The three-star Air Force general who relieved Space Force Lt. Col. Matthew Lohmeier of his duties after he warned of encroaching Marxism within the military has himself been chastised by a military judge “in an unprecedented order for intentionally violating the constitutional rights of a serviceman,” a report noted Thursday.
In an exclusive, the Washington Examiner reported that Lt. Gen. Stephen Whiting of the U.S. Space Force Command, who dismissed Lohmeier as head of a missile defense unit after determining that his Marxism warning was dangerous, was himself cited by a military court for actions beginning in 2018 as he oversaw a military prosecution.
According to court documents, Whiting reportedly violated the due process and fair trial rights of an Air Force engineer who stood accused of three rape counts that may have led to life in prison.
“This court is left to conclude that the United States of America is neither committed to ensuring the accused gets a fair trial nor taking the steps necessary to provide the accused with the relevant discovery to mount his defense,” Judge W. Shane Cohen, a U.S. Air Force colonel, wrote in a 13-page opinion on Aug. 22, 2019. “This court is left with few conclusions other than the United States of America is not serious about meeting its legal obligations even when the law demands it.”
Cohen initially served as the third presiding judge over the Military Tribunal scheduled to hear the case of alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other suspects. He retired from active duty in April 2020, according to NPR.
In his ruling, Cohen cited Whiting by his title as being responsible for a scenario under which “the government abdicated its obligations to the justice system.”
Cohen also noted in his ruling that there was reasonable doubt regarding Tech Sgt. Keith Snyder’s guilt and that, as such, that met the legal standard of ‘not guilty.’
“The outstanding evidence being sought by the defense is of central importance to mounting the accused’s affirmative defense, attacking the credibility of his three accusers, and demonstrating both his innocence and the reasonable doubt in the government’s case,” Cohen noted.
The allegations of rape against Snyder relied on a spliced, secretly recorded tape of him in his Florida home that was crafted by a woman he was dating and who was identified as “CP” in court papers, the Examiner reported.
But under Florida law, the tape is illegal because the state doesn’t permit recordings without the consent of both parties.
“CP continuously tried to elicit a response that she was forced to have sex, while Snyder was clearly confused with the situation because they had a continuing sexual relationship, according to a review of the tape,” the outlet reported.
Other evidence presented in court describes CP and two more women as being jealous that Snyder wasn’t exclusively dating them and that they conspired on social media to collectively file rape allegations against him. CP initiated the plan after becoming upset when Snyder broke up with her. Evidence also showed that she rifled through his social media profiles to collect and then contact dozens of women with the aim of vilifying him to a point where his kids would be taken away.
“Just found out he was sleeping with a woman named **** [and] a woman named **** and you during the same time frame,” CP wrote in a text to one woman who began the exchange with, “What do you want?”
Evidence was gathered and presented in the case of behalf of Snyder by his attorney, Aaron G. Meyer, who specializes in cases involving the U.S. military.
“The prosecution refused to issue a subpoena to collect the discovery from the women, which led Cohen to take the unusual step of dismissing the case with prejudice — meaning it cannot be filed again,” the Examiner reported.
During the case, CP texted Snyder hundreds of times and would create false identities in an attempt to start new relationships using burner phones. Those that were sent from her regular account were hate-filled and threatening to a point where Snyder eventually obtained a restraining order.
“It was a politically motivated prosecution,” Meyer explained to the Examiner. “There is absolutely no sexual assault crisis in the military. Now you have [generals] scared of their own shadows with political prosecutions on nonsense allegations that would never be filed in civilian court.”
The three women went on to post accusations on social media that the military refused to protect them, which led Cohen to repeatedly order the prosecution to turn over electronic evidence to Snyder’s attorney.
“It’s my belief that the military was concerned about these social media posts,” Meyer noted.
Nevertheless, it was Whiting who continued to sign off on documents allowing the case to proceed without discovery for the defense.
Retired Army Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc, as well as Meyer, both told the Examiner Cohen’s chastising of Whiting is unprecedented in their view.
“As a general officer, if I had received this unprecedented admonishment from a judge, I would expect that the trust of my superiors and my subordinates would be justly questioned,” Bolduc told the outlet “All around, this is a case study in bad leadership as it pertains to military justice.”
“There is something wrong with our senior officer corps of the military,” added retired Army Lt. Colonel James Carafano, a fellow with the Heritage Foundation who was involved with many military court cases during his career. “There is some of the most irresponsible behavior that I have ever seen. If you don’t have any evidence, but you do have exculpatory evidence, I would never bring a prosecution against this person.”
As for Lohmeier, Bolduc said he believes he would still have his command if Whiting had stood up for him to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“We got here because we have a bunch of admirals and generals who just aren’t doing their job. They aren’t protecting the military, their organization, and more importantly, they aren’t protecting their people,” Bolduc told the Examiner. “They are allowing politics and this perverted version of diversity to be taught in the military.”
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