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by Lt. Eric Shine
Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009 at 7:34 PM
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LETTER TO SENATOR WHITEHOUSE ABOUT USE OF MILITARY TRIBUNALS IN THE US BY DEPT. OF HOMELAND SECURITY......
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
Hart Senate Office Building, Room 502
170 Westminster, Suite 1100
Washington, D.C. 20510 Providence, RI. 02903
202-224-2921 phone/ 202-228-6362 fax 401-453-5294 phone/ 401-453-5085 fax
Dear Senator Sheldon Whitehouse,
This letter is to report upon Military Tribunals being convened here in the United States upon American Civilians in violation of a long string of legal traditions and case precedence.
This is not about Guantanamo Bay, or so-called “detainees”, this is about military tribunals of U.S. Citizens. This is not a joke, or exaggeration or misunderstanding either. This requires your full and directed attentions. Please do not hesitate to end these un-Constitutional applications of military assets against fellow Americans and your constituents. There is sufficient information and guidance in this report for Congress to launch an immediate in-depth and broader investigation into these matters.
Agency, and/or Department doing this, is Department of Homeland Security, by and through, U.S. Coast Guard as recently incorporated therein in 2003 at DHS’s inception. Congress is aware of a range of problems plaguing the Coast Guard including complaints pertaining to CG ALJ Program, TEMPEST, ICGS, National Security Cutters, TWIC cards, and a number of programs involving minimally, waste, fraud, abuse, gross mismanagement, intentional outright constructive fraud and racketeering. What is reported upon herein is worse and more overarching. It is about creation of an un-constitutional court system imposed upon American civilians that are clearly military tribunals. To be clear and show how true this statement is, as example Coast Guard is using uniformed Commissioned Military JAG Officers as :Investigators” and even “Prosecutors” and “Judges” against American civilians.
One must understand legal factual history of Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security, if not Department of Defense as well, and its precursor in the Department of War in order to understand long-standing nature and development of these troubling programs. In addition, one must look to the history behind creation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice [UCMJ] in 1947, and creation of the Administrative Procedure Act of 1947 [APA], since these issues are at the heart to all this.
However, setting background aside, moving more contemporaneously toward what is going on today, ever since March of 2003 Coast Guard has pursued an aggressive program to self-declare, advertise, promote, and protect at all cost idea it is a “Special” Branch of Military somehow. Coast Guard has been using military assets and resources, even private, corporate assets tied to it within Lockheed – Martin, Boeing and other Federal Military contractors, in order to press this forward. To declare itself to be a Branch of Military, and although declaring it now comes under UCMJ as subpart of Title 10 somehow [but only toward its own unlawful ends], is professing simultaneously it is somehow not bound by UCMJ, or Title 10. Far worse, its declaring it is not bound by Posse Comitatus Act from 1872, as was incorporated into Title 10, and into UCMJ [subpart of Title 10], and into Title 18 as well under criminal codes, and made it a criminal violation to use military assets in civilian affairs like this.
To be clear, Coast Guard is declaring itself to be a Branch of Military, a “Special” one at that. A Branch of Military not contained within Department of Defense [DoD] or under proper Title 10 jurisdiction, and not visibly or apparently under control of DoD or the Pentagon [which come under Title 10 which is in fact the entire DoD and is contained within DoD], but declaring Coast Guard is somehow independent of and acting instead of within DoD, from within the Department of Homeland Security.
Coast Guard is self-declaring it comes under UCMJ [which is again a subpart to Title 10], but all constraints placed upon all four Regular “Branches” of our Military do not apply to it somehow, wiping out the “UNIFORM” nature of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
Furthermore, Coast Guard is openly declaring, even setting forth in its own self-made court system [Coast Guard ALJ Program] that Coast Guard as this “Special” Branch of Military can regulate civilian laws; can police civilian laws; can involve itself directly within civilian affairs and do so as a “civil complainant” [plaintiff] even press “charges” against civilians in its own military court system; can make civilian laws, rules and regulations; and can go as far as prosecute civilians in this military court system.
