Tag Archives: Attorneys Cite President’s Unlawful Command Influence Seek Dismissal of Charges Against Army Helicopter Pilot

‘Thirty Days of Hell in the Life of an Accused Army Officer’

It became obvious Monday that “THE FIX IS IN” for Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin as the Army’s marches forward with its prosecution of the Regular Army officer on allegations he sexual assaulted and abused members of his family. Below, I offer a recap of my coverage of his case. Let’s call it “Thirty Days of Hell in the Life of an Accused Army Officer.”

Thirty Days of Hell

Though Major Martin’s “living hell” has been going on for more than three years, I only became aware of it after seeing a familiar name, Jacob D. Bashore, associated with his case.

On Aug. 27, I published a short piece — the first of 27 pieces — under the headline, Army Lawyer Surfaces in New Bogus Prosecution Effort.

After interviewing the 47 year old via Skype Sept. 2, I knew he would need the public’s help to get some form of military justice. The next day, I issued a plea under the headline, Soldier Facing 58 Years In Prison Needs Your Help! In addition, I promised I would provide more details.

In keeping my promise, I went “full tilt” on his case Sept. 4, beginning with a summary post, Army Soldier-Aviator Faces Possible 58-Year Sentence As Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Witch Hunt Seeks New Victim, in which I thought I had covered all of the major details of the story. In addition, I published the first three of 11 video clips from the aforementioned interview:

Gen. Raymont T. Odierno, USA Ret.

Gen. Raymont T. Odierno, USA Ret.

In an officer evaluation at Fort Lewis, Wash., several years ago, then-LTC Raymond T. Odierno described then-1LT Martin as a “top of the line” officer of “unquestionable integrity.” In video clip #1, I ask Major Martin how it felt as a young officer to receive such high praise from the man who would go on to become a four-star general and serve as chief of staff of the Army. It stands as a snippet of a more-serious conversation about his upcoming court-martial.

In video clip #2, Major Martin talks about his life before he signed on the dotted line.

In video clip #3, Major Martin talks about what it’s like to have had what many might consider a “dream job” — flying the world’s most-sophisticated attack helicopters and using weapons that “go boom.”

On Sept. 5, I published three more interview segments:

Major Martin and his first wife divorced amicably, and he maintains good relationships with her — now remarried — and their three children. After the divorce, he met a woman online. In video clip #4, he tells me about the early days of his relationship with the woman who would later accuse him of horrendous crimes.

Major Martin went to war three times and lived to tell about it. In video clip #5, however, he describes the beginning of another kind of battle he’s fighting, this time with the woman he thought was his legal wife. It’s a battle that reached the boiling point soon after he was assigned to the vaunted 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Major Martin accomplished a lot while wearing an Army uniform. Not only is he an elite Army Ranger, but he is a master Army aviator as well, having racked up some 1,000 hours of combat flying time, including 500 while using night-vision gear. In video clip #6, he describes what happened in his life after the woman he considered his legal wife went to the FBI and told agents he was an international spy.

Somehow, up until today, I had, for some inexplicable reason, overlooked publishing the seventh video in the series. So here it is:

In video clip #7, Major Martin and I discuss a second set of allegations made against him by the woman he considered his legal wife.

I published two more video installments Sept. 6:

Facing the toughest battle of his lifetime, Major Martin had the nerve to contact members of Congress after realizing the Army investigation into sexual assault allegations against him had turned into a witch hunt with him as the prey. In video clip #8, the veteran of three combat tours in Iraq describes the backlash that followed.

In a previous clip, I shared details about the backlash Major Martin felt after contacting members of Congress about the unfair prosecution he was enduring as a victim of the Pentagon’s sexual assault witch hunt. In video clip #9, he describes how then-Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, acting commanding general at Fort Campbell at the time, reacted to two of his subordinates telling him they didn’t think the charges against Major Martin should go forward.

The last two videos went “live” Sept. 7:

Major Martin told me he asked his second wife for a divorce in 2012, and she retaliated by making unfounded allegations against him. During the years that followed, multiple investigations found no wrongdoing on his part, but that didn’t stop the man known as “Stammer the Hammer” from ordering him to face a court-martial. In video clip #10, the distinguished graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha ROTC program shares his thoughts about whether intense political pressure forced the general into taking the unwarranted action against him.

