Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
COVID rule for civilians wishing to enter the CAAF building. Note it does not address military personnel yet to be vaccinated or who have an exemption.
Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals
United States v. Murillo. In this GP case the MJ sentenced Appellant to 106 days, a BCD, and a reprimand for divers use of cocaine. Appellant raised three issues.
The court did not decide if TC's argument was improper, rather, they decided that,
Although trial defense counsel’s objection was overruled, the military judge demonstrated he was not committed to trial counsel’s legal understanding of the evidence. We are confident the military judge put “victim” in the appropriate context and that Appellant was sentenced on the basis of the evidence alone and not trial counsel’s interpretation of “victim” under the rules applicable to sentencing.
The court did not find error regarding the NJP record because,
United States v. Dodd. In this GP case the MJ sentenced Appellant to 12 months, a BCD, and a reprimand, because the Appellant had damaged personal property, and five DV A&B. The case was submitted without assignment of error but the court identified a post-trial error for which the court ordered correction of the error.
United States v. Motus. Having returned from correction of post-trial errors, the court reviewed five issues.
Finding no error the court affirmed the findings and sentence.
"The sole issue presented in this appeal is whether Lorance’s acceptance of a full and unconditional presidential pardon constitutes a legal confession of guilt and a waiver of his habeas rights, thus rendering his case moot. This is an issue of first impression in this Court. We conclude that Lorance’s acceptance of the pardon did not have the legal effect of a confession of guilt and did not constitute a waiver of his habeas rights.
Despite Lorance’s release from custody pursuant to the pardon, he sufficiently alleges ongoing collateral consequences from his convictions, creating a genuine case or controversy and rendering his habeas petition not moot. Accordingly, exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we reverse and remand for further proceedings."
Read the opinion here.
(h/t Don Rehkopf & Eric Freedman)
CNN: Pentagon announces plan to implement sexual assault commission recommendations
""The administration has placed an unprecedentedly high priority on this challenge set," Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said during a briefing at the Pentagon on Wednesday. "We have now created the way ahead, called the implementation road map, and Secretary Austin has approved it in its entirety."
The implementation plan includes proposed changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the planned creation of the Office of the Special Victim Prosecutor, which will remove the investigation of sexual assault and domestic violence from the chain of command, one defense official said."
Comment: I'm going to assume this is just sloppy writing. Surely the DoD does not include in its "plan" any legislative changes. We know from the Army that there are ways to achieve the same effect via regulation. Perhaps this is what is meant?
H/T to Isaac Samuels for the link.
UPDATE: Read the memo here.
In Re Rules Advisory Committee: Pursuant to C.A.A.F. Rule 45, the following persons are hereby appointed as members of the Rules Advisory Committee, effective October 1 2021, for a term expiring on September 30, 2024:
Thomas E. Booth, Esq.
Audrey B. Critchley, Esq.
Dwight H. Sullivan, Esq.
The following members, whose terms expire on the dates indicated below, remain on the Rules Advisory Committee:
To expire on September 30, 2022:
Professor Steven H. Goldblatt (Chair)
Ms. Carol K. Joyce, Esq.
Ms. Michelle Lindo McCluer, Esq.
To expire on September 30, 2023:
William A. DeCicco, Esq.
Matthew G. Kaiser, Esq.
Rebecca S. Snyder, Esq.
The Clerk of the Court is an ex officio member of the Committee and serves as Reporter. "
In United States v. Begani, the CAAF held that members of the Fleet Reserve and Fleet Marine Corps Reserve (collectively Fleet Reservists) maintain a sufficient connection to the military to subject them to continuous UCMJ jurisdiction. This ruling, however, places the CAAF in direct conflict with the U.S. District Court for the District of Colombia (DDC), whose Larrabee v. Braithwaite decision found that Fleet Reservists did not maintain a sufficient connection to the military to subject them to continuous UCMJ jurisdiction.
Larrabee now awaits a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (CADC). Should the CADC uphold the DDC’s holding, the Supreme Court will have to resolve this “circuit split.” And, if it does, Judge Maggs’ “originalist” concurrence in Begani, joined by Judge Hardy and Senior Judge Crawford, might have an outsized impact on the arguments.
A flag from Fort Knox.
