The notoriously confused New York Times reports today that Brigadier General Sinclair is facing a discontinuity in the swift and merciless application of military justice to the "he said/she said" case that began almost TWO years ago, when he was sent home early from Afghanistan for an investigation into charges made by a female captain. It seems that the prosecutor has quit the case.
I have seen many cases where a defense counsel seeks to withdraw from a case and has to appeal to the court for authorization to do so. In some cases, the court has refused. I wonder how the defendant gets the best possible defense when his lawyer is acting under court imposed duress... How the lead prosecutor justifies that he is finished with the case before it goes to trial is a mystery to me.
The speculators are suggesting that the prosecutor may have reached the conclusion that the woman that made the charges is lying. I can certainly see having a serious problem with continuing a legal case against a man who could be sentenced to life in prison if found guilty, if you believe that the single witness to the case is a liar who is lying about the matter. Quitting at that point must be construed as prejudicial to the prosecution's case and entirely dishonorable.
It appears that General Sinclair conceded that he was involved in a relationship with the woman and that his conduct was unbecoming an officer. With that alone he could be found guilty and sentenced, but the Army wants blood and is proceeding on the main charges.
Congress people want every single case like this to proceed in just this fashion. They want every single claim of sex anything to be treated as a criminal matter and to go to court martial. A backhand to the face or slap on the wrist after a minimum of 2 years of legal wrangling is not sending any deterrent message to people considering violating the Uniform Code of Military Justice. A. Everybody has sex. B. The odds that you'll get caught in this trap is vanishingly small.
The general admitted that he violated the UCMJ. His boss, the Commanding General of the 82nd Airborne Division, could have hauled him into his office in Afghanistan, in mid-May 2012, told him he was a disgrace, reduced him in rank to Colonel, ordered him confined or restricted for up to 2 months, fired him on the spot and shipped him home. Message sent and everybody would have seen that the rules apply to all and all would benefit.
Trust the idiot Army 4 stars and politicians to screw that one up too. Consider that what the general did with the captain was exactly the same thing that General Petraeus was doing with a major at the same time and in the same country. The President appointed Petraeus head of the CIA. "Justice" appears kind of perverse. That's what happens when something is warped and twisted in pursuit of an overriding objective.