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View Diary: Old white man decides to leave military sexual assault decisions in the hands of old white men (175 comments)

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  •  Say hello to kangroo courts, then... (1+ / 0-)
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    ksuwildkat

    You should read a bit on the history of US military justice.  There are good reasons and historical justification for the 'set aside' provisions of the UCMJ.  

    During WWII, 49 deserters were convicted at court martial and sentenced to death; in 48 of those cases, the death penalty was overturned by the convening authority using the same power you suggest should be taken from them.  The 49th was Eddie Slovik.

    No, the system is not perfect.  NO system is perfect.  There's a reason that the military operates under a separate judicial system, and the bulk of that system's history shows that it works reasonably well.

    It's actually a telling point that one has to go back to 1945 to find a worst-case scenario - a life-or-death abuse of the court martial process.  If you ask me, that's far better than what the civilian judicial system has managed to do in that same period (hello, Innocence Project?).

    I stand with you in calling for corrective action in these recent cases; as a veteran with some limited (battalion- and division-level) experience in military justice matters, I have no problem calling out problems and abuses as they occur.

    However, it's extremely important that we not overreach.  Remember that the same authority that is properly criticized in these cases was also use to spare those 48 WWII deserters the death penalty.  Realize that privates and corporals who were unjustly convicted by courts martial benefit from the authority in question just as often--if not more often--than we see it abused.  It's often the case that abuses garner far more attention than do smooth, proper exercises of command authority.

    It's often hackneyed and trite, but - we can't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    The word "parent" is supposed to be a VERB, people...

    by wesmorgan1 on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 09:59:13 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Give it up (0+ / 0-)

      The OP and 99% of the respondents have no clue about the military justice system other than "bad military bad."  Never mind it was a military court that that ruled in Rumsfeld v Hamdi despite the best efforts of the Bush administration to rig things.  Never mind female commanders would lose just as much power as their male counterparts.  Never mind that they want a completely separate justice system just for one type of crime - something that would never stand constitutional muster.  

      It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

      by ksuwildkat on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 11:27:25 AM PDT

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      •  If you're referring to me as the OP then (0+ / 0-)

        you'd be wrong.  I served as an infantryman in the US Army for six years.  

        In any case, Rumsfeld v. Hamdi was not a military court case, and is not relevant to this argument.  And yes, I'm fine with female commanders not having the ability to overturn a court ruling.  And I didn't ever advocate a "separate justice system for one type of crime."  You'll note that I capitalized the word "any."

        "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

        by Apost8 on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 06:31:53 PM PDT

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        •  6 years (0+ / 0-)

          yet somehow you never grasped that only commanders can punish?

          Do you think the District Attorney imposes punishment in civilian cases?  He/she doesn't.  A judge does.  Why?  Because that is what the Constitution says.  The Constitution gives two people the power to restrict the liberty of another citizen - a judge and a military commander.  Want someone else to do it, amend the constitution.  BTW - a judge can set aside a conviction in a civilian case just like a commander can set aside a military case.

          Hamdi was represented by a military lawyer.

          It is well that war is so terrible -- lest we should grow too fond of it. Robert E. Lee

          by ksuwildkat on Wed Jun 12, 2013 at 09:29:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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