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Elaine Margarett
07-08-2010, 08:40 PM
I have a character, army reservist on active duty in Iraq. He has been framed regarding prisoner abuse. While under investigation (would it be CID if it's in theater?) he's injured in an auto accident (Hummer rolled) and it's alledge he was DUI at the time.

He's an E-7 Sargent First Class. While he's stateside in a VA hospital he's railroaded thru the judical system. Never proved he was involved in prisoner abuse, but he's demoted and given a dishonerable disharge.

I'd like to know the names/titles of the participants in the investigation and judical review. Would there be an appeals process and what would it be called?

And what rank should I break him down to. Would a general discharge be more believable? Would a general or dishonerable would be better for the story? Would he have any military benefits if he was a general discharge? Dishonerable?

Thanks in advance!!

Hallen
07-09-2010, 12:18 AM
US ARMY CC THE MILITARY JUSTICE SYSTEM

http://www.stevespages.com/page7c.htm

There is also multiple MP training manuals there that will go over the details of investigations and such.

I don't know the details, but normally such an investigation would not include CID. The first step would be a commander's evaluation and then formal charges.

Also, often, a soldier is offered an "Article 15" option which is basically the soldier admitting guilt and accepting a lessor punishment by the commander. Punishment is limited and I don't think a dishonorable discharge would be an option under Article 15.

A dishonorable is the worst possible outcome for discharge, but would be the norm if he were to spend any time in Leavenworth. He would be busted to PV1 and sent to the pen. After his term is up, he'll be put out with a dishonorable.

There is also a "other than honorable" discharge that can be given under lessor cases. It's also bad if anybody ever bothers to check. A general discharge is no big deal. It could mean for medical reasons, unfit for duty, a conscientious objector, etc.

Anyway, that link will give you most of what you need; you'll just have to do a bit of studying. :)

jclarkdawe
07-09-2010, 02:32 AM
You really need to start at Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse - Wikipedia, the free ... (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse) and then do a lot of research. This is a complicated area, and you need to have a better idea how the system works. Then we can figure out what you need to accomplish what you want for your plot.


I have a character, army reservist on active duty in Iraq. He has been framed regarding prisoner abuse. While under investigation (would it be CID if it's in theater?) he's injured in an auto accident (Hummer rolled) and it's alledge he was DUI at the time. Do your research on Abu Ghraib and you'll discover the procedure for investigation. The DUI depends a lot upon how much good time credit he has going for him. Is this his first offense or has he a history of minor infractions?

He's an E-7 Sargent First Class. While he's stateside in a VA hospital he's railroaded thru the judical system. There are many things you can say about the military justice system, but you can't "railroad" someone through it. Doesn't happen. Military members have more rights than a normal criminal defendant. And every one of those rights have to be checked off. Never proved he was involved in prisoner abuse, but he's demoted and given a dishonerable disharge. They could discharge through an administrative hearing, but there's no way the Army is going to lose this type of case. They're going to have evidence that proves beyond any possible doubt, never mind reasonable doubt. One thing about the military is that their investigations are thorough. You might be an example to be subject to being laughed at by the rest of the military, but you will be guilty of what they accused you of.

I'd like to know the names/titles of the participants in the investigation and judical review. Would there be an appeals process and what would it be called? You might want to read THE COURT MARTIAL OF GEORGE ARMSTRONG CUSTER to see a military court martial in action. Dated, but pretty accurate still. Appeals process depends upon what type of court martial he received. And you can find out the participants in the investigation from Abu Ghraib.

And what rank should I break him down to. Would a general discharge be more believable? No. Very hard to get. Would a general or dishonerable would be better for the story? Would he have any military benefits if he was a general discharge? Dishonerable? No benefits for dishonorable (which has two "o" in it). He's only marginally eligible for a general, and there's no way anybody is going to give him one.

Thanks in advance!!

I don't know who is framing him. Railroading would take Pentagon level interference and even then I doubt you could do it. The defense side of military justice is an independent command, and not answerable to a whole hell of a lot of people. Sliding on a case would involve some severe consequences to your ability to be promoted.

Military justice is weird and funky, but overall, it's not a bad deal.

And someone accused of prisoner abuse would almost definitely get a free civilian attorney. Although it is clear that the soldiers convicted for Abu Ghraib were guilty, it is very unclear whether command knew about it. If someone could find some evidence that George Bush the second or Dick Cheney knew about it, there are some people who would be in heaven.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

Noah Body
07-09-2010, 02:50 AM
In addition to what the other boys have said, I would like to mention this just in case it wasn't a typo in your OP:

It's spelled sergeant, not sargent. :)

(And in the Army, they're called Humvees, not Hummers.)

Linda Adams
07-09-2010, 03:44 AM
CID would be in theater. We had a serious incident involving an E-7 during the first Persian Gulf War. Two men from CID showed up and interviewed everyone involved.

Also, if this is useful--when I was stationed at Fort Lewis, a very messy whistle blowing story popped up. You can find a few stories online (http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19920814&slug=1507393), here (http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19920814&slug=1507393), & here (http://www.hackworth.com/21jun94.html) about it. Also documented in more detail in the book Revitalizing America (http://books.google.com/books?id=q9z4yBHWbUUC&pg=PA83&lpg=PA83&dq=paul+paine+fort+lewis&source=bl&ots=gwtfAOGXqr&sig=kRxh3yjIChbSO4IuaMFuAKQFTmY&hl=en&ei=8m02TIewGcT6lwfH0bnVBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CDUQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=paul%20paine%20fort%20lewis&f=false).


His house was "bombed" with "inflammable material" by an aircraft, his mailbox "exploded" from a "letter bomb," his dog "poisoned," his car "slammed off the road" and his phone rang off the hook, not with thank you messages but with "death threats."

We had a paper on Fort Lewis that reported on military news but was a private newspaper, so it reported on this story over a period of at least five or six years. According to them, if memory serves, after the soldier got a bad eval, the post commander was told by IG to correct the eval. He refused, saying something like, "I question this soldier's integrity." Right before I left Fort Lewis, we did a change of command, and a new post commander came in. Almost the last thing I read in that newspaper was that this sergeant got two retroactive promotions and retired.

Maybe the above will give you some interesting ideas.

Elaine Margarett
07-09-2010, 04:42 PM
Thanks everyone for the links. After posting I downloaded a bunch of info on Court Martials and CID investigations. I'll also follow up on the additional link/info.

While at the JPED (Joint Personnel Effects Depot) we had several incidents involving CID; murder investigations, suicides, drug trafficing, etc.

Remember that iconic photo of prisoner abuse of the Iraqi prisoner cowering in fear while a large German shepherd straining at the end of the leash? In my story, it's my guy's dog, but not him at the end of the leash. (You can't see who's holding the dog in the photo.) And in my story the dog isn't a patrol dog, but an explosives detection dog. Of course the prisoner doesn't know that. And if you recall in the photo, the dog wasn't exhibiting aggressive behavior. While clearly the dog is being used to terrify the man, the dog's body language is fairly neutral in the photo

And yes, Humvee, not hummer. It's sad to say but we had dozens of soliders/marines killed or hurt in rollovers, some combat related, some not.

Thanks Again!