When one looks closely at legal history to this claim, and what Coast Guard is saying it can now do as a new, “independent”, “Special” Branch of Military is quite problematic, and it should be seen as quite disturbing by Congress as well, by each and all our Representatives - Democrat or Republican.
Coast Guard as an Agency is saying this, although it does not properly reside under Title 10 within DoD, or under at least apparent command and control of the Pentagon or Secretary of Department of Defense. Nor does it now fall under authority of the Secretary of the Navy, or Chair of the Joint Chiefs, or various Chiefs of Staff, or even its Chief of Staff [as it does not have one thereon], as it is still within Department of Homeland Security. Coast Guard has never had a “Secretary of the Coast Guard” like the Navy, or Army and has never had a Chief of Staff or seat at Joint Chiefs of Staff either, because it always comes under command, control and chain-of-command of U.S. Navy when moved into DoD. All “Branches” of Military, or military personnel are to be contained within Department of Defense, from under identical restraints and constraints of Title 10 and its subpart in form of the UCMJ.
This is why in fact, legal and factual history to this is important as after World War II, changes turning our Department of War into a Department of Defense, creation of Title 10 and UCMJ, creation of APA, along with creation and modification to Title 14 with placement of the Coast Guard under Title 14, not Title 10, and under APA, and not the UCMJ is core to all of this.
Part of the problem, is Coast Guard is saying it, and its
personnel now come under UCMJ which is actually subpart of Title 10, not Title 14, but Coast Guard is saying it now comes under Title 10 [UCMJ/ Martial Law] outside of DoD somehow as well. This is not possible. Either Coast Guard is under Title 14 and Title 5 as incorporated for its personnel as a Federal Maritime Police Agency, or it is under Title 10 under DoD, within U.S. Navy where it loses regulatory and police powers. Title 14 is proper U.S. Civilian Code Coast Guard comes under as Federal Maritime Police Regulatory Agency. This is so, unless in times of war Coast Guard is moved to DoD under command and control of the U.S. Navy. Title 10 cannot simply be “removed” from DoD, in whole or in part, as Title 10 is Department of Defense and Pentagon and is contained therein as it is Military or even Martial Law and not “civil” or “civilian law”.
Furthermore, any Agency, Branch or personnel coming under UCMJ, as Coast Guard itself is claiming, cannot “administer” civilian law or involve itself in civilian affairs, especially a court system.
Under Title 14, Coast Guard is a Federal Maritime Police and “Regulatory” Agency, not a Branch of Military, special or otherwise. This whole issue came to a loggerhead in 1946/47 after WW II causing creation of DoD, UCMJ, APA and placing Coast Guard under APA for its own personnel only, as it had abused American Civilians for decades within its own self-made “Admiralty Courts.” Only time Coast Guard is to come under Title 10, or subpart of it known as Uniform Code of Military Justice is when it is transferred into Department of Defense, under Department of Navy as part and parcel to, component of, and under direct command and control of U.S. Navy. Period. No other time and not outside DoD.
When this occurs any individual, or Coast Guard unit so transferred, or Coast Guard as an Agency, each is to lose all “Police” and Regulatory” powers since then it becomes part of the U.S. Navy. This is in-keeping with Title 10, its subpart in the UCMJ, U.S. Supreme Court case law like Reid vs. Covert from 1957, Title 18 as criminal code, even Title 5 [APA] that Coast Guard and its personnel are supposed to come under as their own codes of conduct, rather than UCMJ if it were not for more recent, improper, unsettling even unlawful “changes” that have effectively turned our Constitution on its head.
Besides, and in opposition to these particulars and more, Coast Guard is openly declaring it is now a full time, full- fledged separate, distinct “Special Branch of Military” residing in Homeland Security, not Department of Defense. This is big enough, in and of itself, as this means “Military Law” or “Martial Law”, Title 10 and UCMJ were fractured and taken out of DoD and is being used improperly outside the DoD. Military gavel and military court; or military weapons, neither are to be used to target civilians, especially American civilians and taxpayers here in the U.S within military courts.
