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WHY THE MILITARY SYSTEM OF “JUSTICE” IS NOT JUSTICE AT ALL
by Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III
(Dec. 18, 2010) — [Editor’s Note: This report is a continuation of the series on which The Post & Email and Walter Fitzpatrick were collaborating before Mr. Fitzpatrick’s incarceration on October 27, 2010 at the Monroe County jail. As stated to me, Mr. Fitzpatrick’s intent was to educate and inform the public and Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin about the court-martial process, which is one of attainder, or conviction without the benefit of a jury of one’s peers such as are guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
LCDR Fitzpatrick was court-martialed in 1989-1990 and maintains his innocence of the charges to this day. He has previously discussed “ghost witnesses,” how four people decided his fate before any hearing was held, and his belief that the same thing was being done to Lt. Col. Lakin who was, in fact, court-martialed earlier this week and sentenced to six months in prison, cessation of pay, and dismissal from the Army without further benefits after 18 years of service.
A document issued by the Congressional Research Service in 2004 states that “The President implemented the UCMJ through the Manual for Courts-Martial (MCM), which was prescribed by Executive Order 12473 (April 13, 1984)…Military courts are not considered Article III courts but instead are established pursuant to Article I of the Constitution.”
What if there is no legitimate President?
The 2008 Courts-Martial Manual can be found here consisting of almost 1,000 pages.
Decisions made by a military tribunal cannot be appealed to federal courts. The only way to appeal is a petition for a panel of review (which may or may not include civilians as well as military officers) to review decisions, however the President, as commander-in-chief, has final review of all appeals.
Although such tribunals do not satisfy most protections and guarantees provided by the United States Bill of Rights, that has not stopped Presidents from using them, nor the U.S. Congress from authorizing them, as in the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Fitzpatrick has stated that the U.S. Navy continues to maintain a document with his forged signature as authentic to the present time, and that the corruption within the military reaches up to and includes Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Post & Email contacted and has spoken with two of the four named accusers in Fitzpatrick’s court-martial, and neither one would consent to going on the record. Fitzpatrick has named Lt. Tim Zeller, Capt. Kevin Anderson, Admiral John Bitoff and Capt. Paul Romanski as having conspired against him and pronounced him guilty before his trial even began, stating, “These men were working with specific, purposeful, criminal intent from the very beginning.”
The following is a “chapter” in the court-martial of Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III as told to The Post & Email in October 2010 focusing on the efforts Fitzpatrick took to prove that the signature appearing on the confession document was not his. When The Post & Email brought up Fitzpatrick’s contention that the signature was forged to one of the four men named above, he said, “If that’s true, then somebody did bad.”
Kevin Anderson is currently a Deputy Prosecutor in Kitsap County, WA.]
I’ve talked about the fact that Major General Carla Hawley-Bowland has no authority to move forward with Lt. Col. Lakin’s court-martial because she does not recognize or understand the issue of chain of command. The other thing is, and this is the point that I’ve been making now for 21 years, about the integrity of a court-martial: the military system of discipline has always been under examination and question. It has struggled unsuccessfully to maintain the status and a respect that it must not achieve and now it cannot achieve because of the information that I’ve just given to you.
John Bitoff must be made an icon because of the kind of corruption, manipulation, and the use of the court-martial to lock up innocent people to protect the state against whatever the state is doing wrong. When they’re caught, they lie about the people who are standing up to challenge them.
I’m going to capture these thoughts as they come to me. There must come a time when people stop reporting what I tell them and start to look into this thing on their own, become aggressive, declaratory; make declarations of the criminality that is now inarguable, unassailable. But I can’t find those people.
I sent you the last contact information I had for Mr. Tony Blasier. Mr. Blasier is the man who was the focal point for the issue of the forgery. He was an investigator for the Oklahoma Bar Association back in the late ’90s. My attempts to go to the Oklahoma Bar Association went on for years and years and years, and finally Mr. Blasier picked up this thing and actually did something with it, and he tried to see to it that Zeller was faced with the consequences of his actions, and he was frustrated in his attempt to do that. Mr. Blasier is a really, really, really nice man, and he is a trained investigator who knows how to give a polygraph and document it. I have given you his contact information so that you can confirm independently for yourself what I’m about to tell you.
I approached the Oklahoma Bar Association in the mid-1990s. Finally Mr. Blasier did his investigation in the latter part of 1999. It was about that period of time when the records of the court-martial had been discovered, and it had been traced back to Kevin Anderson. During this period of time, people like John Bitoff – you find them everywhere, in the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, you find them in the senior military ranks, you find them in the JAG Corps, you find them during an oversight of the military court-martial process – were saying that, from the military point of view, the forgery of my name was of no consequence.
