by David Allender | June 3,
In a Camp Pendleton courtroom today, we finally learned the
details behind Lieutenant Andrew Grayson's alleged fraudulent attempt
to leave the Marine Corps.
Lt Grayson is one of three remaining defendants in the Haditha case.
His court martial will end tomorrow with closing arguments. A verdict
from the seven-member panel is expected by the end of the day.
The key witness was Lt Grayson's first military-appointed lawyer,
Major (now lieutenant colonel) Kevin Woodard. He
advised Grayson throughout his separation process.
On the witness stand, Woodard was asked, "What
did you do when you found out that Lt Grayson was not on legal hold?"
The reply was "nothing". Woodard checked with his
superiors and was told that neither he nor Lt Grayson were under any
ethical or legal obligation to inform the government that it had made
an error by not placing the lieutenant on legal hold, which would have
halted the separation process.
In Woodard's view, the government had screwed up
and he couldn't believe the government had made that kind of mistake. He
told Lt Grayson to be honest in the separation process, to never use
his rank to influence the process, and that he had no
obligation to tell anyone that there were charges hanging over him.
Lt Grayson checked with Woodard a final time before picking up his
DD214 and was told to proceed.
The charge against Lt Grayson is worded in a way that may spell
trouble for the lieutenant. The second specification reads that he "did
attempt to fraudulently procure his own separation from the United
States Marine Corps by knowingly concealing he was not eligible for
A decision will soon be in the hands
of the Marine officers on the panel.
Panel members heard numerous
testimony today that Lt Grayson has served his country with the utmost
The most moving testimony came from
Major Samuel H. Carrasco, operations
officer for the Third Battalion. He testified that Lt Grayson's
as an intelligence officer saved Major Carrasco the painful task of
writing hundreds of families that their child had been killed in
Other witnesses today included NCIS Special Agent Patrick Lim. Through
an examination of SSgt Justin Laughner's computer, he corroborated Lt
Grayson's claim that he had never been shown the photographs as
Laughner had claimed. SA Lim was able to be discover the dates the
files had been accessed, and none matched the dates that Laughner
claimed he had shown the photographs to Lt Grayson.
Defend Our Marines
3 June 2008