Tag Archives: North Carolina

Woman Writes Letter to General Who Made Decision to Prosecute Soldier-Brother on Sexual Assault Allegations

Today, in my continuing effort to expose the injustice surrounding the prosecution of Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin, I share the text of a letter written by Juliet Andes, a sister of the Army Ranger and attack helicopter pilot who stands falsely accused of sexual assault and other crimes by the woman he long considered his “legal” wife. Why do I share this letter now? Because Major Martin is set to go on trial Oct. 12 inside a military courtroom at Fort Campbell, Ky., unless the effort can be shut down before it begins.

Army Maj. Christian "Kit" Martin is shown with two of his nephews in this 2012 photo.

Army Maj. Christian “Kit” Martin is shown with two of his nephews in this 2012 his sister, Juliet, included in her letter June 19, 2014, letter to then-Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer.

Dated June 19, 2014, the letter was sent to then-Brig. Gen. Mark R. Stammer, the man who was serving as acting commanding general and senior officer at the post that’s home of the vaunted 101st Airborne Division, before he received a promotion to major general and assumed command of Africa Command’s Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonnier in the East African nation of Djibouti.

Why did the North Carolina woman send the letter to General Stammer? Because he’s the man who appears to have completely ignored the findings of multiple military and civilian agency investigations before deciding to press forward with the prosecution of Major Martin.

And why did General Stammer ignore those findings and opt for prosecution? One can only suspect General Stammer’s decision resulted from his desires: (1) to satisfy his superiors at the Pentagon who are under intense political pressure to prosecute any and all sexual assault allegations, regardless of any facts that surface; and (2) to earn a coveted second star.

The text of the letter from Major Martin’s sister to General Stammer appears below:

Dear General Stammer,

First, thank you for taking time to read this letter. I am writing to you as a mother, a daughter and a sister. I will try to keep it brief to respect your time, as I know you are a very busy man. I would like to begin by thanking you for your faithful and selfless service to our country, and for being a man committed to family values and doing the right thing. As a very busy working mother of 3 small children under the age of 6, I appreciate what it takes to command and lead, although my “army” is much smaller than yours. I am writing you in regards to my brother, Maj. Christian Martin. He is one of your men, a decorated veteran and also a man of strong faith and family values. He has served this country and your Army honorably. He is also in very big trouble. Perhaps my brother’s biggest fault is one of the things that make him a great soldier. He is a rescuer.

Several years ago, against strong reservations from our family, my brother met a woman online who told him she was a victim of abuse and he instantly came to her aid. He found her and her 3 children a safe place to live and married her a short time later (The marriage was just nullified by a Court of law as she was still married to her previous spouse). To make a long story short and spare you the gory details, years later my brother had finally had enough and asked for a divorce. The first words of of this woman’s mouth were “I’m going to ruin your career” and she has succeeded. My brother now finds himself facing a court marshal for a slew of disgusting charges that sicken me, as a mother, to even name. This woman, who hasn’t worked since she met my brother, has no integrity and was reprimanded in a civilian court for coaching her children to lie, is now not only victimizing my brother, but my family, my children (who adore their Uncle) and my aging parents. My brother has passed every test the Army has given him concerning these charges with flying colors, please; I beg of you, give him five minutes of your time to just hear his side of the story. The facts of the case speak for themselves, he has been found innocent on all charges in a civilian court of law. This has been going on for over two years and he needs help. Please stand by your soldier, give him the benefit of the doubt and give him a chance to defend his name and his honor when he’s spent so many years of his life defending ours.

I will end on a personal note if I can. We come from a long line of public servants; our father is a Vietnam veteran with 30 years of service, my sister a retired nurse in the Air Force. My twin sister and I are both local government employees who try to make a positive difference in this world. We are proud people of service and integrity. This woman has lied to my family about everything from having cancer (my parents are both cancer survivors) to being the first woman to climb Mt. Hood. She is not well. I worry for her children, whom my family loved as our own. The charges she has made to the military are vulgar and baseless and they are also very serious. As a mother and a woman, I am perhaps most offended by her abuse of the system. There are real women and children who experience this kind of unthinkable abuse everyday and taking that pain and cheapening it by using it in an untruthful way to exact revenge is the work of a very sick and disturbed person.

I appreciate your time and your commitment to your men, your Army and family. All I’m asking for is a voice for my brother. The facts will speak for themselves. I sincerely hope this letter lands on your desk and not in the waste bin. I feel helpless, frustrated, sad and scared. I want to raise my children in a just world, where their superheroes do save the day. Please, give my brother a chance to defend himself and make that happen.

