Talk about a "rocket docket."
Up for a road trip?
Could be fun but, alas, I am out of town.
I speculated there was a deal in the works. Any takers?
I'll take the over under there is SPCM deal. Why do this otherwise? IT would give the G a contested trial over what would be contentious political questions. This is the "I will be quite and get out of jail and the G gets its message sent...." Looks like a good deal for both sides and deescalation.
Question is the BOI board waiver included? General or OTH or HON. I suspect one is, otherwise why do this twice?
Why would there be a deal in this case? I see an overly broad order not to post anything to social media or to communicate through 3rd parties, which means it's an unlawful order, general griping at former secretaries and former presidents, which doesn't count for "contempt of officials," discussion about preferring charges against General McKenzie, which he can legally do, general acknowledgment by senior officials that withdrawal from Afghanistan was a SNAFU. And while some disagree with the way he's spoken out, there are a lot of people who support him and think higher of him for daring to speak the "truth" as opposed to toeing the company line.
Could it be those who decided to court-martial him recognized the Marine Corps would probably be worse off if they pursued a general court-martial? A special court-martial actually seems reasonable in this case.
The incentives for a litigated court-martial aren't there, even if the order was overly broad (I doubt it was---there are several regulations prohibiting mere unprofessional conduct on social media that have been around for years--none of which have been successfully challenged that I'm aware of). So good luck with any argument that being ordered to refrain from posting derogatory comments about command on social media is an unlawful order. That's a non-starter, IMO.
The incentives aren't there because Lt Col Scheller is so unstable that he can't abide lesser forms of restraint, so he must sit in PTC while awaiting his trial unless he cops a deal. And he is going to lose even if he litigates, so what's the point in him litigating if it only delays the inevitable? Why would he sit in jail for months when he can sit for days with the same outcome at the end?
Plus the longer his case is pending the more coverage it gets; so too increases the risk of him becoming a martyr. The USMC doesn't need more than a pound of flesh--they want a conviction, not a dismissal. His actions, however stupid and misguided, combined with his prior service, could not credibly support a recommendation for a dismissal in TC's sentencing argument at a GCM--so why pursue a drawn out affair when Lt Col Scheller is happy to plead guilty at a lesser forum which gets him out of jail (priority #1 for him, I'm sure) with the guarantee of no dismissal (and likely other inducements concerning the character of his inevitable administrative discharge)?
Plus there's always a chance that a jury or a MJ at a GCM give him a dismissal anyway. After all, anyone who decided his sentence absent a plea agreement would be a United States Marine--and they're usually somewhat fanatical about the chain of command. Or so I learned from watching A Few Good Men.
The better question is why wouldn't there be a deal.
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