Tanks outside the General George Patton Museum of Leadership at Fort Knox. Something tells me that M4A2 Sherman was the subject of a 15-6 investigation.
After running 1,064 miles in six days, the Mustang has returned to its paddock. Contingencies of Proof, over and out.
Thelma & Louise
The editors are happy to learn that our itinerant colleagues did not drive off a cliff, were not threatened by a Dodge Challenger driven by shotgun wielding locals, and the Mustang Diaries have been--well, interesting. ** They conclude their travels with a report on two revolutionaries of the arcane military justice system.
United States Supreme Court
Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11 (1905). A seminal case on state compelled vaccinations (smallpox). The Supreme Court held that the "police power" allowed the state to create a mandatory smallpox vaccine program administered by a board of health and enforced through criminal sanctions.
In a recent case, the Second held that "New York State's requirement that all children be vaccinated in order to attend public school (subject to medical and religious exemptions), does not violate substantive due process rights, the Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, the Ninth Amendment, and both state and municipal law. Phillips v. City of N.Y., 775 F.3d 538, 540 (2d Cir. 2015).
Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
United States v. Mellette, grant.
I. M.R.E. 513 EXTENDS THE PYSCHOTHERAPIST-PATIENT PRIVILEGE TO A "CONFIDENTIAL COMMUNICATION" BETWEEN PATIENT AND PSYCHOTHERAPIST OR ASSISTANT. DID THE LOWER COURT ERR BY CONCLUDING DIAGNOSES AND TREATMENT ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE PRIVILEGE, INVOKING THE ABSURDITY DOCTRINE?
II. DID THE NMCCA DEPART FROM SUPREME COURT AND CAAF PRECEDENT BY NOT REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE AT ISSUE—DIAGNOSES AND TREATMENT, INCLUDING PRESCRIPTIONS—IN CONCLUDING: (1) THE MENTAL HEALTH EVIDENCE WAS BOTH PREJUDICIAL AND NON-PREJUDICIAL; AND (2) FAILURE TO PRODUCE IT WAS HARMLESS BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT WHERE THE UNKNOWN EVIDENCE COULD HAVE NEGATED THE EVIDENCE THE NMCCA CLAIMED TO BE "OVERWHELMING" EVIDENCE?
The NMCCA decision
This case, like United States v. McPherson, __ M.J. __ (C.A.A.F. 2021), requires us to decide whether Appellant’s prosecution for certain offenses was time-barred by the statute of limitations provision in the 2016 version of Article 43(b)(1), Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), 10 U.S.C. § 843(b)(1) (2012 & Supp. IV 2013–2017). Pursuant to the Court’s decision in McPherson, we hold that the statute of limitations had expired for Appellant’s charged offenses under Articles 125 and 134, UCMJ, 10 U.S.C. §§ 925, 934 (2000).
We noted United States v. Braimer, a published opinion of the NMCCA. A petition for review was denied by a four-member CAAF on September 8, 2021.
ee here for a short note on why it is unfair to petitioners when there is no fifth judge to decide their petitions. Having a CAAF was partly intended to instill in servicemembers and the public that an accused and appellant will get a fair shake. At CAAF, the prosecution has a 100% guarantee the court will hear an issue that the government wants decided in its favor. The Appellant is already at a disadvantage because he has to plead rather than direct, and without a fifth judge the odds for an appellant are lower.
Read it here.
"On Aug. 17, 2020, Sgt. 1st Class Robert Nicoson’s patrol drove up to a checkpoint in northeastern Syria manned by troops loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Nicoson dismounted his vehicle and threatened to kill the pro-regime fighters if they did not allow B Troop, 1st Squadron, 73rd Cavalry Regiment, through, the charge sheets said.
The exchange that followed reportedly killed one Syrian fighter and wounded two others. There were no U.S. casualties. A portion of the gunfight was caught on video, though it does not show how it began.
After the incident, Nicoson ordered two soldiers to delete video recordings of the unit’s actions at the checkpoint in an attempt to cover up any potential wrongdoing, the charge sheets said.
He also ordered a soldier to falsely claim that pro-Syrian regime fighters granted the troop permission to pass through the checkpoint, the charge sheets added.
The paratroopers eventually returned to their home of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Roughly eight months after the incident, Nicoson was charged with two counts of failure to obey an order; two counts of reckless endangerment; one count of communicating threats; and three counts of obstructing justice."
