Well guess how their prosecution of the U.S.S Fitzgerald's CO went:
The trial would be allowed to go forward, but the judge admonished Richardson and his deputy, Moran, for violating a sacred tenet of military criminal justice: to not poison the system by making their opinions clear. By doing so, any potential jurors would know exactly what the top brass wanted.[blink] [blink]
A month later in January, the judge handed the Navy a final blow: The admiral in charge of the criminal proceedings was disqualified for improperly using his position to help the prosecution gather evidence against Benson.
The Navy’s case had collapsed, but more than three months dragged by before it finally dropped the remaining charges against Benson.
And it gets worse, with the post clusterf**k ass covering from the Navy brass:
(The day the charges were dropped, ProPublica had informed the Navy it would be publishing a story detailing the extensive, troubling mistakes made by the Navy’s leadership in Benson’s case.)One last potshot from the E-ring on the way out the door. And while I don't know if this is true or not, it sure has the ring of truth to it:
The next day, the Navy took one more swipe at Benson, this time with a public letter of censure. The secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, wrote an admonishment that repeatedly used the same words and phrases, such as “failure” and “unworthy of trust,” basically restating the charges the Navy was unable to bring to court, without an avenue for appeal. In an email, Spencer’s spokeswoman declined to provide details about why he wrote the letter.
One officer said in an interview that he’d decided that he’d opt to retire before commanding a ship again.While I can see Sullivan wanting to put this on a dysfunctional Navy bureaucracy, what we see is a dysfunctional Navy bureaucracy. Second verse: same as the first.
“We all realize we’re completely going at this alone,” another officer said, “and are expendable in the eyes of those who only crave rank authority and shirk responsibility.”
Commanders still talk about how [then Chief of Naval Operations] Richardson was publicly saying safety first while privately urging commanders to be more daring and take more risks. One skipper boldly asked Richardson at a luncheon how his position squared with prosecuting commanding officers “when something goes wrong.” Richardson, said some in attendance, sidestepped the question.
Sullivan, captain of the USS Whidbey Island, said all captains accept that they are responsible for what happens aboard their ships — even if they are asleep. But, she said, it “was very shocking” to see Navy leadership decide to hold the commanders criminally accountable. “I’m willing to sacrifice my life; that’s my job. But it’s hard to do that when you don’t think the organization has your back.”
In all, Sullivan said, “The herd is spooked.”
Richardson is no longer CNO which looks like a very good thing. The SecNAV is gone, too - also a good thing. But the JAG corps needs to be nuked from orbit, and the Navy brass needs to get purged of the ass-coverers. Holy cow, it looks like Barack Obama was successful in fundamentally changing America's Navy.