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Fat Leonard Speaks: Glenn Defense Agonistes

Updated: Nov 27, 2021

"If we are to keep our democracy, there must be one commandment: Thou shalt not ration justice."

Learned Hand

RADM Mark Montgomery
God It's Hot Via USNI

If you are familiar with the Glenn Defense/US Navy entanglement, then perhaps you are aware that Leonard Francis has done an interview for Project Brazen. Now I am no lawyer (a phrase I will use a number of times in this piece), but doing an a convicted criminal...before being sentenced by a federal judge....seems...I don't know...unwise? But what the hell do I know? You see, Leonard was arrested in September 2013...convicted in early 2015...and has still not been sentenced. Now I know in federal cases, that is not totally unusual, because if you plead guilty in order to get a plea agreement, the prosecutor wants to get their money's worth. So that means giving up names, and in this case, lots of them. Many articles have been written as this case has progressed but I am not here to rehash all the that. The point here is to discuss a change in the message I have seen in the last six months. Namely, that lately, there has been less interest in the salacious/Wolf of Wall Street angle, and now more interest in the possible disparate treatment of some individuals by the U.S. legal system.

"I See No Method"

COL Kurtz
"Are My Methods Unsound"? By Flickr

Like CPT Willard to COL Kurtz...I am not sure what I am looking at here...yet. I am no lawyer, but I know there are federal and local laws, and how that jurisdiction is divided up, is not always straightforward. I do know that the Department of Justice (DOJ) adjudicates federal cases. Now add to this another legal system called the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) that applies to the U.S military; in this case, the Department of the Navy (DoN). The question being asked here is simple: Why did some individuals receive justice by DOJ and other's by DoN? If you are unfamiliar with the UCMJ, it is a quaint judicial system run totally by military officers. UCMJ punishments include things like "censure"...or "reprimand". What the hell is that you ask...I don't know....maybe like double secret probation? I have long felt that these multiple punishment options afforded by the UCMJ were a way to provide the appearance of justice having been served...but not really. I mean after all...these must be decent folk...they are in the military officers after isn't ending a career punishment enough? Why toss them in a cell? Well...DOJ has no such options, and there are worse punishments than losing a career, believe me.

So What?

UCMJ Trial
Censure...Or...Reprimand...You Flip Via NationalArchives

So what does any of this have to do with the Glenn Defense case you ask? Well, full disclosure, I fell in the DOJ category, but this is not about me. The question now being asked, rightfully so, is why were so many senior military officers seemingly adjudicated by DoN, and at most receiving a censure or a reprimand? Or punishment...just quietly having to retire "early" after 35 years and receiving all the benefits that entails. Some of these individuals had seemingly similar transgressions as those individuals sent to DOJ for justice. Without more information from DOJ, DoN etc., why this was the case will be difficult to ascertain. I would also add that any explanations at this point are pure conjecture. Legal terms like "statute of limitations" are disingenuous at best and don't adequately describe the situation here. If the federal government wants to find wrongdoing...they will...if they want to. Hopefully, more will come out on this, but I don't have a lot of confidence.

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