Military Officers Used As Pawns by U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill

Senior military officers are repeatedly being used as pawns in the political campaign that is U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) War on Men in the Military.

McCaskill News Release 1-17-14

In my inbox this morning, I received another news release from Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) as she wages her “War on Men in the Military.”

Via email today, I received yet another in a constant stream of news releases from the office of the Show-Me State’s senior senator in Washington.  An excerpt the news release appears below:

Former sex crimes prosecutor and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today met with Major General Jeffrey Snow, the new director of the Department of Defense Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office (SAPRO), to discuss implementing a series of aggressive, historic reforms addressing sexual assault that were passed into law last month.

McCaskill and Snow also addressed recent statistics that showed a 50 percent increase in reporting in the 2013 fiscal year. Advocates who successfully pushed for changes to the military justice system—including McCaskill—have near-universal agreement that increases in reporting of these crimes will represent progress in the effort to curb them.

“The numbers show that these reforms may already be starting to work, but we have to continue being vigilant in addressing these crimes,” said McCaskill, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Maj. Gen. Snow understands that his job will be incredibly difficult, and he knows he will be under an enormous amount of pressure from me, my colleagues, and the American people to get this right. Retaining a limited role for commanders, while instituting these historic reforms, is the key to curbing sexual assaults in the military, and the key to getting justice for our nations heroes.”

IF all of the claims Senator McCaskill makes in today’s news release were true, then I might be inclined to support her campaign for military justice system reforms.  Unfortunately, however, they’re not!  Instead, they’re just as biased and full of misinformation as those made in a news release I received from her office via email three days ago (see photo below) and in entries on her website page dedicated to this topic.

Photo from Sen. McCaskill News Release 1-14-14.

This photo shows “Claire Bear” meeting earlier this week with Maj. Gen. Margaret Woodward, the outgoing head of the Air Force Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, and Brig. Gen. Gina Grosso, who has been tasked with filling Woodward’s position.

IF Senator McCaskill and others of her ilk were willing to actually listen to any of the dozens of victims of the military justice system — men and women alike — who’ve contacted me after reading my book, Three Days In August, she would be shocked by the true stories they share.  And, hopefully, she would rethink her position.  So would you!

For a better understanding of the issues involved, I recommend you read two of my most-recent articles about the War on Men in the Military.

To order, click image above.

To order, click image above.

In one piece, I share the views of military defense attorney Richard Stevens as he drives home the point that “the military justice system is being turned into the military prosecution, or persecution, system in court-martial cases alleging rape and/or sexual assault (UCMJ Article 120).”

In another, I highlight a new book, The Whole Truth: The Tainted Prosecution of an American Fighter Pilot.  Written by retired Air Force Col. Bob Harvey, it dissects the wrongful conviction case involving Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson III and how a three-star general did the right thing when he overturned that conviction.

If you want to read more about the ongoing efforts to degrade the military justice system, I recommend you read my Top 10 Military Justice System Stories of 2013 as well as a piece published 16 months ago in which an experience military defense attorney says he believes 90 percent of military sexual assault cases would be thrown out of civilian courts due to lack of evidence.

To learn the most-minute details about the wrongful prosecution and conviction of one of our nation’s most-elite warriors, add Three Days In August to your library today.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Finally, A Lawyer Makes Sense

In the first paragraph of a piece published two days ago, military defense attorney Richard Stevens drives home the point that “the military justice system is being turned into the military prosecution, or persecution, system in court-martial cases alleging rape and/or sexual assault (UCMJ Article 120).”  And he’s as familiar with the system as anyone after having worked in the system as both a JAG officer and civilian defense attorney.

Richard Stevens Mil Justice 1-10-14

Click image above to read post.

He goes on to point his legal finger at “lawmakers and senior government and military officials who care more about an inaccurate politically correct narrative than the fairness of the military justice system” before describing them as “conspiring to make continued changes to the system to ensure commanders and JAGs have no discretion, or at least don’t dare to exercise what little discretion they may ultimately retain.”

Moving forward, Stevens highlights how two Air Force lieutenant generals — Susan Helms and Craig A. Franklin — saw their three-start careers abruptly ended by elected officials engaged in allowing political correctness to run amok.

Rather than rehash Stevens’ piece in its entirety, however, I simply recommend you read it.

In addition, I recommend you read several pieces in my series, War on Men in the Military.

Finally, if you really want to boost your blood pressure, order a copy of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August, in which I chronicle the life story of Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Stewart and reveal how his career as a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran was ruined by this agenda-driven form of military justice.

WARNING:  Reading this book will make your blood boil.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

‘Innocent Until Proven Guilty’ Foreign to Senator McCaskill

“You have got a wealth of people in the Air Force who understand what this job has to be, and if the allegations in this case are true this was not someone who understood what his job was about,” said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in a news release I received from her office via email today.  “I will be watching very closely who is selected to replace him, because I think this will be one of those times you can send a message.”

