Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Why the Secrecy in Military Justice?
Why is the military justice system so secretive on matters that should be public records? Why are victims, reporters, interested observers, and the general public always directed to "file a FOIA request" when they seek such basic items as redacted charge sheets and accuseds' names for cases referred to trial or transcripts after a trial? Does the military gain anything by keeping these under wraps? Why are we told that we have to wait until the completion of the court-martial or the completion of appellate review when all we want is a document or witness testimony from a verbatim transcript constructed at the Article 32 hearing? I understand not releasing certain documents, redacting personal information from others, and delaying the release of certain information before referral, but I fail to see the logic behind other actions, particularly those that chronicle live, public events. Don't we want to showcase our military justice system?
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