PREVIOUS TOP STORIES
BIG "WIN" FOR DEFENSE ATTORNEY CHARLES
Top-notch defense attorney Charles Gittins told us "Crude talk is not a crime" when we [see related story below] first wrote about the case of Navy Lt. Bryan Black, in trouble over "salty language" he used in front of a female midshipman at the Naval Academy. Gittins was right.
Thanks to common sense and good judgment on the part of Rear Admiral Terrence McKnight, the Commandant of the Naval District of Washington, at a recent Admiral's Mast, Black won't be thrown to the dogs after all.
Vice-Admiral Rodney Rempt, the acerbic and much-disliked Naval Academy superintendent, and "fire-breathing feminist" Lt. Cdr. Shelly Whisenhant, end up the big losers in this case, which has brought nothing but embarrassment to the Navy.
CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE - ARMY
The Democrats have had a lot of success this year in recruiting veterans and members of the military reserves to run against embattled Republicans for House and Senate seats. Many of the candidates, like Vietnam vet James Webb, Ronald Reagan's former Secretary of the Navy, are former Republicans. It's a smart move, as the left-leaning Democrats usually have trouble winning more than a small slice of that part of the electorate.
In Texas, they recruited Army Reserve MAJ David Harris to run against incumbent Republican Congressman Joe Barton in the 6th District of North Texas. Now, with the Army close to preferring court-martial charges against the Iraq War vet, his chances of going to Washington as an elected official have gone from slim to none.
WANT MY $60,000, AND I WANT IT NOW!"
MilitaryCorruption.com has learned that a U.S. Army Reserve light colonel, part of a scheme to cheat the American taxpayer and make himself rich, got greedy when his benefactor - crooked contractor Philip Bloom - failed to quickly deposit $60,000 bribe money into the officer's stateside bank account.
The irritable field grade stupidly left an e-mail trail to Bloom and his assistant, Robert Stein, that helped investigators nail them all in a massive fraud and kickback scam. Bloom angrily messaged Stein to tell the colonel to "stop acting like a spoiled child."
Lt. Col. Bruce Hopfengardner, 46, of Fredericksburg, Va. had it made in the shade. While "grunts" in the field at pay grade of PFC and Lance Corporal were doing the fighting and dying, this brass hat could have gotten wealthy from just sitting on his butt and collecting his fat paycheck. But no, the corrupt officer wanted more, and knew what he could do to get it.
BITES DOG AND PIGS FLY IN THE SKY"
This isn't much consolation to all the men who have been court-martialed over the years and sent to Leavenworth for a consensual dalliance with a female in the military. But a rare case out of Italy, brought to our attention by our friends at Aviano AFB, reveals that not all the women guilty in such cases get immunity or a free pass.
Just the ones promoted and pampered by sleazeball former Chief JAG of the Air Force, ex-Maj. Gen. Thomas J. Fiscus. In that case, Fiscus got only a "slap on the wrist" and no jail time, while all his gal pals got immunity. One obnoxious major in Europe, who bullied and threatened a base commander, bragging about her "boyfriend," got to keep her undeserved promotion. She should have been kicked out of the Air Force without a pension.
1LT Chelsea Baca-Hodroff, assigned to the 31st Mission Support Group, got slammed with a sentence of 30 days behind bars at the conclusion of her recent court-martial. The hot-blooded young officer, who had been in trouble in the past for "fraternization" with enlisted men, will be leaving the military in a matter of weeks.
"ONE IN THE OVEN"
We've been critical in the past of all the easy money that found it's way into former Army PFC Jessica Lynch's coffers after she was injured in Iraq and then rescued by American forces from a hospital deep in hostile territory.
But you can't help feeling good about the latest news from the hills of West Virginia. The young ex-soldier, who won fame and notoriety - to say nothing of more than $1 million from her book and other promotions - is pregnant according to her "publicist." (Gee, how many of us can afford to have our own "flak," especially one with a hypenated name?). Anyway, we wish the prospective mom nothing but the best, and hope the baby will be a real blessing.
It hasn't always been easy sledding for the famous former PFC, what with "nude photos" surfacing from the barracks at Ft. Bliss, Texas. We saw them, and while she is attractive, Jessica isn't exactly PLAYBOY material. Porn publisher Larry Flynt did a kind deed for the gal when he "bought up" the photos and promised not to publish them anytime in the future.
FORCE DENTIST AT LACKLAND NABBED
No, this guy isn't the weird-looking creep in Bangkok who claims to have killed ("I loved her.") Jon Benet Ramsey. But if you've had your choppers worked on in the dentist's office at Lackland AFB in Texas during the past year, you might have seen him at close quarters.