“We’re going to focus on taking care of our people….” — Fort Campbell Courier, March, 2013.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Juliet Andes

To learn more about this case, read my Sept. 4 piece, Army Soldier-Aviator Faces Possible 58-Year Sentence As Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Witch Hunt Seeks New Victim, and the other follow-up pieces I’ve written and published.

If, after reading about Major Martin’s case and watching the related videos, you find yourself in a state of disbelief or, perhaps, anger, I encourage you to channel those feelings by contacting any of the individuals listed below:

Maj. Gen. Mark R. Stammer
c/o CJTF-HOA Public Affairs Office
Phone: +253 21-359-523
Email: africom.cldj.cjtf-hoa.mbx.public-affairs@mail.mil

Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky
c/o 101st Airborne Division
Bldg. 2700, Indiana Avenue
Fort Campbell, KY 42223
(270) 798-3025

Mr. Ashton Carter
Secretary of Defense
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

Mr. Jon T. Rymer
Inspector General
U. S. Department of Defense
4800 Mark Center Drive
Alexandria, VA 22350-1500

General Mark A. Milley
Chief of Staff, United States Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1400

Senator Rand Paul
167 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
(202) 224-4343

Senator Mitch McConnell
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2541

Senator Lamar Alexander
455 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4944

Senator Bob Corker
425 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3344

Thanks in advance for getting involved and for sharing this news and updates about the case as it moves forward!

UPDATE 9/17/2015 at 12:22 p.m. Central: Moments ago, I obtained a copy of General Stammer’s brief and cold reply to Ms. Andes’ letter. The text of that reply appears below:

Ms. Andes,

Thank you very much for your letter and your heartfelt concern for your brother, Major Martin. i can assure you that he will get full due process under the law and he will be ably assisted by his defense counsel. Feel free to contact either his civilian or military defense counsel: Mrs. Katherine Demps at [phone # and email address redacted], or CPT J Hunter Whyte at [phone # and email address redacted]. Either one will be happy to provide the details on the court-martial process and how you can assist.

Very respectfully,

Mark Stammer

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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Political Strategy Offered to Defeat ‘The Left’ in 2016

By Paul R. Hollrah

To be elected president or vice president of the United States requires a total of at least 270 votes in the Electoral College. Through the strategic spending of other people’s money, especially among minority populations in our major urban areas, Democrats have fashioned an electoral map that gives them a relatively firm base of 22 blue states with a combined total of 257 of the needed 270 electoral votes. Of the remaining 281 electoral votes, they only have to pick up 13 in order to elect a president and a vice president.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Editorial cartoon courtesy David Donar at http://politicalgraffiti.wordpress.com.

Republicans, on the other hand, have a firm base of 23 red states with a combined total of 191 electoral votes, leaving a total of six swing states… Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia… with a combined total of 90 electoral votes. In order for a Republican to win in 2016 and beyond, he/she must carry all 23 of the red states, plus at least five of the six swing states. They could afford to lose either Colorado’s nine electoral votes or Iowa’s six electoral votes, but not all 15. To lose both Colorado and Iowa, while carrying Florida, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia, would leave them with a total of just 266 electoral votes, four short of an electoral majority. It appears to be a nearly-insurmountable obstacle for Republicans, but is it?

With a bit of foresight and strategic planning, Republicans could do a great deal between now and November 2016 to mitigate the Democrats’ electoral advantage. In a December 2012 column, Real Electoral College Reform, I analyzed what would happen to the political balance of power in the United States if all 50 states were to adopt the Maine-Nebraska method for allocating electoral votes.

In the Electoral College, each of the 50 states are allotted two at-large electoral votes, one for each of their two U.S. senators, and one vote for each of the state’s congressional districts. With the exception of Maine and Nebraska, the winner of the popular vote in each state takes all of the state’s electoral votes. In Maine and Nebraska, however, the candidate who wins the statewide popular vote is allotted that state’s two at-large electoral votes, while the remainder of the electoral votes are allocated based on the winner of the popular vote within each of the state’s congressional districts.

If the Maine-Nebraska formula had been in effect in all 50 states in 2012, and assuming that the vote for the presidential candidates of each party would roughly approximate the votes for the congressional candidates of the respective parties in each congressional district, Obama would have lost 115 of his 332 electoral votes to Mitt Romney in the 26 states, plus D.C., in which he won a majority of the popular vote. On the other hand, in the 24 red states carried by Romney-Ryan, they would have lost only 39 electoral votes to Obama-Biden.

The end result?  In 2012, instead of a 332 to 206 vote victory for Obama-Biden in the Electoral College, the Maine-Nebraska system would have produced a comfortable 282 to 256 vote victory for Romney-Ryan, an outcome that would have been far closer to expressing the will of the people than the present winner-take-all system.

