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by Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III, ©2013

John Adams and the other Founding Fathers based U.S. military law on the British system, which did not involve a grand jury review of evidence before an individual could be charged with a crime. Military law is contained in Article I of the Constitution.

(Jul. 15, 2013) — If we don’t get the grand jury back, then we are lost.

Anybody with the notion that a grand jury can’t deal with matters of national security I would quickly direct to the trial of the Rosenbergs, Julius and Ethel, who were tried for treason as they traded nuclear secrets with the Russians.  The grand juries did that; it was a completely civilian process.  It was not a military process at all.

A grand jury is exactly the kind of organization that should be looking into the deepest secrets this country is trying to maintain; for example, if an agency such as the NSA is conducting itself constitutionally.  It’s the National Security Agency right now under four-star General Keith Alexander, along with so many other agencies, that a grand jury should be looking at to determine if they are obedient to their constitutional oath or if they are found to be negligent, either casually or criminally.  Then they would be sent to a criminal trial if necessary.  The grand jury can do that with any official in our government.

Another reason that the military never wanted to adopt something called the “grand jury” into its form of military government is that they don’t have civilian juries or judges.  They have the names, but those people don’t exist.  It’s what communists do; they take a name and they change the definition.

I and others are being blocked from trying to get information to a grand jury, because once this gets before We the People, then the jig is up.

The grand jury can sort out whether certain conduct is malfeasance or criminal intent.  They can turn their report over and let the American people decide what should happen next.

We can look to 1946 to see what the third branch of government, the judiciary, declared:  that the grand jury was “obsolete,” as they wrote into their Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure (FRCP).  Well, excuse me, but who gave you the authority to do that?  Nobody.  The word that always comes back to me is “betrayal.”  We trusted the people who were elected or appointed into these positions to hold to their oaths to the Constitution of the United States, and in the meantime, we carried on with our own lives, busy as they may be, and focused on our own interests.  We trusted these individuals, and instead, in the dark, in the day when we didn’t have Twitter and fax machines and email and instantaneous electronic connections, when it was very, very difficult to uncover the skullduggery, we had these people in government betray us one day after the next after the next.  And now, in this age, we are trying to recover.

The center of gravity on all of the issues that we’ve been dealing with for such a long period of time is the grand jury.  We’ve been talking about this for years and years.  But coming at this from different angles of attack, exposing the military discipline system as being unconstitutional, unbounded, and completely without civilian oversight, doing that in the context of what they’re doing to Sgt. Hutchins and his family, this is just another aspect that we can raise up and exploit.  With the environment that we’re in today, it’s breathtaking.

How is it that we have Article I courts?  It’s because of a guy named John Adams.  In the meantime, you have guys named Eugene Fidell and William Winthrop celebrating the military discipline system.  William Winthrop is not easy reading, but Tim and I have read through his book, Military Law and Precedents.

The metaphor that I continue to rely upon in regard to the military discipline system is The Arkansas Traveler.  The question of the military discipline system and where it belongs in our constitutional form of government has never been taken up; it has been deflected away as The Arkansas Traveler was shooed away by the guy sitting fiddling on the porch in the rain.  I know this; I’ve lived it.

We have admirals and generals who need to be held to account, and some who need to be exonerated.  Unfortunately, the ones who need to be exonerated are being thrown overboard while those who should be brought to account are being promoted.  In that representation, I would point to Gen. Rodriguez and Gen. Dempsey as being in command positions today while guys like Adm. Gaouette and General Carter Ham are being thrown off the side.

The guy running NASA, Charles Bolton, is a retired U.S. Marine and Naval aviator.  His job, when he came in, was to Islamify NASA, to promote and advance Islam.  He was the commandant at the Naval Academy for a period of time.  Someone like him is being accelerated in his career.

Dempsey has been reappointed for two more years by Obama.  So Obama, as being the chief Islamist in our country, is trying to introduce this very corrosive form of communism.

So these are the commanders that we have today, and they cannot be trusted.  You cannot put someone in command of a group of soldiers or Marines and then deploy them overseas into an Islamist country and have those soldiers and Marines trust their senior commanders to protect them.

Where are other people calling for the resurrection and resurgence of a grand jury?

We have information that renders people in a decision-making position in the court-martial of Sgt. Lawrence Gordon Hutchins, III criminally complicit in how they’ve acted against him and covering up the larger operation of the military discipline system.  We have information that blows apart this whole system regarding its trustworthiness which will disabuse anybody of the notion that it should enjoy some kind of respect or is vested with some sort of integrity; it’s not.  There are a whole bunch of people out there who know that.

Now is the time.


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  1. Michaelsr, We still have Grand Juries. Not in the Military however. We have to work on that. It is within the constitutional authority of the People to empanel “Presentment” Juries. It was these citizen juries that the Judiciary tried by rule making to squelch. Such an action to dissolve a right secured by the Constitution can ONLY be done by Constitutional Amendment. Sheriffs have extensive powers to arrest malfeasant officials for cause. The People have constitutional authority to initiate a “Presentment” hearing and if evidence is sufficient to show that a crime has been committed that evidence is “Presented” to Law enforcement for submission to a Judicial Grand Jury. It is the duty of a Sheriff to forward such evidence to the District Attorney to consider for submission to the Grand Jury.

  2. Walt,In 1946 the FRCrimP was written. It referred to “Presentments” as “Obsolete” not Grand Juries. Presentment hearings were/still are non- judicial Citizen empanelled Juries. It is a step below a Judicially empanelled,attorney attended Grand Jury. Upon “Presentment” OR Indictment a person can be held to answer to a capital crime. The Judiciary may have thought that they did away with the basic “We the People” Citizens initiated Presentment panel but they haven’t. The fifth amendment has NOT been repealed nor can mere rule making serve to abrogate a secured Constitutional Right. The “Presentment” Jury authority still exists. It must merely be dusted off and invoked by the People. SCOTUS affirmed in Miranda v Arizona that “There can be no rule making,legislation or law that would abrogate a right secured by the Constitution”.

  3. I agree with Cdr Fitzpatrick. We pretty accurately know that the absence of Grand Juries is the source of our current (as well as future) problems. And we know with some certainty that the prosecutor is the crux of the logjam. Without his blessing, nothing moves forward.

    To solve this logjam, I think we need to work on the solution beginning at the county level. The success of State, Federal, and military Grand Juries will follow success at the county level. And the county level is the easiest to solve (relatively).

    A question for readers to weigh in on here: Does a County Sheriff have the authority to arrest and detain an elected county official who commits Malfeasance in Office, Official Misconduct or Obstruction of Justice?

    I am fairly certain that the answer is Yes, he does. If I am correct, the County Sheriff would be the answer to the (county-level) Grand Jury logjam (and the re-introduction of Grand Juries to American life).