Capt. Mark Studenny is set to plead guilty to viewing child porn on his home computer when he goes before a federal magistrate later this month. His lawyer, Van Hillary, said the "embarrassed" officer cut a plea-bargain deal with the Feds. Whether that agreement means Studenny escapes jail time remains to be seen.
Certainly his Air Force career is over. Now, if he'd been a general officer, preferably two stars and above or chief JAG, we're sure something could have been worked out. But Studenny is an expendable junior officer, and as far as the top brass is concerned, the sooner he's gone, the better.
FROM THE PAST"
The full page photo in LIFE Magazine showed a middle-aged Marine general, his shoulders slumped, face in his hands, looking as if he just wanted to die.
It was Brig. Gen. Harold C. Reisinger, USMC, court-martialed for allegedly padding his expense account by less than $100. For that, the 59-year old flag officer was being publicly humiliated and his career destroyed.
The date, January 1938. The place, a military courtroom at Quantico, Va. Reisinger, the U.S. Marine Corps paymaster, had served with honor for 38 years. At age 59, he was nearing retirement. But the general had made enemies in high places and the circus he was being put through was designed to "break" him. It did.
"ROMEO" OF RANDOLPH AFB
We're not at all upset Lt. Col. Christopher Kugel got kicked out of the Air Force, even with him being so close to qualifying for retirement. Less than a year to go. No, the 43 year-old former deputy commander of the 12th Flying Training Wing at Randolph AFB, Texas deserved to get the boot.
It would be very interesting to see if during his career, Kugel busted and bounced out any enlisted personnel or junior officers for just what he thought he could "get away" with. The libidinous light colonel told his court martial he "was only human," when explaining why he had affairs with at least four women on base - all civilians - in various locales, like a trailer, his office, and a parked automobile.
MILITARY POLICEMAN AT YONGSAN
There's very little sympathy, as a rule, for military policemen when they get nabbed in wrongdoing. Most observers chuckle to themselves that it's good to see an MP caught up "in a jam" now and then. "Serves them right," the GI says.
For onetime-SFC James Thompson, just six months from qualifying for an active-duty retirement, it was a close call indeed. He'd been accused of having an affair with a young female MP in his platoon in Korea and could have received a bust to buck private and a BCD.
Of course, the female soldier, who is married and knew full well she was engaged in an "adulterous" sexual liason - the hanky-panky allegedly took place at Camp Long and later at Camp Humphreys, Korea in March - got off "scot-free." No punishment as of press time and none expected. Once again the U.S. military's double-standard saves a female soldier from being held responsible for her actions.
ONE FROM THE COLD "CASE" FILES
He was due to go home to be reunited with his pregnant wife in Baltimore, Md., but Sgt. Juwan Johnson never made it.
The Army trooper who had survived a blast from an IED in Iraq, died after a severe beating in his barracks room July 4, 2005 on Kleber Kaserne in Kaiserslautern. Investigators said he died from "multiple blunt force trauma" and, based on an autopsy report, the CID called the death "a homicide."
But who did it, and why? The case has remained "cold" for more than a year, so the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command is offering an increased cash reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who beat the NCO to death. The old reward of $25,000 has now been doubled to $50,000.
NAVY INTEL OFFICER GOES TO PRISON
A retired Navy commander bitterly regrets ever getting involved with a shady Pakistani arms dealer. George Budenz, 61, of Escondido, Calif. can now add "convicted felon" on his resumé. He was sentenced to one year in federal prison, fined $10,000, and ordered to spend six additional months in a halfway house for his offenses.
It could have been worse. Budenz was contrite about his crimes - helping a convicted arms trafficker export jet plane parts and other aircraft whose ultimate destination was unfriendly Iran. So he testified in court against the man he now calls a "lying snake," and says he wishes he'd "never got involved with him in the first place." Despite his helpful cooperation, the former Naval officer could not escape jail time and the shame that goes with his conviction.
According to court documents, Budenz was part of a plot to illegally export engine parts for F-5 jet fighters, Vietnam-era T-38 military trainers, and Chinook helicopters to Malaysia and Belgium. But the real country the material was to go to is Iran, whose government is one of America's worst enemies in the Middle East.
LESBIAN TO "GET THE BOOT"
Once again, a high-profile case where the military makes itself look foolish by discriminating against people on the basis of their sexual orientation, not their service record.
The latest female to be kicked out of the Navy is PO1 Rhonda Davis, a well-known, award-winning broadcast journalist who worked for Armed Forces Network in Japan. Her crime was to openly admit to what she was and wear her uniform as well, marching in a "Gay Pride" demonstration in New York City.
