By Don Brown
When I served as a Navy prosecutor in the early 1990s, the military justice system served America well. We stood alongside warfighting commanders to instill good order and discipline, with a goal of victory in combat.
If a Marine did not report for duty, we prosecuted him. If a sailor disobeyed a lawful order, a court-martial followed. If a Bo Bergdahl deserted the Army and conspired with the enemy while Americans died looking for him, we would prosecute the hell out of him and then throw away the key.
All of this supported a sharp, buffed-up, well-oiled military without extra fat, built to defeat the enemy.
How things have changed.
These days, corrupt military investigators and prosecutors follow a simple formula: prosecute a high-profile case, make national news, and then punch your ticket when you leave the Judge Advocate General’s Corps.
The system should help commanders win America’s wars, not prosecute America’s warriors for snap-judgment actions on the battlefield.
This prosecutorial ambition is only part of the cancer. Outright corruption is a bigger problem.
This month in San Diego, Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s defense team exposed tons of prosecutorial corruption, revealing that Navy prosecutors spied on defense lawyers. (Gallagher is on trial for the “murder” of an Islamic State terrorist.) They made a mockery of the Fourth Amendment. Defense attorney Tim Parlatore also exposed Navy criminal investigators in the process.
Read Don Brown’s full op-ed here.