Second SEAL cleared in detainee case

SEAL Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe has been cleared by a military jury in Iraq. Click here for gratuitous propaganda thanks to Associated (with Terrorists) Press.

The law firm representing Matthew McCabe informs me that they are asking Maj. Gen. Charles Cleveland – the convening authority of the trials – to dismiss McCabe’s charges. “To proceed with the trial against SO2 McCabe would be a tremendous waste of tax payer money.”

Posted on April 23, 2010 at 14:00 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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AP’s propaganda piece on SEAL trial

On Thursday, the Associated (with Terrorists) Press published an article on a military jury finding Navy SEAL Petty Officer Julio Huertas not guilty of covering up an alleged detainee beating.

But the AP just couldn’t help but turn a story where justice prevailed into a propaganda piece attacking the U.S. military. Kay Day at The US Report writes:

Things were going pretty good until I got to this part: “The case has drawn fire from at least 20 members of Congress and other Americans who see it as coddling terrorists to overcompensate for the notorious Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Thursday’s verdict was met by anger and sad shrugs from Iraqis who said they no longer expect to see U.S. troops held accountable for atrocities or other abuses.”

At least 20  members of Congress? Try at least 40 members, and just for fun, add in the fact they are Republicans who supported the SEALs based on evidence compiled by Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.). I know that puts a small grimace on most wire service writers’ faces, but it’s a fact and journalists love facts, right?

Day continues (emphasis mine):

And naturally this social justice loving AP writer had to bring up Abu Ghraib—the word ‘notorious’ does seem a bit ‘overkillish’ to me, however. The very name of the place connotes ‘notorious.’ But to compare [Abu Ghraib with] an alleged punch to a detainee who suffered no real injury and whose storychanged with the wind is akin to comparing a firm handshake to a punch thrown by the great Muhammad Ali.

The AP writes, “In his closing argument, [the prosecutor, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Jason Grover] pleaded with the jury to hold Huertas responsible as an example of ‘why we’re better than the terrorists.’”

To hell with justice – let’s show the Iraqis that we will do whatever it takes to please them! The trouble with that logic is the Obama administration has turned placating other nations and our enemies into our foreign policy platform, and it clearly doesn’t work.

Sidenote to Grover and the AP: There’s a thing called justice. That’s one key asset that makes us better than the terrorists.

Then there’s this thing called a jury trial which should never have happened in the first place.

Then there’s another thing called a head. The so-called detainee still has his on top of his body. I’d say that’s the biggest thing making us better than the terrorists.

And why does this lawyer – who happens to be in the Navy – think we need to prove to the Iraqis that we are better than the terrorists? Justice aside – who dethroned their tyrannical government, allowing a democracy to take its place – al Qaeda or the United States? Who destroys infrastructure and terrorizes the population, and who repairs and builds infrastructure and protects the population? Perhaps Lt. Cmdr. Grover should refresh his memory. Or perhaps he is just following orders. Who knows any more?

While trying to paint the alleged crime as revenge for the 2004 grisly massacre of four Blackwater security contractors- of which the alleged victim is believed to have been the mastermind – the AP mistakenly claimed that at least two of the slain Americans were SEALs. In fact, three of the four were former Army. Only one was a SEAL. It’s pretty bad when a blog has more accurate reporting than the AP.

But the real kicker is what the news service wrote next: “‘These trials are just propaganda for their justice and democracy,’ sneered Abdul-Rahman Najim al-Mashhadani, head of the Iraqi human rights group Hammurabi.’”

Time magazine reported that Hammurabi was linked to the (George Soros-linked) Human Rights Watch. When Time used Hammurabi statements during a story on Haditha, they issued a retraction. In closing, here’s what Day had to say:

I’d like to congratulate the AP for continuing a level of reportage I’ve come to expect from an organization that runs content from partisan non-profit organizations without disclosing it to the reader. You did the usual sorry job on informing the reader and you managed to once again slap the very men and women that keep this country free enough for you to write your garbage.