Where now, Coast Guard in Homeland Security is no longer operating under Civilian - Civil Service Law and APA, or Title 5 as incorporated into Title 14 as a proper Civil Service Police Agency as it was in the Department of Transportation. Instead, Coast Guard is acting under Military Law, Title 10, or that part of Title 10 known as the UCMJ, and doing so “voluntarily.”
Coast Guard is now clearly an unregulated Branch of Military in DHS, not DoD. Answerable only to the President directly, outside any civilian chain-of-command in DoD, and absent constraints of Title 10. These constraints are supposed to form a bright line of separation between what is military, what is not, what is civilian, and what is not. These “positions” and declarations can be seen on Coast Guard’s own Wikipedia page. Coast Guard is pushing this from within its courts as “legal” position somehow;
When you take time to review this site, as you must, it becomes clear Coast Guard as self-perceived, self-declared “Special Branch of Military” has taken over enforcement of, even adjudication of violations of Civilian Laws, or Codes, or Titles like Oil Pollution Act, Environmental Protection Act, Title 33 in entirety, Title 46 in entirety, can administer civilian matters under Title 5 as civilian law, but only as administered by personnel coming under Title 10, UCMJ, and Military Law. Far worse, it is doing this in its own self-made court system or “Admiralty Courts”, or ALJ Program, where it sits in all roles.
Its my impression, professional opinion, and belief stemming from my own personal knowledge and experience in these matters that I can testify to that individuals in DHS, DoD, Department of Navy, on both Civilian and Military sides of inherent separations therein, some who left service, many who are still in Military or Federal Civil Service, are involved in this abomination along with at least several high ranking Admirals in the Coast Guard including current Commandant Admiral Allen. Much of this was set-up intentionally before latest scandals including banking, mortgages, real estate, lending, insurance and a number of other systemic and systematic failures going to why Coast Guard was so “converted” in 2003, under specter of war from a “Civil Service” under APA in the Department of Transportation, to a “Special Branch of Military” under UCMJ in the newly created Department of Homeland Security.
One initial grievance of our Founding Fathers was in regards to actions of King George in making “military independent of and superior to the civilian authorities.” This is the same scenario recreated now by these maneuvers as at no point in time, under any conditions are civilians to come under military authority. Whether President Barack Obama is ultimately in charge of the Coast Guard directly, or indirectly, within the Department of Homeland Security this does not relieve Coast Guard, or President, Congress, or the Judiciary, or others in having a “Branch of Military” imposing itself upon American Civilians as a Military “regulatory” and Military “police” agency.
Coast Guard is saying it, a “special”, “self-declared” Branch of Military can “police” civilian laws and civilian affairs. That, as a Branch of Military not bound by Title 10, or the UCMJ although its own people reportedly come under the UCMJ and Title 10, can “regulate” civilian affairs, even make laws, rules and regulations for civilians. In fact, as example Coast Guard only recently published on November 17, 2009 hundreds of pages of new “Rules” in the Federal Register it wishes to create through “administrative civilian rule-making process” and apply to American Civilians, Federal Maritime Officers and crew, who are not in the Coast Guard or this “Branch of Military.” This is a “Branch of Military” or minimally if corrected to original status, a “Branch of Military - Police” making rules for civilians. This is unconscionable. Far worse it is un-American.
Beyond this, Coast Guard is under impression it can “adjudicate” or carry on “military tribunals” of American Civilians. Coast Guard believes it was “granted these powers by Congress” somehow. If, as a Representative you were a party to this grant of authority you owe the American People some answers. All this is part and parcel to a program attempted to be pushed through, by enactments of the Military Commissions Act, Warner Defense Authorization Bill [with relevant amendments to this – since dissolved], HR 1955, SB 1959 and other laws pertaining to use of Military Courts over civilians here in the U.S. “Detainees” and Guantanamo Bay issues over trials and prosecutions are part of this program to, in violation of the Supreme Court case precedence of Reid vs. Covert, 1957, spread out and have an Executive Branch Court system in direct competition with Article III, supposedly independent Judiciary.