BMF: It's always the coverup, not the crime, right? What offense was he committing by attempting to get through the checkpoint? What am I missing? I see an order violation offense.
Jessica D. Blankshain and Max Z. Margulies, The Downside of High Trust in the Military, New York Times:
"When the military is seen as the most competent, trustworthy government institution, it becomes tempting to invite the military to undermine civilian control and democratic governance. This was evident in public speculation about the role the military might play in adjudicating or enforcing the 2020 presidential election and in recent reports that largely portray Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as a check on an out-of-control president in the final days of the Trump administration
In the long term, as difficult a challenge as it may be, we should make every effort to shore up confidence in civilian democratic institutions and to elevate other forms of public service, which can be done without denigrating military service."
Comment: This is obviously applicable to the debate about military justice reform. See, e.g., this exchange.
In 1884, Bud Hillercih – an apprentice at his father’s woodworking shop – made a bat for a Louisville Eclipse player named Pete Browning. A decade later, Hillerich registered Browning’s nickname as the trademark for his growing bat business: Louisville Slugger.
One of Hillerich’s innovations as a businessman was obtaining player endorsements. The first professional athlete retained to endorse an athletic product was the Flying Dutchman, Honus Wagner, who signed a contract with Hillerich in 1905.
Louisville Slugger offers a special status for players under contract: it burns their signatures onto their bats. One bat on display at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory features Jackie Robinson’s signature burned into the end of the barrel. Robinson signed a contract with what was by then Hillerich & Bradsby Co. in October 1946 – little less than six months before he broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier.
Jackie Robinson will always be revered for that feat and the majestic dignity with which he accomplished it. He was also a great baseball player. He was the 1947 Rookie of the Year, batting .297 that season. Two years later, he was the National League’s MVP, leading the league in batting average and steals. During his ten seasons with the Dodgers, the team won six pennants and one World Series. His career batting average was .313.
Robinson was also a veteran. He was drafted in 1942 and commissioned in 1943 after the great boxer Joe Louis championed the cause of allowing highly qualified Black soldiers to attend Officer Candidates School. In April 1944, Robinson became a tank platoon leader at Fort Hood, Texas. And there, in 1944, he was court-martialed after refusing to move to the back of a bus. A panel of nine officers – two of them Black – ultimately acquitted him of charges of failing to obey an instruction by a superior commissioned officer and disrespect to a superior commissioned officer. Those charges arose from his interaction with a captain at an MP station after the bus incident.
A riveting account of those events is set out in Major Adam Kama’s article, “The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson,” in Issue No. 1, 2020, of the Army Lawyer, available here: https://tjaglcspublic.army.mil/the-court-martial-of-jackie-robinson?inheritRedirect=true. The article recounts the trial in detail, including a delicious impeachment of a government witness during the defense’s case in surrebuttal. Any litigator will love this article.
A year after his acquittal, which was followed by his honorable discharge “by reason of physical disqualification,” Robinson had his fateful meeting with Branch Rickey, the owner of the Brooklyn Dodgers who was determined to integrate Major League Baseball. That set Jackie Robinson on the road to his contract with Hillerich & Bradsby Co. – and one of the great moments in American history.
Becker is a 62 appeal, in which Judge Sparks writes for a unanimous CAAF that,
The military judge citing M.R.E. 804(b)(6) in light of Giles v. California, 554 U.S. 353, 367 (2008), ruled that the Government had failed to demonstrate that Appellant acted on the day of Mrs. Becker’s death “in order to prevent Mrs. Becker’s testimony.” The military judge noted that “by October 9th, 2015, there were no active . . . and no anticipated investigations” of Appellant regarding Mrs. Becker’s earlier allegations of Appellant’s physical and emotional abuse. Further, “although Mrs. Becker raised the 2013 incident with friends and family on several occasions, she never expressed any disappointment that the original investigation had closed or a desire to see the accused further investigated.” He ultimately agreed with the defense and concluded that it was not “reasonably foreseeable” that Appellant would be investigated regarding Mrs. Becker’s prior allegations against him or that Appellant might face charges based on those allegations, such that Mrs. Becker might be required to testify against him.
In discussing the forfeiture by wrongdoing exception, the CAAF relied on
Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36, 42–43 (2004).
