Monday, June 20, 2005

U.S. vs. Capt. William Fulton, Day 1

I covered the first day of the court-martial for Capt. William Fulton, accused of abuse and dereliction of duty in connection with the trainee abuse in Company E, 1st Battalion, 81st Armor Regiment.

A couple of issues, right off the bat. First, the prosecution's witnesses still suffer from the same inability to tell a coherent story, even though it's clear that they've done some corroboration over the course of the past several weeks of trials.

This time, however, the defense counsel is taking advantage of that fact, and is pointing out the differences between the sworn statements the trainees made to investigating CID agents immediately after the alleged abuse, and the testimony they're providing at the ongoing trial.

Second, the defense brought in a video shot of the "Shark Attack" that happened as soon as the trainees arrived at Company E from Company B, 46th Adjutant General (Reception). This has done two things - it's established that parts of the trainees' stories are false, but it's also categorically proven that abuse technically did occur that day. Which means that the defense is going to have a hard time squirming out of the dereliction of duty charge.

More tomorrow. I'm off for a run.