Coast Guard actually “seized these powers” by creating a system of courts under common law through use of its self-made court system” by “bringing its first action,” declaring its first “victim” to be “medically/ mentally incompetent” and using this to create and maintain this court system by seizing venue and jurisdiction by condemning its first “defendant.” This is something Congress has shut down, time-and-time-again over past 90 years. This revolves around creation of UCMJ, APA, DoD and Title 14 as stated. Eventually it reoccurred again in the 1960’s when Coast Guard was moved into Department of Transportation in response. Something, that I can explain more in-depth at a later date and time, but in addition the Suits in Admiralty Act of 1965 was passed to restore the proper authority to the Federal Article III court system and shut down these courts. “Jones Act” and other laws are part of this as well.
To accomplish this Coast Guard seized upon the Article III Judiciary, took under Article II Executive Branch jurisdiction [as far back as 1915, just after its creation], by wrapping a proverbial arm around, “housing”, then taking over Shipping Commissioners and Shipping Commissioner’s Act of 1872.
Shipping Commissioners were actually Article III Judicial Officers appointed by the Article III Federal Judiciary, specifically, our District Courts to act as on the spot Judicial Officers to protect personnel in the U.S. Merchant Marine. Coast Guard believes it has a right to have its own Article II court system in what are clearly constituted in the form of military tribunals, only so to use and impose military courts and military personnel upon civilians, to adjudicate “disputes” with and even against “civilians” that it files “charges” and “civil complaints” against. In disputes where a side as “complainant” is a “Branch of Military”, and other side in “defendant” or “respondent”, is a civilian.
Again. Let me repeat this once again so it is abundantly clear.
A “Branch of Military” is filing “civil complaints”, even “charges” against “alleged” and “identified” civilians, that the Coast Guard has identified. Doing this from within its system of courts, which it started and created from scratch, it runs, and that it pays for from military “defense” funds. Court it initiated in a series of extra-legal maneuvers going as far back to 1915, if not well before, finding a way to capitalize on this in recent, most overt maneuver under clouds of war in 2003.
Even now Coast Guard is attempting to once again lay claim to Shipping Commissioner’s Act of 1872 [recodified at 46 USC 239 G], even though “Shipping Commissioner’s” were Article III Judicial Officers as in original or enabling act of Congress. Doing this even though Coast Guard is saying it is now an Executive Branch, Article II “Special Branch of Military” that can do more than simply, somehow, adjudicate civilian affairs. By doing this, by case precedence created thereby within these “Admiralty courts”, Coast Guard is indeed and in fact “making” laws, rules, and regulations for civilians.
If, Coast Guard were “just” a “Police Agency” this would be bad enough. It would be like FBI being allowed to have its own court system within and “administered” by the FBI to impose itself upon civilians, and thus make civilian laws and rules. This is not our system of jurisprudence and there is a great deal more going on here than this. Coast guard is attempting to “mirror” issues and precedence of various Departments of Motor Vehicles - when the two are miles apart in all regards.
If you take a moment to visit Coast Guard’s website at www.uscg.mil you will discover a great deal, where “.mil” extension is normally reserved for valid Branches of Military. Like the Army [Article I], Navy [Article II], Marine Corps [as branched off the Navy], Air Force [as branched off the Army] as contained within, not to be “let out of” DoD, or confines of Title 10, or common strictures that are to be uniform for all “Branches of Military” as outlined in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. All those who come under UCMJ are those men and women in a particular “uniform” of the four aforementioned “Branches of Military”, thus the term “uniform.”
In addition, term “uniform” is applied as well since codes are to be uniform, conform to all services equally under same “system” of Codes of Conduct toward Military Justice. This was in response to numerous problems arising prior to 1945, with greatest onset coming from 1915 forward and mostly coming from Coast Guard, and what it had attempted to do since 1915. Prior to 1945 all Branches of the Military had their own divergent Codes of Conduct and Military Justice Systems.