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)

The senator was, of course, referring to the job held by Lt. Col. Jeff Krusinski, the officer in charge of the U.S. Air Force’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, until he was arrested during the wee morning hours of May 5, according to a police report published the next day (shown below):

SEXUAL BATTERY, 05/05/13, 500 block of S. 23rd Street. On May 5 at 12:35 am, a drunken male subject approached a female victim in a parking lot and grabbed her breasts and buttocks. The victim fought the suspect off as he attempted to touch her again and alerted police. Jeffrey Krusinski, 41, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with sexual battery. He was held on a $5,000 unsecured bond. 

If Colonel Krusinski is guilty, he should suffer the appropriate punishment.  Until that is determined, however, people like Senator McCaskill — who knows better as a former prosecutor in Jackson County, Mo.– should shut their mouths and remember the presumption that a person is “innocent until proven guilty.”

Unfortunately, Senator McCaskill has a track record of struggling to keep her mouth shut, especially while serving as a mouthpiece in DoD’s War on Men.

As I reported in my April 11 piece, Senator McCaskill Continues Reckless Effort to Undermine Military Justice System, the senator publicly smeared Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson III after his sexual assault conviction was overturned by Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin.

“Rape is the crime of a coward—and rapists in the ranks are masquerading as real members of our military,” Senator McCaskill explained in a March 13 news release, adding, “The focus of our efforts should be on effective prosecution. There’s no reason a General who’s never heard the testimony of factual witnesses should be able to wipe out a verdict with the stroke of a pen.”

Even more unfortunately, she’s been joined in her latest effort by news organizations — see here, here and here as examples — who’ve gone the extra mile to convey a mugshot image of the 41-year-old officer as “already guilty” while making no mentions of important facts about the man.

Neither the senator nor the media outlets mention that, according to this commentary, Colonel Krusinski deployed to Iraq in 2009 to serve as Deputy Expeditionary Mission Support Group Commander at Joint Base Balad.

Likewise, neither mentioned the colonel had been named Air Mobility Command’s Force Support Field Grade Officer of the Year and described as one of AMC’s “superstars” while stationed at MacDill AFB, Fla.

And who cares that he served honorably for more than 21 years!  He might <emphasis added> have committed a misdemeanor sexual assault and, at a minimum, deserves to be treated as innocent until proven guilty.

All that aside, I cannot imagine anyone wanting to replace Colonel Krusinski as chief of SAPRO and a co-conspirator with Senator McCaskill in destroying the military from within.

This is ugly folks.

UPDATE:  A few minutes before publishing this piece, I heard a radio report featuring  President Barack Obama stating, “I have directly spoken directly to Secretary Hagel already today, indicating to him that we’re going to have to not just step up our game – we have to exponentially step up our game to go at this thing hard.”  Reuters confirms the quote.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Air Force General Puts Sexual Assault Case Documents Online

Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin appears as if he’s not going to go down without a fight when it comes to allegations by Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and others that he was wrong to dismiss a sexual assault conviction against Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson III.

General Franklin LR

Lt. Gen. Craig A. Franklin, USAF

Today, the Third Air Force commander who served as convening authority in the case against Colonel Wilkerson made a plethora of case-related documents available to visitors on the Air Force Freedom of Information Act website.

Collectively referred to as the Record of Trial, the list of documents includes all pre-trial, trial and post-trial documents as well as a link to the six-page letter (pdf) General Franklin voluntarily wrote to Secretary of the Air Force Michael B. Donley — which I referenced in an article published Thursday — appears on the site.

Is this an unprecedented move by a convening authority?  I don’t know for sure.  It is, however, a bold move by a general officer who seems to be focused on doing what’s right instead of doing whether it takes to earn a fourth star.  For that, I salute you, General Franklin.

Read more about this case and others I’ve highlighted in my series, DoD’s War on Men.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Air Force Officer Owed Apology by Senator Claire McCaskill

Six days ago, I asked a question, Is DoD Waging War on Men?, and proceeded to highlight the cases of five members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have faced, or will soon face, prosecution on a variety of charges, with most falling under the “sexual assault” umbrella. The following day, I highlighted U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill’s (D-Mo.) desire to see an Air Force general fired for doing the right thing. Today, I offer another sad update on “Claire Bear” and her inexcusable actions, including the fact that she owes an Air Force officer an apology.

Sen. Claire McCaskill

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.)

On Tuesday, Senator McCaskill announced she is proposing legislation to curtail the authority of military commanders to override court-martial convictions involving sexual assault charges and publicized the fact that she had met with Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh “to discuss her ongoing efforts to address sexual assaults in the military.”

