Tag Archives: staff judge advocate

Fort Campbell Officials Live Up to Negative Expectations in Response to Freedom of Information Act Request

Two weeks after I submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to Army officials at Fort Campbell, Ky., I received a response today that shows officials at the home of the vaunted 101st Airborne Division lived up to my negative expectations.

The reply to my FOIA request lived up to my low expectations for the Army.

The reply to my FOIA request lived up to my low expectations for the Army.

Shown above, the response letter from Freedom of Information and Privacy Act Officer Valerie M. Florez contained the following paragraph:

The US Army does not have jurisdiction and does not control prosecutions in Hopkinsville or Christian County, Kentucky Courts where [name of Major Martin’s accuser redacted] is facing charges. Perhaps Hopkinsville or Christian County courts may be able to assist you in contacting the correct party or [name of Major Martin’s accuser redacted]‘s attorneys. Any documents or correspondence from or between the military attorneys mentioned are part of an ongoing case involving Major Martin (US vs Martin). Any of this correspondence is exempt from release and would be withheld under Freedom of Information Act Exemption Five, attorney-work product and/or attorney-client privilege.

The letter from Ms. Florez — and particularly the paragraph above — runs 180 degrees counter to what I included in my Oct. 12 FOIA request, the “meat” of which appears below:

To Whom It May Concern:

In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act (5 USC, and Public Law 106-554), I would like to request copies of the following documents from the Staff Judge Advocate at Fort Campbell, Ky:

Any and all print and/or electronic communications — including, but not limited to handwritten and computer-generated notes, letters, email messages and text messages — between any individual(s) assigned to the Staff Judge Advocate staff at Fort Campbell, Kentucky — including but not limited to Major Jacob D. Bashore, Captain James P. Garrett, Major Jenny S. Whyte-Schlack — and any civilian attorney(s) and/or their associates representing accused bigamist [name of Major Martin’s accuser redacted] in legal matters in Christian County, Ky.


Please do not attempt to avoid fulfillment of this request by contending that the items requested are not releasable because they concern ongoing legal matters and/or investigations. I know the U.S. Army has no standing or authority to intervene in Christian County’s civilian prosecution of Ms. [name of Major Martin’s accuser redacted].

Though I made no mention of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin in my FOIA request, Ms. Florez avoided fulfillment of my request — just as I predicted she might in the third paragraph of my letter — by falsely claiming communications the Army attorneys had with a third party about a case completely unrelated to the prosecution of Major Martin is “exempt from release and would be withheld under Freedom of Information Act Exemption Five, attorney-work product and/or attorney-client privilege.”

In reality, Ms. Florez and her bosses realize that fulfillment of my request will expose the Army lawyers named in the same as having tampered with a civilian legal matter.

Stay tuned for updates on this case and other military justice cases I’m following. Likewise, thanks in advance for reading and sharing the articles above and those to follow. You can show your support and help keep these articles coming 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 10-27-2015 at 9:48 a.m. Central: After I add postage, I will place two envelopes in the U.S. Postal System. The envelopes contain letters in which I call for Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley to straighten out this FOIA mess.

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Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Bob McCarty Weekly Recap: Oct. 11-17, 2015

My campaign to expose the military injustice surrounding the Army’s prosecution of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin on sexual assault charges increased in intensity Wednesday after his ex-“spouse” accuser pleaded guilty to a felony charge of bigamy — that is, marrying one person while you are still legally married to another. As a result, my weekly recap for Oct. 11-17, 2015, is chock full of details about this case.

Click on image above to read Bob McCarty's letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley.

Click on image above to read Bob McCarty’s letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley.

The earth-shaking news came as something of a surprise one day after I had published an article in which I cited sources close to the case who told me about the accuser’s civilian attorney trying not only to get a local prosecutor disqualified from her client’s case before it went to trial Oct. 22, but also trying to get her client’s trial date pushed back until after Dec. 1, the date Major Martin’s military trial is set to begin at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Likewise, the guilty plea by Major Martin’s accuser came less than 48 hours after I had submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Staff Judge Advocate’s office at Fort Campbell. In my request, I asked for copies of “any and all print and/or electronic communications, including, but not limited to handwritten and computer-generated notes, letters, email messages and text messages, between any individual(s) assigned to the Staff Judge Advocate staff at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, including but not limited to Major Bashore, Captain Garrett, Major Jenny S. Whyte-Schlack and any civilian attorney(s) and/or their associates representing Major Martin’s accuser, an alleged bigamist known by several different names, in legal matters in Christian County.”