Under the unworkable "don't ask, don't tell" policy, by coming out publicly about her being a lesbian, she ended her Navy career. And, unlike Air Force Reserve flight nurse, Maj. Margaret Witt [see our story on her on our home page] who did not volunteer any information on her private life, Davis told. So under the rules, she is history.
RESERVE LT. COLONEL ARRESTED
She was recruiting poster material. Lt. Col. Debra Harrison of Trenton, N.J. had the world by the tail. Then greed tripped her up.
An Army Reserve light colonel in a Norristown, Pa. civil affairs unit, the 47 year-old officer had served nearly 18 months in Iraq from 2003 to the end of 2004. She got a Bronze Star and Purple Heart, (albeit a "John Murtha" type "wound" - very little blood and no hospitalization required), before returning to the States from the war zone.
Investigators tell MilitaryCorruption.com that Hamilton - now out on bail - was arrested on charges of conspiracy to commit bribery, money laundering, possession of unauthorized firearms and wire fraud "in connection with a scheme to defraud the Coalition Provisional Authority - South Central Region (CPA-SC) in Al-Hillah, Iraq."
ACADEMY SUPERINTENDENT TO DECIDE
Former U.S. Naval Academy quarterback Lamar Owens breathed a big sigh of relief as the verdict was read. "Not guilty" on a charge of "rape," which could have put the African-American football star in prison for a very long time.
A female midshipman's claims of rape were not believed by the jury at court-martial. Even the military judge admonished the prosecution for presenting a poor and "anemic" case.
The accuser charged Owens raped her in her room despite her alleged pleas to stop. Defense attorneys pointed out the "victim" had earlier sent an intimate e-mail "instant message" to Owens and when he arrived in her room at Bancroft Hall last January 29, they told the court she "tugged" at the football player's clothing, so eager was she to have sex.
SET TO COURT-MARTIAL LIEUTENANT
The Navy is getting ready to make a faculty member at the Naval Academy "walk-the-plank" over some crude words he used and quickly apologized for. Such is today's "politically-correct" Navy. Lt. Bryan Black is lucky he is only facing loss of his job and career. At least, he won't have to face jail time for his unpardonable sin.
The OCS grad, who holds a master of science degree from the University of South Florida, has taught at Annapolis since 2003, and up until-now, has had an unblemished record.
The trouble began several months ago during a field trip to Norfolk, Va. Black, who teaches oceanography at the Annapolis military academy, was leading a group of cadets, both male and female, past the decommissioned battleship Wisconsin.
AIR FORCE RESERVE MAJOR
All Maj. Margaret Witt ever wanted was to serve her country as an Air Force flight nurse and be left alone.
Yes, she's a lesbian, and we at MilitaryCorruption.com have our problems with that in the military. But, prior to a vengeful ex-girlfriend "ratting her out" to the brass, Witt kept her personal life to herself. Unlike certain obnoxious, "in-your-face" bull dykes who infest the JAG Corps and know they can "punish" men, hiding behind their rank and position to get away with whatever they wish, this officer was admired and highly-respected by all who came in contact with her.
With 19 years of outstanding service behind her, including award of the Air Force Commendation Medal for saving a servicemember's life while on duty as a nurse, the 42 year-old resident of Washington State was looking forward to retirement after a few more years in the Reserves. Witt was up for promotion and would have deservedly received her silver oak leaves if she had not been fingered by a vindictive female.
U.S. ARMY "WAR CRIME" SINCE CALLEY
The U.S. Army is faced with possibly the worst "war crime" in its history since the Lt. William Calley "My Lai Massacre" of women and children in Vietnam almost 40 years ago.
If the charges against a former GI and four of his buddies still in the Army stick, this alleged attack will go down as one of the most horrific abuses ever committed against innocent civilians by U.S. forces. And the propaganda value of the action to our enemies can only undermine America's already battered image in the Arab world.
NAVY CHAPLAIN RISKS
Navy Chaplain (Lt.) Gordon Klingenschmitt is risking his military career and a possibly humiliating court martial to stay true to his basic Christian beliefs.
The courageous clergyman staged a hunger strike in front of the White House earlier this year to protest his right to pray "in Jesus name." His Navy bosses, predominately Catholic chaplains from the "old boys' network," are said to want to slap down Klingenschmitt, an evangelical Protestant pastor who doesn't "fit in" with the chaplain "establishment."
To say that the 38 year-old Air Force Academy graduate - he transferred to the Navy in the 1990's - is "politically incorrect" is putting it mildly. The chaplain will not compromise on watering down his message of salvation and has made more than his share of enemies among the top brass as a result.
GUARD CADET ACQUITTED
Despite the defense shooting holes in the prosecution's case that African-American Cadet Webster Smith "raped" and "assaulted" several white women at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn., the Houston, Texas man was found guilty of several lesser charges which will surely result in him being booted out of the military. He could get up to 13 years in prison, but courtroom observors tell MilitaryCorruption.com that is "very unlikely."