In video clip #11, the major reveals what his private investigators found that prompted officials in two states to file their own charges against his accuser. In addition, he reveals what Army investigators did in response.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, gives Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 6.

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, gives Secretary of State John Kerry a tour of Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, May 6.

Via email Sept. 8, I contacted now-Major General Stammer — yes, he received a promotion after decided to send Major Martin to trial (coincidence?) — at his new headquarters in the East African nation of Djibouti where he serves as commander of Africa Command‘s Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. I asked him to explain his decision to prosecute, and he responded as I suspected he would.

On Sept. 9, I offered an up-to-date summary of my coverage under the headline, If You’ve Ever Known An American Soldier….

In a piece published Sept. 10, I highlighted two topics, unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct, as reasons cited by Major Martin’s defense team for the charges against their client to be dismissed. One day later, I added more fuel to the fire of the defense argument in a piece under the headline, Attorneys Cite President’s Unlawful Command Influence, Seek Dismissal of Charges Against Army Helicopter Pilot.

On Sept. 15, I described how members of the national news media, politically-active filmmakers and attorneys are willing to overlook facts in order to promote an agenda. Inadvertently, I left out slimy politicians like Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY). My mistake. The story, however, remains worth reading for those who like to deal in facts and truth. See Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics Used as Weapons Against Honorable Military Men in Sexual Assault Witch Hunt.

On Sept. 17, I shared details of a 754-word letter written by Major Martin’s sister and sent via email to General Stammer. Unfortunately, the well-written electronic letter only seems to have stoked the general’s anger. Within hours of receiving the letter, he was in contact with Army prosecutors who, in turn, began harassing Major Martin’s letter-writing sister.

On Sept. 20, I shared news that backs up claims that Major Martin’s accuser can’t be relied upon to tell the truth. The news appeared beneath the headline, Reportedly Decapitated in Logging Accident Almost 19 Years Ago, Man Ready to Testify on Behalf of Accused Army Officer.

News about Major Martin’s trial date being pushed back to Dec. 1 was the least interesting of several topics that surfaced Sept. 21 and 22. It was during a two-day hearing that Col. Andrew Glass, the military judge, heard arguments from attorneys on both sides regarding whether unlawful command influence and/or prosecutorial misconduct had tainted the case against Major Martin.

On Sept. 26, I published my first piece of hearing-related news which focused on the credibility of Major Martin’s accuser. The matter came to the fore when her older sister told the court via phone she did not want to testify and had no opinion as to her sister’s credibility. After that, the defense immediately played an audio recording on which the sister could be clearly heard telling a private investigator that her younger sister — again, Major Martin’s accuser — had been “untruthful since childhood,” had a propensity for making up stories for no apparent reason and could not be believed.

The words above appeared in an email from Maj. Jacob D. Bashore to the local prosecutor, Katherine Foster.

The words above appeared in an email from Maj. Jacob D. Bashore to the local prosecutor, Katherine Foster. Click on image above to read story.

On Sept. 27, I shared two more pieces of news from the hearing. The first appeared under the headline, Local Prosecutor Says Fort Campbell Counterparts Tried to Pressure Her to Drop Charge Against Army Officer’s Accuser. The second appeared under the headline, Prosecutors Accused of Misconduct, Breach in Controversial Sexual Assault Case Against Army Officer at Fort Campbell.

On Sept. 28, while waiting for Colonel Glass to rule on the two topics –unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct — that were the subject of the two-day hearing, I shared another previously-unmentioned tidbit about about how the vast majority of defense witness requests were inexplicably denied by the military judge.

Later the same day, I shared more troubling news under the headline, The Fix Is In: Army Judge Denies Defense Motion Concerning Unlawful Command Influence, Prosecutorial Misconduct. Despite the fact the defense seemed to have presented strong cases for both unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct, Colonel Glass denied the defense motion that both elements were present in the case.