Just after 2 p.m. Central, I received a news release from the liberal Democrat in which she virtually screamed out, “Rape is the crime of a coward—and rapists in the ranks are masquerading as real members of our military” before adding, “The focus of our efforts should be on effective prosecution. There’s no reason a General who’s never heard the testimony of factual witnesses should be able to wipe out a verdict with the stroke of a pen.”

Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson III

I’m not a lawyer, but it appears Senator McCaskill owes an apology to Air Force Lt. Col. James H. Wilkerson III, the man whose guilty verdict on a sexual assault charge was overturned by Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, commander of Third Air Force and the convening authority over the case. And she could still face defamation charges afterward!

Upon what do I base my assertion? For starters, the fact that Colonel Wilkerson was never accused of rape by anyone during his prosecution on sexual assault charge at Aviano Air Base, Italy, where he was serving as the 31st Fighter Wing‘s inspector general in November 2012 when he was accused of aggravated sexual assault.

Heck, not even Kim Hanks, the 49-year-old physician’s assistant who took her case public for the first time this morning during a segment broadcast on NBC’s TODAY Show, accused him of rape. So where does Senator McCaskill get off making such slanderous accusation? No doubt, Colonel Wilkerson’s attorneys will ask that question.

Final thought: For anyone, especially residents of the Show-Me State, to claim they’re surprised by Senator McCaskill‘s antics would be disingenuous. Everyone knows she is simply grandstanding and pandering to the far-left in her party. Stay tuned for more as I understand Colonel Wilkerson has hired a very good attorney for Round Two.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Guilty of ‘Phoning It In’: House Veterans Affairs Committee Members Snub Veterans

Almost four months ago, retired Air Force Chief Master Sergeant John Stewart used an online submission tool to convey a message to members of the U.S. House of Representatives Veterans Affairs Committee in Washington, D.C.  A veteran who retired after almost three decades of active-duty service in the world of Air Force Special Operations, Chief Stewart needed to share his observations about that committee’s work.  The response he received today shows members of the committee appear to be ignoring veterans and “phoning it in” from the campaign trail.

Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart stands alongside his father, retired Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Stewart.

On Monday, Feb. 27, at 9:05 p.m. Eastern, the chief clicked “send” on the following message, subject: “Reforming VA’s Flawed Fiduciary System”:

I read with interest notes from the recent The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations (O&I) of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans Affairs regarding the atrocious fiduciary system.  I note there were none of us out here impacted by this flawed system appearing before the oversight hearing.  Afterwards I could not even contact the Chairman because his website refuses anyone not within his political district of responsibility.

Trust me, if you had brought a few of us up there experiencing this system I believe the final decision would have been to completely overhaul, or replace, the current methods. 

As an example I am currently a Member of the Board for our County Advisory Board, Member of the Board for Operation Welcome Home, Editor of two veterans newspapers, webmaster for 7 veterans websites, have performed hundreds if not thousands of funerals for veterans at national and private cemeteries, and more.  Yet I have been declared incompetent and if I had been privileged to relate the story of that process and what has occurred since it would have clearly shown just how flawed this system is.  And, I am only one of many.  Google “veterans fiduciary problems” to prove my point.

I pray you do something to rectify this situation and if any further hearings are planned you bring we little guys up there to tell it like it is.

John Stewart
CMSgt, USAF (ret)

Today at 2:41 p.m. Eastern, Chief Stewart received the less-than-thoughtful reply below from “The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs”:

Dear Mr. Stewart,

Thank you for contacting the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. We depend upon hearing from veterans utilizing VA care and services to better serve your needs here in Congress. As the Committee with jurisdiction over the Department of Veterans Affairs, we thank you for taking the time to provide us with your experience. This information allows us to follow-up directly with VA regarding matters you bring to our attention.

Sincerely,

The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

Apparently, no one on the committee was brave enough to have his name appear below such a weak response during an election year. No surprise there!

I’d say Chief Stewart was more than kind to describe the response as “Absolutely amazing.”  After all of the hardship and sacrifice he and his wife, Renate, have made for this country during the past 30-plus years — including seeing their son, Kelly, wrongly convicted of crimes — one would think he might deserve just a bit more respect.

If you think Chief Stewart and other veterans deserve a little more respect than this reply demonstrates, CONTACT YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS IN WASHINGTON, D.C., and demand they provide it!

UPDATE 6/30/12 at 6:24 p.m. Central:  This New York Times article seems to corroborate how Chief Stewart has described his VA experience during conversations with me.

* * *

Be sure to order a copy of my book about Stewart’s son, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice.  It will make your blood boil just like the news above probably did.

In addition, I invite you check out the website for my upcoming second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. Thanks in advance!