Giles v. California, 554 U.S. 353, 367 (2008).
Reynolds v. United States, 98 U.S. 145, 158 (1878).
Mil. R. Evid. 804(b)(6) ""allows “[a] statement offered against a party that wrongfully caused or acquiesced in wrongfully causing the declarant’s unavailability as a witness, and did so intending that result.”"
Note the intent is looked at subjectively not objectively. Slip op. at 5.
Because the case was a government appeal, the reviewing courts are bound by the facts found by the military judge unless they are clearly erroneous or not supported in the record. Cossio arises. "A reviewing court may not “find its own facts or substitute its own interpretation of the facts.” United States v. Cossio, 64 M.J. 254, 256 (C.A.A.F. 2007).
Finally, as noted earlier, we directly review the military judge’s findings for an abuse of discretion. That said, we disagree with the lower court’s decision to disregard the military judge’s analysis and conduct a Giles analysis on a particular set of facts determined to be important to the lower court. On an Article 62, UCMJ, appeal, the lower court is not authorized to make factual determinations to support a simple difference of opinion between it and the military judge.
Footnote 3 gives a little more on this point.
3 Nor are we persuaded, contrary to the lower court’s implied insinuation to the contrary, that the military judge ignored important facts. The situation in this case is nothing akin to the situations we have encountered in the past where we concluded the military judge had indeed done so. See Commisso, 76 M.J. at 323 (the military judge neglected to consider facts that should have been weighed heavily in resolving the critical issue); United States v. Solomon, 72 M.J. 176, 181 (C.A.A.F. 2013) (the military judge failed to reconcile or even mention uncontroverted police report showing accused was in custody at the time the victims were being assaulted).
Cheers, the Eds.
"To better protect Soldiers from sexual harassment and assault, the Army will establish an office designed to make decisions to take action on such crimes, the service’s top civilian leader said Sept. 7."
Read the article here.
Brian Finucane, U.S. Recognition of a Commander’s Duty to Punish War Crimes, 97 International Law Studies 995 (2021).
"This article explores the United States' recognition of the doctrine of command responsibility. The doctrine has been invoked by those alleging that President Trump’s pardons of U.S. personnel convicted or accused of war crimes could amount to war crimes themselves. The article focuses on a commander’s duty to punish war crimes by his subordinates. It examines the United States’ past recognition of the duty to punish as an element of command responsibility under the law of war. The principle that a commander has an obligation to punish war crimes by his subordinates is not a progressive development of the law promoted by the advocacy community. Instead, the duty to punish stands out as an ancient legal norm interwoven into the domestic law of the United States and which the United States has incorporated into international legal instruments. The lesson from this history is clear, if not always appreciated: commanders who fail to punish their subordinates for war crimes may themselves be war criminals."
CAAF upheld an MJ's ruling that certain hearsay statements were not admissible under the "forfeiture of wrongdoing" exception to the hearsay rule. Read the opinion here.
"On an Article 62, UCMJ, appeal, the lower court is not authorized to make factual determinations to support a simple difference of opinion between it and the military judge."
Why "Contingencies of Proof?" precisely no one has asked. This picture provides the answer. Our tour of military justice heritage sites has taken us to Kentucky. Bourbon has been consumed. The higher the standard of proof, the more candid our posts.
[Standard disclaimer: This post is made purely in my personal capacity. It should not be imputed to anyone or anything else.]
In this house at Point Pleasant, Ohio, on April 27, 1822, Hiram Ulysses Grant was born. As an uncharacteristically clever historical marker at the site explains, “Grant later attended the military academy at West Point, where his name was changed to Ulysses S. Grant due to an administrative error. The army informed Grant that this was and would remain his name.”
The “Contingencies of Proof” road trip is a journey to explore military justice history. Grant offers numerous tie-ins. But rather than concentrating on Grant’s time as a general officer, this post explores his exercise of the pardon power while serving as the United States’ 18th President.
A general order issued on Oct. 10, 1873, announced that President Grant “commands it to be made known that all soldiers who have deserted their colors, and who shall, on or before the 1st day of January, 1874, surrender themselves at any military station, shall receive a full pardon, only forfeiting the pay and allowances due them at the time of desertion; and shall be restored to duty without trial or punishment on condition that they faithfully serve through the term of their enlistment.” Reprinted in 20 Op. Atty’ Gen. 330, 345 (1892).