There are many reasons this is being carried out with no positive reason I can think of, but either way it is a very dangerous move that cannot be left unconfronted, or uncontested by Congress. Numerous American “civilians” and many Military Officers such as myself have attempted to confront and end this program, but powerful forces and influential people are behind propagation, even growth and expansion of these military tribunals and their use upon our own and other Nations civilians.
“Coast Guard” wishes to have its cake and eat it too, so to speak in this regard.
On one hand it wishes to proclaim its now under Title 10 and UCMJ as a form of Martial or Military Law, but in Homeland Security instead of under command and control of DoD and Pentagon. That its a “Special Branch of Military” with a different application of and interpretation of the UCMJ and Title 10, that for one, is outside of DoD for starters, but is also in direct opposition to uniform nature of the U-N-I-F-O-R-M Code of Military Justice and consistent application to all Regular Military Services.
In addition, Coast Guard wishes to be a “Branch of Military”, special or otherwise where its personnel come under Military Law, but can “administer” civilian law.” It wishes to do what no other Agency, Department or “Branch of Military” has ever been able to do before. To be federal “police.” To be “Military – Federal Police” over civilians. To be a “Military - Regulatory” Agency over civilians. To administer “civilian law” under military authority by personnel who come under UCMJ and Military Law. To have “Courts of the King” more or less, or modern day Privy Council proceedings, administered under Executive Branch where our Constitution and Amendments do not apply to “defendants.” This is the Coast Guard’s opinion as evident from actual TRANSCRIPTS of these ALJ proceedings in May, 2008.
The Coast Guard is even “hiring” or “assigning” its own Direct Commissioned Officers as Lieutenant Commanders employed by Coast Guard to act as Administrative Law Judges like Lieutenant Commander Walter J. Brudzysnki, USCG. This man stated in ex parte proceedings these are not Constitutional Courts, which is in fact true, but in that case they must not exist. So these individuals are well aware what they are carrying out in that these courts “should not exist.” Coast Guard is also using Uniformed Commissioned Officer Medical Staff Doctors to “diagnose” civilians, carry on “mental competency” proceedings as Article 32 trials [JAG Grand Jury proceedings] of alleged civilians.
This is unconscionable.
Coast Guard, as stated, sits in all roles within these proceedings as “complainant” or “injured party” [a Branch of Military]; it is “investigating officer or party” [JAG Attorneys acting as both “investigator” and “prosecutor” of civilians]; “prosecution” or “prosecuting officer” [Commissioned, Uniformed JAG Attorneys of the Coast Guard]; Coast Guard is the “Judge” [as in Coast Guard Commissioned Officers like Lieutenant Commander Walter J. Brudzysnki]; and it is the “Appellate Body” in form of the Commandant, Admiral in a Branch of Military these “civilians” its bringing charges against are not in. Again, one more time - this is unconscionable. As you may be aware Lt. Cdr. Walter J. Brudzysnki was center of ALJ Program scandals reported by ALJ Denson and Massey to Congress in June, 2007. These are “military assets” where a military court is charging and complaining against “civilians.”
There is a great deal more I will not get into here, suffice to say more than enough has been laid out for you to understand the gravity of what is going on, what the Coast Guard is up to, and for you to take immediate measures to interrupt and stop these practices.
A full scale program to expand Coast Guard JAG Program within Coast Guard is underway to apply Coast Guard’s military enforcement of civilian law to new heights. Or should I say new depths? Even now a Coast Guard cadet, although studying at the Coast Guard Academy, but not on Title 10 Executive Orders, or part of DoD, or Pentagon was prosecuted under UCMJ and Title 10 or Military/ Martial Law. This is getting out of hand and needs your attention as average citizens cannot confront or stop a “Special Branch of Military” in either Federal Courts now-a-days, or and especially not within Coast Guard’s own Military Court system. This Branch of Military will not allow a challenge to its authority within these proceedings. Only Congress can put a stop to what is going on.
Please take immediate actions to put an end to these proceedings and restore those who have been injured from being targeted by this “Branch of Military” in its use of military assets against your fellow Americans as placed within and under these improper military tribunals.
Anonymous American Commissioned Naval Officer and Officer in the Merchant Marine [Lt. Shine]
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