March 16th, 2012
03:25 PM ET

Why the Afghan shooting suspect has not been named

Almost a week since the shootings of 16 Afghan civilians and the suspect in the case is still cloaked in anonymity. The military says that it is policy not to release the name until charges are filed. But that's not the law says Gary Solis, Adjunct Professor of Military Law at Georgetown University and former Marine prosecutor.

"There is nothing in the uniform code of military justice which would preclude military authorities or anybody else from releasing the name of any accused in any case, nor is there anything in the manual for courts martial or the rules of evidence that would preclude the release of this individuals name," Solis told Security Clerance's Jennifer Rizzo. "As far as I’m aware there is no DOD policy that prevents the release of a name. Indeed we see names released all the time for cases that come up. So this is in my experience unique."

Earlier this week, the Pentagon arranged for a background briefing for reporters with a Military Judge Advocate about the legal process. That military lawyer, who spoke on the condition no name was used, also could not point to a legal reason not to release the name and noted himself that in some cases, like Nidal Hasan who stands accused of the Fort Hood shootings, the name was known well before the charges.

Q: Does the UCMJ allow you?

MILITARY JUDGE ADVOCATE: The UCMJ does not speak to the release of names.

Q: So you can't point to that as a reason not to.

STAFF: (Briefer name deleted) made it clear that it is typical policy for the names not to be released until the charges have been preferred.

Q: So there is nothing in the UCMJ that goes to this - (briefer name deleted), nothing in the UCMJ that goes to the release of name. Is there a legal directive within the Judge Advocate Corps that goes to the release of the name of a felony suspect?

MILITARY JUDGE ADVOCATE: I'd have to check, but I'm not aware of anything.

The suspect's civilian lawyer, John Henry Browne, told a press conference there was another reason the name had not been released.

"In this case there is more of an effort being made to protect his identity, the identity of his family, because there is great concerns about their security," Browne said on Thursday night.

Browne said it could be "weeks" before the name is revealed, based on his discussion with the military attorney assigned to the case, unless something "leaks out."

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Legal • Military • Pentagon
soundoff (21 Responses)
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    May 31, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
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    May 21, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  7. The true seeker

    "A really nice man and american soldier" beat his girlfriend even before his first trip to Iraq ...
    Get easily angry and do mad things in Iraq too ? (240 killed in Iraq in one incident hove money was civilian ?)

    March 19, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
  8. Bitchin Shootin Marine

    I say fucking kill all the AFGANS !!! kill em all !

    March 18, 2012 at 12:36 am | Reply
    • Feltch

      You're nothing more than a cum-guzzling little piece of ass candy.

      Aren't You?

      March 20, 2012 at 12:53 am | Reply
  9. Unamed

    The simple truth is the name has not been released because the Taliban would put a hit on this family. The name WILL be released. After adequate security has been put in place to protect them. The Taliban have already made decapitation threats. They have also made threats of strikes within the US. The Taliban's wants slaughter, not justice.
    In the case of Nidal Hasan it was simply impossible to conceal his identity. There were too many people who witnessed his murderous actions firsthand. There were also numerous police & EMS who treated all the wounded & identified the dead at the scene. Plus the hospital staff who cared for the victims & even provided treatment for the shooter himself. They all had a need to know what was going on to save as many victims as possible.
    The soldier has been put under guard in an extremely secure military jail. He IS going to face a fair trial & punishment for his crimes. It is likely he will face the death penalty. There will be Justice. We do owe justice to the victims... But not vengeance.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  10. joe

    How i feel about this may get some people mad. I have no feelings for what has happen. The taliban has been setting off bombs in public places. Killing scores of men, women, and children. I dont hear anyone making a big deal about it or demand justice. So a american does this and we are the bad people. Everyone demands justice and we are called evil. As for the the koran. Come on, they can disrespect everyone's religion. If we say something about their prophet or koran. Its all out war. Look in the mirror.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • Bestoink Dooley

      Punk, you got a sick mind.

      March 17, 2012 at 3:43 am | Reply
    • Feltch

      You're far too stupid to breed.

      I hope your little sister is on birth control.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:54 am | Reply
  11. Daniel

    speaking as someone who knows, the Afghan people are more upset about the burning of the Koran a few weeks ago than they are about these people being know priorities.

    March 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Reply
    • Feltch

      You know shit. You're totally beyond fucking stupid.

      March 20, 2012 at 12:55 am | Reply
  12. Portland tony

    Actually publicizing his name is not that important to the case. If the release of his identity would endanger others we shouldn't. We could call him....say ...Rambo!

    March 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  13. Justice Again Gone

    the karzi guy will bring in an outside investigator team from another country to support his people in confining the nato forces to bases . karzi and crew are making a pitch to the taliban for survival of the future. karzi and gang say there was more than one attacker.

    the lawyer for the usa mad man that is a civi will tear this can of worms open with his teeth if need be to point the finger at the usa leadership. there will be coin coming from all directions guys to aid this effort. this is going to be a witch hunt if this is not contain inside military justice.

    what a desaster. the majority of americans want the war to end and the troops home and justice always has its way of coming out. in a short matter of time this will not be a matter of what this freak did but rather what others did not do , just watch and see. if it were me i would follow the money trail and catch the transaction.

    but of course i am just dropping an opinion like the rest of us. the name thing is to many to mention so name none.

    i think the tap will be shut off fast because after all it is an election year.

    March 16, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply
    • Unamed

      They already have surveillance videos that show this soldier acted alone. They showed him leaving the post & later returning. The reason this trial is being held at a secure military prison is to prevent any interference with justice. No Kangaroo court orchestrated by the Taliban. The penalty for this in a US military court is death. Death without torture. Justice without vengeance. The victims will have justice. After a fair trial.

      March 16, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Reply
      • Justice Again Gone

        ok i agree with your points but my age tells me different, read between the lines in my post and you will find that this lawyer is trying this case outside the court right now on media sites and he will have support from many places to attack the military leadership for deploying this freak and not removing him from service . i do not agree with what is happening but maybe someone will quickly get a handle on this . another week of this and the lawyer is going to expose the military as the bad guy here, and he is doing this outside the courtroom and it is only a one sided story.

        March 16, 2012 at 9:29 pm |
  14. the wise

    Stop fighting Israeli wars my good comrades.

    You owe them nothing. Not your pity, and certainly not blood and treasure.

    Tragic things if this sort will continue, as long as we bloody our hands on israels behalf.

    March 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Reply

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