As a young officer, Christian “Kit” Martin received a “top of the line” officer evaluation from a lieutenant colonel who described him as having “unquestionable integrity.” The lieutenant colonel was Raymond T. Odierno., a man who would go on to earn four stars and serve as the highest-ranking officer in the Army. Martin’s career path followed a similar trajectory until he was accused of sexual assault. Now, after a career as an elite Army Ranger, master Army aviator and three-tour Iraq combat veteran, he’s scheduled to go on trial Dec. 1 at Fort Campbell, Ky., and face the possibility of 58 years in prison if convicted.
In the video clip above, I ask now-Major Martin, 47, how it felt to receive such high praise from a man who would go on to serve as chief of staff of the Army. It stands as a snippet of a more-serious conversation about his upcoming court-martial. For more details about that conversation, read this summary. When you do, I think you’ll understand this case is a result of political correctness running amok.
FYI: Please share the summary and updates as they surface. Time is of the essence!
Since this article was published, the date for Major Martin’s trial was changed. This article has been updated to reflect that change.
UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:31 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 11:19 a.m. Central: I’ve learned that Major Martin’s military trial date is set for March 14-18, 2016.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Below is a guest post by Paul R. Hollrah, a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.
Donald J. Trump
After weeks of agonizing by establishment Republicans and the mainstream media… agonizing over the question of what a bull-in-the-China-shop candidate like Donald Trump is doing among the largest-ever field of well-qualified Republican presidential candidates… Trump has announced a simple, straightforward plan for immigration reform, a plan that could represent a “watershed moment” in U.S. history. The Trump Plan is based on three core principles:
1. That the U.S.-Mexican border must be secured by building a wall or a fence along the entirety of our southern border,
2. That all immigration laws currently on the books must be fully and rigidly enforced, and
3. That the number one priority for any future immigration plan must be based on what is in the best cultural and economic interests of the American people… and nothing else.
As part of his immigration plan, Trump calls for a nationwide system to identify and locate all illegal aliens… those who have entered the country illegally, as well as those who’ve entered legally and overstayed their visas. To accomplish that end, Trump proposes tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.
What he suggests is precisely what conservatives and Republicans have been promoting ever since mass illegal immigration began. However, Trump departs from Republican orthodoxy by taking a totally no-nonsense approach to the problem of the so-called “anchor babies,” defined as infants born to pregnant foreign women who come to the Unites States, illegally, just to insure that their babies can acquire U.S. citizenship by being born on American soil.
The purpose of the 14th Amendment, ratified in 1868, was to grant U.S. citizenship to former slaves and their children who were born on U.S. soil. The authors of the amendment could never have conceived of a time when pregnant women would travel great distances from foreign lands for the sole purpose of taking advantage of the 14th Amendment. The “anchor baby” concept has created an entire underclass of undocumented aliens who are allowed to remain in the country under an unwritten law that protects families from being separated and prevents infants with U.S. citizenship from being forcibly deported along with their illegal alien parents. Trump, who says what conservatives and Republicans have always feared to say, merely scoffs at suggestions that to deport all illegal aliens would separate foreign parents from their minor children. In an Aug. 16 appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he made his position on “anchor babies” crystal clear, saying, “We have to keep the families together, but they have to go.”
He also ventures outside Republican orthodoxy by taking a no-nonsense approach to the status of Obama’s so-called “Dreamers” -– non-citizens who were brought to the United States illegally as children, who’ve grown up here, who’ve been educated here, and who would be political and cultural strangers in the native lands of their parents. He expresses no desire to separate “Dreamers” from their illegal alien parents by allowing them to remain in the United States while their parents are deported. Instead, he insists that Obama’s executive order shielding the “Dreamers” from deportation must be rescinded.
So what is it about Trump’s immigration reform plan that would qualify it as a “watershed moment” in American history? Its significance is not that it has a chance of being enacted and fully implemented; as a nation we are still far too politically correct and we have far too many “squeaky wheels” among liberals and Hispanic activists to accomplish that anytime soon. No, the significance of Trump’s immigration reform proposal is much more subtle. Just as Rush Limbaugh’s major contribution to our national persona is not that he has caused elections to be won or lost, but that he has caused millions of politically uncommitted Americans to understand where they fit in the political spectrum, Trump’s straightforward approach to solving the illegal immigration problem has made it okay for previously hesitant Americans to openly agree with his no-nonsense approach. It is what most Americans have always believed, but were afraid to put into words for fear that they would be branded as racists or xenophobes.
