Up periscope 138

Opinio Juris reports on USACIL.  They begin:

On paper, courts-martial are far more fair than military commissions — the substantive law they apply is superior, and their rules of evidence and procedure are designed to protect defendants, not ensure convictions.

But then here is the kicker:

The McClatchy article indicates that Mills joined the Criminal Investigation Laboratory in 1995.  It’s highly unlikely that the problems with his work only began in 2002, which means that hundreds more courts-martial were likely affected by his work.  It will be interesting to see how the Army deals with those long-closed cases.

Daily Reporter reports:

Lt. Gen. Robert Cone, the departing commanding general, granted a request by Maj. Nidal Hasan’s attorney to delay proceedings until late April, when Maj. Gen. Donald Campbell is expected to assume command at the Texas Army post. Hasan’s lead attorney, John Galligan, contended Cone wouldn’t have been impartial because he was at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009, and received information about the case early on that may not have been accurate.

Navy Times reports the USNA’s first expulsion of a female midshipman for involvement in “spice.”  No more spicing the mainbrace.

Concurring opinions has picked up the meme about a recent filing with the CMCR:

The filing set off a storm of protest, prompting the National Congress of American Indians (NCIA), the nation’s oldest and largest association of tribal governments, to file a letter brief with the CMCR correcting the record. . . . .

prosecutors noted, the government “cites General Jackson’s campaign and the tribunals he convened not as an example of moral right but as legal precedent: the morality or propriety of General Jackson’s military operation in Florida is irrelevant.”  Prosecutors, to my knowledge, have not agreed to withdraw the offensive portions of the brief or disavowed their reliance on this precedent.

The Ambrister- Arbuthnot commission may be historical evidence, but it’s not legal precedent and it’s very poor evidence. That commission was never considered or validated by any court. Jackson, meanwhile, was almost censured by Congress and the decision was castigated, including by the House Committee on Military Affairs.  William Winthrop, whom the U.S. Supreme Court has called “the Blackstone of Military Law” and repeatedly cited in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld and other opinions, later described Jackson’s order to execute Ambrister (after the commission had sentenced him to corporal punishment) as “wholly arbitrary and illegal.”  (Winthrop also remarked that if an officer had ordered the execution as Jackson had, he “would now be indictable for murder.”).

Air Force Times reports:

The commander of the wing in charge of F-35 training was relieved of command Thursday following an investigation into personal misconduct.

Fighting for your rights is an Army Times blog:

Old enough to die for your country but too young to drink and smoke?

Take heart. Alaska State Rep. Bob Lynn is fighting for your right to be self-destructive.

The lawmaker from the Alaska legislature’s Anchorage district has introduced a bill to  allow military members in his state under 21 to legally drink and smoke there. Alaska residents can’t legally drinking until they’re 21 and legally smoke until they’re 19.

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