The Navy did not prove that it was a forgery; it said it was “inconclusive.” Now if you’re a trained investigator and you have inconclusive results in one part of your investigation, that does not shut down the rest of the investigation. There are other leads involved. As I told you, Kevin Anderson was approached back on December 26, 1997 by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and was therefore alerted by Rand Pixa, “Hey, dummy up, dummy!” The NCIS inquired; they attempted an interview in Anderson’s office at the Kitsap County office of the prosecuting attorney in December 1997, and they came away from it with Anderson lying to them about what he knew about the document. Anderson lied to them, and they knew he was lying.
We know that the document exists. We know the forgery exists; we know that the original exists, and we know that my name is a forgery. Detectives could find out how that document got in the record and was held by people who had to account for its chain of custody. Tim Zeller would have been one of those people. Kevin Anderson would have been one of those people. Bitoff was one of those people. You see, you trace it back to the forgery, and then you find out how it got from being forged into the record of court-martial. Nobody has done that, because when they start looking into that kind of administration and chain of custody, who-handed- it-to-whom kind of stuff, then we get to John Bitoff, and John Bitoff is as much the person who forged my name as is the person who put pen to paper, which would be Kevin Anderson. Anderson did that under the orders of John Bitoff. John Bitoff needs to face that criminal consequence publicly, aggressively and NOW. There can be no more question about John Bitoff’s criminality. I’ve been fighting this thing for 21 years; it’s time for me to stop.
So it was in this day when the military was trying to say, “Well, no, it’s not a forgery,” and “Well, we’re not going to investigate it” that I was being told that there were “inconclusive” results and “We’re not so sure,” – OK, fine. Again, so as not to waste the time of the Oklahoma Bar Association and to prove to them that I’m telling the truth, I said, “Let’s do this.” Mr. Dudink – and it’s an unusual name; I’ve never seen it before or since then – was commissioned by a Navy commander from the JAG Corps who was under investigation by the state bar as it went to the issue of forgery. Dudink was hired by the United States Navy. I’ve sent you his report. The first report that came out on 17 January of that year stated that the document was a forgery, and it was a comparison between Zeller’s handwriting and my handwriting. Zeller later came out and said that I signed the document that bears my forged, misspelled name even after that. Zeller wrote a letter to Mr. Blaiser which I have; I can send it to you. There is another letter where Zeller attacked me and said, “I’ve talked to a psychiatrist…” In other words, what Zeller says in the letter to Tony Blaiser is the same kind of thing that he says to John Bitoff. Bitoff has lied. Zeller has lied. Kevin Anderson is lying. I have to go on the record.
Can you imagine the frustration in my trying to convince people like Mr. Blasier that the signature wasn’t mine? Can you imagine? “This signature is not my signature.” This is something else that the same investigator would find out. “Fitzpatrick, when were you ever in the room with this original document?” I’ve never been in the room with the original, ever. I told you the closest I’ve ever been to it that I know, and this is what the Navy and the Marine Corps and the Defense Department have turned away from, because they want to court-martial Lt. Col. Lakin in the way that they court-martialed me.
Editor’s Note: On page 1 above, Mr. Dudink ironically referred to Walter Fitzpatrick as “Walter F. Fitzgerald” in item #1 under the heading “PROCEDURES AND COMPARISONS.”
So I’m saying to myself, “How do I overcome this? I went back and talked to Mr. Blaisier about this, and he said, “Walt, we can’t finance this, but if you’re willing to pay for it, great.” I went back to the same person whom Tim Zeller and the Navy had hired to determine whether or not that document was forged so that in this day, today, you couldn’t come back to me and say, “Well, you know, you got somebody different; of course you’re going to take your side on this.” No, that’s not what happened. I had the foresight then to go back to exactly the same person whom Tim Zeller had hired and say, “OK, fine. Now do that with me.” Here’s what I told Mr. Dudink and here are the arrangements that were made with Mr. Blaisier which can be confirmed by calling Mr. Blaisier.
It ran about $700-$1,000. There was a base fee of $700 plus associated fees, so it came to about $1,000. I paid that money, just so that Mr. Dudink would be compensated for the paperwork. The Oklahoma Bar Association would not fund it, either, so I paid it and went back to the same man, and I said, “OK, Mr. Dudink, I will submit to your handwriting examination,” and I did. I said, “Once that handwriting examination is complete, I do not want to know anything else.” You make your report; you are now working for the Oklahoma Bar Association; you are working for Mr. Blaisier as a trained investigator. Give him the report.” And he did. His work product went directly to the Oklahoma Bar Association. If Mr. Dudink had declared the document an original writing, then his report went to the Oklahoma Bar Association as part of their ongoing investigation of Zeller, and that’s how this happened.
