Tag Archives: national news media

‘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.

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics Used as Weapons Against Honorable Military Men in Sexual Assault Witch Hunt

“Lies, damned lies, and statistics” is a phrase popularized by Mark Twain and used to describe the persuasive power of numbers and, particularly, the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. Especially during the past few years, lies, damned lies and statistics have been used in tandem with bogus sexual assault claims to end the careers and ruin the lives of military men.

Because Our Warriors Deserve Justice

More often than not, the folks dealing in lies, damned lies and statistics are members of the national news media, politically-active filmmakers and attorneys willing to overlook facts in order to promote an agenda. They’ve become so successful in spreading their misinformation that someone unfamiliar with military life might believe any woman who survives a single day in uniform has done the equivalent of surviving 24 hours inside a third-world prison.

For a stellar example of such biased reporting, one needs only turn to an ABC News Nightline segment about the Oscar-nominated documentary, “The Invisible War, that aired Feb. 22, 2013. Featuring correspondent Cynthia McFadden, it includes mentions of a handful of cases purported to be representative of the so-called sexual assault “epidemic” in the military. Because I’m not privy to the facts of the individuals cases highlighted during the five-and-one-half minute segment, I won’t dwell on them in this piece. Instead, I’ll focus on the lies, damn lies and statistics pitched as truths.

McFadden begins by talking about sexual assault in the U.S. military:

“It has long been a shameful secret inside the U.S. military — the widespread epidemic of rape and sexual assault, where our countries defenders find themselves defenseless and, often, without a way to seek justice,” she begins. “Now, many of them are telling their stories in a powerful and moving Oscar-nominated documentary.”

McFadden continues speaking as images of aircraft and women in uniform flood the screen:

“Women have reached some of the highest echelons in the military. They are fighter pilots. Sit at the controls of Marine One. Have earned Silver Stars for courage under fire. As well as a general’s four stars. While they may be succeeding on the front lines, there is an invisible battle that is taking its toll. Listen to these women.”

The faces on the screen change as each woman has her say:

“Everything changed the day that I was raped,” says one woman;

“He hit me in the head and knocked me out,” says another; and

“I remember holding the closet thinking, ’What just happened?’” says a third.

McFadden’s voice returns to accompany slow-motion video of marching Soldiers, replaced seconds later by a logo for the documentary:

“Their stories are the heart of the Oscar-nominated documentary, ‘The Invisible War.’

A quick dissolve brings the image of a fourth woman into focus, and the woman says, “If this is happening to me, surely I’m not the only one,” before McFadden’s voice returns to accompany more moving images of Soldiers on the march:

“A film that shines a light on a hidden epidemic. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, some 30 percent of women in the military have been raped or sexually assaulted while serving their country.”

McFadden tosses out the “30 percent” figure as easily as a scantily-clad 19-year-old girl in short shorts launches free t-shirts into the bleachers at a semi-pro baseball game, prompting me to ask, “Was it a lie, a damned lie or simply a statistic?”

A simple online search leads me to believe it is, at best, a fudge-flavored statistic (i.e., a statistic about which someone “fudged” the truth). At worst, it’s a lie.

I found only two statistical entries offering such estimations. Both appeared on a VA fact sheet for which a more-detailed VA fact sheet is erroneously cited as a source for claims that 23 out of 100 women (or 23 percent) reported sexual assault when in the military and that 55 out of 100 women (or 55 percent) and 38 out of 100 men (or 38 percent) experienced sexual harassment when in the military.

Next, the Nightline segment moved indoors, into a studio, where Kirby Dick, the director whose filmography includes several documentaries on controversial subjects, sits against a black background and begins to gush statistics while unchallenged by the alleged journalist, McFadden.

Kirby goes on to say something I believe is true — “I’m just astounded by the statistics” — before he cites a statistic he declares to be truth: “Nineteen-thousand men and women are being sexually assaulted each year in the U.S. military.” But is that figure a lie, a damned lie or simply a statistic?

