Ramrod Five sitrep

Here is an interesting piece from Wired about the potential of command cover up and similar acrtivity in this set of cases.

I got to the Wired piece through this from congressmatters.com blog.

When bad news breaks it has become almost routine for those at the top to disavow all knowledge and let the hammer come down on those well down in the hierarchy.  The pattern showed up again twice this week, and is now so common as to be almost standardized.

Ackerman’s piece sounds a similar warning.  Although command responsibility has not existed in practice for the military for quite a while (the aftermath of Abu Ghraib was perfectly consistent with how military higher-ups evaded blame for the Tiger Force and My Lai atrocities decades earlier), there is now enough of a history for an attentive observer like Ackerman to outline just how the probable cover up will proceed, which is a remarkable development.  Maybe the public has become so weary (via) of America’s endless, pointless conflicts that even war crimes can, when massaged with some rote denials, pass by with barely a ripple.

Media access.

Has the Army introduced an issue into the Stryker Brigade cases going to Article 32, UCMJ, hearing over the next few weeks.  The New York Times reports.  The hearings will be at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  “The case against Specialist Morlock is the first of the five to move to what the military calls an Article 32 hearing, in which the Army determines formal charges.”

A top Army official has ordered that images of dead or wounded “casualties or detainees” may not be made public during hearings involving an American soldier accused of murdering three Afghan civilians during a deployment to Afghanistan this year.

“I have determined that the risk of potential prejudice to the substantive rights of the accused, as well as negative impact on the reputation of the armed forces, associated with the potential public dissemination of these images outweighs minimal hardship upon the accused as a result of this order,” wrote Colonel Huggins.

The memorandum does not appear to address the media issue.  See this post for a discussion of media access to Article 32, UCMJ, hearings in the MAJ Hasan murder case at Fort Hood.  As the NYT reports,

Questions have been raised over the Army’s handling of the cases.