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DEFEND OUR MARINES EXCLUSIVE!

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Government screwed up, wants
heroic lieutenant to
go to jail

by David Allender | June 3, 2008

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 discharge."

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 distinction.

The most moving testimony came from Major Samuel H. Carrasco, operations officer for the Third Battalion. He testified that Lt Grayson's extraordinary work as an intelligence officer saved Major Carrasco the painful task of writing hundreds of families that their child had been killed in action.

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.

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David Allender
Defend Our Marines
3 June 2008

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