July 15, 2013

Obama rhetoric on sexual assault in the military may constitute "unlawful command influence."

He said defendants should be "prosecuted, stripped of their positions, court-martialed, fired, dishonorably discharged."
In at least a dozen sexual assault cases since the president’s remarks at the White House in May, judges and defense lawyers have said that Mr. Obama’s words as commander in chief amounted to “unlawful command influence,” tainting trials as a result. Military law experts said that those cases were only the beginning and that the president’s remarks were certain to complicate almost all prosecutions for sexual assault...

In his comments on sexual assault, Mr. Obama said, “I expect consequences.”
James Taranto quips: "He got consequences all right."

ADDED: The Godfather emails:
In the military I personally never got above O-3 (Captain), but I've known some very (and fairly) high-ranking officers, and it's clear as glass that many officers would be influenced by what the President said.  When you are up for promotion to general or flag rank (i.e., general or admiral), or have that rank and are looking for another star/stripe, you don't want somebody saying, He let that master sergeant who screwed the corporal off with a reprimand, when he should have thrown him in the stockade and then dishonorably discharged the pig, like the President said he/she should. The guys/gals that figure they'll retire at O-6 (Colonel or (Navy/Coast Guard) Captain) and are almost there, can probably tell the President (figuratively) to kiss-off, but the pressure on those who aspire to the higher ranks to conform to a publicly-stated political policy of the C-in-C is often irresistible.