Chris Muir's Day By Day

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Clean-Up In Aisle Three, Please

The God-King went off TelePrompTer again.

In an effort to stop military lawyers from using comments by President Obama to prevent sexual assault prosecutions, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has sent out a directive ordering the military to exercise independent judgment in the cases and effectively ignore the president’s remarks.

“There are no expected or required dispositions, outcomes or sentences in any military justice case, other than what result from the individual facts and merits of a case and the application to the case of the fundamentals of due process of law,” Mr. Hagel wrote in a memorandum dated Aug. 6 that is to be disseminated throughout the military.

Since May, when Mr. Obama said at the White House that sexual offenders in the military ought to be “prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged,” lawyers in dozens of assault cases have argued that Mr. Obama’s words as commander in chief amounted to “unlawful command influence,” tainting trials and creating unfair circumstances for clients as a result.

Their motions have had some success. At Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina in June, a judge dismissed charges of sexual assault against an Army officer, noting the command influence issue. In Hawaii, a Navy judge ruled last month that two defendants in sexual assault cases, if found guilty, could not be punitively discharged because of Mr. Obama’s remarks.


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