3:39 PM when Wilmer Hale called me. My wife knows better, she is sending me text messages–she knows that I don't want to say a word, right now. I had just pulled up in our driveway when I saw that D.C. was calling. I knew what it was for, Will doesn't like to waste time on the phone. I almost didn't pick the phone up because, as many of you know, I have become weary of the Coast Guards relationship with justice. Long ago, I thought that I would be crushed if they told me that I lost but with everything going on in the Coast Guard, I have come to accept the heavy hand of the majority. I can't say that I didn't prepare myself for this. Every new media accounts of the U.S. Coast Guard, lately, has prepared me for the realization that 'Honor' is just a word for some. As a born again Christian, I was critical of myself. My faith would falter, at times, and I would question whether God is more powerful than the Coast Guard? In hindsight, I know that it was a tragedy that God could have remedied, He has done much greater. But perhaps, I wasn't ready yet. Perhaps, I should pray for my heart and not the hearts of my enemies. We have about five or six bibles in our home so you never have to walk more than seven steps, it seems. I prayed and I reflected on Jeremiah 29:11-14, verses that I hold to be true in my life.
Webster Smith

11:11 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Dear Anonymous,
Thank you for your comments. You may be correct.
I have not been keeping track of Captain Colella's daughter. I lost track of her after she went on a drunken spree at West Point.
It was my understanding that she was facing an impossible situation. I understood that a senior Army officer at West Point had written a very scathing letter to the Commandant of Cadets at the Coast Guard Academy concerning how much discredit she had brought upon the Coast Guard Academy.
It was my impression that she was on a collision course with a dismissal from CGA. The word was that she lied to cover her actions. In point of fact, my sources at the time said that she exhibited self-destructive behavior. She lied repeatedly. She was given three chances to come clean and did not.
The only recourse was dismissal. It would take a lot of juice to bring some one back from that set of facts.
The word is that Captain Collela, the Academic Dean, can raise the dead. His is a classmate and a friend of Doug Wisniewski, the architect of the Webster Smith court-martial. The word on the Wiz is that he thinks that he can walk on water. If "the Captain's Daughter" has been reinstated, that would be nothing short of a miracle.
Miracles do happen at the Coast Guard Academy, for some people. Cadet John K Miller is a living witness. So, is the cadet who went on a drunken spree and was found guilty of breaking and entering the home of a nice older couple who lives near the Academy.
They were all brought back from the land of the living-dead. So, I am a believer. It can happen. Good things can come true, for me and for you, BUT not for Webster Smith.
That is the part that has me so confused. Why is it that every one else can find redemption and forgiveness, except Webster Smith?
I saw Christine Balboni dodge a bullet, and I did not believe it, even though I was the one who diverted the bullet for her. And now, I am to understand that Katie Collela has been raised from the dead. When John K. Miller beat that drunken forcible sexual assault rap and got his rap-sheet wiped clean, it was nothing less than a miracle. It was tantamount to having casted out a demon.
Oral Roberts could not work miracles like these, even in his best days. Yet, the Coast Guard Academy appears to be in the miracle working business.
While every body else's prayers are being answered big-time, poor Webster Smith cannot even get a prayer through. None of his prayers appear to have risen above the ceiling.
I believe that God works in mysterious ways, and that He has His own timetable, but when is Webster Smith going to experience a healing?
The Court of Criminal Appeals could have been an instrument of peace and healing, but the majority chose to shun the right and embrace the wrong.
The Majority opinion in Webster Smith's appeal decision assumed such a contorted illogical path that it resembled a pretzel draped out in a straight-jacket; whereas, the Minority opinion is so straight and logical, it could point straight to San Jose. It should be christened "stare decisis".
The judge who wrote the Minority opinion should be commended. He not only has courage but also a brilliant legal mind. His only fault is that he could not convince at least one of the other judges on the 3 judge panel to see the error of their ways. He has a bright future ahead, but probably not in the Coast Guard. They would never suffer such a brilliant and couregeous spirit to survive in such a conclave. While he, by all rights should be the Chief Counsel one day, he will probably be drummed out of the service, or allowed to achieve an honorable retirement.
Such is the way of the world. Right forever on the scaffold; wrong forever on the throne. Let us hope that it is that scaffold that sways the future.
Webster Smith may live to fight another day. He is a ston'e throw from the Supreme Court. There might still be a miracle in his future. When the dust finally settles, he might be the last man standing.
If you are correct about Katie Collela, then she indeed would appear to have much in common with "The General's Daughter". If so, then Captain Collela may have some difficult days ahead.
If you are able to substantiate your hypothesis, I would appreciate it, if you would. I do not even mind if you continue to remain anonymous. Some people work better from the shadows.
Continue being curious. It is a sign of a critical thinker. I hope I have given you a responsive answer.

11:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Official Basketball Box Score
Coast Guard Academy vs Fitchburg State
3/9/2008 1:00 PM at Recreation Center, Fitchburg, MA
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
VISITORS: Coast Guard Academy 25-5
TOT-FG 3-PT REBOUNDS
## Player Name FG-FGA FG-FGA FT-FTA OF DE TOT PF TP A TO BLK S MIN
15 Melissa Martinelli.. f 6-6 0-0 8-8 1 5 6 2 20 1 1 0 0 22
42 Corinne McCormack... c 2-7 2-6 3-4 2 8 10 2 9 2 5 0 1 40
14 Laura Hutchinson.... g 1-2 0-0 0-1 2 2 4 1 2 0 3 0 1 19
24 Natalie Moyer....... g 4-13 4-11 7-10 0 3 3 4 19 1 7 0 3 36
25 DeCarol Davis....... g 5-9 4-7 1-2 1 2 3 3 15 1 1 0 0 33
10 Jennifer Tamminen... 2-6 2-6 2-3 1 2 3 1 8 1 0 0 2 26
20 Allison Majcher..... 1-2 0-0 0-2 2 2 4 2 2 0 0 0 0 17
34 Katie Colella....... 0-0 0-0 2-2 0 1 1 3 2 0 0 0 0 7
TEAM................ 2 2
Totals.............. 21-45 12-30 23-32 9 27 36 18 77 6 17 0 7 200

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Katie Colella did not appear in any games until 1/9/2008
The spring semester started on 1/7/2008
It is my understand that she was readmitted this spring

5:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think there is another cadet that was kicked out of the Coast Guard Academy because of an honor violation. He is the son of Admiral James Loy (retired). I believe he was readmitted to the Academy the following year (1992 ? ), and then kicked out again for another honor violation. Then he goes through OCS and earns a commission despite his Academy background.

I don't think what has happened to Ms Colella may be that unusual for certain cadets.

You may want to investigate that to determine if there is a history of favoritism.

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just for future accurate information and not to really pick nits, the "Wiz" was in the class of "79" and CAPT Colella was in "81". Also, congratulations to Webster on somebody in a position of authority to see the truth for what it always was. Now let's see what the CG does.

5:10 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Dear Anonymous,
An ounce of Truth benefits like the ripples on a pond. Never fear that you are nit-picking.
The purpose of this Blog is for the free flow or relevent and correct information. If you cannot communicate, then you cannot motivate or coordinate.
This is the information age. Bad information is much like free legal advice; you get what you paid for.
I will have to pay more attention to those "Tide Rips".
The connection between the Wiz and Collela is that the Wiz indocrinated him. He must have taught him everything that he knew.
Thanks for keeping me accurate and on my toes.
Concerning Webster, no lie can live forever. The Moral Arch of the Universe is long and it bends toward the positive. The race is not to the swift, nor is the battle always to the strong. It is to he who endures to the end. I believe Webster is made of sterner stuff. He has endured. He can hold-out. He will prevail. He has fought a good fight; he has kept the faith; and, there is a coveted prize waiting for him just around the bend.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another bit of information to add to this whole scenario is that the Wiz was relieved as Commandant of Cadets by CAPT Judy Keene, also from the class of "81." Don't know if it has any meaning or not, but it certainly makes you think if nothing else.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will the Friends of Webster Smith web site be turned back on or is this case over.

5:05 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Dear Anonymous,
The FriendsOfWebsterSmith Blog will be posted again. I cannot give you the exact date at this time.
Former Cadet Webster Smith is very excited and busy. On Saturday 17 May he will receive his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Business and Decision Information Science.
He has completed a pre-law curriculum and plans to take the LSAT in the Fall. There is a good chance he will be applying to law school.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Belinda Smith said...