YOUR CALL TO ACTION

To show people in charge of this kangaroo court-martial effort how you feel about the case against Major Martin, contact your elected officials as well as the officials listed below and let them know the prosecution of this Soldier, who’s already been cleared of wrongdoing by multiple investigations, needs to end immediately:

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer
c/o CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office
Phone: +253 21-359-523
Email: africom.cldj.cjtf-hoa.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil

Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky
c/o 101st Airborne Division
Bldg. 2700, Indiana Avenue
Fort Campbell, KY 42223
(270) 798-3025
Email: usarmy.campbell.93-sig-bde.list.public-website@mail.mil

Mr. Ashton Carter
Secretary of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400
https://kb.defense.gov/app/ask

Mr. Jon T. Rymer
Inspector General
U. S. Department of Defense
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1500

John M. McHugh
Secretary of the Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

General Mark A. Milley
Chief of Staff, United States Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

Senator Rand Paul
167 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
(202) 224-4343
http://www.paul.senate.gov/connect/email-rand

Senator Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2541
http://www.mcconnell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactForm

Senator Lamar Alexander
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4944
http://www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email

Senator Bob Corker
425 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3344
http://www.corker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/emailme

COMING SOON: I’ll share comments from a civilian defense attorney who handles military clients. In short, he tells me Fort Campbell has become a choice location for Army prosecutors who are “venue shopping” — that is, looking for prosecution-friendly environments in which to practice their craft.

Stay tuned for more details, and thanks in advance for reading and sharing the article above and those to follow, and please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:25 a.m. Central: A military judge continued the military trial date for Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin to sometime in March 2016, though no specific date has been set.

UPDATE 12/10/2015 at 11:14 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Sept. 6-12, 2015

In this weekly recap, I share details about how I spent most of the week shining the light of truth on the case of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin. But, as you’ll read below, his story is not the only one I tackled.

Based on the feedback I've received during the past week, I'd say the name of the store in this photo describes the sentiment of the vast majority of my Facebook friends when it comes the case of Army Maj. Christian "Kit" Martin and his upcoming court-martial on bogus sexual assault charges. FYI: His story is available at http://bobmccarty.com/?p=3081. I hope you'll give it a look and consider sharing it.

Based on the feedback I’ve received during the past week, I’d say the name of the store in this photo describes the sentiment of the vast majority of my Facebook friends when it comes the case of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin and his upcoming court-martial on bogus sexual assault charges. FYI: His story is available at http://bobmccarty.com/?p=3081. I hope you’ll give it a look and consider sharing it.

On Sunday, Sept. 6, I offered three video clips from my Sept. 2 Skype interview with Major Martin as followups to six clips I shared during the previous week:

In Video Clip 9, the elite Army Ranger, master Army aviator and Iraq War combat veteran describes how then-Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, acting commanding general at Fort Campbell, Ky., at the time, reacted to two of his subordinates telling him they didn’t think the charges against Major Martin should go forward.

In Video Clip 10, Major Martin shares his thoughts about whether intense political pressure forced General Stammer into taking the unwarranted action against him.; and

In Video Clip 11, the major reveals what his investigators found that prompted officials in two states to file their own charges against the woman he long considered his “wife.” In addition, he reveals what Army investigators did in response.

In an effort to get answers regarding his decision to prosecute Major Martin, I sent an email Tuesday, Sept. 8 to now-Major General Stammer at his new post in Africa. You can read what I asked him and see how he responded by reading my piece, Army General Asked to Explain Decision to Prosecute [Note: The general’s response appears in the second update at the end of the piece.].

On Wednesday, Sept. 9, I offered an overview of my coverage to date of Major Martin’s case for those who had not yet read about him. That overview appears under the headline, If You’ve Ever Known An American Soldier….

On Thursday, Sept. 10, I put the spotlight on troubling legal issues impacting Major Martin and other Soldiers accused of sexual assault. Read about it under the headline, Unlawful Command Influence, Prosecutorial Misconduct Cited as Reasons to Dismiss Charges Against Army Officer.

On Friday, Sept. 11, I climbed much higher into Major Martin’s chain of command, going all the way to the White House for details in my article, Attorneys Cite President’s Unlawful Command Influence, Seek Dismissal of Charges Against Army Helicopter Pilot. Later the same day, I shared a guest piece in which Paul R. Hollrah offered a political strategy to defeat ‘The Left’ in 2016.

Click on image above to read articles about Major Martin's fight for military justice.

Click on image above to read articles about Major Martin’s fight for military justice.

