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grimreaper
06-14-2013, 08:11 PM
Judge: Obama sex assault comments 'unlawful command influence'
By Erik Slavin Stars and Stripes

Published: June 14, 2013

Two defendants in military sexual assault cases cannot be punitively discharged, if found guilty, because of “unlawful command influence” derived from comments made by President Barack Obama, a judge ruled in a Hawaii military court this week.

Navy Judge Cmdr. Marcus Fulton ruled during pretrial hearings in two sexual assault cases — U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes — that comments made by Obama as commander in chief would unduly influence any potential sentencing, according to a court documents obtained by Stars and Stripes.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Fulton approved the pretrial defense motions, which used as evidence comments that Obama made about sexual assault at a May 7 news conference.

“The bottom line is: I have no tolerance for this,” Obama said, according to an NBC News story submitted as evidence by defense attorneys in the sexual assault cases.

‘I expect consequences,” Obama added. “So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

The judge’s pretrial ruling means that if either defendant is found guilty, whether by a jury or a military judge, they cannot receive a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge. Sailors found guilty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice’s Article 120, which covers several sexual crimes including assault and rape, generally receive punitive discharges.

“A member of the public would not hear the President’s statement to be a simple admonition to hold members accountable,” Fulton stated. “A member of the public would draw the connection between the ‘dishonorable discharge’ required by the President and a punitive discharge approved by the convening authority.

http://www.stripes.com/judge-obama-sex-assault-comments-unlawful-command-influence-1.225974

LOL, so even if you're found guilty, you're not really going to face the punishment you deserve?

Measure Man
06-14-2013, 08:26 PM
Oh, man...did I ever nail that one!

Called it!


http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/possible-military-sexual-assaults-up-by-33-percent-in-last-2-years/2013/05/07/8e33be68-b72b-11e2-bd07-b6e0e6152528_story.html


President Obama to bluntly warn the Defense Department that he expected its leaders to take tougher action against sex offenders and redouble their efforts to prevent such crimes.


“The bottom line is, I have no tolerance for this,” Obama told reporters. “If we find out somebody’s engaging in this stuff, they’ve got to be held accountable, prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged — period.”

Sounds to me like the next guy who gets convicted of a sexual offense...may have a pretty good appeal based on undue command influence, no?


Undue command influence? Not until he tries to influence a case.

Banned
06-14-2013, 08:40 PM
http://www.stripes.com/judge-obama-sex-assault-comments-unlawful-command-influence-1.225974

LOL, so even if you're found guilty, you're not really going to face the punishment you deserve?

Good post... Gen. Amos made the same mistake recently as well.

Commanders and the president want to "get tough" on sexual assault, but apparently didn't think through the ful legal ramifications of their statements.

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2012/09/13/168410/tough-talk-by-marine-commandant.html

grimreaper
06-14-2013, 08:52 PM
Oh, man...did I ever nail that one!

Called it!

Yup, you did! Nice one.

Chief_KO
06-14-2013, 09:24 PM
You'd think as a former lawyer and former President of the Harvard Law Review (along with having White House legal counsel) he would have known better...

raustin0017
06-14-2013, 09:41 PM
Rarely have I agreed with President Obama...but he is correct is saying those who are guilty should be "...held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

Now to find a way around all the legal BS and do the right thing and get rid of those who commit this type of crime? I don't know the answer.

I do know a guy who will make a eunuch from those who are guilty for $50.

DocBones
06-15-2013, 02:43 PM
When the President lays out the way punishment has to go, there is no leeway in court. Courtsmartial have always been pretty harsh when it comes to punishment for sexual charges, but the POTUS giving only one course of punishment, though multipronged, strips the courtsmartial of handing out their own judicial sentences.

Unless the courts decides on being heavy handed in all cases, kind of like the 3 strikes deal in the outside world, but used for any and all sex crimes under Article 120, the giving down of the law that Obama stated goes beyond the Potus's power to decide.

Hey, if someone is found guilty of rape, I think that the death penalty should be used. I am not saying that rapists should be shielded. What I am saying is that the military should never have to obey something that is or was or will be said by the POTUS, when it comes courtsmartial. Just because the Potus says something, those or that statement should be used to show his/her feelings about their disgust over the issue of rape, not setting a course that the military has to follow.

FLAPS, USAF (ret)
06-15-2013, 05:58 PM
Full Metal Jacket blanket parties and Few Good Men "code reds" are highly appropriate responses, I'm thinking.

BENDER56
06-15-2013, 10:11 PM
Rarely have I agreed with President Obama...but he is correct is saying those who are guilty should be "...held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

Now to find a way around all the legal BS and do the right thing and get rid of those who commit this type of crime? I don't know the answer.

I do know a guy who will make a eunuch from those who are guilty for $50.

