Sunday, April 5, 2020

David Ignatius on the Crozier case

USS Paul Ignatius (DDG 117)
The Washington Post's David Ignatius must have a terrific rolodex. Here's his account of the firing of Captain Brett E. Crozier, erstwhile commanding officer of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

Mr. Ignatius knows a thing or two about the Navy. His father, Paul Ignatius, was Secretary of the Navy and has a destroyer named after him.


Carol Rosenberg reports here in The New York Times on the culture of secrecy at the Guantánamo military commissions. "The war court where the men accused of plotting the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are on trial operates under classification rules that are inconsistent, complex and sometimes absurd."

Saturday, April 4, 2020

A Jehovah's Witness is jailed for draft evasion in Tajikistan

A military court in Tajikistan has jailed a draftee who refused to perform military service. Details here, courtesy of Forum 18. Excerpt:
Asked in late February why [Jovidon] Bobojonov faces criminal prosecution for refusing military service on grounds of conscience, Investigator Mekhrubon Ibrahimzoda of Dushanbe's Military Prosecutor's Office claimed that the Defence Ministry gave Bobojonov "the option to serve in a special battalion, where they do not take up arms but do construction work. He refused this, which is why a criminal case was opened". Called again in mid-March, Ibrahimzoda put the phone down.

In defiance of its international human rights obligations, and despite repeated requests from the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Tajikistan has not introduced a possibility for a genuinely civilian alternative service to the military conscription imposed on young men.

Sodik Shonazarov, Senior Advisor of the Legal Policy Section of the Presidential Administration, refused to explain why – despite government claims - no law introducing alternative civilian service appears to be in preparation. "You can call back tomorrow, what is the hurry?" he told Forum 18. He then refused to answer when Forum 18 asked why Tajikistan was so swift to arrest and prosecute conscientious objectors such as Bobojonov, and so slow to act on repeated Human Rights Committee recommendations in 2004, 2013, and 2019.

COVID-19 and military whistleblowing (Captain Crozier's case)

Stephen M. Kohn
Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto
Stephen M. Kohn, a nationally-known expert in the law of whistleblower protection, has written this National Law Review essay examining whether Captain Brett E. Crozier, commanding officer (until the other day) of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71), is protected from retaliation. "Far from justifying the removal of Captain Crozier, Acting Secretary [Thomas B.] Modly's public justification for taking his unprecedented action against a Navy officer, who attempted to protect the lives of persons under his command, actually constituted admissions of wrongdoing."

The governing statute is the Military Whistleblower Protection Act.

What would TR himself have done? His great-grandson, Professor Tweed Roosevelt, has an inkling in The New York Times.

Friday, April 3, 2020

COVID-19 and military justice (USS Theodore Roosevelt)

“To our commanding officers, it would be a mistake to view this decision as somehow not supportive of your duty to report problems, request help, protect your crews, challenge assumptions as you see fit.”*

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas B. Modly
as reported here in The New York Times

* The ship's crew had a different take.