In the letter that you see years later, in 2005, when the NCIS came to my door to threaten and assault me, the letter that came out of the Inspector General’s office in that day was that I had retained my own document examiner. That’s a lie. I did not retain Mr. Dudink. Mr. Dudink was already on the payroll; he had to be compensated somehow. But the investigation was one that was opened by the Oklahoma Bar Association, and Mr. Dudink came out of this as he had information that pertained to the scene of the investigation at the request of a Navy commander who had used Navy documents in this investigation to provide Mr. Dudink with handwriting examples.
So it was through that process that Mr. Dudink came out with the second report in 1999. It states that it’s still a forgery, and “I have seen his handwriting, and it’s not his signature.” There are two independent reports, one comparing Zeller’s handwriting sample to the forgery and one comparing mine to the forgery, and Mr. Dudink’s results saying, “It’s a forgery” both times.
In the second report that Mr. Dudink was willing to take along, he said, “I want to take a look at the handwriting sample in the file.” There were arrangements made for Mr. Dudink who, at the time, lived on the outskirts of the Naval Training Center at Great Lakes, to proceed to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service office on board the Great Lakes Naval Station where Mr. Dudink would be able to examine the original of the forgery. Requests were made for the NCIS to have the original of the forgery transported and sent to the office of the NCIS where Mr. Dudink would specifically go; in other words, the original of the forgery would never, ever come outside of Navy control. They’d have a duty to do an investigation and examination right then and there at NCIS offices and then come back out and make a report.
This is what I’m telling you about: Mr. Blasier’s conversations with Lt. Col. Nessen, who said, “That document never gets out of here.”
Then after that, there was a third letter I sent to Mr. Dudink that said he had been contacted by someone; he didn’t know who; he never found out. The point that I’m making is that the NCIS now has two documents, two reports from Mr. Dudink, and anybody else who comes to this independently, and Mr. Blasier knows it’s a forgery. In the 17 January report, every signature that you see that Zeller got from documents in the Navy, you will see the Roman numeral “III” after my name, every single time. There’s a signature that I signed under oath to Special Agent Richard Allen, and that’s one of the samples which Zeller got, and it’s in the report: “Walter F. Fitzpatrick, III.” Now I sign my name “Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III.” When I sign my name formally, it is a very dedicated, specific, intentional, thought-about act. I don’t sign my name formally in a casual way. I showed you my dad’s signature, “Walter F. Fitzpatrick, Jr.”
If I had gone to my own document examiner, I would have been accused of buying an opinion. I went back to the same guy so nobody could accuse me of that. I don’t win anyway from this, and I paid Mr. Dudink for that. Tony Blasier will explain how that works. But Mr. Dudink was, at that point, a co-investigator for the Oklahoma State Bar Association, and no one has said that that signature is mine. Even the NCIS didn’t go that far; they said, “Oh, we can’t make it out” because it’s clearly a forgery.
What has prompted this particular part of our conversation is that Bitoff has accused me of not being of sound mind and body. In Zeller’s response to the Oklahoma Bar Association, Zeller wrote that he had talked to psychologists and psychiatrists and all kinds of professionals about me and that I’m not in my right mind. That’s what Zeller told the Oklahoma Bar Association. Zeller also reported to the Oklahoma Bar Association that, in fact, I had signed the document in question. Mr. Zeller’s handwriting expert said nothing of the kind. He said, “No, it’s a forgery, but it wasn’t Zeller who forged it.”
Now why would I go back to Dudink? I went to the guy whom the Navy had employed, and I submitted to a handwriting examination, and Mr. Dudink came out a second time and reported the document as forged: it was not me; it’s not my name, and for the same reason. Sergeant Harrington has this report; I’ve sent this out, and there are two reports. And, by the way, the Oklahoma Bar Association destroyed everything because they now know that Zeller was involved in the forgery.
So that was in the early-to-mid-90s. Then I went to work in Washington, DC.
I’ve already been through this nonsense with the Oklahoma Bar Association; there’s nothing they can do. By the way, no state bar can act against any military attorney, because it’s not a justice system. I found that out. So it was after I had this run-around with the Oklahoma Bar Association that I started raising heck again in Washington, DC. I was working in the Alexandria, VA, which is right across 395 from the Pentagon in another direction right across the Potomac River. I went to the NCIS. I had been working in the building which was called the “Department of Defense Inspector General’s office (DODIG).” I was working on the eighth floor. There was a DODIG field office right underneath in the same building. I went to report to them, and he said, “This is red-hot, radioactive stuff. We’re going to give it to the NCIS.” And that’s when it got turned over to Special Agent Gerry Nance. You see Nance’s name in the memo that said, “This could make the Navy look really bad.”