While the information I might receive as a result of the FOIA request should prove interesting, it became much less important and/or valuable following the admission of guilt by Major Martin’s accuser. Still, I’m interested in receiving it, since it might show more of the prosecutorial misconduct Major Martin’s defense attorneys had cited as a reason to dismiss charges against their client.

I’m also interested in the subject of a piece I published a piece under the headline, Attorneys Who Win Small Battles Might Win Legal War, 24 hours after submitting the FOIA request. The piece contains two attorneys’ opinions about Major Martin’s case — which involves false sexual assault allegations as well as Army prosecutors and commanders under political pressure to win a conviction at all cost — and about how the attorneys who win the small battles might win the legal war. It will be interesting to see how their thoughts pan out in comparison to what actually takes place as the prosecution of Major Martin moves forward.

Perhaps most important among my efforts this week is something I did one day after Major Martin’s accuser entered her guilty plea. On Thursday, I married my online and offline efforts into a single effort aimed at putting pressure on senior government officials and military leaders to drop this kangaroo court-martial effort that could land Major Martin behind bars for 58 years* if allowed to go to trial. As outlined in my piece, Letter Warns Army Chief of Staff About ‘Rat’ at Fort Campbell, I wrote a letter to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley and let him know about the “rat” I smelled at Fort Campbell. On top of that, I forwarded copies of the letter to four United States Senators, the Secretary of Defense, the DoD Inspector General and a handful of Army generals — including Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the man behind the boneheaded decision to prosecute Major Martin.

As things stand now, Major Martin — a prior-enlisted Ranger-turned Regular Army officer who went from serving as a cavalry scout to flying combat missions as an attack helicopter pilot during three tours in Iraq during a distinguished military career — is scheduled to stand trial Dec. 1 and faces the possibility of 58 years in prison if convicted. Meanwhile, his accuser — the woman to whom he believed he had been legally married for most of a decade — is set to be sentenced by Christian County (Ky.) Judge Andrew Self Feb. 17, 2016, and faces only 5 years with very little chance of any time behind bars.

After reading all of my pieces about the case, I think you’ll agree the prosecution of Major Martin needs to end immediately. In turn, I trust you’ll make your voice heard by contacting the people listed near the end of this article.

Stay tuned for more as this drama plays out.

Thanks in advance for reading and sharing the articles above and those to follow. You can show your support and help keep these articles coming 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: After publishing this article, I learned Army prosecutors agreed to limit any possible punishment in this case to 10 years. A sign they have a weak case?”

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Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Unlawful Command Influence, Prosecutorial Misconduct Cited as Reasons to Dismiss Charges Against Army Officer

Attorneys representing Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin cited unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct as reasons why all charges against their client, including charges of sexual assault, should be dismissed before their 47-year-old client goes on trial Oct. 12 Dec. 1 at Fort Campbell, Ky. If convicted on all counts, he faces the possibility of being sentenced to 58 years in prison.

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.

Among those alleged to have engaged in unlawful command influence and prosecutorial misconduct, according to the motion to dismiss dated June 28, 2015, is Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the former acting commanding general at the post who now serves as commander of Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa in the East African nation, Djibouti. Others named are members of the Army prosecution team and include Special Victim Prosecutor Maj. Jacob D. Bashore, a man who was highlighted recently in a post under the headline, Army Lawyer Surfaces in New Bogus Prosecution Effort, and Capt. James P. Garrett, the lead prosecutor in the case.

