A FORMER ARMY PROSECUTOR HAS BEEN COURT-MARTIALED AND SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS AT THE DB . THE CHARGE WAS “RAPE.” BUT MilitaryCorruption.com HAS REASON TO BELIEVE MAJ ERIK BURRIS WAS RAILROADED. IN FACT, JAG’S OWN FEMALE INVESTIGATING OFFICER REPORTS ESTRANGED WIFE’S CLAIMS “EMBELLISHED, UNTRUTHFUL, FABRICATED.”
BY Glenn MacDonald, Major USARMY (Ret)
It was a terse, five-line press release out of Fort Bragg issued later in the day.
The handout from the Army spokesperson, a MAJ Boring (we know of another flak called “Bunko” who does spin for the Air Force), said a former prosecutor – MAJ Erik J. Burris – had just been sentenced to 20 years in prison and dismissal from the service at the conclusion of his six-day court-martial at Fort Bragg.
Woo Hoo! What is this? Man bites dog?
Why would the Green Machine go after one of its own, especially in view of the fact that Burris was at one time JAG supervisor over prosecutions of Army personnel accused of sexual assault? What would cause the Command to turn on him?
The plot thickens from here, folks.
THEY’RE NOT TELLING THE WHOLE TRUTH
First of all, why the big secrecy? Local and national media weren’t in attendance at the court-martial because they weren’t aware it was going on. That is, at least not until Burris had been slapped in cuffs and hauled from the military courtroom. But if the Army had nothing to hide, why not highlight the hanging of a top JAG “gone bad.” That’d be politically-correct and good public relations to boot, one would think.
But one rather important item was not mentioned in the very brief news release. The Army’s own investigating officer – a female lieutenant colonel, no less – had discovered the accusations against MAJ Burris were, shall we say, suspect?
We know we’re not supposed to peek at the report, but here are a few excerpts that should send a chill down the spine of any American who thinks due process and blind justice exist in a military courtroom.
WIFE WENT TO CID – CLAIMED “RAPE”
First, we should tell you that Burris and his wife have been in a bitter custody battle for the past few years. Out of the blue, the major’s frau turns up at the CID making all kinds of claims that could send her hubby to the clink for a very long time.
The worst accusation, besides the usual boilerplate “sodomy,” was that he allegedly raped her and abused their children. Wow. That should be good for 30 years at the DB.
Now, lets see what the female investigating officer had to say about the all-important credibility of the accuser:
“My assessment is that Ms. Burris’ allegations . . . her statements to CID . . . were driven by a combination of motives. The evidence in the case file and testimony suggests she embellished or made untruthful and or inconsistent claims . . . her displays of emotion . . . did not appear genuine . . . I am left with no other alternative but that Ms. Burris is fabricating her allegations.”
What? The investigating officer the Army wanted to shovel dirt on the major’s grave had the honor and integrity to actually investigate the facts and then tell the truth? This is indeed a “man bites dog” headline.
BUT WHAT WAS THE PUBLIC TOLD?
The problem is that people reading the AP brief, based on the misleading handout; or hearing about the sentence on radio, TV or online wouldn’t have any idea what really went on if they didn’t have the smarts to read MilitaryCorruption.com every day without fail. They would be forced to depend only on what the Army wanted them to know in that five-line release.
So, why would the brass do such an obvious railroad job on Burris? Did they have it in for him? Were they looking for any way to shove a shiv in his back? Could be.
Our sources tell us Burris mightily pissed off the powers that be when he testified for an Army captain in a court-martial proceeding last year. Burris even had the temerity to reveal, under oath, that sometimes in his position as JAG supervisor of sexual assault cases at Fort Bragg, that “pressure” was brought to bear on him to swiftly move the accusations to an Article 32 proceeding, even when “proof” was “iffy” at best.
You can bet that was embarrassing to the Command. And we think it played a role in what happened to MAJ Burris.
What do you think, dear reader? Drop us a line. Let us know if the UCMJ has anything to do with “justice” in this case. Remember, someday this might be you.
Major Glenn MacDonald USARM (Ret) is co-founder of MilitaryCorruption.com. He is a 100% combat disabled, Vietnam Vet living in Virginia.