Category Archives: Three Days In August

Army Lawyer Surfaces in New Bogus Prosecution Effort

Though he might be familiar to those in Army legal circles, Maj. Jacob D. Bashore didn’t become known to me until about four years ago when I began investigating the wrongful prosecution and conviction of Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart. Much to my surprise, his name surfaced again today — and in a similarly-negative context.

This photo shows an Army depiction of court-martial proceedings in progress, but is unrelated to the individuals mentioned in this article.

This photo shows an Army depiction of court-martial proceedings in progress, but is unrelated to the individuals mentioned in this article.

Bashore, whose name appears in an early chapter of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August, was a captain at the time he appeared on my “radar screen” as the trial counsel who led the prosecution effort against Stewart, a highly-decorated Green Beret combat veteran. What troubled me about his work — and became the reason I wrote the book — was that the prosecution was based almost solely on the false claims of rape and kidnapping made by a then-28-year-old German woman with a history of mental illness.

Despite a complete lack of physical evidence and eyewitnesses, and thanks largely to an inept military judge’s decision to proceed with the case after the accuser and German government officials refused to allow her medical records to be introduced to the court, Captain Bashore managed to win convictions on several lesser counts that resulted in Stewart being sentenced to eight years behind bars. Per the book’s title, that military trial took place during three days in August 2009.

Now, fast forward to today when Major Bashore’s name appeared on my radar as the special victim prosecutor assigned to the case of Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, an Army officer assigned to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky.

Major Martin, who began his military career as an Army private and went on to become an officer and fly a range of attack helicopter missions in combat, is facing dubious allegations that could bring a stunning and disastrous end to his stellar 29-year military career. Moreover, guilty counts on all charges could result in him being sent to prison for 58 years — a virtual life sentence!

Major Bashore, on the other hand, seems to be pursuing a conviction against Major Martin in much the same way he pursued Stewart six years ago; he seems willing to do and/or say anything to achieve a conviction while satisfying his Army superiors, many of whom seem more focused on keeping liberal politicians — namely U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY), two bought-and-paid-for politicians who’ve apparently refused to read Lindsay L. Rodman’s well-written piece, Fostering Constructive Dialogue on Military Sexual Assault, published in Joint Force Quarterly 69 by National Defense University Press — than on achieving just outcomes inside military courtrooms.

Major Martin, however, is not sitting by idly while the Army constructs the casket inside which his career and freedom might be placed if he’s found guilty during a military trial expected to begin in October. In fact, I learned he’s spent close to $100,000 on lawyers and private investigators so far, and their efforts have turned up some incredible things.

Stay tuned for more details as I review documentation related to this monumental injustice that appears to be taking shape at Fort Campbell.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

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CODE RED: No Easy Day for Green Beret on Witness Stand

EDITOR’S NOTE: The article below first appeared on this site Aug. 24, 2012. Almost two years later, it vanished — along with nearly 5,000 others written and published since October 2006 — as detailed in a post eight months ago. Today, I rescued it from where it appears on an alternate site in order to share it below with only minor modifications. Please read and share.

Two Good Books

No Easy Day is the title of a book by Matt Bissonnette (alias “Mark Owen”), a former Navy SEAL-turned author of an unauthorized account of the 2011 Navy SEALs raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan. The three-word title could also describe the time former Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart spent testifying during his court-martial in August 2009.

According to The Daily Beast, Admiral William McRaven used a letter to members of his U.S. Special Operations Command to issue a veiled warning to Bissonnette. Then USSOC commander, he wrote the following:

“Every member of the special-operations community with a security clearance signed a non-disclosure agreement that was binding during and after service in the military. If the U.S. Special Operations Command finds that an active-duty, retired or former service member violated that agreement and that exposure of information was detrimental to the safety of U.S. forces, then we will pursue every option available to hold members accountable, including criminal prosecution where appropriate.”

While Bissonnette became the subject of an NCIS investigation, he has not, to my knowledge, faced any formal charges. Instead, he was ordered to pay $4.5 million to the government for publishing the book without first obtaining clearance.

Conversely, Stewart was sentenced to eight years in prison following a kangaroo-court military trial that followed false allegations he had raped and kidnapped a then-28-year-old German woman. During that trial, he refused to violate the terms of his nondisclosure agreement — even while facing a possible life sentence in a military courtroom in Germany.

The government’s cross-examination of Stewart on Day Two of his court-martial began with the trial counsel asking him questions about friendships he had established in Germany since his August 2008 arrival in the Stuttgart area. Before long, however, it turned into a somewhat-heated exchange—something Stewart later described as being similar to a courtroom scene from the movie, A Few Good Men.

In that scene, a Marine colonel (Jack Nicholson) on the witness stand was accused by a young Navy defense attorney (Tom Cruise) of ordering a “Code Red”—an illegal beating of a Marine by members of his platoon that resulted in his death and a subsequent cover-up. Several minutes of heated exchange between the officers resulted in the colonel finally losing his cool and admitting he ordered the attack.

“Every schooling and every assessment that the military has done on me to assess that I’m stable,” Stewart said, “and that I’m trusted with national security issues and that I can be trusted to make the right, conscious decisions, now is being turned around (so that) every one of those (are) predatory skills that I used to go after Miss Heinrich.”

Still, the trial counsel tried to paint Stewart, a man who had risen into the top one percent of the Army, as a master manipulator whose SF training helped him know how to control a person like his accuser, Greta J. Heinrich*.

After seeing his sentence reduced from eight to three years, Stewart was released from prison March 31, 2011. Four years later — after he had spent his life savings on legal fees and lost all pay and allowances as a result of the trial outcome — he received a letter from the Department of the Treasury and was told he owes the Department of Defense more than $35,000 as repayment for, among other things, a reenlistment bonus he received prior to being court-martialed. See details here.

You can learn more about Stewart’s case here, then read all of the blow-by-blow details on the pages of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight for Military Justice. It’s available in paperback and eBook at Amazon.com.

*This is not the real name of the accuser, and it does not appear in the book.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.