Beginning on page 14 of the motion, defense attorneys William L. Summers and R. Tucker Richardson III offer a recap of their UCI argument that focuses on actions taken by then-Brigadier General Stammer (Note: I’ve removed the names of Major Martin’s accuser and her family members. In addition, I’ve deciphered a few Army acronyms as necessary):

The entire case and charges against MAJ Martin are solely the result of undo command influence by BG Mark Stammer as part of his personal agenda to make a name for himself in the current politically charged environment of sexual assault and domestic violence in the military. He has done this continually by repeatedly starting new investigations by new agencies against MAJ Martin and pushing all related allegations to a court martial, regardless of the recommendations of his Article 32 Investigating Officer (IO), Special Victim Prosecutor, lead Prosecutor, Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, and even the recommendations of the alleged “victims.”

A review of MAJ Martin’s timeline shows that all the actions taken against him were done in retribution for his and his family’s Congressional Requests, his Inspector General complaint, and his family and friend’s correspondence and complaints to BG Stammer and his supervisors. The “evidence” against MAJ Martin has been created through dubious and selective means while important facts showing the motives and past history of his ex-“wife” Ms. (accuser and her two aka’s) doing the exact same techniques of using and then “burning” men, like (accuser’s first legal husband and father of accuser’s second and third child), has been ignored. (Accuser’s first legal husband) will testify that after spurious allegations were alleged by (accuser), she took his children, two daughters, and has secreted them for over twelve years. He will testify.

The Fort Campbell Prosecution feloniously interfered in civilian court proceedings in order to try and have MAJ Martin’s “ex’s” pending felony charge of bigamy dismissed in Tennessee and Kentucky courts so that they could continue to prosecute him, a violation of ethics and Posse Comitatus that limits the powers of the federal government in using its military personnel to act as domestic law enforcement (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152).

In fact MAJ Martin’s entire case has been created and recreated by the Prosecution and Army Criminal Investigation Division when they were ordered to open a third new investigation against him by BG Stammer on 2 April 2014, 18 months after he had separated from (accuser) and after he had previously been cleared by civilian law enforcement, child protective services, civilian court under Judge Flemming, and Army Counter Intelligence (CI).

Army CI conducted a secret six month investigation and surveillance on him based solely upon the accusations of (accuser). They had thoroughly interrogated him and searched his house, with his expressed consent. MAJ Martin later passed a three hour polygraph examination conducted by CI experts flown in from Fort Meade (Sep 19, 2013). At the conclusion of the polygraph MAJ Martin was told by Agent Harris that he “would hear no more about any of his ex’s accusations.” Despite all of this, BG Stammer consistently involved and re-involved himself in MAJ Martin’s case. He had him re-assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Battery, secretly flagged him, fired him from his position, punished him, had him report daily to a junior officer with no assigned position, and then had MAJ Martin continually reinvestigated over and over again until BG Stammer could get the false statements he needed from (accuser) to justify a court martial.

On 11 July 2014, the charges were reviewed at an Article 32 pre-trial investigation. Despite the Defense not fighting any charges, only recording statements, on 3 August 2014, the investigating officer recommended that none of the sexual charges be referred to a court-martial as there were not reasonable grounds to go forward and witness testimony did not match the timelines and evidence given. The Prosecution then dropped (accuser’s) allegations of rape and sodomy on their own accord, because they knew she was a patently untruthful. Her Article 32 testimony changed repeatedly so often it was obviously a reckless disregard for the truth by her.

Despite this, BG Stammer overruled this recommendation and insisted all allegations should be resolved at a Court Martial. When MAJ Martin was later advised by his attorneys to resign, with the recommendation of the Prosecution including Special Victims Prosecutor MAJ Bashore, the lead prosecutor CPT Garrett, and even the alleged “victims” (accuser and her children), BG Stammer once again overruled them and demanded a Court Martial (EX CC, Memo ).

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer

Further into their motion to dismiss, the defense attorneys highlighted specifics of the alleged UCI violations by General Stammer and prosecutors. Rather than stretch this out to include everything in the 37-page document, I’ll offer some of the allegations as bullet points:

• Acting outside of Army jurisdiction;

• Reassigning Major Martin after he lodged a Congressional inquiry about his situation;

• Launching a second investigation of Major Martin by Military Police Investigations (MPI) after the major had been cleared by a lengthy Army CID investigation;

• Retaliating against Major Martin after being contacted by the major’s father and sister, both Air Force retirees;

• Violating Major Martin’s right to due process;

• Creating a court-martial by initiating a third investigation;

• Witness tampering/obstruction of justice;

• Witness intimidation (at least two instances); and

• Illegal search.