The persistent problem of desertion is a thread running through this road trip. At our first stop in Beaver, Pennsylvania, we saw Major Wyllys use a big stick to address the problem: he ordered that three captured deserters be summarily executed. Secretary of War Henry Knox described that display “as a terror to the rest of the troops.” 30 J. Continental Congress 433 (1786). The executions apparently produced the desired general deterrent effect; Major Wyllys reported to Secretary Know that “[n]o desertions have happened since.” Id. at 120. General Grant, on the other hand, used the carrot: pardon and restoration to those deserters who would return to duty.
Grant was far from the first former general to use the pardon power in a military context as President. That distinction belongs to President Washington.
On July 26, 1796, Secretary of War James McHenry wrote a remarkable letter to President Washington. It concerned a court-martial conviction of Lieutenant Simon Geddes (sometimes spelled “Geddis”), though the offense of which he was convicted is, unfortunately, not mentioned. He noted that he had received a request from officers at West Point to release Geddes from arrest. Secretary McHenry cited article II, § 2 of the Constitution as providing the President with a pardon power that extended to court-martial convictions, adding that “Congress cannot pass any regulations for the government of the land and naval forces which may intrench upon, invalidate or nullify this power to pardon offences against the United States.”
On August 12, 1796, Washington issued the first presidential pardon for a court-martial conviction. He wrote: “Whereas at a General Court Martial held at West Point, May 12th, 1796, for the trial of Lieutenant Geddes, of the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers, . . . the Court sentenced the said Lieutenant Geddes, to be dismissed from the service of the United States. Be it known that I George Washington, President of the United States in consideration of the youth and inexperience of Lieutenant Geddes and for divers other good causes, have thought fit to pardon, and hereby do pardon, Lieutenant Geddes aforesaid, of the offence whereof he has been convicted, and do declare that the sentence of the Court aforesaid be hereafter held as nought, and that the said Lieutenant Geddes be reinstated in his command in the Corps of Artillerists and Engineers.”
There is a lot more to the story of Lieutenant Geddes. Later that same year, he fought a duel with another lieutenant arising from his court-martial conviction. Geddes shot his adversary in the chest, killing him instantly. For that, Geddes was dismissed from the Army.
In contrast to the brevity of Lieutenant Geddes’ Army career, the President’s authority to exercise the pardon power for military offenses, first exercised in his case, lives on. And as in the case of President Grant’s pardon of Army deserters, it would sometimes be exercised even before a conviction.
The exercise of that pardon power has, at times, been controversial. President Grant’s exercise of that authority demonstrated its utility when properly used.
Today’s first stop was at the boyhood home of William Howard Taft—the only person to serve as Commander-in-Chief and Chief Justice of the United States. As Chief Justice, Taft was deferential toward military processes. The case of Rogers v. United States, 270 U.S. 154 (1926), is illustrative.
Faced with the requirement to reduce the size of the Army after World War I, Congress devised a scheme to sort officers into two classes. Class A officers were retained on active duty. Class B officers were sent home, but not before having an opportunity to tell a five-officer court of inquiry why he should be retained. The court’s decision, however, was only advisory.
Major Rogers, a Class B artillery officer, was a party to such a court of inquiry. He testified on his own behalf, as was his right under the statute, and had a slew of officers standing by to testify for him too. Midway through his testimony, however, the presiding officer told him, “That will be all.”
When Rogers’s counsel attempted to call witnesses, the presiding officer wasn’t having it. Chief Justice Taft recounted the exchange thus:
“‘It is the suggestion of the court, merely a suggestion, you understand, that counsel rest his case.’
Counsel for the plaintiff thereupon stated to the court that he had more evidence that he desired to submit, whereupon the presiding officer stated:
‘I wish to repeat that it is the suggestion of the court that counsel rest his case.’
Thereupon the counsel for the plaintiff again stated to the court that he had other evidence, and that there were six witnesses in the building whom he desired to call, and a seventh witness who was in the city and waiting to be called by telephone. The presiding officer thereupon stated emphatically, striking his hand forcibly on his desk:
‘I wish to reiterate that it is the suggestion of the court that counsel rest his case.’
