FROM Gene Fidell
West Point Investigates Its Black Female Cadets The few black women cadets at West Point are being investigated for political activity banned by the military — after making a gesture with a long and storied history. There are just 17 black women in this year's graduating class at West Point — a tiny percentage. All but one posed for a picture at the Academy's oldest barracks in traditional gray dress uniforms complete with crossed sabers. But that's not all. All 16 raised their clenched fists. For that, they're being investigated for possibly violating the military rule against political activity while in uniform. Eugene Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School, questions the need for the investigation.
Flurry of Questions about Bergdahl Release On Saturday, President Obama announced the return of the only American soldier known to be held prisoner in Afghanistan. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was traded for five Taliban detainees at Guantanamo Bay. But the deal is not going down well with some of Bergdahl's former comrades — or with everybody in Congress. Bergdahl disappeared from his post in Afghanistan five years ago. A US Army division and thousands of Afghan soldiers and police spent weeks trying to find him. Was he a deserter? Absent without leave? Did the US negotiate with terrorists to secure his release? Eugene Fidell teaches military justice at the Yale School of Law.
Is the Pentagon Losing the War against Sex Crimes? At the White House last week, the Commander in Chief expressed support for soldiers who have been sexually assaulted. But there's evidence that such assaults are increasing and that victims have lost confidence in military justice, partly because of the chain of command. High-profile cases of commanders overturning court-martial convictions have members of Congress calling for change, but the Pentagon is concerned about a system of discipline based on the requirements of combat. We hear from a former Marine officer who was raped, a congresswoman who's calling for action and from skeptics who warn against moving too fast.
Bradley Manning, Whistle-blower or Traitor? Army private Bradley Manning is now facing court-martial at Ft. Meade, Maryland on charges of aiding the enemy and espionage, among others. In a recent pre-trial hearing, Manning admitted he's the source of the 700,000 military and government documents uploaded to the Wikileaks website three years ago. The documents caused a sensation, and sparked dozens of stories in the press about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and US secret diplomatic activity around the world. Manning's admissions could get him twenty years. The government's charges of aiding the enemy and espionage could get him life without parole. Is he a traitor, as his detractors say or a whistle-blower hero, as his supporters call him? Is the mainstream press even covering his case?
Bradley Manning: Hero or Criminal? The pre-trial hearing is almost over in the biggest leak of classified documents in American history. Pfc. Bradley Manning is accused of giving a massive trove of information to WikiLeaks, which published some on line. Was US security damaged? If Manning was the leaker, did he betray his country or tell the public what it needed to know? If a court martial convicts him should he get life in prison? And there’s a broader question. Since much of the information released was inconsequential, why was it classified at all?
Bradley Manning and Government Secrecy The pre-trial hearing is almost over in the biggest leak of classified documents in American history. Pfc. Bradley Manning is accused of giving a massive trove of information to WikiLeaks, which published some on line. Was US security damaged? If Manning was the leaker, did he betray his country or tell the public what it needed to know? If a court martial convicts him should he get life in prison? And there’s a broader question. Since much of the information released was inconsequential, why was it classified at all?
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
The Trump agenda: where's the beef? President Trump says big things are happening. After celebrating a House bill on health care, he doesn’t yet have Senate agreement. With James Comey’s public testimony scheduled tomorrow, the President today tweeted his selection of a new FBI Director. Is the Chief Executive all style and no substance? Later, terror attacks in Iran and conflicting claims about who’s behind them.