If you would like to let the AP what you think of what they consider “journalism,” their phone number is 212-621-1500, and their email address is info@ap.org

Posted on April 23, 2010 at 11:04 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Military jury clears SEAL in detainee case

The jury from the first court martial cleared one of the SEAL 3.  From Fox News:

A six-man jury found Petty Officer 1st Class Julio Huertas, 29, of Blue Island, Illinois, not guilty of charges of dereliction of duty and attempting to influence the testimony of another service member. The jury spent two hours deliberating the verdict.

Kay Day has more at The US Report.

Posted on April 22, 2010 at 09:08 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Military Roundup

Photo of the Day: Spring Training for Leap Frogs

Afghan President Hamid Karzai repeatedly threatens to join the Taliban

North Korea has threatened to stop returning remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War. JPAC informs me that currently 8,034 Americans are listed as missing from the conflict.

This week in U.S. military history

SEAL 3 Update: Falsification charges have been dropped against two SEALs accused of mistreating an al Qaeda detainee in Iraq.

DADT Update: The Marine Corps Commandant says if Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is repealed, he will not let gay Marines bunk with heterosexual ones.

ROE Update: Gen. McChrystal strikes again – this time limiting night raids, reviewing Rules of Engagement. Developing: It appears that members of Congress think things have gone too far. Congressman Walter Jones (R – N.C.) has called for the House Armed Services Committee to conduct its own hearings on ROE. More on this in further updates.

Posted on April 6, 2010 at 20:14 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Damn the evidence, full speed ahead!

An update on the SEAL 3 courts-martials: the prosecution’s paper-thin case has taken several more blows recently, but the prosecution limps forward, nonetheless. From The US Report:

At a Scottsdale, Ariz. rally on Saturday, Petty Officer Matthew McCabe – the only SEAL actually accused of striking the detainee – announced that he passed an independently-administered polygraph on March 16.

Additionally, one of the two charges against fellow SEAL Jonathan Keefe has been dropped, as the investigator failed to inform Keefe of his right to remain silent. The same NCIS investigator admitted that he also failed to inform Julio Huertas – the third charged SEAL – of his right to remain silent, so his charges could be dropped as well.

And McCabe’s attorney also informed me that last week the defense’s key witnesses – four SEALs and a Navy Corpsman – were granted immunity and would testify on behalf of the accused SEALs.

All that remains now is the word of a terrorist, who is trained to fake abuse, and a Master-at-Arms Third Class who has given five conflicting statements.

Posted on March 30, 2010 at 11:38 by Chris Carter · Permalink · One Comment
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Falsification charges dropped against SEAL Keefe

Recent developments have further weakened the case against three Navy SEALs charged with assaulting an al Qaeda detainee. One development will impact the case for all three—the inadmissibility of a statement given by Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe.

At a Scottsdale, Ariz. rally on Saturday, Petty Officer Matthew McCabe – the only SEAL actually accused of striking the detainee – announced that he passed an independently-administered polygraph on March 16.

Neal Puckett, McCabe’s attorney told The US Report, “No military polygraph was administered.”

SEALs captured Ahmed Hashim Abed without firing a shot in a 2009 nighttime raid. Abed is believed to be responsible for the grisly 2004 ambush in Iraq where four security contractors were murdered and their bodies mutilated. Once in U.S. custody, Abed claimed to have received  injuries that court documents state amount to a punch in the stomach.

More than 150 supporters attended the event despite the venue’s limited seating. Congressman John Shadegg (R – Ariz.), one of the event’s speakers, stated that trying these SEALs in a case like this is “creating our own demise.” Shadegg is one of 77 co-sponsors of HR 977, a bipartisan bill introduced by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Tex.). HR 977 honors McCabe, Huertas, and Keefe for their “heroic actions.” The bill was introduced in December, and has been referred to committee.

(more…)

SEAL 3 courts-martials are drumhead trials

In September, 2009, members of SEAL Team 3 captured Ahmed Hashim Abed, the man believed to be the mastermind of the 2004 Fallujah ambush where four Americans were murdered and their bodies mutilated and hung from a bridge. Although Abed was armed, the SEALs apprehended him without firing a shot.

