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DADDY WARBUCKS
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Union stewards must be next....


Pentagon Puts Lawyers on Battlefield
NPR ^ | December 15, 2004 | Kristian Foden-Vencil

Morning Edition, December 15, 2004 ?

Commanders on the ground in Iraq are forced to weigh the risks of civilian casualties against the need to complete their objective. If they make the wrong decision, they could end-up violating the Geneva Conventions or in front of a military tribunal. To prevent this, the Pentagon has started putting lawyers on the battlefield. Kristian Foden-Vencil of Oregon Public Broadcasting reports.
 

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President for Life Field Marshall Doctor Bluedog D
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I was considering Micigan ANG JAG status. I figured I could help soldiers get their affairs squared away and what not, plus force the two E-5s in the family to say "yes sir, Captian sir at the Christmas dinner table, but activation and deployment is a possible outcome I don't wish to endure at this point in my children's lives.
 

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Custer said:
...Commanders on the ground in Iraq are forced to weigh the risks of civilian casualties against the need to complete their objective. If they make the wrong decision, they could end-up violating the Geneva Conventions or in front of a military tribunal. To prevent this, the Pentagon has started putting lawyers on the battlefield.
Sounds like a good idea to me if resources allow. If Lieutenant Calley had acted upon the advice of legal counsel, the My Lai atrocity would never have occurred. If the guards in Bagdad prisons had access to legal advice on how to treat prisoners, the Iraqi prison scandal likely would never have happened, either.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Dzerzhinsky said:
Sounds like a good idea to me if resources allow. If Lieutenant Calley had acted upon the advice of legal counsel, the My Lai atrocity would never have occurred. If the guards in Bagdad prisons had access to legal advice on how to treat prisoners, the Iraqi prison scandal likely would never have happened, either.
I don't buy that Smeg. Those soldiers were rogues that said screw the UCMJ. There are many thousands of soldiers that are over there that aren't participating in such atrocities. I see that not being any different than saying we ought to have lawyers on every corner in ghettos. And, claiming that more lawyers would prevent thugs from being thugs.
 

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Class 07 FFL/SOT
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Attorneys?

If any Soldiers need Legal Advice you can use my Attorney for free......this is her.......she is waiting for you to call...........Don't be shy......she likes soldiers..........
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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The absolute last thing the military needs is a bunch of JAG pogues deciding tactics. Military commanders and senior NCOs already know right from wrong. We sure don't need a bunch of lawyers in the mix with combat troops. They have caused enough problems in civilian life.
 

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Cephus, Pogo, I guess I just don't see this as a BFD if our resources allow this. Agree that legal counsel isn't going to stop any rogues, but I think some folks have gotten into jams when they acted in good faith. Lieutenant Calley I will concede was a terrible example. Here's a better one:

Heard on NPR about a sergeant who was court-martialed and given a DD when his supply convoy cannibalized parts from a vehicle that had been left behind by another unit so they could take enough vehicles to be able to complete their mission (wanted to take parts and tools so they could keep their vehicles moving if there were problems on the road). He was busted for theft, even though his motivation was successful completion of his mission and there wasn't the slightest hint of theft for private gain. His military career would not have been destroyed by good-faith actions had he had access to an attorney for advice.
 

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Mystic Knight of the Sea
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Smeg,

I heard about that, but don't have all the details readily available. First, you don't cannibalize vehicles from another unit to fix yours. But, he could have gotten by with that under special circumstances such as combat operations with nothing more than a scolding. From what I read, he got way more than was necessary, and after the operation was over that he originally got the parts for, he went back and got even more.

I remember stealing a cab top off of another vehicle so I wouldn't drown during the monsoon season. My unit commander asked me where I got that cause he knew mine was shredded, but before I could answer, he said "don't tell me, I don't want to know". :D

My take on that Sergeant, was that he went far beyond that. Again, I don't know for sure cause I don't have all the details.
 

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In Nam (1969) I had four slick tires on my jeep and could not get new ones........so three of my young E-5 Sergeants borrowed my jeep and when they returned the jeep it had four new tires w/wheels..........don't know where they got them and I damn sure didn't ask. I would guess that some O-6 wound up with four slick tires on his jeep.:biggrin:
 

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I don't have the details, either. It's hard for me to justify giving him a DD, though - even without any details, there doesn't appear to be any question of whether he did it for personal gain. Had he done it for personal gain, I could see giving him a DD, otherwise I think much less draconian disciplinary action would be in order.

[Tangentially-related aside: Eike initially formed the Totenkompf (sp?) Division, i.e. the Death's Head Division, of the Waffen SS completely illegally from vehicles, weapons, and materiel stolen from Wermacht supply depots, generally using forged requisition orders. He was supposed to be using his men just as guards at concentration camps.]
 

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Cephus, your story seems to illustrate, as does mine, that the real problem may rest with folks getting draconian punishments from courts martial that seem to not know how to exercise any judgment.

Maybe the attorneys would be better utilized as consultants to courts martial: Most attorneys I've known are pragmatists with good judgment.
 
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