Tag Archives: General Odierno

Letter Warns Army Chief of Staff About ‘Rat’ at Fort Campbell

As an investigative journalist and author whose nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo, was described by David P. Schippers as “perhaps the most thorough investigative reporting I have encountered in years,” I like to think I’m pretty good at sniffing out “rats.” Of course, it helped to receive confirmation from Schippers, the man who served as the U.S. House of Representatives’ chief investigative counsel during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. After detecting the odor of a Pentagon-sized “rat” at Fort Campbell, Ky., I decided to let Gen. Mark A. Milley know about it.

Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army (U.S. Army photo by Monica King)

Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chief of Staff of the Army (Monica King)

Below is the text of the 700-word letter I mailed to the newest Army Chief of Staff today:

Dear General Milley:

Are you willing, in your role as Chief of Staff of the United States Army, to allow Army prosecutors at Fort Campbell, Ky., to continue the wrongful and reckless prosecution of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin on sexual assault allegations even after his female accuser pleaded guilty to a felony crime?

Yesterday, this woman — whose own sister recently described her as “untruthful since childhood” and whose own father told investigators working for Major Martin she had a long history of telling lies — entered a guilty plea before Christian County (Ky.) Judge Andrew Self on a single felony charge of bigamy (i.e., marrying one person while you are still legally married to another) and is now awaiting her sentencing Feb. 17, 2016.

The man she deceived for most of a decade is Major Martin, a same Regular Army officer, Ranger, attack helicopter pilot and Iraq combat veteran your predecessor, Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, once described as a “top of the line” officer of “unquestionable integrity.”

This woman, now a convicted felon, is behind the slew of false allegations against Major Martin, the most outrageous of which is that he sexually assaulted her and her three children. Hardly coincidentally, her allegations began to surface only after Major Martin told her he wanted a divorce.

This woman’s allegations against this outstanding officer are nearly identical to those she made years earlier against her first — and, legally speaking, only — husband. While recently speaking to investigators working for Major Martin, that man said the woman had made the same kind of vile allegations against him but had not pursued them. Instead, she had opted to abduct the two children they had had together — her second- and third-born children — and never return.

This woman might have made similar allegations against the father of her first child, whom she never married, but did not. Instead, she came up with something more creative, telling anyone who would listen that he had been decapitated in a logging accident in Oregon 19 years earlier. She even told her first child that story when she determined him old enough to comprehend.

Something else you should know and might want to investigate, General Milley, is that agents from Army Criminal Investigation Command confirmed not only that they had been unable to locate the reportedly-decapitated man, but that he was dead. It was only through the efforts of Major Martin’s private investigators — and not through the help of any medical examiner, undertaker or cemetery administrator — that the man this woman had hoped to keep in her past was located.

Also worth noting is that the two biological fathers of the three children born to Major Martin’s accuser — even the reportedly-decapitated man — are not only trying to gain back custody of their children, but both are planning to appear and testify during Major Martin’s upcoming military trial, set to begin Dec. 1 at Fort Campbell. Imagine the media circus that will generate!

General Milley, I trust you will look at the facts of this case seriously. I trust you will take a serious look at the outcomes of the multiple military and civilian investigations that found no substance to any of the allegations against Major Martin. And I trust you will cast aside political correctness and pressure from powerful lawmakers to obtain a conviction when all evidence points toward acquittal.

Likewise, I trust you will give serious thought to whether Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer is, after making the wrong decision in Major Martin’s case while serving as acting commander at Fort Campbell, suited to wearing two stars as commander of such an important organization as Africa Command‘s Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa.

Finally, I trust you will take swift and immediate action to stop this reckless and wrongful prosecution of Major Martin!

Sincerely,

Bob McCarty

cc: Senator Rand Paul; Senator Mitch McConnell; Senator Lamar Alexander; Senator Bob Corker; Ashton Carter; Mr. Jon T. Rymer; Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky; and Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer.

Stay tuned for more details, and thanks in advance for reading and sharing the letter above as well as my continuing coverage of Major Martin’s case.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:23 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 11:12 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

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Army Ranger-Aviator Fights Uphill Battle to Prove Innocence as Military Court Denies Vast Majority of Witness Requests

Over the weekend, I shared three new articles about some of the testimony that took place before Col. Andrew Glass at Fort Campbell, Ky., early last week. In short, the military judge heard arguments from attorneys on both sides about whether unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct had surfaced in the prosecution of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin. Today, I share details about witnesses who were prevented from appearing and ask “Why?”

This graphic tells Maj. Christian "Kit" Martin's story in a nutshell. If justice doesn't prevail, he faces the possibility of spending 58 years in prison for something he did not do.

This graphic tells Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin’s story in a nutshell. If justice doesn’t prevail, he faces the possibility of spending 58 years in prison for something he did not do.

First, some background: Major Martin, 47, is an Army Ranger and attack helicopter pilot with a distinguished 29-year military career — including three combat tours in Iraq — under his belt. Soon after telling his “wife” he wanted a divorce, he found himself the target of serious allegations and multiple criminal investigations followed during the next three years. Today, he faces the possibility of 58 years in prison if convicted on the most recent charges stemming from his ex-wife’s allegations of sexual assault and abuse. Because there is much more to it than I can share in one paragraph, I recommend you read the overview article about the case published Sept. 4 before you read any further.