Belinda said... Today May 17, 2008 I am proud to say that Webster received his Bachelors of Arts and Sciences Degree in General Business and Decision and Information Science. Webster completed 41 credit hours in two semesters and graduated with academic distinction(for transfer students who will graduate with 36-59 UST hours, based on the grade point average at the end of the fall semester). Webster's tenacity, determination and perseverance is commendable. The excellent academic foundation of Strake Jesuit College Prep, Naval Academy Prep, and Coast Guard Academy enabled Webster to successful achieve academic excellence at the University of St. Thomas (Houston's only Catholic University). To Webster's encouragers, faculty, instructors, professors, teachers, family and friends..Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Webster's Mom

8:02 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Webster Smith says it best:
I graduated with honors with a degree in general business and decision information science from the University of St. Thomas. I completed a two semester Russian linguistics program at Neighboring Rice University and completed all requirements for the pre law designation. Emotional moment for my family, especially my father and me. On February 15th, 2006 the night before the Coast Guard Academy called me back to face allegations and a negative press barage, we had a long talk. He took off his academy ring and I took mine off. He never had that ring off in my presence. He told me that he wouldn't put it back on until I walked across the stage. That motivated me more than any of the detractors could, so I finished my necessary 41 hours in 10 months. Seeing him cry, yesterday, broke me down. For a moment, we won. Now, its time for my first real job (in law) and law school next fall. People are going to see that no one is greater than God and His will.

Webster

3:16 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Attorneys for former Coast Guard Academy cadet Webster Smith have filed a brief and a petition for review and appeal of his court-martial with the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. (Aug 2008). This is the last level of appeal before the U S Supreme Court.

2:24 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) will hear the WEBSTER SMITH case. Oral Argument has been scheduled for September 2009!

9:26 AM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

This entry was posted by cgreports.wordpress.com on June 11, 2009 at 6:26 pm and is filed under Uncategorized.
QUOTE: "We were notified today that Webster Smith, the first cadet to ever be courts-martialed at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy has had his site blocked by the U.S. Coast Guard. Smiths website “Friends of Webster” is not accessible inside the Coast Guard domain. We reviewed the site and couldn’t find anything in our cursory review that would warrant being blocked."
UNQUOTE
See-http://cgreport.wordpress.com/2009/06/11/webster-smith-former-u-s-coast-guard-academy-cadet-blocked-inside-coast-guard-domain/

5:05 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

NO LIE CAN LIVE FOREVER.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009

United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

450 E Street, Northwest

Washington, D.C. 20442-0001



SCHEDULED HEARINGS




United States v. Webster M. Smith, No. 08-0719/CG

(Appellee) (Appellant)



Counsel for Appellant: Ronald C. Machen, Esq.

Counsel for Appellee: LT Emily P. Reuter, USCG



Case Summary: GCM conviction of going from place of duty, attempting to disobey an order, sodomy, extortion, and indecent assault. Granted issue questions whether the military judge violated Appellant’s constitutional right to confront his accusers by limiting his cross-examination of [SR], the government’s only witness, on three of the five charges.



NOTE: Counsel for each side will be allotted 20 minutes to present oral argument in this case.

8:57 PM  
Blogger ichbinalj said...

Ronald C. Machen Confirmed as United States Attorney for the District of Columbia
February 12, 2010

On Thursday, February 11, 2010, the United States Senate confirmed WilmerHale Partner Ronald C. Machen as the new United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. Ron, a member of WilmerHale’s Investigations and Criminal Litigation Practice Group, was nominated for the position in December by President Obama.

Ron first joined WilmerHale in 1993 and later served as an Assistant United States Attorney from 1997 to 2001, after which he rejoined the firm. Since 2001, Ron has represented individuals and corporate clients in the areas of white-collar criminal defense, regulatory enforcement, corporate compliance and complex civil litigation. He has advised and defended numerous Fortune 500 companies in high profile government investigations of alleged securities law violations, accounting and health care fraud inquiries and government procurement fraud matters. He has also litigated commercial disputes in state and federal courts concerning misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition, breach of contract and civil rights law violations and has frequently represented corporations in the various civil litigation that often follows regulatory investigations and enforcement actions.

“While he will be missed, we are proud of Ron and know he will serve the country well in his new role,” said WilmerHale’s Co-Managing Partner William J. Perlstein. "We wish him continued success in his new position.”

12:28 PM  

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