Posted by Kit Lange on 30 May, 2008 at 6:18 pm. 8 comments already!

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ANN ARBOR, MI – Military prosecutors are expected to call as their witness General James N. Mattis, a highly respected Marine officer and one of only a handful of four-star Marine generals, to testify in the court-martial hearing against LtCol Jeffrey Chessani on June 2, 2008, at Camp Pendleton, California.

Gen Mattis, recently given his fourth star, was the previous convening authority for the Haditha cases and the officer responsible for referring LtCol Chessani’s case to a general court-martial. Prosecutors are relying on him to rebut previous findings of the Military Judge that there is evidence of unlawful command influence.

So let me get this straight. When the defense asks for Mattis’ sworn deposition, they’re denied. Yet the prosecution can call him as a witness with no problems at all? And what will Mattis say? Well, of course he’ll say there was no undue command influence, and the judge will nod and say, “Oh, okay. Wow. Good thing you came on the stand and set that straight. Thanks, guys. Let’s all go get a brewski now.”

Am I the only one who thinks this fish smells worse than a two-dollar hooker? As it turns out, I’m not.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, the national public interest law firm defending LtCol Chessani, commented, “This case is dripping with double standards and political intrigue as the Pentagon attempts to appease Washington’s political establishment and press…”

[I must point out here that those of us fighting for these and other Marines like SGT Lawrence Hutchins (of the Pendleton 8) have repeatedly tried to get Thomas More Law Center involved, but were rebuffed. Now suddenly it appears they’ve seen the light, sort of like the Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus. We’re just happy they caught up.]

And here’s a little factoid you may not have known about:

“…Gen Mattis was investigated for ordering a ground and air assault of an Iraqi ‘wedding party’ in 2004 that resulted in the deaths of 40 men, women, and children. At a press conference shortly after the incident, he defended his actions by retorting, ‘I don’t have to apologize for the conduct of my Marines.’ What is puzzling is that even though Mattis rightfully was never charged with any criminal wrongdoing in that case, he did not give LtCol Chessani the same consideration.”

Did you catch that? “I don’t have to apologize for the conduct of my Marines.” Brilliantly said, and yet here we are, with Mattis at the forefront of a witch hunt against the very men he claims to love and respect so deeply, in almost the same type of situation. Then again, when it comes to the Marine Corps leadership, it’s not about fairness, justice, or even honor–as we’ve seen time and time again in case after case.

What makes me so curious is how Mattis will explain away roughly 25 closed-session meetings where one of the investigators was allowed to attend and discuss the case with the officers controlling the disposition of the case. That’s like a homicide investigator meeting with the judges in a civilian case. In other words, not right.

Chessani’s attorneys will be able to cross-examine the general on the stand, but if past track record is any indication of how that will go, the prosecutor will object, the judge will sustain, and Mattis will not be exposed for the dishonorable man that he is. We shall see if the judge has the personal integrity and fortitude to make his decision based on facts instead

[Note: I am well aware, dear readers, that my freedom to call Mattis dishonorable was given to me in part by Mattis himself. However, it was also paid for by Jeffrey Chessani and Larry Hutchins, so you’ll forgive me if my loyalty lies with them instead of the one who ruined their careers and traded their freedoms for his fourth star.]

As disgusting as these cases continue to be, and as much of a cesspool as the military “justice” system has become, each mistake, each over-the-top action that they take is one more arrow in our quiver. It is one more piece of proof of innocence for all of these Marines, one more way we can show how badly these cases are conducted. That means one step closer to freedom for SGT Larry Hutchins.

So hang in there, Hutchins and Chessani. If the NCIS, the JAG, and the Marine Corps leadership show their backsides any more, we’ll have caught them with their pants down completely–which is exactly what I, and others like me, intend to do.

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