The hulking cadet was acquitted of the most serious charge - rape - but found guilty of "indecent assault, extortion. sodomy, failure to obey an order, and absent without leave."
It took the jury just eight hours to come back with the verdict. Webster was expressionless as the result was read, but broke down in tears after leaving the courtroom. So did several family members who crowded around the soon-to-be ex-cadet.
DIFFERENT KIND OF "WAKE UP CALL"
A certain lieutenant colonel at Luke AFB deserves a big pat on the back. Apparently, an individual who lives somewhere near the Arizona Air Force base wrote his local paper complaining about a group of F-16s that "disturbed" his/her day at the mall. When that individual read the response from Lt. Col. Scott Pleus, commander of the 63rd Fighter Squadron, it must have stung quite a bit. At least we hope it did.
"Here's the 'question of the day' for Luke Air Force Base," the whining civilian wrote. "Whom do we thank for the morning air show? Last Wednesday, at precisely 9:11 a.m., a tight formation of four F-16 jets made a low pass over Arrowhead Mall, continuing west over Bell Road at approximately 500 feet. Imagine our good fortune! Do the Tom Cruise-wannabes feel we need this wake-up call, or were they trying to impress the cashiers at Mervyns' early-bird special? Any response would be appreciated."
The swift reply came as follows in a letter to the same newspaper:
OF THE MARINES? NOT NATONSKI.
A political general who warmed a chair most of his non-combat career, has been rewarded by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Maj. Gen. Richard Natonski, who spent much of his 30 years in uniform safely behind a desk, (he was 1st Marine Division commander for a while in Iraq) has been nominated for promotion to lieutenant general in the wake of his "scapegoating" one of his company commanders who had no role in the so-called Haditha "massacre."
Capt. James Kimber saw his military career destroyed by the armchair general, when Natonski relieved the 33 year-old combat vet of his command. So much for "due process of law." Natonski decided to chop heads to help his boss at the Pentagon. He needed to make it look like the Marine Corps "leadership" was "cracking down" on alleged civilian casualties in Iraq. So Kimber got caught up in the "political correctness" hysteria, even though he and his men were miles away from the scene when the Haditha killings allegedly took place.
It used to be Gen. Peter Pace, Rumsfeld's obedient "yes-man" and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was the most reviled Marine in e-mails sent to us from members of the Corps around the world. Now, Pace can move over and make room for Natonski. Unlike Pace, the soon to be three-star general has no Purple Heart medal or Silver Star, but he does have a lot of other pretty, multi-colored ribbons on his chest to show he has been a good staff officer all these years.
AT EDWARDS AFB
Just two weeks before Col. Drew Jeter was set to transfer to a new position at Wright-Patterson AFB in Ohio, the 44 year-old commander of the 95th Air Base Wing at Edwards AFB Calif. was fired.
Tight-lipped officials will only say the 1984 graduate of the University of Florida at Gainsville was relieved "for cause."
Maj. Gen. Curtis Bedke, Air Force Flight Test Center commander, "acted immediately upon receiving information that prompted this investigation," a base spokesperson said. "Col. Jeter was relieved based upon Gen. Bedke's lack of confidence in the colonel's ability to properly execute the responsibilities of his command."
SCANDALS ROCK TWO MORE AIR FORCE BASES -
This has been a bad summer for the U.S. Air Force, especially at bases in Florida and Texas.
We already broke the story two months ago of the Eglin AFB captain who is alleged to have used "knockout drops" to seduce and sodomize a number of young airmen who were stupid enough to be caught alone with him in the first place.
Our sources at Hurlburt Field tell us a young airman that had been "abused" went to OSI there and "blew the whistle" on the alleged attacker, who turned out to be the chief of patient administration at Eglin's base hospital.
WINS CONFIRMATION - ONLY 15 SENATORS
(c) 2006 MilitaryCorruption.com
"The primary word was fear," a Congressional source tells MilitaryCorruption.com. "Few senators wanted to make an enemy of the general - President George Bush's choice to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
"There was little chance to stop the nomination anyway. A lot was at risk for needlessly antagonizing such a powerful man. When he took over NSA (National Security Agency) there was a blood purge. Heads will roll at CIA soon enough. Gen. Michael Hayden is not a person you want angry with you, that's for sure."
When the votes were counted, only 15 senators dared to go against the general. Hillary Clinton, re-inventing herself as a "moderate" in preparation for a run for President in 2008, was not one of them. If any senator distinguished themself by refusing to "rubber stamp" the general, it was Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. If Hayden turns out to be half as bad as some observers fear, Feingold will have been right.