09 Oct

Bergdahl to plead guilty to desertion, misbehavior before the enemy

The Associated Press has learned Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is expected to plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy rather than face trial for leaving his Afghanistan post.

When Jim Michaels of USA Today reported the breaking news, he turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

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13 Jul

Sailor who hid during massive man-overboard search now in San Diego awaiting possible charges

A U.S. sailor who sparked a 50-hour man-overboard search off Japan — only to be found hiding on his ship — is now in San Diego awaiting the results of an investigation and possible charges.

When Jeanette Steele of The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the breaking news, she turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

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12 Jun

New Legislation targets ‘Revenge Porn’

After recent allegations in which active-duty and former Marines and other service members were discovered sharing compromising photos of female troops along with derogatory commentary, new legislation would make it a specific crime under the military code to commit “revenge porn.”

When Jeanette Steele of The San Diego Union-Tribune reported the breaking news, she turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

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08 Jun

U.S. Navy bans alcohol in Japan after crime spree

The U.S. Navy imposed a total ban on alcohol consumption in Japan on Monday, June 6th, ordering all 18,000 American sailors confined to their bases for non-essential activities to thwart a string of crimes that has provoked outrage among Japanese.

When the USA Today’s Kirk Spitzer and Jim Michaels reported the breaking news, they turned to civilian military attorney, LtCol Gary S. Barthel USMC Retired (Ret.) for analysis.

The sweep of the no-drinking order appears unprecedented because it applies country-wide and restricts where sailors can go on- and off-base, said Gary Barthel, a retired Marine Corps attorney.

“I’ve never seen that done before,” he said. “I’ve seen where they put certain bars or certain establishments off-limits.”

Such a ban is difficult to enforce but can act as a deterrent. The Navy uses shore patrol personnel to keep an eye on off-duty sailors to ensure they are following orders. They can bring a sailor back to base to face discipline if found violating orders.

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12 May

Military Diversity: The Crusade to Accept Transgender Servicemembers

Although Department of Defense regulations prohibit transgender individuals from joining the military, there are an estimated 15,500 transgender servicemembers currently serving in the U.S. military. Since the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” did not apply to the transgender community, the Department of Defense has recently taken steps to begin accepting transgender individuals into the military. History has shown that although Department of Defense policies are usually on the frontline in promoting diversity, the transition has not always been expeditious or simple.

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26 Mar

Official: US military to charge Bergdahl with desertion

Article by Jim Michaels, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held five years after being captured by the Taliban when he left his remote post in Afghanistan, was charged Wednesday by the Army with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.

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26 Feb

Navy releases records on military sex offenders

CBS News 8 Investigates:

CBS News 8 – San Diego, CA News Station – KFMB Channel 8
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) — The U.S. Department of the Navy has released records related to military sex offenders who served time in the Navy Consolidated Brig on MCAS Miramar.

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24 Jul

Weapons Hold

A legal practitioner’s guide to the Lautenberg Amendment

History of the Lautenberg Amendment

The Gun Control Act of 1968 was the foundation for gun control in the United States and is best known for prohibiting convicted felons from possessing firearms. However, few people realize that there was a Public Interest Exception built into the law. Specifically, the Gun Control Act of 1968 allowed military personnel, law enforcement personnel, and other government employees who were required to possess a firearm for official use, to continue to possess firearms despite a felony conviction.

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05 Sep

Manning Wants to Change Genders in Prison

Bradley Manning, the former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Aug. 21 for leaking classified military information, has said he wants to change genders, which could set up further legal challenges to his sentence.

As Manning prepares to serve his sentence at Fort Leavenworth, a military center and

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22 Aug

Was the Bradley Manning Verdict Fair?

Pfc. Bradley Manning – charged with leaking a trove of government documents to the organization WikiLeaks – was found guilty today on several counts of espionage, theft and computer fraud. Manning faces a sentence, which will be decided tomorrow, of more than 100 years in prison.

However, Colonel Denise Lind, who presided over the military trial, found Manning not guilty of the most serious charge against him: that he engaged in purposefully “aiding the enemy,” which in this case was alleged to be al-Qaida. He was also found not guilty of leaking a video that showed a U.S. air strike in which many civilians died.

“While we are obviously disappointed in today’s verdicts, we are happy that Judge Lind agreed with us that Brad never intended to help America’s enemies in any way. Brad loves his country and was proud to wear its uniform,” said Manning’s family in a statement to the Guardian.

Before the verdict was announced, there were significant concerns amongst civil libertarians, good governance groups and media watchdogs that finding Manning guilty of aiding the enemy would chill government whistleblowers into inaction. The Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement after the verdict was released, “We now live in a country where someone who exposes war crimes can be sentenced to life even if not found guilty of aiding the enemy, while those responsible for the war crimes remain free. If the government equates being a whistleblower with espionage or aiding the enemy, what is the future of journalism in this country?”
But military analysts saw the case as setting an important example for the digital age. “It’s even more important to prosecute those crimes [today],” Gary Barthel, a former Marine Corps staff judge advocate, told USA Today. “With technology it’s so much easier to disseminate that information. The military, the government has to take a very strong stand on it.” Daniel Benjamin, a former State Department official, agreed, saying, “He put an enormous number of people in great danger. It’s absurd to say that this is serving the public good.”

Source: Debate Club | US NEWS & WORLD REPORT

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