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Government’s case weakening against the U.S. Navy SEALs?

From the diaries by Erick

As Erick has been repeatedly noting, there is an effort afoot to bring the public’s attention to the plight of three U.S. Navy SEALs (Julio Huertas, Jonathan Keefe and Matthew McCabe) who, as part of SEAL Team 10, have been brought up on charges that one of the most-wanted terrorists in Iraq, Ahmed Hashim Abed, received a boo-boo during a raid in September.

In early December the trio plead not guilty to charges of dereliction of duty and making false official statements. One would expect the government, having already brought charges, to be prepared to move forward to trial, originally set for two of them a fortnight from now.

Well, if you thought that, you’d be wrong.

Documents were submitted Dec. 30 to the trial judge, Capt. Moira Modzelewski, requesting the government continue the special court-martial of Special Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Julio Antonio Huertas, scheduled to begin Jan. 11, and that of SO2 (SEAL) Matthew Vernon McCabe, scheduled for Jan. 19.

Seems that there are some problems with the government’s case.

Both Lombardi [Huertas’ attorney] and Puckett [McCabe's attorney] say much of the government’s case so far is based on the statements of a third class master-at-arms who claims to have witnessed the alleged assault.

Both lawyers say the five separate statements given by that sailor appear to conflict with each other. Neither lawyer could discuss the exact details of the statements.

“I have read five different statements by this person, and all appear to be different,” Lombardi said.

The purported lack of evidence from the government has been identified as an issue since the arraignments started Dec. 7 and was the main reason that Keefe’s lawyer, Greg McCormack, asked for a continuance at Keefe’s Dec. 20 arraignment.

Seize onto this situation while the iron is hot. Go sign the petition asking that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, intervene to dismiss the charges against the three SEALs and direct that they be restored to duty.

These are American Heroes. They deserve better than this.

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