The point is, Americans are fair and reasonable people. Scratch almost any American and you’ll find a person who would fully expect to be deported from a foreign country where they were living illegally. So why would they not expect foreigners living in the United States illegally to react in the same way? In short, it’s time we expected our uninvited guests to act like grownups, and Trump’s no-nonsense approach to the problem of illegal immigration gives us all license to finally put those expectations into words.
But more importantly, his courageous stance on illegal immigration also provides us with the opportunity to bring other critically important issues to the fore… issues that, until now, have been stuck in quagmires of constitutional uncertainties and/or political correctness. Of these, none are more important than the unrelenting invasion of radicalized Muslims and the chilling threat of Islamic terrorism inside our own borders.
According to the Center for Immigration Studies, “Islamists arrive in the United States despising the country and all it represents, intending to make converts, exploit the freedoms and rights granted them, and build a movement that will effect basic changes in the country’s way of life and its government. The superpower status of the United States makes it especially attractive to those who wish to change the world order; what better place to start? Islamists do not accept the United States as it is but want to change it into a majority Muslim country where the Qur’an replaces the Constitution.”
The United States has already provided refugee status for more Muslims than all the other nations in the world combined. Yet, in spite of that insanity, the Obama administration has recently announced that we are prepared to receive an additional 70,000 unvetted Muslim refugees, including many with strong ties to ISIS and al-Qaeda. Some come seeking safety, some come seeking a better life, but many others come in the hope of doing us great harm.
In order to neutralize and reverse radical Islam’s contribution to the cultural infestation of the United States, we must attack the problem of Muslim immigration with the same level of courage with which Donald Trump approaches illegal immigration. In short, we should not hesitate to confront Muslim infiltration by enacting new legislation, tailoring the language of the Communist Control Act of 1954 to read as follows:
SEC. 1. PREAMBLE. The Congress hereby finds and declares that certain organizations exist within our borders which, although purporting to be political or religious in nature, are in fact instrumentalities of foreign political or religious entities or ideologies whose purpose it is to overthrow the Government of the United States by any available means, including force and violence. Such organizations operate as authoritarian dictatorships within our borders, demanding for themselves the rights and privileges generally accorded to all political parties and religious denominations, but denying to all others the liberties guaranteed to them by the U.S. Constitution.
SEC. 2. PROSCRIBED ORGANIZATIONS. Any political or religious organization as described herein, or any successors or affiliates of such organizations, regardless of the assumed name, whose object or purpose is to overthrow the government of the United States by force or violence, or the government of any State, Territory, District, possession, or political subdivision thereof, are not entitled to any of the rights, privileges, and immunities attendant upon legal bodies created under the jurisdiction of the laws of the United States or its political subdivisions; and whatever rights, privileges, and immunities heretofore granted to said religious or political organizations, or any subsidiary or affiliate organizations, by reason of the laws of the United States or any political subdivision thereof, are hereby rescinded: Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as amending the Internal Security Act of 1950, as amended.
With that statute on the books, making the practice or the promotion of Islamic jihad illegal, we can make it very uncomfortable for radical Islamists. We can make their presence in our country so unpleasant that they will long for a return to whatever hellhole they and their predecessors crawled out of, ccausing them to self-repatriate in increasingly large numbers. With eyes and ears planted in every mosque and every Muslim cultural center in America, radical Islamists could be readily identified and FBI agents could quickly make arrests.
American policymakers could take a lesson from the Slovakians. When asked by United Nations officials to accept “their share” of Muslim refugees, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Ivan Metic, replied, “We could take 800 Muslims, but we don’t have any mosques in Slovakia so how can Muslims be integrated if they are not going to like it here?” Clearly, what Metic was saying is that building permits for mosques might be very difficult to obtain in Slovakia. Officials in the United States and other western nations should learn to be equally “welcoming” to Islamists.
What Donald Trump’s straightforward no-nonsense approach has done is to finally make it acceptable to debate some of our major national problems by putting political correctness behind us. When all is said and done, Trump may not be electable. However, if his presence in the race ultimately makes it permissible for us to deal with racial discord, immigration reform, and the threat of radical Islam without fear of being branded racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, or politically incorrect, his candidacy will truly be seen as a “watershed moment” in U.S. history.
