Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, October 19, 2007

The Court-Martial Shakespeare Would Love

Back in April Lt. Col. William Steele was charged with a slew of infractions of the military code, including aiding the enemy, fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee while he commanded a military police detachment, aiding the enemy and fraternizing with the daughter of a detainee while he commanded a military police detachment.

Today his court-martial wrapped up with his conviction on all but one of the charges. I'm going to give you the entire report before moving on to why I'm sharing this with you:

Multi-National Corps – Iraq
Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory
APO AE 09342

RELEASE No. 20071019-15
October 19, 2007

Court-Martial results – Lt. Col William H. Steele

Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO

BAGHDAD - An Army officer was convicted of six offenses, and found not guilty of a charge of aiding the enemy following a court-martial here today.

Lt. Col. William H. Steele, was convicted at the Camp Liberty court-martial, and sentenced by military judge, Lt. Col Timothy Grammel to confinement for two years, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, a reprimand, and dismissal from the service.

In an earlier session of his court-martial held at Camp Liberty, Iraq on October 7, Steele pleaded guilty to three of the seven charges facing him, including wrongfully storing classified information in his living space;. improperly marking classified information; and wrongfully and knowingly possessing pornographic videos.

Steele pleaded not guilty to the four remaining charges and elected to have these contested charges tried before Grammel rather than before a panel (jury) of officers.

Trial was held from October 15 to 19 at Camp Liberty, Iraq on the following contested charges. Steele was acquitted of aiding the enemy, but he was convicted of remaining charges including a federal espionage based offense by having unauthorized possession of classified information and knowingly and willfully retaining the same and failing to deliver it to the officer or employee of the United States; conduct unbecoming an officer by knowingly and wrongfully providing special privileges to and maintaining an inappropriate relationship with an interpreter, wherein such acts constituted conduct unbecoming an officer in the armed forces; and violating a lawful order by having knowledge of the order failing to obey it.

Before the adjudged sentence is approved, Lt. Col. Steele and his attorneys are permitted to submit matters in clemency.

These matters in clemency may request that the General Court-Martial Convening Authority disapprove all or part of the sentence or of the findings of guilt. After the GCMCA has taken action in the case, Steele’s courtmartial will be reviewed by the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

So, Steele was guilty of most of the charges, including all of the charges resulting from very serious failures in discretion that appear to be evidence of the sort of bad choices about sex that are common with sex addicts.

That's what spawned my earlier post on Steele, one in which I sketched out the plot line of a Shakespearian tragedy built around Steele's addiction-fired bad choices. I'll pick it up from Act Three:
As Act Three opens, Steele has sworn to himself that he can change his ways and he does; he's strong and focused and worthy again. But then the detainee's daughter enters the scene.

Alluring, shapely and possibly available, his focus tragically shifts from his desire to change to his desire to see her change into something more comfortable. She keeps him awake at night; she poisons his thoughts.

As the act unfolds, he makes his fatal mistake, providing the phone. He gets sloppy because his mind is lustily involved elsewhere, and forgets to return files. Then he tries to cover it all up by not following a direct order from his superior officer. And everything crashes.
This little story refuses to die. Nearly every day, people visit my site from browser searches for Steele. Here's today's, for example:

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Today's news report spiked the search a bit, but Steele's been showing up consistently since April. And they haven't been quiet readers, either. More than 30 comments have been logged.

There are many defiantly in support of Steele:
LTC Steele is a fine officer who has worked tirelessly for the American soldier for the past 13 years. He has unselfishly given up a great deal of his life to advancing the cause of the US Army, but I know that his family and his friends stand behind him today and will always. The Army has inflicted a wound against itself in this case.
A commenter named Aver is his strongest defender:
Shame on you for taking this in an entirely inappropriate direction for your own inappropriate goal. Do you believe everything you read? Don’t flog Bill Steele so you can flap your tongue about something you know little of nothing about! Steele’s family and friends stand by him now as ever. I am one of Bill Steele’s friends. I’ve known him for twenty-five years. I have broken bread with him and, shared salt with him in good times and bad times. I’ve consistently served in the same units with him and overseas in combat with him. While he’s not the most popular of officers he’s been doing a very unpopular job. He holds soldiers to doing the right thing at the right time. He’s a professional law enforcement officer and an advocate of keeping the peace. He was doing his job. If he goes down it’s because the government is protecting someone in authority above Steele and hiding another scandal.
Some, like Mo Lubee, made it personal
Wake up and get a life you bible thumping overzealous kook. Where is your sense of charity and fair play? This is America, and an accusation isn't a conviction, except to a posturing drivel-spouting religoius zealot such as yourself.
I did quote one verse in my post -- For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good purpose. (Phil. 2:13 NIV) -- but I hardly thumped it. Besides, there are plenty of non-Christian men suffering from sexual addiction and seeking recovery -- religion's got nothing to do with it.

But maybe I'm missing the point, says Jiminy Cricket, who is not a Steele fan:
I think you're missing the point...

Pornography was certainly a negative aspect of this man's persona, but it was a symptom rather than the cause.

Steele wants one thing and one thing only: power. He had it for a time, more than his rank allowed. But his indiscretion and sheer stupidity ensured that he WOULD be caught someday.
But most compelling is this, from a commenter who just signed in as 200343:
Do you know what it's like to watch a LTC give a cell phone to one of the worlds most notorious terroirst, WITH OUT AN INTERPRITOR PRESENT?!?!?! Then, the next day watch a 120mm Mortar land five feet from a tower and almost kill five of the United States Finest? HUH!?

Do you know what it's like to sit on Route Tampa after being blown up, and hear that someone has made the call to NOT STOP AND HELP THE WOUNDED!?

Our Warrior Ethos include "I will never leave a fallen comrade behind." If your brother or sister was about to be killed, would you just say, nah... Someone else can help them, I have my own personal things to do!!!

Think about that, get your facts straight. I can't wait till they declassify Camp Cropper, and let us, the guards/soldiers that worked there, UNDER THIS RETARD come out and say what it is that we NEED to say!
Aver rebuts that (he seems to check the post regularly for new comments), but I'm sure you all will agree that the story of Lt. Col. William Steele is absolutely one Shakespeare could have had a heyday with.

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