In search of an answer, I conducted another online search and found the figure used by folks at PBS in a report on a case of alleged sexual assault involving Air Force personnel less than three months later. In addition, I found the original source of the figure. It appears on page 13 of the 729-page document, Annual Report on Sexual Assault, Fiscal Year 2012, produced by the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office. It does not, however, represent things the way McFadden, Dick and the folks at PBS might have you believe.

To understand what the number does represent, one can turn to an explanation that appears in a one of the report’s footnotes — that the estimate was computed using weighted population estimates of the 4.4 percent of active-duty women and 0.9 percent of active-duty men who indicated they experienced an incident of unwanted sexual contact in the 12 months prior to the 2010 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey of Active Duty Members (WGRA) — but that explanation is not very helpful and might have you rubbing sleep out of your eyes.

Click on image above to read article.

Click on image above to read article.

A more helpful explanation appears early in a nine-page article, Fostering Constructive Dialogue on Military Sexual Assault, published inside Issue 69, 2nd Quarter 2013, of the National Defense University Press publication, Joint Forces Quarterly:

At a press conference in January 2012, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta stated that he estimates there were 19,000 sexual assaults in the military in 2011. That number is derived from a statement in the Department of Defense (DOD) Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, Fiscal Year 2010. The report does not actually explain its methodology for arriving at the number, but it does state the number is based on data from the Defense Manpower Data Center 2010 Workplace and Gender Relations Survey. Perhaps more importantly, the report does not refer to 19,000 sexual assaults, but rather 19,000 reports by individuals of unwanted sexual contact.

The Defense Manpower Data Center 2010 survey never uses the number 19,000. Rather, the document relays the results of a survey of 10,029 Active-duty female Servicemembers and 14,000 Active-duty male Servicemembers. The survey itself is forthright and explicit about the numbers it produces and its methodology. The sample size and sample composition necessarily make extrapolation military-wide problematic. The sample was clearly weighted toward female responses, and the definition of unwanted sexual contact did not align at all with the colloquial understanding or any statutory or legal definition of sexual assault. Nevertheless, the number 19,000 arose as an extrapolation from the numbers in this sampling, and this number has pervaded the media discussion ever since. Most practitioners of justice and criminal investigators throughout the military should agree that the figure cited by Secretary Panetta is unrealistically high.

If you suspect the JFQ article was written by a long-in-the-tooth male military officer eager to please his superiors, then you’re wrong. Instead, it was written by then-Captain Lindsay L. Rodman, a female Marine Corps officer who was serving as a Judge Advocate (a.k.a., “military lawyer”) at Judge Advocate Division, Headquarters Marine Corps, at the time she wrote the piece.

A statement Captain Rodman wrote about the 19,000 figure stands as a sort of indictment of those who deal in lies, damned lies and statistics for personal gain:

“Nevertheless, the number 19,000 arose as an extrapolation from the numbers in this sampling, and this number has pervaded the media discussion ever since. Most practitioners of justice and criminal investigators throughout the military should agree that the figure cited by Secretary Panetta is unrealistically high.”

A telling footnote seems to target lazy journalists:

For the numbers to work out according to their math, this extrapolation necessarily requires that half of those victims (up to about 10,000) would be male, which anecdotally seems questionable.”

Other unsubstantiated figures are tossed out during the Nightline segment. Chief among them is one McFadden included in a statement — “In fact, only 8 percent of assault cases go to trial” — that’s not accompanied by any attribution or source document.

Incredibly, according to Dick, military leaders have made his documentary part of DoD’s sexual assault awareness program. Need I say more about how bent and twisted the military has become due to political correctness?

There are more issues l could tackle, but I think I’ve made a strong enough case without going beyond these lies, damn lies and statistics.

To see the impact the lies, damn lies and statistics associated with the Pentagon’s sexual assault witch hunt are having on honorable military men, I encourage you to read about two Army combat veterans:

Maj. Christian “Kit’ Martin is a Ranger and attack helicopter pilot whose trial on bogus sexual assault charges begins Oct. 12 Dec. 1 at Fort Campbell, Ky; and

• Former Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart is the elite Green Beret medic and sniper whose life is chronicled in my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August.