However, the military has brought charges against three of the SEALs involved in Abed’s detention. As the al Qaeda training manual instructs, Abed has claimed that he was abused. According to court documents, his injuries amount to a punch in the stomach.

Rightfully so, the convening authority of the courts-martial has since deemed that Abed will not be present at the trial, and his statements will not be allowed as evidence.

But in the meantime, the military has offered no corroborating evidence, such as photos or medical reports, to support the prosecution. All it appears they have now is five conflicting statements by a sailor that claims to have witnessed the incident. There is also a chain of custody issue: Before being transferred to U.S. custody, Abed was initially detained at an Iraqi facility. If Abed truly was struck, how can the military know for sure that the alleged injury didn’t take place during his stay with the Iraqis?

The SEALs were initially offered an Article 15 hearing. Although it carried lesser punishments, accepting the hearing would have been viewed as an admission of guilt. Instead, the SEALs chose to have a trial by courts-martial, where all the evidence would be considered, but the punishments are significantly more severe.

These fine operators have experienced far more pain and suffering during any given moment of any training evolution than what this terrorist has alleged. How can we invest years and millions of dollars honing the skills of these elite warriors, only to ruin their careers over accusations of our enemies?

If the SEALs wanted to rough up Abed, they could have done so prior to or during his capture. But they didn’t. Then they could have accepted the Article 15 hearing and perhaps continued serving in their unit. But they didn’t.

The American public is against these trials. Congress has sent multiple letters to our military and political leaders. Members of the special warfare community have privately expressed that this trial has already negatively affected the way they do business. Does our leadership really want to put the words of an al Qaeda operative over our country’s national security?

It is a travesty that the military allowed this trial to go forward. Basing a case on the word of a terrorist, conflicting statements, chain of custody issues, and no corroborating evidence is a slap in the face of our fighting forces. This courts-martial will serve to embolden our enemies, and will undermine the effectiveness of our armed forces.

Chris Carter
Director, The Victory Institute

Urgent: SEAL to blow case wide open tomorrow

SEAL 3 Update: Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe plans to reveal information at a Scottsdale, Ariz. rally tomorrow that will blow the cases of three Navy SEALs wide open. Read the News Release.

Will report on this as soon as information is available.

Posted on March 26, 2010 at 22:11 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Military Roundup

Photo of the day: Aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) performing high-speed turn drills

Obama, Medvedev expected to finalize a treaty Friday that cuts deployed nuclear weapons by one-fourth.

DADT: Military softens Don’t Ask Don’t Tell

Lt. Gen. Ben Mixon, the commander of  U.S. Army Pacific, wrote a letter to the editor in Stars & Stripes opposing the repeal of DADT. SecDef Gates and ADM Mullen rebuked Mixon, saying he was acting within his rights, but his remarks were “inappropriate” and “ill-advised.” (thanks to SoldiersMom at Blackfive for locating the letter)

Rules of Engagement: Air support pilots learn to hold back

SEAL 3 Courts-Martial Update: The military judge responsible for the case has ordered the convening authority to grant immunity to five SEAL witnesses, or the case may be abated and postponed indefinitely. As of this morning, my sources state that MG Cleveland agreed to grant immunity. But their request doesn’t imply guilt:

The five men’s refusal to testify under their Fifth Amendment right doesn’t mean they have anything to hide. Citing Supreme Court rulings, Carlos noted that one of the Fifth Amendment’s basic functions “is to protect innocent men… ‘who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances.’ “

A legal defense fund has been established to assist our SEALs with their legal costs, which proceeds from the Victory Institute’s “Free the SEALs” merchandise are sent. Author Betty Kilbride is also donating proceeds of her book to the SEAL defense fund. Visit her Facebook page or her publisher’s website for more.

Posted on March 26, 2010 at 10:06 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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Former SEAL: court martial ‘sends horrible message’


Follow the latest on the SEAL 3 courts-martial at the VI Newsdesk.

Posted on March 24, 2010 at 11:13 by Chris Carter · Permalink · Leave a comment
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