Saturday, May 8, 2010

Navy SEALs--Grand Finale

The drawing is a representation of a military tribunal in progress. Unlike civilian trials, there are no TV dramatics, lawyers making wild statements to a battery of cameras, hare-brained judges being intimidated by vicious, rich shysters playing to the gallery, or a panel of twelve people who couldn't get out of jury duty.

As a result, military tribunals tend to dispense fair, thoughtful, and swift justice to defendants, without regard for political pressure. Clearly guilty defendants are rarely allowed to skip out of the courtroom, glove in hand and a team of publicity-hound lawyers in tow. Likewise, clearly innocent defendants are rarely convicted, no matter how much the politicians wish it otherwise. And so it was on Thursday for the last Navy SEAL railroaded on a phony charge by a cowardly political general staff on the word of a mass-murdering subhuman captured on a battlefield.

I'm sure you're all familiar with the case, but if you want to see the history of this travesty, here are the five previous posts I've done on the subject: SEALS 1; SEALs 2; SEALs 3; SEALs 4; and SEALs 5. Petty Officer Matthew McCabe, the only one of the SEALs actually charged with manhandling the murderous terrorist behind the torture, desecration and hanging of four American civilians in Iraq, was acquitted and exonerated of all the charges against him. This entire ordeal can be laid at the feet of the anti-military leftists in the Obama administration and cowardly command officers feathering their command nests.

The last of the heroes in this debacle has been found not guilty, as were the other two SEALs who refused to turn over their honor to a batch of political officers and demanded instead full courts-martial by their peers. In two jury trials, and one court trial, the ludicrous persecution was proven to be full of holes, lies, false statements and evidence that couldn't get past a first year law student. What is surprising (or not) is how far cowards will go to vilify their betters. These cases should have been tossed in the fire from the very beginning. A vile terrorist murderer tosses an accusation straight out of the al-Qaeda handbook, and the politically-correct act as if the case is already proven beyond a reasonable doubt. Appalling!

My original intention was to do one last update on the sorry state of the prosecution's case, but the verdict in the McCabe case came back so fast that I didn't have time to prepare everyone for the expected acquittal. It took a seven-member jury exactly one hour and forty minutes to give the terrorist and his fellow-travelers in the White House the slap in the face they richly deserved. And as I've pointed out before, those same fellow-travelers have still not even considered a trial date for the murderer who triggered this whole miscarriage of justice in the first place.

The one Navy eyewitness to testify against McCabe was Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin DeMartino. In his summary to the jury, the lead prosecutor asked the jury the classic question: "Why would he lie?" The prosecutor must have been asleep during the testimony, since the defense produced a very good reason for him to lie, evidence that he made the story up to cover his own rear-end, and an admission from the witness himself that he didn't actually see McCabe do the scumbag any harm. He admitted that he saw only the "results" (a bleeding lip, though the charge was that McCabe had punched the lowlife in the stomach). DeMartino not only admitted that he actually didn't see McCabe strike the terrorist, but that contrary to standing orders and military policy, he abandoned his post not once, but twice, during the alleged mishandling.

You see, in order to avoid exactly this kind of incident, the Master at Arms, DeMartino in this case, is required to be present at all times when a prisoner is being moved and placed in a cell. The rule protects the terrorist, and protects his handlers. But DeMartino failed in his duty, then told his superior officers that he had witnessed something he hadn't seen at all rather than admit he was derelict in his duties twice during the alleged maltreatment of the prisoner.

McCabes's defense attorney was extremely diligent, but the testimony he elicited from DeMartino should have been fully known to the prosecution months ago. Either they knew and hid it, or they were so zealous about winning a spurious case that they just didn't ask the questions. In his summation to the jury, defense counsel Haytham Faraj asked "Why didn't McCabe just shoot Abed in the first place?" A question that many brave soldiers and sailors will be asking themselves in the future. Referring to his own client and the two previously acquitted SEALs, Faraj went on: "These SEALs had motives, they had opportunities (to simply shoot the scumbag), but they're professionals. Everyone has to be lying for the government's case to be believed."

The military authorities should be hanging their heads in shame. They ignored massive exculpatory testimony and evidence at every stage. They dishonored themselves in their attempt to dishonor three brave and honorable men. They knew that an oral surgeon who was on the case in Iraq would be testifying that it was his expert opinion that the terrorist had a canker sore on his lip that he bit continuously to produce the blood supposedly caused by a punch from McCabe. They had no expert of their own to discount that testimony.

Other defense witnesses testified that DeMartino was of highly questionable character and credibility. Yet the prosecution needed time to produce a rebuttal to this testimony, as if they were completely unaware of these facts. What they produced was one former superior officer of DeMartino's who could only testify that while DeMartino was under his command "he was one of my top sailors--I could depend on him for anything." With all due respect, that sounds a lot like what George Washington said about Benedict Arnold before that minor incident involving West Point.

DeMartino trapped himself during cross-examination. He admitted that his big fear was that somebody would see the blood on the scumbag's lip and blame him, so he needed to get in front of it and make up a story about McCabe doing it. Then the defense brought on another witness to testify to DeMartino's state of mind. DeMartino's direct supervisor at the detention camp testified that he had reservations about DeMartino's truthfulness. He testified further that DeMartino would lie about completing tasks and performing duties which he had not actually done. And to clinch the likelihood that DeMartino lied, the superior testified that DeMartino had said to him: "I hate this f---ing place, this guy (Abed) is going to make a claim."

