As Military Justice Becomes Politicized, Is the “Entire System Fraudulent”?


The scales of military justice might tilt as the Pentagon, Congress, and the White House mobilize against sexual assault among the troops, McClatchy Newspapers report. Put another way, it will get tougher for defendants; maybe, some fear, unlawfully so. “What we are seeing now is the complete politicization of military justice in a way that would have shocked the members of Congress who passed the Uniform Code of Military Justice,” said Marine Corps Reserves Maj. Babu Kaza, a prominent military attorney. Dozens of Marine Corps sexual assault cases from North Carolina to California already have been roiled by defense claims of unlawful command influence due to tough talk by military leaders. The claims target the unique vulnerability of military courts to a superior officer's will. Military judges question an Air Force program that provides alleged victims with special legal assistance. Even the scope of the military sexual-assault problem is an issue, as it's subject to both underreporting and overstatement. “If commanders, military judges, military lawyers and members of a military jury must now accept that politically unpopular military-justice decisions will draw the condemnation of our civilian leadership, and possibly have a negative impact on their careers, then the entire system is fraudulent,” Kaza said.

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