I note with extreme distaste that the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, is alleged to have interfered with the judicial process in the court-martial of several of his Marines for allegedly urinating on Taliban corpses in Afghanistan. The Washington Times reports:
John Dowd, Capt. Clement’s principal defense counsel, accused the commandant of engineering the largest case of unlawful command influence in the Corps’ history.
“The withdrawal of the charges was another act of cowardice by the commandant, his counsel and the Judge Advocate Division of [Marine Corps headquarters] to cover up the worst case of unlawful command influence in the history of the Marine Corps, which was beginning next Wednesday to be uncovered in a hearing before the chief judge … on several motions to compel discovery,” Mr. Dowd said Saturday.
The defense attorney said he wanted to see email traffic among the commandant, his counsel and his legal division.
“That email traffic would have revealed that [the commandant] and his lawyers had engaged in a secret, corrupt effort to rig and control the investigations and dispositions of the so-called desecration cases until Capt. Clement refused to submit to a corrupt process [of being] charged with crimes he did not commit,” Mr. Dowd said.
Capt. Clement’s defense counsel obtained a sworn statement from Lt. Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser who, as convening authority, was overseeing all cases in the urination incident. The general told of a one-on-one meeting in 2012 with Gen. Amos in which the commandant said he wanted Marine defendants “crushed” via courts-martial.
There’s more at the link. Important, informative, and infuriating reading.
If this iniquitous interference in the judicial process can be proved (and I hope it will be either proved or disproved, definitively – it’s far too important to be allowed to remain as an unproved allegation), then General Amos will have done his Corps a grave disservice, and irretrievably tarnished his own reputation. I note, too, that certain enlisted Marines have already been punished for their part in this alleged affair – punishments which must now be suspect in the light of General Amos’ alleged interference. If the interference is proved and those punishments are allowed to stand, it’ll be a travesty of justice.
If true, this report looks set fair to seriously damage the Marine Corps. Certainly, if I were a Marine on active service, I’d be looking over my shoulder, wondering if the Corps to which I was loyal was equally loyal to me . . . or prepared to throw me under a political bus at the drop of a hat. I hope the matter will be fully investigated and resolved as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, like so many scandals under the Obama administration, I suspect the guilty parties (if any) may simply ignore law, ethics and moral conduct, and hope they can get away with it – at least until they’re safely retired and drawing a pension.