The trail of evidence was also hampered by DeMartino's self-admitted absence from the scene. The official photographer testified that when she was called to take the incriminating pictures of the bleeding lip to preserve the record, DeMartino was nowhere to be found. She also testified that DeMartino was very upset when he did finally reappear, and said "his life was over because of the incident." A SEAL commander involved with Abed during the detention testified that while he walked with the scumbag, he noticed him "sucking on his lip, and spitting blood." When asked "was he feigning his injury?" the officer replied, "He appeared to be hamming it up."

Two medics on the scene testified that when screening Abed and documenting their findings, there was no evidence of any new or recent injury. Yet with all this testimony and evidence available to them for months, the government still chose to proceed with its version of the Spanish Inquisition. Fortunately, Torquemada doesn't easily intimidate military tribunals comprised of real military personnel rather than political personnel. For the third and final time in this travesty, the judge and jury poked their fingers in the eye of the cowardly careerists who would sacrifice brave men's honor for the sake of their own advancement.

I celebrate this stunning victory for genuine justice. But I also make a prediction. The military politicos and the Obamist liars will be spinning this result like the high-speed cycle on your clothes drier. My guess for most common cowardly defense of their reprehensible actions: "You see. We did our job and investigated the complaint of a prisoner, and the system worked. As we expected, the SEALs were acquitted, and we have protected the integrity of the military." Aw, horse manure!

18 comments:

StanH said...

Great news indeed!

Joel Farnham said...

LawHawk,

Thanks for the summation. This is the result I wanted.

Tam said...

This is great news. It would have been beyond shameful...a complete and utter disgrace if there had been any other outcome.

AndrewPrice said...

This is really good news. It's about time. It was a disgrace that they were ever tried for this at all.

LawHawkSF said...

StanH: I felt a little foolish afterwards, but when I first heard the news, I stood up and cheered as if I were at a football game and my team just scored.

LawHawkSF said...

Joel: I thought everybody deserved a quick summary of just how bad the prosecution's case really was. When I wrote the fifth article on the case (SEALs 5 in the links), I already had a pretty good feeling for the determination of the government to prosecute a case which had no real foundation whatsoever.

LawHawkSF said...

Tam: You're absolutely right, and if they had been doing their jobs instead of kissing arses in D.C., the government would have dropped this case, with apologies, months ago.

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: The military defense lawyers have a bit more sense of decorum than I ever did. The last time a D.A. tried to pursue a case this bad against a client of mine, I told the judge they should just put big ears on it and send it to Disneyland.

HamiltonsGhost said...

Lawhawk--I think the Benedict Arnold remark sums up the whole ignominy of this case.

LawHawkSF said...

HamiltonsGhost: And at least Benedict Arnold had a distinguished and bold history before he turned his coat. These people have nothing of the kind, and now we can add cowardice and back-stabbing to their qualifications.

DCAlleyKat said...

LawHawk - excellent job! I think you could put a great book together. What joy for these SEALS and their families, my heart goes out to them for all that they have endured, my smiles for their vindication, and another check mark against an administration that is incapable of defining allegiance.

LawHawkSF said...

DCAlleyKat: Thanks. And it would make a good book. Thanks for the idea, I may just take you up on it.

It will be such a pleasure to rub their noses in the government's humiliation, and an even greater pleasure to close with the defeat of the Obamists and their replacement with people who actually love and defend America.

BevfromNYC said...

StanH - I did the same thing when I read about the acquittal in the paper and I am not embarrassed at all.

LawHawk - Fabulous series as always. Do I remember correctly that the soldiers demanded a trial? John Murtha must be rolling over in his grave by now.

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: You do remember it correctly. The accommodators in the military command took the murderer's word for the "assault," found a convenient "witness," and offered the SEALs a deal which included admissions of guilt and the end of their brave and honorable service to the American people. They, unlike their superior officers, actually understand the word "honor." They refused the semi-private punishment and demanded courts-martial.

What we have just witnessed is what brave men can accomplish when they stand up to their "hide-behind-the-desk" commanders and demand that they receive a public trial by a jury of their true peers--other genuine fighting men.

JB1000 said...

I would like to suggest Mr. DeMartino might like to stay away from any R and R facility where Navy Seals might hang out...just in case.

LawHawkSF said...

JB1000: He just better watch his fragging back. Oops. Did I just reveal a confidence?

Tennessee Jed said...

Hawk - I think you know how much I and others appreciate your bird dgging this story. Looks like the good guys won and had Harmon Raab as their counsel.

I can only hope the senior military authorities who ignored the exculpatory evidence get reassigned to Nome, Alaska when a conservative administration gets in.

LawHawkSF said...

Tennessee: I thought of JAG and Harmon Rabb too. But unlike the cowardly bastards involved in this fiasco, Harm's boss didn't go out of his way to prosecute innocent heroes while patting terrorists on the back.

As for the Torquemadas in this mess, do we have a naval or army base for them in Antarctica, right near the South Pole?

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