UNITED STATES ARMY COURT OF CRIMINAL APPEALS
2014 CCA LEXIS 219
Decided March 31, 2014, before Judges KERN, ALDYKIEWICZ, and MARTIN, Appellate Military Judges. Judge ALDYKIEWICZ concurs. MARTIN, Judge, concurring in part, dissenting in part.
From the majority opinion by Judge Kern:
A military judge sitting as a general court -martial convicted appellant, contrary to his pleas, of violating a lawful general regulation; knowingly becoming a member of, or affiliating with, a group which encouraged the violent overthrow or destruction of the United States Government; and advising, counseling and urging disloyalty and mutiny by members of the Armed Forces, … The military judge sentenced appellant to a dishonorable discharge, four years confinement, and reduction to the grade of E-1. The convening authority approved the adjudged sentence.
Also from Judge Kern’s opinion:
At the time of the incidents that led to the court -martial, appellant was a military policeman with approximately three years of service. He was married, twenty-one years of age… By the time of the investigation, he owned a Springfield X.D.45 caliber pistol, an AK-47, a Remington 870 12-gauge shotgun, and a Mossberg 30-06 rifle with a scope.
The incidents seem to be about this military kid’s alleged group or “militia” that supposedly intended to overthrow the government and “‘Dark Horse’ organization” . The majority opinion of the court here upholds the conviction and sentence.
In dissent Judge Martin thinks there should instead be a sentencing rehearing because much of the evidence is not corroborated (much provided by a friend military wife – did she take a joke too seriously?). Judge Martin would like to see the original judge revisit his sentencing, also noting that sentencing guidelines might be considered differently. The evidence of the group itself is tenuous, and it really does seem like maybe it could have a been a joke, or a role-play-fun-group:
During cross examination, PFC JL further testified that one of the patches he saw at appellant’s apartment depicted the Resident Evil umbrella insignia. In fact, appellant often spoke of a zombie invasion and how they should protect themselves during a zombie invasion and the discussion of zombies was fairly prevalent. Finally, PFC JL testified that he did not take the group seriously and thought it was a joke.
Even if the “zombie” is not a joke, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs has also spoken about the zombie invasion scenario, the military has training prepared for it, and even hired Max Brooks to speak to soldiers.
Judge Kern’s majority opinion, footnote 3 explains:
Resident Evil is a video game that inspired a science fiction film series. The plot involves a zombie apocalypse.
It also apparently inspired Specialist Moyers for a “paintball team” that somehow became this “militia”. Surely Moyers is not the first to be inspired by zombie insignia. The particular insignia in question doesn’t particularly look playful or even related to “zombie” at all. But, Moyers must not be the only one inspired by it because look, a patch is available right now on Ebay:
The intention of the organization was to support and defend the Constitution, and was designed to fight alongside the military if need be, if the government “goes corrupt,” and if they needed to respond. He likened it to making contingency plans.
At trial, the government did not call any members of the so-called “Dark Horse” militia to testify. Instead, the government relied on testimony from Mrs. KR, PFC JL, and law enforcement. The government also admitted, … Dark Horse documents from appellant’s computer, patches found in appellant’s home, weapons found in appellant’s home, photos of appellant posing with a weapon, and photos of other soldiers in appellant’s unit at the Outpost firing weapons and standing near the campfire.
So it’s clear from his texts and private writings that he was interested in thinking about breaking the chain of command to protect (with violence if “necissary”) his own view of the Constitution. That’s enough for the conviction right there. The really damning evidence is texts to friend military wife, Mrs. KR:
I am not bored and I can’t fully restore the U.S. back to the way our founding fathers made it but ill do my best and force is the only way we will win and take out our own countries tyrant / I know that it is a forceful combative organization. I know what I’m forming / Once the tyrant has been taken out restore order and the government how it was initially created Remove unconstitutional amendments. And then leave it up to the people to elect a new president
But was he being serious? Was he a threat or is he guilty of having an imagination? He admits:
While he admitted to sending the texts, he stated that while he was angry at the time of the communication, he did not have any current intent to overthrow the government. Appellant also stated that he was upset with his unit leadership at the time he sent the texts because they did not process his Basic Allowance for Housing request in a timely manner following his marriage.
Well, I guess now he’s got new housing for four years.
Al Jazeera America: “Algeria slouches toward its elections” by Hannah Armstrong:
Algeria is stuck in a rut. The country is embarrassed by being corralled into accepting a fourth term for a leader few think is fit to serve as head of state. … The aging politico-military elite, best embodied by the zombie-esque President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, must eventually give way to other forces…
So the president is “zombie-esque” because he continued into a fourth term but note also in the conclusion:
The tragic interpretation of Algerian history — which, when taught in local schools, begins with the revolution — is that each new power repeats the mistakes of the old.
This kind of repetition, “doomed to repeat the mistakes of its past”, is also zombie-esque.