This article was updated to reflect a change in the trial date.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:27 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 11:15 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.

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.

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News Media Fails to Provide Thorough Coverage of Latest Oklahoma City Bombing Trial in Salt Lake City Federal Court

Two days ago, I shared news about the courtroom portion of a little-publicized Oklahoma City Bombing Trial coming to an end in federal court in Salt Lake City. Then I waited for members of the news media in Oklahoma City and around the world to share news about the trial. For the most part, I heard crickets.

Click image above to read other OKC Bombing-related articles.

Click image above to read other OKC Bombing-related articles.

While I never expected members of the national media to devote much time and attention to the case, I remained hopeful that so-called “journalists” in the state where I earned my journalism degree would see the news value of the trial. Sadly, they’ve underwhelmed me.

While reporters at NewsOK.com, the online home of the state’s largest print newspaper (The Oklahoman), have covered the trial, the coverage has lacked enthusiasm. Proof can be found in the fact that five months have passed since the last trial-related report in which the name of the plaintiff, Salt Lake City attorney Jesse Trentadue, was mentioned appeared on the site under the headline, FBI agent to testify in Oklahoma City videos case.

Conversely, yours truly has published several articles since that date, the date I shared news under the headline, Documents Raise Serious Questions As New Oklahoma City Bombing Trial Takes Place in Federal Court in Utah, and included a chilling one-hour video of Trentadue explaining his quest:

• On Nov. 7, I shared news about Federal Judge Clark Waddoups threatening FBI officials with contempt of court for failing to comply with his order and provide a required report.

• On Dec. 3, I shared news about Judge Waddoups being asked by Trentadue to appoint a special master to investigate allegations of FBI witness tampering.

• On Dec. 16, I shared news about the arrest of an FBI agent who allegedly beat up his girlfriend. The story was relevant inasmuch as the agent involved was the same one I had mentioned in the Dec. 3 report as having allegedly told a key witness to take a vacation.

On the FBI website, the Oklahoma City bombing is described as "the worst act of homegrown terrorism in the nation’s history." Click on image above to read why this narrative appears to be false.

On the FBI website, the Oklahoma City bombing is described as “the worst act of homegrown terrorism in the nation’s history.” Click on image above to read why this narrative appears to be false.

• On Dec. 30, I asked a question — Does ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Label Apply to OKC Bombing? — after learning Trentadue had obtained evidence that led him to say, “My thoughts are that the CIA could only have been involved if there was some foreign connection,” after I asked him to explain the involvement of the intelligence agency tasked with the collection of national intelligence outside the United States.

Of course, NewsOK.com isn’t the only Oklahoma City news outlet failing to keep Oklahomans informed. Local television stations have, for the most part, dropped the ball as well.

For instance, News9.com hasn’t broadcast a story in which the name of the plaintiff, Trentadue, was mentioned since July 30, 2014. Likewise, KFOR-TV hasn’t mentioned Trentadue in a story of their own since July 31, 2014, though they did share a Salt Lake City station’s story Nov. 13. Following suit, KOKH-Fox 25 has aired only two pieces during the past year — one on Aug. 17 and the other Aug. 22.

The only television station in the state capitol city appearing to have made a slight effort to report about the trial was KOCO-TV. During 2014, the station aired five no-byline pieces — July 30*, Aug. 1, Aug. 26, Oct. 28 and Nov. 11*. Sadly, two of them — each marked by an asterisk (*) — spanned only four paragraphs.

Worth noting: I did not dive into the radio scene, because there are simply too few radio journalists anymore to make such a look worthwhile.

As The X-Files characters “Mulder” and “Scully” said so often, “The truth is out there.” Now, I think Trentadue is on the verge of finding it. Judge Waddoups is expected to issue a ruling in the case by the end of the year, so stay tuned!

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!

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