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Air Force general to retire after criticism for handling of sexual-assault case
Washington Post ^ | 1/8/2014 | Craig Whitlock

Posted on 01/08/2014 1:19:52 PM PST by markomalley

A three-star Air Force general whose handling of sexual-assault cases drew withering criticism from advocacy groups and some lawmakers retired under pressure Wednesday.

Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, the commander of the Third Air Force in Europe, acknowledged that he had become a “distraction” for the Air Force for his controversial decision to overturn a sexual-assault conviction of a star fighter pilot and for a separate case in which he decided there was not enough evidence to court-martial an accused rapist.

In a statement, Franklin said he was retiring “for the good of this command and the Air Force” because of persistent doubts over his impartiality in overseeing sex-abuse investigations.

“Public scrutiny will likely occur on every subsequent case I deal with,” Franklin said. “The last thing I want in this command is for people to feel they cannot bring a sexual assault case forward or feel like it won’t be dealt with fairly.”

Franklin’s decision to give clemency to a convicted fighter pilot at Aviano Air Base in Italy last February helped spark a national debate over sexual assault in the armed forces and about whether military leaders took the problem seriously enough.

The pilot, Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, had been found guilty in November by an all-male jury in what was seen as a test case of the Air Force’s willingness to tackle such crimes. But Franklin’s decision to toss out the conviction infuriated many female lawmakers and advocacy groups, who said the outcome would discourage victims from reporting abuse.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government
KEYWORDS: militarypurge

1 posted on 01/08/2014 1:19:52 PM PST by markomalley
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To: markomalley

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/3109201/posts


2 posted on 01/08/2014 1:21:30 PM PST by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: markomalley

Another victim of the purge. No one in the administration cares about due process or integrity, only their agenda.


3 posted on 01/08/2014 1:46:31 PM PST by pfflier
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To: pfflier
Another victim of the purge. No one in the administration cares about due process or integrity, only their agenda.

Did you read the article?

4 posted on 01/08/2014 2:22:33 PM PST by verga (Poor spiritual health often leads to poor physical and mental health)
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To: markomalley; MestaMachine; Rushmore Rocks; Oorang; sweetiepiezer; Velveeta; Art in Idaho; ...
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Article, also check out link at # 2 for Boston Globe opinion.

.

5 posted on 01/08/2014 2:25:07 PM PST by LucyT ( If you're NOT paranoid, you don't know what's going on.)
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To: LucyT

And another of our top military people bites the dust. The plan is working!


6 posted on 01/08/2014 2:26:01 PM PST by DaveA37
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To: markomalley
860. ART. 60. ACTION BY THE CONVENING AUTHORITY (Excerpted from the UCMJ)

---(3) Action on the findings of a court-martial by the convening authority or other person acting on the sentence is not required. However, such person, in his sole discretion, may--

(A) dismiss any charge or specification by setting aside a finding of guilty thereto; or

(B) change a finding of guilty to a charge or specification to a finding of guilty to an offense that is a lesser included offense of the offense stated in the charge or specification.

(d) Before acting under this section on any general court- martial case or any special court-martial case that includes a bad-conduct discharge, the convening authority or other person taking action under this section shall obtain and consider the written recommendation of his staff judge advocate or legal officer. The convening authority or other person taking action under this section shall refer the record of trial to his staff judge advocate or legal officer, and the staff judge advocate or legal officer shall use such record in the preparation of his recommendation. The recommendation of the staff judge advocate or legal officer shall include such matters as the President may prescribe by regulation and shall be served on the accused, who may submit any matter in response under subsection ---

Did the General comply with this Article of the UCMJ? Did the SJA recommend he set aside the conviction for some reason? Or, did the General "consider" the SJA's recommendation on not setting aside the conviction and reject it?

If the General did not comply with this Article, then I can rightfully understand him being removed.

I think the key question here is; What did the SJA recommend?

7 posted on 01/08/2014 2:35:09 PM PST by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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To: LucyT

Makes more sense to abolish the media starting with the boston globe.


