Asleep at the switch

Damnit, I hate it when I’m the last to get word about things I’m trying to follow.

I’ve been keeping up with the case of Marine Lt. Ilario Pantano (previous posts 1 2 3), and somehow (I guess I ought to read his Mom’s website more often, huh?) It seems his Article 32 hearing (roughly the equivalent of a civilian Grand Jury proceeding) was this week.

WorldNet Daily points us to this article which summarizes the week’s happenings. I’m heartened that the government’s star witnessSgt. Daniel Coburn

abruptly left the stand Wednesday when he was told he was suspected of violating orders prohibiting him from giving interviews about the case. He told Marine officials he wouldn’t return unless he was granted immunity from prosecution, and came back briefly Friday only to invoke his right against self-incrimination.

Coburn testified Saturday that he was ordered to return to the stand after he was granted immunity. He spent about seven hours testifying as Gittins relentlessly unveiled inconsistencies within statements Coburn has made to investigators, reporters, his wife and in court.

While this is a good thing, remember that military justice, as embodied in the UCMJ, is a very different thing than justice here in civilian-land. Even with this turn of events, and the testimony of some of the other players who tend to support his story, Lt. Pantano is still in legal jeopardy. I’ll be watching more closely for developments.

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