Friday, April 17, 2009

Gov't Asks for En Banc NMCCA Reconsideration in Chessani

Navy-Marine Corps Appellate Government asked NMCCA for En Banc reconsideration in United States v. Chessani, the unlawful command influence case involving the court-martial of LtCol Chessani for alleged failings in investigating killings in Haditha in November 2005. Here is a link to the motion. See full CAAFlog coverage of the facts of the case here and here.

Essentially the government motion says, yes, we did provide compelling evidence to rebut the improper flow down of UCI taint--which really isn't a basis for en banc reconsideration. Thus, Appellate Government also argues that because the investigating officer in the Haditha investigation (the source of the UCI taint) and the MARCENT SJA were relative equals in the command structure (though different ranks), that NMCCA has created a new breed of "lateral" taint in UCI cases.

Counsel for LtCol Chessani tells us, "the government doesn't know when it has lost." We'll see if he proves correct.


Anonymous said...

It does make a great Fitrep bullet for the 0-6 SJA, "this officer is so good he was able to unlawfully influence a 4 star commander.".

Anonymous said...

It actually is about the 0-6 influencing the 0-5

Anonymous said...

The same O-5 who tried to influence the IO.

Lt. Col. Riggs allegedly criticized Ware for being too harsh in assessing the prosecution’s case against Sharratt. After Ware filed his report, General Mattis dismissed charges against Sharratt. In an August Email to several attorneys, Ware wrote, “I viewed Lt. Col. Riggs’ comments as inappropriate and imprudent….I was…offended and surprised by this conversation.”
Riggs recused himself from the Tatum case “to make sure there was no appearance of impropriety”.

Anonymous said...

The government may not, according to the defense counsel, know when they've lost but these charges were not dismissed with prejudice. Regardless of the NMCCA decision and a CAAF appeal (we ALL know that's where it will go) the charges are easily fixable.

Anonymous said...

"easily fixable?"

If the gov go to CAAF, which they will, and lose, which they will, the Commandant has to find a new CA, and that new CA would have to decide on bringing "easily fixable" charges. By that time LtCol Chessani would have been on legal hold over 4 years-perhaps closer to 5.

If this was so "easily fixable" one would assume they would have easily fixed it by now.

Anonymous said...

Or one would assume the government thought the MJ was incorrect. As such the government has the right to appeal (despite the fact that it may be quicker to choose a different course of action).

And yes, finding a new CA would be a fix and that seems to be pretty easy. Or do you really think that after all this the government will give Lt. Col. Chessani and end of tour award and a retirement?

Anonymous said...


Chessani is being made the fall guy and the MJ was wrong, but who really cares about the truth.

Anonymous said...

***Or do you really think that after all this the government will give Lt. Col. Chessani and end of tour award and a retirement?***

Yes, if this stretches out another five years they will. In place of the bronze star every other O-5 who has ever been near a FOB gets, he will get a plaque presented after a few beers and pizzas in the back room of a Pizza Hut, but after the current crop of General Os moves on the system will let him off. The case just has to stall for a few more years.