8 posted on 01/08/2014 2:49:41 PM PST by azishot
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To: verga
Yes I did and what troubles me most are the following quotes:

"But Franklin’s decision to toss out the conviction infuriated many female lawmakers and advocacy groups," ...

and

"Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), who had repeatedly urged the Air Force to fire Franklin, said the commander had created an atmosphere (broken no law) in which “no matter how you look at it, victims could not feel completely comfortable with reporting these crimes.”

Neither of these relate to the legal merits of what he did (and it is a commander's perogatove to review findings under the UCMJ.) Instead they are based in social commentary and special interest agendas.

When you read the article didn't you see that as troublesome?

9 posted on 01/08/2014 2:57:28 PM PST by pfflier
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To: pfflier

Those two quotes jumped out at me as well. Looking for a scapegoat.


10 posted on 01/08/2014 3:06:47 PM PST by MestaMachine (My caps work. You gotta earn them.)
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To: MestaMachine
Yes, I'm not sure I have ever felt "completely comfortable" in any aspect of my workplace military or civilian. IMO that is impossible to attain.
11 posted on 01/08/2014 3:45:31 PM PST by pfflier
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To: pfflier

Another victim of the purge. No one in the administration cares about due process or integrity, only their agenda.

***
Bingo!


12 posted on 01/08/2014 4:19:48 PM PST by Bigg Red (Let the lying lips be dumb, which speak insolently against the righteous in pride and contempt.--Ps3)
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To: markomalley

Are there enough purged military personnel to form their own army yet?


13 posted on 01/08/2014 4:22:48 PM PST by BykrBayb (Somewhere, my flower is there. ~ Þ)
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To: pfflier
When you read the article didn't you see that as troublesome?

PF, I do not know the particulars of the case, but I think we are way past the day and age where the truth matters. If the General did exactly what he was supposed to do, and it angers the feminists, it just confirms it. I find it hard to believe a General would knowingly and deliberately, risk everything he has ever worked for, to do the wrong thing. I would suspect there are some here on FR who are not troubled by this, but probably not many.

14 posted on 01/08/2014 4:40:41 PM PST by Mark17 (Chicago Blackhawks: Stanley Cup champions 2010, 2013. Vietnam Veteran, 70-71)
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To: markomalley

Franklin was commander of the 31st FW from 2007 to 2009. I was assigned to Aviano AB and PCS’ed back to the States in May ‘09. I’m surprised he made it to 3 star. His family was very controversial. His wife had parking plaques made up that stated ‘Spouse General’ and would get her own parking spots on Base. Pissed a lot of people off. His daughter had been caught in the dorms and caught coming through the gate with drugs in her vehicle. A few of us when we greeted him would address him as Col instead of Gen because he was frocked and wearing the Generals rank. He used to get mad....lol. I don’t have any love lost for the man.


15 posted on 01/08/2014 5:10:58 PM PST by Getsmart64
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To: markomalley

Purge-a-ding-a-ding-dong.


16 posted on 01/08/2014 5:15:58 PM PST by bgill
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To: pfflier

Anthing that involves McCaskill I automatically chalk up to twisted spin and fiction. She’s the one who’s been pushing to do away with the NBC requirement long before the usurper came on stage.


17 posted on 01/08/2014 5:18:21 PM PST by bgill
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To: pfflier
When you read the article didn't you see that as troublesome?

I found this from the article more troubling: Franklin’s description of the pilot as a model husband were also undercut when another woman surfaced to accuse Wilkerson of committing adultery and fathering a child out of wedlock years earlier. The Air Force subsequently confirmed the allegation and forced Wilkerson to retire.

the court found him guilty, the general set the verdict aside based on his "feelings." Then it turns out the guy is a first class philanderer.

18 posted on 01/08/2014 5:21:54 PM PST by verga (Poor spiritual health often leads to poor physical and mental health)
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To: verga
Until "Years ago" is quantified I would reserve judgement of the defendent being a philanderer, as you put it.

