- - Thursday, September 12, 2013

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

It was interesting to read the explanation for Gen. James F. Amos‘ frustration with the decision of Lt. Gen. Waldhauser not to “crush” the Marines (“Marine Corps drops Taliban urination desecration case; commandant saves face,” Web, Sept. 7). Perhaps it was the same kind of frustration the Marines felt when the enemy had blown one of their comrades away and hung his leg from a tree.

In that case, the Marines urinated on the dead enemy — an act for which they were prosecuted and penalized. Yet the commandant, Gen. Amos, gets to secretly fire the neutral magistrate who insisted on being fair to these Marines, and then, when called to account for that unlawful behavior by the best judge in the Navy-Marine Corps, Gen. Amos arranged to pull the charges. This denies Capt. James V. Clement the right of due process, a jury and an independent judge guaranteed him by the Constitution he fought to defend.

Nowhere else in our system of justice, neither state nor federal, is the accuser allowed to fire the judge who disagrees with him or arrange to abort the proceedings when the accuser is called to account. Congress is right to question and change the power of convening authorities under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

JOHN M. DOWD

Pro bono counsel

to Capt. James V. Clement, U.S. Marine Corps

Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP

Washington

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