MY FACEBOOK PAGE

If you’re not yet a Facebook friend of mine, please visit my Facebook page. There, you’ll get to read other tidbits, ranging from personal and political items to news about my office assistant, Butters.

This week, for example, I shared two updates to my Aug. 21 article, Secretary of Defense Invites Me to Ask Questions.

In addition, I shared photo, courtesy of my oldest son and his wife who live halfway around the world and provide me with a regular supply of stuff that makes me say, “Huh?” The photo atop this article stands as one recent example put it to good use. Don’t you agree?

Finally, I share daily updates about my workouts, including my September goal to tackle 110,000 stair steps at the suburban St. Louis lake where I exercise daily. As of Friday night, my month-to-date total stands at 52,100 stair steps, and I have only 57,900 to go toward my goal for the month.

That’s all for now! For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Attorneys Cite President’s Unlawful Command Influence, Seek Dismissal of Charges Against Army Helicopter Pilot

In an earlier article, I highlighted unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct as reasons cited by defense attorneys William L. Summers and R. Tucker Richardson III to warrant the dismissal of all charges against their client, Army Maj. Christian “Kit’ Martin. In this piece, however, I focus only on what those same attorneys wrote about the current political environment and the impact it’s having on members of the U.S. military.

Major Christian "Kit" Martin is shown at the controls of an AH-64A Apache helicopter in Iraq.

Major Christian “Kit” Martin is shown at the controls of an AH-64A Apache helicopter in Iraq.

Taking up almost three pages of the 37-page Motion to Dismiss document dated June 28, the attorneys’ words speak volumes not only about the case of Major Martin, 47, but also about others like him, including Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, an elite Green Beret combat veteran whose life story and wrongful conviction are chronicled in my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August.

Without further ado, I share the attorneys’ words below while taking the editorial liberty of deciphering some of the military jargon as needed and adding a few notes:

Major Martin’s case is just another example of how far some commanders are willing to go to gain political favor. Brigadier General Mark Stammer’s* Memorandum, Policy Letter 7 dated October 4, 2013, was posted on the Fort Campbell Portal and distributed to all commanders. It states that any allegation of domestic violence will result in immediate steps, including a 12 point checklist. It then states that these are the minimum actions commanders will take, they can make more if they wish (hint). The allegation does not have to be proved and no evidence is required. This is definitely a guilty until proven innocent policy and clearly shows BG Stammer’s inherent bias with regard to alleged domestic violence and sexual assault cases.

*NOTE: the attorneys referred to Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer as “BG Stammer,” because he was a a brigadier general at the time the document was submitted. Today, he serves as commander of Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in Djibouti, located in East Africa.

Many commanders like Brig. Gen. Stammer are now circumventing standard Uniform Code of Military Justice procedures and overruling Investigating Officers as a means of covering themselves and preventing further congressional inquiry into changing the role of commanders in the UCMJ process. Some commanders are also sacrificing soldier’s careers and lives in order to gain political favor and earn their next star, as well as a means of facilitating the army downsizing process. The stench of elitism and double standards has most recently been revealed by the case of General (Ret.) David Petraeus. General Petraeus had an extra marital affair, maintained private Top Secret information at his home including undercover agent’s identities, Security Council notes, etc. and then went to his paramour’s house and turned over these same highly classified documents to her. After all of this he then lied about his actions to the FBI. In return he received only a two year probation and $100,000 fine. Compare his proven actions to MAJ Martin’s allegations of mishandling classified information and how his case has morphed from a divorce, to an EPO, to a spy investigation, and now into now a court martial with sexual allegations.

1. Presidential UCI

The Unlawful Command Influence of BG Stammer at Fort Campbell is just one of many military examples of UCI throughout the armed services starting with the Commander in Chief and working its way down. In fact a military court has already ruled that President Obama as Commander in Chief has exerted UCI. In the trial of United States vs. SH2 Ernest Johnson, the judge ruled that the President’s statements did constitute unlawful command influence.

The President stated “The bottom line is this; I have no tolerance for this, I expect consequences…they got to be held accountable, prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharge. Period.”

This is almost verbatim what has happened to MAJ Martin.