There is 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!

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.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

Army General Asked to Explain Decision to Prosecute

In an effort to get answers regarding the case of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, the Army Soldier-aviator facing a possible 58-year prison sentence if found guilty next month on sexual assault charges, I contacted Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the one-time acting commanding general at Fort Campbell, Ky., who is responsible for the decision to prosecute the Army Ranger, master Army aviator and veteran of three combat tours in Iraq.

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.

At 9:41 a.m. Central today, I sent an email message to now-Major General Stammer who now lives in the East African nation of Djibouti and serves as commander of Africa Command‘s Combined Joint Task Force Horn of Africa. The text of my message, sent to him via Africom.cldj.cjtf-hoa.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil and in care of the CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office, appears below:

Please Forward to Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer:

Dear General Stammer:

In light of the three circumstances highlighted below, I have some questions regarding the upcoming court-martial of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin:

First, Army counter-intelligence investigators cleared Major Martin of any wrongdoing related to allegations he stole a laptop that had been out of the Army inventory for 7 years, he had mishandled classified information on CDs, and he passed classified information to foreign agents;

Second, officials with the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Cabinet for Health and Family Services had issued a finding almost 18 months earlier that all allegations of child abuse and/or neglect against Major Martin were unsubstantiated, recommended no action be taken against Major Martin; and

Third, government officials in the states of Kentucky and Tennessee have filed bigamy charges against the woman who brought forward the allegations against Major Martin which are, coincidentally, almost identical to allegations she had brought years early against the man who fathered two of her three children.

Now, the questions:

1) Why did you elect to pursue prosecution of Major Martin after the Article 32 investigating officer recommended no action be taken against him?

2) Why did you elect to pursue prosecution of Major Martin after LTC Robert Insani, your staff judge advocate, recommended he be allowed to resign?

3) Perhaps realizing you overlooked, or were not made aware of, the three circumstances highlighted above, would you consider recommending the charges against Major Martin be dismissed? If not, why?

Due to the fact that the court-martial for Major Martin is scheduled to begin Oct. 12, 2015, I request you reply within 48 hours or explain to me why that is not possible.

Sincerely,

Bob McCarty, Investigative Journalist & Author

Do I expect General Stammer, the man I’m told many Soldiers refer to as “Stammer the Hammer,” to reply in a timely fashion to my inquiry? Not really. He might, however, respond more quickly if he receives a lot of inquiries. Therefore, I offer the contact information below in hopes that readers of this article and the related stories about Major Martin’s case will reach out to the general:

CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office
Phone: +253 21-359-523
Africom.cldj.cjtf-hoa.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil

In addition to contacting General Stammer, I encourage you to reach out to the individuals listed below and demand an immediate review of this case and/or that the charges against Major Martin be dropped immediately:

Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky
c/o 101st Airborne Division
Bldg. 2700, Indiana Avenue
Fort Campbell, KY 42223
(270) 798-3025
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

Please share this news and stay tuned for updates about this case as it moves forward!

UPDATE 9/09/2015 at 9:49 a.m. Central:  Twenty-four hours has passed without a reply from General Stammer. Stay tuned for more updates.

UPDATE 9/10/2015 at 8:56 a.m. Central:  Forty-eight hours and a few minutes ago, I received a predictable reply from General Stammer’s spokesperson in Africa:

Mr. McCarty,

Good morning.  We received your message and can provide the following statement for your use, which you can attribute to me:

“It is inappropriate for anyone who had a role in the review process of this case to comment during the current ongoing Courts-Martial.  Thus, Major General Stammer cannot comment at this time.”

Have a nice day.

Sincerely,

BRUS E. VIDAL, Lt Col, USAF
Director, Public Affairs
Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa
Tel: 253-21-359-523
Cell:  77-861-487
DSN (311) 824-5387
brus.e.vidal.mil@mail.mil

Since this article was published, the date for Major Martin’s trial was changed to Dec. 1, 2015.

UPDATE 12/7/2015 at 8:28 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 11:16 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.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.