Capt. James Clement Gets a Boost

A little birdie sent me this link, yet another sordid update to the Marine Corps urination video. There are many things that frustrate me about the case, many also that I can’t talk about. I can say that swift justice is not in the plan of the week for the case. If I were in charge (brace for that), a stern talking to, perhaps some additional duties, would be the order of the day. The whole incident would’ve been over in a month and these warriors would be back in the fray. I have to tip my hat to a politician, something that I am loathe to do. But Walter Jones is on to something here:

Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C.
Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C.

An outspoken congressman says he is troubled by allegations the Marine Corps commandant and his legal advisers manipulated criminal cases stemming from a vulgar war-zone video.

Rep. Walter Jones, a North Carolina Republican whose House district encompasses Camp Lejeune, contacted the Defense Department inspector general on July 2 to ask about that complaint. It was made in March by a Marine attorney who claims Gen. Jim Amos or others acting on his behalf sought to ensure stiff punishment for personnel connected to the video, which shows four scout snipers urinating on Taliban corpses in Afghanistan.

In his letter to Inspector General Lynne Halbrooks, Jones says: “I have great interest in making sure that our Marine Corps leaders operate in accordance with the law. … I believe some serious questions have been raised during this case, and I find them to be very disconcerting. If there is wrongdoing …, I urge you to promptly make the necessary changes to restore dignity to the commandant’s office.”

The commandant’s office has declined to discuss these allegations.

Jones’ letter singles out the prosecution of Capt. James Clement, who is charged with dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer. He was on patrol with the scout snipers the day they made the video, July 27, 2011, but maintains he was neither aware of nor present during any wrongdoing.

Clement faces court-martial in November, but his defense attorneys contend the Marine Corps has taken extraordinary steps to suppress evidence in the case — material they say exonerates him and will ensure he receives a fair trial.

Can you imagine being the defendant? I would leave the military, regardless of what occurs. My career would’ve been in limbo all this time. Good justice and swift justice go hand-in-hand.