TheTimes: “The rational Putin has to rein in the mad one” by Roger Boyes:
Russia has become a prime exporter of chaos. Its subversive use of the rent-a-mob in the townships of eastern Ukraine shows the Kremlin is now ready to manipulate national identity, contest international frontiers and upset the post-Cold War order — in the name of what? A new Greater Russia? Reviving the zombie Soviet Union?
Meanwhile, Tilda Swinton who plays a vampire hipster in Jim Jarmusch’s new movie, has recently called Putin a vampire, see Moviefone: “Tilda Swinton’s Dig at Russian President Vladimir Putin Is Worthy of Your Attention” by Jenni Miller. Putin’s wife also called him that – see MoscowTimes:”Lyudmila Putina Once Called Her Husband a Vampire“.
WesternHerald: “‘Worst pain ever’: Students describe tear gas incident” by Hannah Ball:
Tear gas was released into a crowd of over 2,000 students on April 12 after police received several disturbance complaints near Western Michigan University and the crowd became hostile, according to a press release from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.
One of the participants of the “House Crawl” event was WMU student Gino Borri who said he saw an estimate of 20 police officers in riot gear near Lafayette Street.
“It was crazy. The entire block was covered in tear gas. It looked like an airborne virus from a zombie movie or something,” Borri said.
Borri is also a rapper who goes by the name ‘Gino The Ghost’ and another article in the Western Herald also by Hannah Ball reported on his performance at SXSW.
So I guess we can hope that there will be some interesting music written about this experience, but damn, did they really need to break out tear gas on a bunch of drunk college kids? What is this country coming to?
HeraldPaladium: “Mask-wearing robber gets minimum 6-year sentence” By Scott Aiken is an update on the case of Martin Hinrichs, also known as “Nightmare”:
Coloma man who used a pellet gun and wore a zombie mask to hold up a gas station was sentenced Monday to a minimum prison term of six years.
Hopefully Mr. Hinrichs will receive some drug counseling in prison and maybe some job training. It would be really sad if the next update on this case is when he gets out and commits another crime, but really is the system expecting anything different? He has a juvenile record and is apparently a drug addict. How can we help people like this? Is there any chance that he could one day work as a Wesco instead of robbing it?
Meanwhile another “zombie” has been arrest for burglary in the UK, see HullDailyMail: “‘Zombie’ burglar Andrew Steeley from Hull jailed for stealing from home of cancer patient“:
A prolific burglar who had been released from prison on licence stole from the home of a cancer patient as she slept in the living room. Drug-fuelled Andrew Steeley, 34, was like a “zombie” when he entered a bungalow …
So again, this “zombie” is a recidivist on drugs.
Ok, so back to prison for these drug addicts? Is that really the only solution? And once there, maybe let’s put them on more drugs – see CBC: “Prisoners given powerful drugs off-label, allegedly to ‘control behaviour’” by Timothy Sawa:
“The one thing with prison is that they like to heavily medicate people, and I’m a prime example,” one of the women interviewed for the study said. “Seroquel, stuff like that. I was on a lot of medications. I was a walking zombie. I could not function. I do not remember half of my time.”
Something is wrong with this system!
Rush Limbaugh: “Conformity and Control Is Behind Junk Analyses & Diagnoses of Our Kids“:
Baby Boom parents want to do right by their kids, and here come medical authorities, “Oh, yeah, we’ve identified a problem, ADD.”
“Well, what’s the cure?”
“Well, we’ll give your kid a drug to calm him down, turn him into a zombie. Won’t pull any girls’ pigtails and is gonna sit quietly and learn the lesson.” It turns him into daydreamer, and so then they create another disorder to deal with the zombie that they created. Sluggish cognitive tempo, characterized by lethargy, daydreaming, and slow mental process. Do you realize how many people that could sweep up? Do you daydream? … It’s a psychological disorder.
Well, if anyone should know about prescription medications turning people into zombies, I guess it would be Rush. Here he’s talking about ADHD medications but pain killers are also reported to have this effect.
Also recall Channing Tatum referred to ADHD medication zombies.
Limbaugh’s appeal to daydreamers is somewhat ironic because he considers himself a conservative.
“All power to the imagination!” was a slogan of the Situationist International during their anti-Capitalist activities in Paris 1968. Presumably, Limbaugh does not share many political ideals with those Marxists, but then again, maybe there is a way to read Limbaugh as a form of Theater of the Oppressed? After all, he is nothing if not spectacle but he speaks as if he is trying to reawaken some kind of more authentic life. Too bad the Brecht Forum is closing, maybe they could have had a panel about it, but their last scheduled event is a workshop on TO so maybe there’s still time to examine this.
WCFcourier: “Feds drop ‘F-bomb’ on Iowa schools; ‘zombie’ law blamed” by Mike Wiser quotes Ann Hyslop, a policy analyst with the New America Foundation:
“No one ever thought (No Child Left Behind) would be around this long in the way it was originally written,” she said. “I’ve even heard it referred to as a ‘zombie.’”
Is NCLB a zombie? Is educational testing making zombies of us all?