“What emerges is a picture of a military establishment that is cowed by political correctness to the extent that it is even willing to throw our fighting men and women to the wolves to appease the Left.” — Pamela Geller
A retired Air Force fighter pilot, Lt. Col. J.P. Reilly read the book and the final six words from the paragraph below will appear on the new back cover:
“Anyone who wants insight into the way the military really handles sexual assault cases should read this story, it would be unfortunate if this was an isolated case but it continues to be repeated. A good Soldier destroyed by the system.” — J.P. Reilly
Last, but not least, the words of Beverly Perlson will also appear on the new cover. A staunch supporter of our military troops and founder of The Band Of Mothers, she read the book and the final five words from the paragraph below appear on the new back cover:
“I just finished reading Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, by Bob McCarty. From the moment I began reading, I couldn’t put it down.” — Beverly Perlson
If you’re interested in learning details about how former Army Green Beret Kelly A. Stewart was railroaded by the military justice system through a trial during which no physical evidence or witnesses were presented by the prosecution, order a copy of Three Days In August.
I interviewed Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart several times and have gotten to know him well during the past three years, but I will probably never know the former Green Beret as well as the Soldiers with whom he served combat tours in places like Kosovo and Iraq. After Stewart was tried and found guilty on bogus sexual assault-related charges during three days in August 2009, many of his brothers-in-arms wrote letters of support on his behalf.
Click graphic above to read letters written by Soldiers in support of Kelly A. Stewart (PDF).
Written by an Army officer who was serving with Stewart at the time he was accused of raping and kidnapping a then-28-year-old German woman, one of those letters (see excerpt below) addresses a few — but not all — of the problems with the prosecution that resulted in Stewart being sentenced to eight years confinement at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan:
Having testified at the trial, my greatest disappointment was his conviction without forensic evidence, without consideration of the alleged victim’s psychiatric history, and his conviction without consideration for why the victim left her phone number and never left the hotel room following sexual contact with PVT Stewart. I feel that some in the jury may have confused their disdain for PVT Stewart’s violation of his marriage covenant with his guilt as a violent sexual criminal. He was not on trial for adultery.*
Unfortunately, letters like the one above seemed to carry little weight with Army officials who considered them alongside other documents submitted as part of Stewart’s Request for Clemency packet.
While the letters spoke volumes about the respect Stewart earned from his fellow Soldiers, other pieces of information I pored over — including the Record of Trial — convinced me beyond a shadow of a doubt that the highly-decorated Stewart is a victim of the military justice system bowing to political correctness and pressure from the German government.
To provide financial assistance to Stewart and his family, click on the “DONATE” button at SaveThisSoldier.com, a website built and managed by Stewart’s dad, himself retired after more than 30 years of service in Air Force Special Operations.
*Editor’s Note: Stewart is referred to as a private in the excerpt above, because his sentence included a demotion to the Army’s lowest enlisted rank as well as prison time and a dishonorable discharge.
UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:19 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.
Much like Rush Limbaugh, who’s threatening to sue the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee for defamation, I’m staunchly against sexual assault. At the same time, however, I advocate for fair and impartial justice for those facing sexual assault allegations.
Kelly A. Stewart is one of the Green Berets shown in this undated unit photo.
In my October 2011 nonfiction book, Three Days In August, I offer an in-depth look at one example of military justice that turned out to be anything but. In fact, New York Times best-selling author Richard Miniter read my book about Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart‘s brush with the military justice system and described it as painting “a convincing portrait of a military justice process that appears to have lacked one essential element – justice.”
Over the years since publishing the book, I’ve heard from dozens of individuals who, like Stewart, have personally experienced similar “railroading” — and I’ve heard from their friends and relatives, too — under the gavel of political correctness. In fact, I could write a library full of books about such cases. Unfortunately, Americans simply don’t seem to care much about such cases — at least it seems that way to me — unless they or a loved one are directly involved.
Among the many new faces arriving in Washington, D.C., next year, I hope some of them seize upon the opportunity to undo what people like Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) have done in recent years and restore the military justice system so that it delivers one thing and one thing only: JUSTICE.