Well, it's about time. Here I thought you were really going to go through with it -- adding "load clear" to every. single. comment. you posted here. Thank you.

Unless you just forgot this time. In which case ... disregard.

:smile:

garhkal
06-17-2013, 05:40 AM
Rarely have I agreed with President Obama...but he is correct is saying those who are guilty should be "...held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

Now to find a way around all the legal BS and do the right thing and get rid of those who commit this type of crime? I don't know the answer.

I do know a guy who will make a eunuch from those who are guilty for $50.

Or send them to jail where "Bubba" can make mince of their rear end.

TwinkieToes
06-17-2013, 06:10 AM
Does bubba fix cars?

garhkal
06-17-2013, 08:38 PM
That made me laugh.

Banned
06-20-2013, 08:53 PM
Sexual assault. Food for thought.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1012695_677779335571870_2104370447_n.jpg

Measure Man
06-20-2013, 09:11 PM
Judge: Obama sex assault comments 'unlawful command influence'
By Erik Slavin Stars and Stripes

Published: June 14, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during his a press conference in the East Room of the White House on November 14, 2012 in Washington, DC.
Olivier Douliery, Abaca Press/MCT PDF of the court ruling Two defendants in military sexual assault cases cannot be punitively discharged, if found guilty, because of “unlawful command influence” derived from comments made by President Barack Obama, a judge ruled in a Hawaii military court this week.

Navy Judge Cmdr. Marcus Fulton ruled during pretrial hearings in two sexual assault cases — U.S. vs. Johnson and U.S. vs. Fuentes — that comments made by Obama as commander in chief would unduly influence any potential sentencing, according to a court documents obtained by Stars and Stripes.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Fulton approved the pretrial defense motions, which used as evidence comments that Obama made about sexual assault at a May 7 news conference.

“The bottom line is: I have no tolerance for this,” Obama said, according to an NBC News story submitted as evidence by defense attorneys in the sexual assault cases.

‘I expect consequences,” Obama added. “So I don’t just want more speeches or awareness programs or training, but ultimately folks look the other way. If we find out somebody’s engaging in this, they’ve got to be held accountable — prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged. Period.”

The judge’s pretrial ruling means that if either defendant is found guilty, whether by a jury or a military judge, they cannot receive a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge. Sailors found guilty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice’s Article 120, which covers several sexual crimes including assault and rape, generally receive punitive discharges.

“A member of the public would not hear the President’s statement to be a simple admonition to hold members accountable,” Fulton stated. “A member of the public would draw the connection between the ‘dishonorable discharge’ required by the President and a punitive discharge approved by the convening authority.

“The strain on the system created by asking a convening authority to disregard [Obama’s] statement in this environment would be too much to sustain public confidence.”

The ruling sets the stage for defense attorneys to use the same arguments in sexual assault cases throughout the military.

Should other judges accept the same line of reasoning, commands would have to consider issuing lesser administrative discharges to servicemembers found guilty of sexual assault. In some cases, this could allow servicemembers found guilty of sex crimes to retain veterans benefits, according to Defense Department regulations.

“I think that as a defense attorney, I would raise this argument in virtually any [sexual assault] case I had,” said Victor Hansen, vice president of the National Institute of Military Justice and former instructor at the Army’s JAG school.

Hansen found Thursday’s ruling surprising, since judges have rejected “unlawful command influence” arguments under the logic that statements by high-level officials lose their effect as they reach the military’s lower levels.

However, in recent months there has been a lot more said — and in overly specific terms — about sexual assault by military and political leaders, Hansen noted. Obama’s call for dishonorable discharges is an example of such specificity, which begins to sound to military juries like a direct order from the commander in chief.

“This is bad lawyering on [Obama’s] advisor’s part,” Hansen said. “It’s certainly not a problem to say that sexual assault is a bad thing and we need to weed it out … that’s innocuous. It’s when they get very pointed that it’s problematic.”

Last year, Marine Corps defendants in more than 60 sexual assault cases filed unlawful command influence claims following comments by Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos, according to a May 9 McClatchy Tribune news report.

In one speech, Amos declared that 80 percent of sexual assault claims were legitimate, according to the report. Judges in nearly all of the 60 disputed cases found the appearance of unlawful command influence, according to the McClatchy report.

When contacted by Stars and Stripes, Navy legal officials in Hawaii deferred comment to the officials at the Office of the Judge Advocate General in Washington, D.C.

So, there you have it...no punitive discharge even if convicted.

I wonder if this can be undone or will it continue until Obama is no longer CINC?

Class5Kayaker
06-21-2013, 02:31 PM
So, there you have it...no punitive discharge even if convicted.

I wonder if this can be undone or will it continue until Obama is no longer CINC?