Now, I’ll briefly recap what I shared over the weekend:

• The headline of the first article, Officer’s Accuser Described as ‘Untruthful Since Childhood’, neatly summed up the testimony of a California woman who is the sister of Major Martin’s accuser;

• The headline of the second article, Local Prosecutor Says Fort Campbell Counterparts Tried to Pressure Her to Drop Charge Against Army Officer’s Accuser, did the same; and

• In the third article, Prosecutors Accused of Misconduct, Breach in Controversial Sexual Assault Case Against Army Officer at Fort Campbell, I focused on the testimony of Army lawyers and whether they were being honest with the court.

While important testimony was spotlighted in the articles above, several other witnesses were prevented from testifying during the Article 39A hearing — essentially a pre-trial hearing during which the parties hashed out details in advance of having panel members (i.e., jurors) present. In fact, prosecutors objected to 19 out of 21 witnesses requested by the defense, and only a handful of those witnesses ended up being allowed to testify.

SENIOR OFFICERS DENIED AS WITNESSES

Among those prevented from testifying were Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the recently retired Army chief of staff shown in the center of the graphic above. If you’re thinking he might have been called as a means for the defense to bring in “star power,” think again. Back when Odierno was a mere lieutenant colonel at Fort Lewis, Wash., Martin was a young lieutenant AND his executive officer. In fact, in an officer evaluation, then-LTC Odierno described then-1LT Martin as a “top of the line” officer of “unquestionable integrity.”

Also deemed “off limits” by the court was Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the man shown at right in the graphic above. A brigadier general (a.k.a., “one-star general”) at the time he made the decision to prosecute Major Martin, he soon earned a second star and a slot as commander of Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa. It would have been interesting to hear his take on why he decided to pursue a conviction of Major Martin after investigations by multiple civilian and military agencies had found no substance in any of the accusations against the 29-year Regular Army officer.

In addition, it would have been interesting to hear General Stammer respond to the testimony of Major Martin’s letter-writing sister, Juliet Andes, whose name also appeared on the list of witnesses initially denied by the prosecution. Email evidence shows General Stammer alerted prosecution attorneys about her email within hours of receiving the electronic letter she had written to him. According to Andes, those prosecutors badgered her for days afterward.

I suspect courtroom observers would have salivated over the testimony of LTC Ryan P. O’Connor, a man who served as Major Martin’s brigade commander at the time allegations surfaced. The lieutenant colonel was denied as a witness, defense sources tell me, because he’d conducted his own investigation into the allegations and was known to have been appalled at the poor excuse for military justice he’d seen taking place before his eyes. Since being transferred from Fort Campbell to Fort Hood, Texas, he has steadfastly refused to reply to Major Martin’s investigators’ repeated attempts to contact him. Can’t blame him. He probably wants to safeguard his own career, too.

CIVILIAN PROSECUTOR DENIED AS WITNESS

Initially denied as a defense witness, Katherine (Garber) Foster, the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Attorney for Christian County (a.k.a., “the local civilian prosecutor”), was allowed to testify after she showed up in the courtroom on her own accord. Notably, she told the court Army prosecutors tried to pressure her to drop a bigamy charge against Major Martin’s Accuser. Makes one wonder if military prosecutors feared such prosecution might hurt the credibility of their star witness who, by the way, is set to go on trial Oct. 22 in Hopkinsville, Ky.

MILITARY INVESTIGATORS DENIED AS WITNESSES

Also on the list of witnesses who could have shed light on the weakness of the prosecution’s case are several individuals who investigated the allegations against Major Martin while working for civilian and military agencies.

For instance, it would have been interesting to hear Army Counter-Intelligence investigators testify about their investigation into allegations that Major Martin had been some kind of international spy. They could have told the court several things, including the following:

1) They could have told the court about how cooperative Major Martin had been during their six-month investigation which included surveillance and wiretapping as well as an extensive search of his off-post home;

2) They could have told the court about how the laptop allegedly stolen by Major Martin was inoperable and had been out of the Army inventory for seven years before his accuser and her new male friend, a former Army Supply officer, turned it over to the FBI; and

3) They could have told the court about how Major Martin had passed a three-hour polygraph exam they had administered.

Likewise, it would have been interesting to hear Army Criminal Investigation Command agents testify about how they had confirmed that the man who had fathered the first child of Major Martin’s accuser had, as she had long claimed, been decapitated in a logging accident in Oregon almost 20 years ago. Immediately after CID agents testified, it would have been interesting to see the shocked look on their faces when the reportedly-decapitated man walked into the court-room to testify as told investigators working on Major Martin’s behalf he is willing to do.

Finally, it would have been interesting to hear Military Police investigators explain why, during their investigation of allegations against Major Martin, they refused to accept documents and evidence he tried to deliver to them in an effort to further prove his innocence.

Stay tuned for more details. Meanwhile, be sure to read my other articles about Major Martin’s case.

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.

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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!

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