Judge Marcus N. Fulton** found that “the Presidents statement raises concern that a particular result is required and this impinges on a convening authority’s discretion to refer or not refer a case to court martial.” He also stated that “these words must be evaluated for their capacity to improperly influence or appear to influence those with roles” (in a court martial). The court found that the case of United States vs. Johnson and United States vs. Simpson that the Presidents statement did “present some evidence of unlawful command influence.” He further found that the Presidents statement “could be interpreted as administrative steps that ought to be taken in addition to the specified judicial action and punishment.” He also stated that “the overall atmosphere surrounding the topic of sexual assault in the military…tends to exacerbate rather than ameliorate the effect of the comments in question.”

**NOTE: One source for comments similar to those attributed to the judge above is this one.

Judge Fulton also said these statements “constitute some-indeed substantial-evidence that the President would tend to impinge on the discretion of the convening authority to come to an independent decision” (EX U Military Authority Article, EX V US. vs Ernst Johnson)

2. CSA General Odierno***

The Chief of Staff of the Army has stated that “Sexual assault is the greatest threat to our service.” As the U.S. Army is still engaged in combat operation in Afghanistan, Iraq, most of the Middle East, and facing huge potential adversaries in North Korea, Iran, Russia, and China, this shows how politically pressured senior commanders are to show they are taking sexual assault and domestic violence seriously. (EX W.)

http://archive.armytimes.com/article/20130610/NEWS06/306100038/Odierno-leaders- We-lost-soldiers-trust

***NOTE: General Odierno retired from the Army after the Motion to Dismiss was submitted. See also my video related to General Ordierno here.

3. BG Stammer

General Stammer asserted, that if assaults occur in his military jurisdiction, he insists that they stay there because he has-

“absolute trust, faith, and confidence in the chain of command and our judges that they will address these issues fairly and timely…The Commander… is the leader…he is singularly responsible… him and him alone…I am going to hold him personally accountable for doing his job. He is not going to have an excuse.” (EX X.)

In a June 16, 2013, article**** in the Fort Campbell Courier, General Stammer reportedly said,

“I believe that leadership responsibility and accountability are crucial to successfully addressing the sexual misconduct issue. Most important, we need responsible leadership to change the culture of even the slightest bit of tolerance for ill-disciplined and criminal behaviors.” (EX Y)

****NOTE: The article actually appeared in the June 6, 2013, issue of the cited newspaper.

4. Policy Letter 7

BG Stammer’s Policy Letter 7 shows blatant UCI in that it directs commanders to take negative actions against Soldiers based merely on an allegation, even if this is an obvious ploy by an ex-spouse, and even if they no longer live together. Among its many requirements it directs that commanders will issue a protective order, move the Soldier to the barracks, require them to turn in their private weapons, and consider separation from service. Commanders will also contact social workers, consult the Family Advocacy Program, trial counsel, the victim advocate program, etc. all based on one person’s allegation.

5. Billboard

Another obvious example of BG Stammer’s UCI at Fort Campbell was the recent picture of a male soldier on an electronic billboard. The billboard was in front of the Family Resource Center directly across the street from the senior leadership housing at Gate 1, and the house of Acting Senior Commander BG Stammer. The message concerned sexual assault and depicted a male soldier, the sign read:

“Your new year’s resolution is to get the F$*K (bleep) away from him.” (EX Z.)

This billboard, along with BG Stammer’s public comments and interviews represent Undo Command Influence (UCI) of a personal interest and inflexible attitude toward Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Cases at Fort Campbell. (Article 37 sections III and IV). In January of 2015, the National Coalition for Men posted a picture of the billboard on their website and sent a letter to the CG, Major General Gary J. Volesky***** requesting the removal of the offensive picture and message, which thereafter rapidly occurred. (EX AA.)

*****NOTE: General Volesky is the commanding general at Fort Campbell now.

I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll mention it again: there’s much more to come for Major Martin, a man who put on his first military uniform as a private in 1986, marking the beginning of a career that would not only include serving as an Army Ranger, cavalry scout and attack helicopter pilot but also include becoming a Regular Army officer and serving three combat tours in Iraq.

Learn more about Major Martin and his case by reading this story as well as others. After you read them, please SHARE THEM and stay tuned for more updates!

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.