Couldn't he just come out and make another statement taking back what he said and say, "Due justice.....innocent until proven guilty....every case is different so every punishment should be different."

Maybe SENDBILLMONEY can give his $0.02 worth

Measure Man
06-21-2013, 02:38 PM
Couldn't he just come out and make another statement taking back what he said and say, "Due justice.....innocent until proven guilty....every case is different so every punishment should be different."

Maybe SENDBILLMONEY can give his $0.02 worth

Maybe...that's what I was wondering, but I'm sure every defense will raise the issue and say, "Hey, he already made his intentions known" ...will be interesting.

I'm sure, if convicted, these guys will still end up getting Admin separations...but then the still get the VA bennies and what-not.

technomage1
06-21-2013, 02:56 PM
Couldn't he just come out and make another statement taking back what he said and say, "Due justice.....innocent until proven guilty....every case is different so every punishment should be different."


But didn't he say this already. He said they need to be prosecuted, which they do. To me that indicates some sort of trial and due process. I think he could have been clearer, sure. But I certainly don't take this as some sort of order to court martial or kick out anyone who is accussed of sexual assualt. I took it as holding people accountable for their actions after due process - which, let's be honest, we've failed in the military to do in this area for quite some time.

Measure Man
06-21-2013, 03:20 PM
But didn't he say this already. He said they need to be prosecuted, which they do. To me that indicates some sort of trial and due process. I think he could have been clearer, sure. But I certainly don't take this as some sort of order to court martial or kick out anyone who is accussed of sexual assualt. I took it as holding people accountable for their actions after due process - which, let's be honest, we've failed in the military to do in this area for quite some time.

I think the troubling part wasn't the "they need to be prosecuted", it was that he said, "dishonorably discharged"...as that is a specific punishment.

That is why the judge took that punishment (and BCD) off the table in these cases...because of the influence of the CINC, the panel may have felt compelled to make the sentence include a dishonorable discharge.

SENDBILLMONEY
06-21-2013, 05:40 PM
Couldn't he just come out and make another statement taking back what he said and say, "Due justice.....innocent until proven guilty....every case is different so every punishment should be different."

Maybe SENDBILLMONEY can give his $0.02 worth

The best thing to do is look at the case law on this topic. United States v. Douglas, 68 M.J. 349 has some really good stuff on military judges "taking proactive, curative steps to remove the taint of unlawful command influence and ensure a fair trial" and how dismissal of charges is a last resort and drastic remedy.

http://www.armfor.uscourts.gov/newcaaf/digest/VA1.htm

Drackore
06-22-2013, 12:28 AM
Rape and sexual assaults are disgusting, violent, life altering crimes but rarely are they life ending crimes. These internet "activists" are posting government secrets that include embedded and undercover operatives in hostile lands and organizations and put those lives at risk, not to mention operations that are meant to protect the greater populations. Every government has secrets...they have to have them. People want to live in that bubble of security and they don't want to know that the government is shoving bamboo shoots under someone's finger nails to find out where the next terrorist attack is planned for...they just demand that we stop the terrorist attack.

There are other ways to fight the system...posting and releasing top secret information and calling it activism is like me raping a woman and calling it love.


Sexual assault. Food for thought.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/1012695_677779335571870_2104370447_n.jpg

Banned
06-22-2013, 10:25 PM
Rape and sexual assaults are disgusting, violent, life altering crimes but rarely are they life ending crimes. These internet "activists" are posting government secrets that include embedded and undercover operatives in hostile lands and organizations and put those lives at risk, not to mention operations that are meant to protect the greater populations. Every government has secrets...they have to have them. People want to live in that bubble of security and they don't want to know that the government is shoving bamboo shoots under someone's finger nails to find out where the next terrorist attack is planned for...they just demand that we stop the terrorist attack.

There are other ways to fight the system...posting and releasing top secret information and calling it activism is like me raping a woman and calling it love.

The only way to fight the system is to destroy the system. A good way - or at least a start - is to post that system's secrets.

Like it or not, the American government is slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people around the world - for absolutely no good reason - for the profit of the big companies who have bought and paid for the "democratic" process in this country.

wxjumper
06-23-2013, 12:55 AM
You'd think as a former lawyer and former President of the Harvard Law Review (along with having White House legal counsel) he would have known better...
We thought they would have known better on a lot of things :lol

E4RUMOR
06-23-2013, 07:36 AM
It's not like they are getting away with anything. Even if they are not discharged, there is nothing to say they won't face brig time, loss of rank, pay, etc.,. Furthermore, on 4 June 2013, during the Armed Services Committee Hearing on Sexual Assault, it was noted that if a suspect is found guilty of Sexual Assault, a request is sent from the Military to the suspect's home state requesting they be placed on that state's Sex Offender Registry.

