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Murtha is still spineless, still denying rights of the accused
A few people that have left comments on the pervious Murtha entries that I can’t avoid writing about. In order to save time and space, I will not blockquote each comment. However, the same theme of Murtha being correct about the incident in Iraq exists in them all. Sadly, the people who responded with the “Murtha is right” idea missed the boat on the entire point of the pieces.
Over two hundred years ago, a group of men declared themselves and the rest of the American colonies free of British rule and in doing so wrote the single greatest basic framework for any government. That writing, the Constitution, was amended to include basic rights that all Americans possess.
Amendment V of the Bill of Rights (emphasis mine).
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Last I checked, Murtha was not a Grand Jury, nor is he a member of the Grand Jury.
Since the accused are members of the armed forces, another set of laws applies to them. In some cases, the Uniform Code of Military Justice is much more strict, and in other cases it provides the same rights to military members as does the Constitution to all Americans. In this case, the same rights apply.
Article 32, section A of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (emphasis mine).
No charge or specification may be referred to a general court-martial for trial until a through and impartial investigation of all the matters set forth therein has been made. This investigation shall include inquiry as to the truth of the matter set forth in the charges, consideration of the form of charges, and recommendation as to the disposition which should be made of the case in the interest of justice and discipline.
Murtha didn’t conduct a through and impartial investigation, nor does he have the authority to under Article 32 of the UCMJ now that he is retired.
I hope those who commented before are paying attention now, because the boat has come back to pick you up. Pay close attention this time, please? Murtha violated the rights of the accused by running to the press. That is why I have taken offence to his statements and that is also why I refuse to retract anything I have said or change my opinion.
If you don’t learn or remember anything about this event, remember this. Just because someone may be correct does not entitle him to strip away the rights of those whom they accuse.