The Army Blotter: Ex-guardsman freed in UAE, Birther Col.'s day in court, Benning biker in fatal wreck

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A former Nevada guardsman arrested in Abu Dhabi in late September after airport officials found weapon accessories in his luggage has been released, but it’s not clear he’ll be home for the holidays. [via KTVN-TV]

  • Birther Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin was set to appear in a military court at Fort Meade, Md., today. Lakin is the  Army doctor charged with refusing to deploy to Afghanistan because he doubts whether President Barack Obama was born in the U.S. and therefore questions his eligibility to be president. [via Associated Press/Yahoo!]
  • A Fort Benning soldier riding a motorcycle was struck by a vehicle and killed, post officials said. The name of the soldier was not immediately released. [via Columbus Ledger-Enquirer]

  • The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review the case of a former Army recruiter convicted of murdering a Sudanese woman almost nine years ago in Fort Worth, Tex., and sentenced to die. Cleve Foster is scheduled for lethal injection on Jan. 11 for the abduction, rape and shooting death of Nyaneur “Mary” Pal on Valentine’s Day 2002. DNA tied Ward and his roommate to the death of Pal, but he insists he’s innocent. [via Associated Press/Houston Chronicle]
  • Sexual assault pervades the military, but the Pentagon refuses to release records that fully document the problem and how it is handled, the ACLU and other groups said in a federal lawsuit that seeks access to the records. The groups that filed suit want information on the number of acquittals, convictions and sentences, the number of disability claims related to sexual trauma that were accepted and rejected, and the number of sexual harassment complaints. The records are needed to determine the extent of the problem and what has been done to address it, the groups say. [via Stamford Advocate]
  • Three military veterans who were discharged under the law that prohibits gays from serving openly in uniform sued the government yesterday to be reinstated and to pressure lawmakers to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law before a new Congress is sworn in. The lawsuit filed in US District Court in San Francisco also seeks to have the ban on openly gay troops declared unconstitutional and therefore unenforceable for any service members. [via Associated Press/Boston Globe]
  • Following a national trend, a second veterans court program has opened New York City. The program will take defendants whose low-level misdemeanors may have resulted from mental or substance abuse problems arising from military service and steer them to treatment programs. The court comes as the legal system is bracing for an influx of veteran defendants as soldiers return from Iraq, and as judges around the country have been extending leniency in their sentencing of veterans. [via New York Times]
  • A Stryker soldier with a light charge sheet is the only one of 12 accused of overseas misconduct to not appear in court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord or take steps to move on with a court martial trial. That soldier is Pfc. Ashton Moore, 20, of Severna Park, Md. [via the News Tribune]
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