TJMAC77SP
06-24-2013, 11:42 AM
The only way to fight the system is to destroy the system. A good way - or at least a start - is to post that system's secrets.

Like it or not, the American government is slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people around the world - for absolutely no good reason - for the profit of the big companies who have bought and paid for the "democratic" process in this country.

Joe,

Damn, have you not a single original thought? Your posts are getting more and more like cut'n pastes from an old missive from a 60's radical group like the The Weather Underground.

"The only way to fight the system is to destroy the system"

"...the American government is slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people around the world - for absolutely no good reason..."

Really ?!?!?! Come on.

I was going to say that things really changed around here during the past week I was gone (seems some folks got spanked). But now it seems some things have remained the same.

Banned
06-24-2013, 04:42 PM
Joe,

Damn, have you not a single original thought? Your posts are getting more and more like cut'n pastes from an old missive from a 60's radical group like the The Weather Underground.

"The only way to fight the system is to destroy the system"

"...the American government is slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people around the world - for absolutely no good reason..."

Really ?!?!?! Come on.

I was going to say that things really changed around here during the past week I was gone (seems some folks got spanked). But now it seems some things have remained the same.

I find it interesting that you do not question the validity of the argument, just that its not "original" enough for you.

wxjumper
06-24-2013, 05:02 PM
I find it interesting that you do not question the validity of the argument, just that its not "original" enough for you.

Because there is no validity to question. You just spouted off some nonsense without presenting any facts.

TJMAC77SP
06-24-2013, 05:09 PM
I find it interesting that you do not question the validity of the argument, just that its not "original" enough for you.

Again..........Really ?!?!? You think THAT was my main point?

That smell is back.

Banned
06-24-2013, 08:25 PM
Because there is no validity to question. You just spouted off some nonsense without presenting any facts.


Again..........Really ?!?!? You think THAT was my main point?

That smell is back.

What "facts" would you like to see? I would think the wars, spying, assassination, prosecution of whistleblowers, etc - that would all be common knowledge by now. Actually, it IS common knowledge, yet apparently you're going to demand I spell it all out for you.

TJMAC77SP
06-25-2013, 10:52 AM
What "facts" would you like to see? I would think the wars, spying, assassination, prosecution of whistleblowers, etc - that would all be common knowledge by now. Actually, it IS common knowledge, yet apparently you're going to demand I spell it all out for you.

So in answer to these horrible acts you cite (which are neither unique to the US nor universally as commonplace as you would paint them to be) you propose that "The only way to fight the system is to destroy the system"?

And you also question why anyone would balk at your claim that "...the American government is slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people around the world - for absolutely no good reason..."?

I don't demand you spell out anything. I would appreciate you putting aside your extreme hyperbole and come up with an original thought and articulately and unemotionally defend that thought.

Juggs
06-25-2013, 01:57 PM
What "facts" would you like to see? I would think the wars, spying, assassination, prosecution of whistleblowers, etc - that would all be common knowledge by now. Actually, it IS common knowledge, yet apparently you're going to demand I spell it all out for you.

There are whistleblowers then there are folks that deliberately leaked classified information. There is a difference joe. Slaughtering thousands of people? Ok. Common knowledge is the fact that we were attacked by a group tact was given safe haven in a country. We asked the country to hand this person over. They decided not to. Yes in war in urban areas civilians get killed. It's a horrible thing, but it happens.

It's common knowledge that Snowden deliberately broke the. I'm not saying illegal surveillance is cool with me, but he had other avenues to take. He chose the easy one. Now he needs to accept the consequences. Even if he had good intentions.

wxjumper
06-25-2013, 01:58 PM
Snowden lost all rights to claim "whistleblower status" once he started leaking information above and beyond the NSA domestic information and started leaking US spy secrets on China and other countries. Throw on top of that the fact the he specifically sought out this job in order to steal documents and release them in China and that he is fleeing to countries that puts our NSA operation to shame as far as infringing on people's rights, just leads further to the fact that this guy could care less about his "freedoms". Snowden should try doing this in Equator and see how fast the Government publicly hangs him in the street.

garhkal
06-25-2013, 09:31 PM
There are whistleblowers then there are folks that deliberately leaked classified information. There is a difference joe. Slaughtering thousands of people? Ok. Common knowledge is the fact that we were attacked by a group tact was given safe haven in a country. We asked the country to hand this person over. They decided not to. Yes in war in urban areas civilians get killed. It's a horrible thing, but it happens.

It's common knowledge that Snowden deliberately broke the. I'm not saying illegal surveillance is cool with me, but he had other avenues to take. He chose the easy one. Now he needs to accept the consequences. Even if he had good intentions.


I agree. leaking classified info is imo a no no even if it was for the right reasons.