The plaintiff thereupon closed his case. At the time, plaintiff had, in the same building wherein the court was sitting, six witnesses, and a seventh witness, an army officer, waiting to be notified by telephone to appear.”
270 U.S. at 158-59.
Apparently the court’s prickly attitude toward receiving evidence wasn’t rooted in antipathy toward Major Rogers. The court found that Rogers should be retained. The Army disagreed, however, and put Rogers on the retired list. Rogers went to the Court of Claims and then the Supreme Court.
Chief Justice Taft was dismissive of Rogers’s claim that the court had wrongly curtailed his right to present evidence:
“He had counsel who presumably knew his rights under the statute, and if such evidence was deemed material and important, we must assume that the counsel would have asserted his right and insisted on the production of the evidence.”
270 U.S. at 162.
I think most counsel, in the face of a general officer pounding the table and telling him to wrap up, would decide to rest. But such is waiver.
[Standard disclaimer: This post is made purely in my personal capacity. It should not be imputed to anyone or anything else.]
A formative event in Air Force history occurred more than two decades before that Service was even born: the court-martial of Colonel Billy Mitchell. The humongous National Museum of the United States Air Force at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base gives due homage to that signal military justice proceeding.
Mitchell was a flamboyant and talented pilot and leader of aerial combat units during World War I. The 1,481 U.S. and Allied airplanes that fell under his command performed impressively – and with elan. That alone would have made Mitchell one of the Air Force’s founding fathers. That status was cemented when, after the war, he became an evangelist for the gospel of air power. Immediately after World War I, he was assigned as the Army’s deputy chief of staff—a perch from which he advocated for expanded use of aircraft in combat. In 1925, after a series of tests demonstrated airplanes’ ability to sink a battleship, Mitchell reverted to his permanent grade of colonel and was assigned to duty at San Antonio, Texas. Feeling sidelined, the flashy aviator made provocative pronouncements that returned him to the public view. After a Navy dirigible was torn to pieces in a thunderstorm – killing 14 – and a Navy PN-9 demonstration flight went horribly awry, Mitchell loosed a verbal salvo. “These accidents,” said Mitchell, “are the direct result of the incompetency, criminal negligence, and almost treasonable administration of the national defense by the Navy and War Departments.”
“All aviation policies, schemes, and systems are dictated by nonflying officers of the Army or Navy who know practically nothing about it,” he continued. “The lives of the airmen are being used merely as pawns in their hands. … Officers and agents sent by the War and Navy Departments to Congress have almost always given incomplete, misleading, or false information about aeronautics.”
Four days later, he launched a reattack. “If the department does not like the statement I made, let them take disciplinary action as they see fit, according to their judgment, court-martial or no court-martial. … The investigation that is needed is of the War and Navy Departments and their conduct in the disgraceful administration of aviation.”
President Calvin Coolidge was livid. Mitchell was soon facing a general court-martial for eight specifications of violating Article 96 of the Articles of War – Article 134’s predecessor. The court-martial members included Douglas MacArthur.
The prosecution’s case was completed in a day. But the trial would last another six weeks. It became the Scopes Monkey Trial of the doctrine of strategic air power. Witnesses for the defense included legendary commander of the 94th Aero Squadron Eddie Rickenbacker and then-39-year-old Major Hap Arnold. Mitchell himself took the stand and was subjected to effective cross-examination by Major Allen W. Gullion.
After deliberating for less than three hours, the members found him guilty. According to later reports, Douglas MacArthur was the lone dissenter. The court-martial sentenced him to be suspended from duty for five years, but President Coolidge commuted that sentence to loss of half of his pay. Soon after the trial, Mitchell resigned from the Army.
Mitchell’s view of air power has been largely vindicated, making him an Air Force martyr. The National Museum of the United States Air Force offers a shrine to his martyrdom.
See generally John T. Correll, The Billy Mitchell Court-Martial, Air Force Magazine (Aug. 1, 2012), https://www.airforcemag.com/article/0812mitchell/
The first of today's post cards from the road trip: Hiram Ulysses Grant's birthplace in Point Pleasant, Ohio.
Today's second post card from the road trip: William Howard Taft's cabinet chair from his time as Theodore Roosevelt's Secretary of War, on display at his birthplace and boyhood home in Cincinnati.
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