Thursday, March 27, 2014

Exclusive:Recording Shows that Army Punished Soldiers Who Asked for Help

After three combat tours, Sgt. Dennis Tackett was kicked out of the Army for punching a man in the face while drunk. It didn’t matter that he had been diagnosed with PTSD (by the Army) and had tried to get help (from the Army) for the drinking it led to. It didn’t matter that he was in the late stages of a medical discharge that would get him out soon anyway — with benefits. What mattered to the commanding general at Fort Carson, Colo., who spoke to him that day in November 2012 was that he had tried to fight the discharge with the help of a pair of civilian watchdogs, Georg-Andreas Pogany and Robert Alvarez.

“If you had not gotten involved with those advocates, it would have gone differently,” Tackett remembers the commander, Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, telling him. Anderson is now commander of Fort Bragg, N.C.

A recording obtained by Al Jazeera America suggests Tackett and soldiers like him were retaliated against because of an increasingly rancorous relationship between commanders at Fort Carson and the civilian advocates.

Read the entire story here.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Two Cases, One Conclusion on Military Justice

Senator Kirsten E. Gillibrand, the New York Democrat who failed to push a bill through Congress that would have removed military commanders from the prosecution of sexual assault cases, has said it is “like your brother committing the sexual assault and having your father decide whether to prosecute.”
Read the entire story here.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Death Anniversary

Sgt. Patrick Rust was assigned to the 10th Mountain Division headquartered at Fort Drum, New York. He picked up a rifle and defended our way of life against the terrorists who want to destroy it. He was our soldier, his mom and dad’s son, our friend and neighbor, central New York’s very own defender. He survived deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, only to die mysteriously right here in his own country, not far from where he was born.
Patrick went missing from a bar – ironically named Clueless – in Watertown, New York on March 16, 2007. Six months later his remains were found in a farmer’s field over seven miles from the bar and the apartment he was staying at in Watertown. It is unknown how he got to that location. He didn’t have a car and it’s doubtful he’d have walked there on a cold March night. He wasn’t robbed and his remains showed no trauma. His cause and manner of death remain undetermined.
So what happened to Patrick Rust, our soldier, our son, our friend and neighbor? Did you see him that night? Do you know where he went after leaving the Clueless and who with? Do you know how he got to that farmer’s field? Do you know somebody who does know?
Please central New Yorkers, help us find out what happened to Patrick. He went to battle for us. Now we need to explain to his family how he died. They deserve answers. Don’t we owe them that much?
Bill Sullivan, Forensic Consulting Specialties
Denny Griffin, Investigator
If you have any information about this case, contact Judy Rust through this website.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Army widows say Martinez jury tainted

ALBANY — In 2008, when a military jury acquitted a National Guardsman from Rensselaer County of murdering two superior officers in Iraq, it outraged the families of the slain soldiers.

Now the widows of those soldiers contend they know a prime reason behind the acquittal — juror misconduct.

Siobhan Esposito and Barbara Allen say they have learned that a juror on the panel used her military rank to bully lower-ranking jurors and halt deliberations before a verdict was reached in the murder trial of Staff Sgt. Alberto Martinez of Schaghticoke.

Read the rest of the story here.