To understand this phenomenon, one need only look at the county-by-county electoral map of the United States with the counties colored either red or blue. It is reflective of: a) the preference for Republican principles among a substantial majority of the people, and b) the overwhelming size of the vote for the Democratic “sugar daddy” in the inner city precincts. The electoral process is disproportionately skewed by the fact that, in the heavily-populated inner-city precincts, the vote is nearly always 95 percent to 110 percent for Democratic candidates, while in the suburbs and the rural areas the vote is nearly always within the 60-40 range, one party over the other.

If it is true that “all politics is local,” as the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill once remarked, then to replace the current winner-take-all system with the Maine-Nebraska electoral system would help to bring political decision-making much closer to the people because of the increased interest generated in local and congressional elections.

The Maine-Nebraska electoral system would deemphasize the key battleground states such as Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia and require candidates to campaign in all fifty states. As matters now stand, presidential candidates spend little time in states such as California, New York, Oklahoma and Texas because the outcome of presidential voting in those states is almost always a foregone conclusion. Had the Maine-Nebraska system been in place for the 2012 General Election, Obama would have found it necessary to defend the 15 votes that Romney could have won in California and the six votes he could have won in New York, while Romney could not have ignored the 12 electoral votes that Obama might have captured in Texas.

Liberals and Democrats are notorious for expressing appreciation for whatever they see as being most “democratic.” But is there a chance that Democrats in the bluest of blue states… such as California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts and Oregon… would agree to such a reform once they figured out that the Maine-Nebraska system would cause them to lose a significant number of electoral votes to Republicans, and that the Maine-Nebraska system would all but guarantee that no Democrat could be elected president or vice president for many years to come? Among liberals and Democrats, when it come to a choice between what is best for the country and what is best for their party, the country will always come out on the “short end of the stick.”

Image above represents voting for president by county in 2012 presidential election (i.e., Red = Romney, Blue = Obama).

Image above represents voting for president by county in 2012 presidential election (i.e., Red = Romney, Blue = Obama).

So, while we cannot expect to ever see an electoral system in which all 50 states utilize the Maine-Nebraska formula, is there something that can be done now to level the playing field a bit? The answer is yes, and it can easily be accomplished in advance of the 2016 General Election. Here’s what must be done:

At the present time, there are 11 states with a total of 139 electoral votes that were carried by Barack Obama in 2012 which now have Republican governors. Of those 11 states, the states of Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin now enjoy Republican majorities in both houses of their legislatures. What this means is that, if the governors and legislative leaders in those five states understood what could be accomplished, they would take immediate steps to repeal the winner-take-all electoral system and adopt the Maine-Nebraska system. With Republican majorities in both houses of their legislatures, Democrats would be powerless to stop them.

Even if Democrats should win the popular vote in each of those five states in 2016, as they did in 2012, the Maine-Nebraska formula would create a much different scenario than the winner-take-all system:  Instead of winning all 29 of Florida’s electoral votes, Democrats would win 12 and Republicans would win 17; instead of winning all 16 of Michigan’s electoral votes, Democrats would win seven votes and Republicans would win nine; instead of winning all six of Nevada’s electoral votes, Democrats would win three and Republicans would win three; instead of winning all 18 of Ohio’s electoral votes, Democrats would win six and Republicans would win 12; and instead of winning all 10 of Wisconsin’s electoral votes, Democrats would win five and Republicans would win five.

Applying these totals to the expected blue state and red state totals, the Democrats’ expected advantage would increase from 257 electoral votes to 258, while the Republican disadvantage would move from 191 electoral votes to 237. As matters now stand, Democrats have to take only 13 (14 percent) of the 90 swing state votes while Republicans have to take 79 (8 percent) in order to win the presidency. On the other hand, if Republicans in those five states were to adopt the Maine-Nebraska system in the current legislative sessions, Democrats would have to take 12 (28 percent) of the remaining 43 swing state votes to win, while Republicans would have to take 33 (76 percent) of the remaining 43. Taking 76 percent of 43 votes is easier than taking 88 percent of 90 votes.

But what if many of the low-information Obama voters in Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Wisconsin decide to stay home in November 2016, giving Republicans popular vote victories in all five states? After eight years of disastrous Obama-Biden-Clinton-style governance, it is a distinct possibility. Under that scenario, Republicans could put another 10 electoral votes in their column.  Democrats would have 248 electoral votes and Republicans 247 electoral votes before the 43 electoral votes of Colorado (9), Iowa (6), North Carolina (15) and Virginia (13) were won or lost. Democrats would have to win 22 (51 percent) of the remaining 43 swing state votes, while Republicans would have to win 23 (53 percent). The playing field would be substantially leveled.