One unanswered aspect of the issue is: "Was it his current wife he cheated on"? Many career AF officers have been divorced because of the demands of their duty. It would be human nature to troll during a divorce.

Also if you lived in the 80's and part of the 09's, fidelity wasn't exactly a strong suit in social mores.

I am not claiming this to be the case, but nothing in the story says it isn't.

19 posted on 01/08/2014 6:10:21 PM PST by pfflier
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To: pfflier

To my view the man has established a pattern and remember the most important thing. the military court convicted him. the general overturned it based on his own personal feelings. Not the facts of the case, his own personal bias.


20 posted on 01/08/2014 7:35:49 PM PST by verga (Poor spiritual health often leads to poor physical and mental health)
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To: verga
"the general overturned it based on his own personal feelings. Not the facts of the case, his own personal bias."

Two things;

1. Please see post #7 where I highlighted the specific section of the UCMJ the General is obligated to comply with and

2. Please cite/provide a source for your comment.

Thanks.

21 posted on 01/09/2014 9:31:52 AM PST by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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To: SZonian
From the article: Franklin initially gave no reason for granting clemency in the Wilkerson case. But after his decision received widespread media coverage, he released a six-page letter to defend himself.

He explained that after reviewing the case file, he had nagging doubts about the victim’s credibility. He also said he had a hard time believing that the accused pilot could have committed “the egregious crime of sexually assaulting a sleeping woman,” given that he was “a doting father and husband” who had been selected for promotion.

If he had done it based on the facts of the case fine, but he had been convicted by a Jury of his peers. From the Article: The pilot, Lt. Col. James Wilkerson, had been found guilty in November 2012 by an all-male jury in what was seen as a test of the Air Force’s willingness to tackle such crimes.

22 posted on 01/09/2014 10:36:06 AM PST by verga (Poor spiritual health often leads to poor physical and mental health)
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To: verga

Thanks, but again, did the General consult with the legal staff as directed by the UCMJ? Did the legal staff present some proof or evidence as well that may have contributed to the General’s doubts?

The UCMJ permits a convening authority the right to set aside a conviction, regardless of whether the accused was convicted by a jury of peers...so even if we disagree with the General, the feminists, etc...the General was still within his rights to exercise the set aside.

If and I qualify this statement with IF, the General failed to comply with the UCMJ, then I agree that he deserved what happened. However, facts are sticky things and the media has proven time and again that inconvenient facts will be omitted from the story.

I’m beginning to wonder if the General is falling on his sword to protect the legal staff who may have presented a recommendation that he acted on.

And I do suspect the case being tainted in the sense that it was “seen as a test of willingness to tackle such crimes.” I would be a tad apprehensive about being the defendant in such a “case”. Wouldn’t you?


23 posted on 01/09/2014 11:57:01 AM PST by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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To: SZonian
I would be a tad apprehensive about being the defendant in such a “case”. Wouldn’t you?

I agree and I normally don't trust the media at all, but it just seemed peculiar that the jury convicted him, the general set it aside and then the other allegations come out.

How many times have we seen stories on FR and everyone is all jacked up about the mean old boss, or the crazy bus driver etc.... and it turns out that they did the right thing. I was just saying I wanted to hear the whole story, and it seemed the general did not have the whole story.

24 posted on 01/09/2014 3:03:50 PM PST by verga (Poor spiritual health often leads to poor physical and mental health)
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To: verga

My distrust of the media leads me to question everything...everything.

I have also learned to no longer make snap judgements because of that...as you alluded to, it’s quite embarrassing to find out the whole story and not the partial one.

Like you, I am looking for the whole story...I just haven’t seen anything that mentions whether the General complied with the UCMJ article...I don’t understand why this hasn’t been mentioned as it would be, IMO, a major component of the story.

I think we’re burning the candle from both ends here...;^)


25 posted on 01/09/2014 3:15:09 PM PST by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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