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?
Is Venezuela becoming a dictatorship? Venezuela may have the world's largest oil reserves, but it's a nation in trouble… economically and politically. Is a populist promise to rescue democracy turning out to be a prelude to dictatorship?
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?