However, in order to greatly increase their chances of victory, Republicans should not hesitate to target Minnesota, with 10 electoral votes; New Hampshire, with four electoral votes; New Mexico, with five electoral votes; and Pennsylvania, with 20 electoral votes… all winner-take-all states, and all states that Obama carried with less than 53 percent of the vote in 2012. After eight years of Obama-Biden, at least five percent of the good people in those four states should be anxious for a change.

In the meantime, those readers who live in the states of Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio and Michigan might wish to place copies of this analysis into the hands of their governors and their legislative leaders. With seven states utilizing the Maine-Nebraska system we may witness the  beginning of a trend as other blue states follow suit. The question is, do Republican leaders in Washington and in the state capitals have the political sense to recognize the advantage they enjoy? Given their past history, we know that they= are not always quick to act when political advantage falls into their laps.  t may be necessary to lean on them a bit.

Paul R. Hollrah is a resident of Oklahoma who writes from the perspective of a veteran conservative politico and retired corporate government relations executive whose life experience includes having served two terms as a member of the Electoral College. Even if you disagree with him, this piece will make you think long and hard.

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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The National Bet Receives Front-Page Newspaper Coverage

I learned Thursday night that my first crime-fiction mystery novel, The National Bet, had made the front page of a major daily newspaper in Illinois despite having been released only last month!

Bill Grimes' story about The National Bet made the Aug. 11, 2014,  front page of the Effingham Daily News (Image used with permission of newspaper).

Bill Grimes’ story about The National Bet made the Aug. 11, 2014, front page of the Effingham Daily News (Image used with permission of newspaper).

The newspaper about which I’m speaking is the Effingham Daily News, THE major daily serving the people of Effingham County in Southern Illinois where much of the drama takes place inside the book’s 368 pages. The article appeared on the front page of the Aug. 11 print edition of newspaper under the headline, Fiction novel set in Effingham.

Why did it take me so long to discover the article had been published? Allow me to explain.

Around the first of August, reporter Bill Grimes called me after I had sent out pre-release feelers to news media folks I thought might be interested in the story. He interviewed me for about 30 minutes, and then I kept my eyes open for an alert about the article to appear in my email inbox. But it never did.

After spotting a brief-but-positive review of the book in the form of a status update Thursday night on Grimes’ Facebook page, I contacted him to find out if he had written any full-length article about the book. In reply, he told me he had indeed written the aforementioned article.

With permission from Grimes and his bosses at the Effingham Daily News, I share a large chunk of Grimes’ article below:

When Bob McCarty put out a quarterly magazine in the early 2000s, he periodically traveled to Effingham to oversee production at Kingery Printing.

After McCarty found out he lost his job, he decided to strike out on his own as an author. With two nonfiction books under the belt, his first fiction novel pays homage to Effingham.

McCarty, an Oklahoma native who now lives in St. Charles, Missouri, is getting ready to publish “The National Bet,” toward the end of this month. Much of the book is set in Effingham, and McCarty says local people are generally portrayed in a favorable light.

FBI Special Agent Joe-L Wilson has been assigned to investigate the deaths of thousands over a Fourth of July weekend. The probe leads him to Effingham, where he interviews people at a fictitious Illinois Chemical Company.

Other characters include students at Ben Wood College, as well as a female reporter at the Effingham Courier newspaper and a local judge who just can’t behave himself. Ben Wood College is named for the late Benson Wood, Effingham mayor, congressman and namesake of the landmark Benwood Hotel in downtown Effingham.

McCarty said Effingham struck him as a logical place to portray middle America.

“When you drive through that part of Illinois, you see cornfields and mostly small towns,” he said. “I’ve lived all over the planet, but Effingham just struck me as a quintessential American setting.

“I didn’t spend much time in Effingham, but it struck me as a good place to have as the setting for this book,” he added.

Nearly all of the people who die over the tragic weekend depicted in the book are not from Effingham, however.

Aside from having to mention the part about me losing my job (click here for the ugly details about that), Grimes did a good job with the story. Now, I’m waiting for calls from other journalists and bloggers who might be interested in the fictitious action set in their cities (i.e., Groton, Ct., Brooklyn, N.Y., Campton, N.H., and Charlotte, N.C., as well as Manila, Republic of the Philippines, Grozny, Chechnya, Berbera, Somalia, and Washington, D.C. Know anyone?

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:29 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

If you like this article and my other efforts, please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

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