JAG-ged Edge
Trial Defense Services (TDS) Deployed
By: Andrew Efaw

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Thursday, 13-Jan-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
This comes via "cut and paste" from Andy to Mary

"In peace nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, disguise fair nature with hard favour'd rage. . ."
- William Shakespeare ("Henry V")

At least now the message says “Because of a fiber cut, all non .gov/.mil/.edu/.org sites have been TEMPORARILY blocked. This is in accordance with CFLCC MINIMIZE policy Level 2” Apparently, a cable was cut under the ocean near Bahrain. So hopefully, we’ll be back in business. Until then, I think we may be able to do this with the able of assistance of my uber-secretary, Mary.

Today, was a pretty fruitful day. I felt better today because I pulled my sorry self out of bed early and hit the gym in the morning. My goal: to run a mile a minute slower than my wild woman wife. I, the fat boy is back in 190s, was approaching that goal when the treadmill readout said, “Treadmill cannot attain designated speed.” It was not that the treadmill won’t go that fast. It’s just that the treadmill will not go that fast with me on it. It sensed I was about to get sucked into the conveyor belt and go flapping around and around like George on the beginning of the Jetson’s.

The rest of the day I spent working on OER’s (officer efficiency report) still due from my reserve unit back in Denver and my OER support form for this term of service. My boss gave me a call yesterday and told me that he has decided to appoint me as the Senior Defense Counsel for Northern Iraq. That’s a great privilege that comes with more paperwork. What it really means is that in addition to trying cases, I’ll be in charge of leading, mentoring, supervising, and rating the attorneys and 27D's assigned to Northern Iraq.

Of course, I also did the more case prep. I may end up doing all/or part of 5 different cases in a 3-4 day sprint at the end of the month. One thing about Army judges that I appreciate—they go as late and as long as necessary to get the job done. Makes for little sleep though.

My favorite interview today was of a commander who felt like he/she (sex kept confidential for protection of the guilty) could make a good soldier out of a kid who was diagnosed with a severe psychiatric condition—just needed to give him one more chance. Of course, he “exhibited his symptoms” and is now being tried.

Tonight, did case file administration and set up interviews for tomorrow. Ellis, my trusty 27D, hung out in my office and we compared MP3 recordings of different jazz standards. While I worked, we listened to 5 different versions of My Funny Valentine and then 4 versions of A Foggy Day—Miles, Ella, Billie and the rest. Made time go faster.

Tuesday, 11-Jan-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
The Telephone Game

So today I spent trying to ready files for trial and trying to track down sentencing witnesses. Sentencing witnesses--like parents, friends, counselors etc.--are a unique problem here. The government will not fly them over and doing telephonic testimony is very difficult because of the time difference and poor connections. So what I usually do is try to track down the witnesses and get them to e-mail me a letter of support. The Rules for Courts-Martial (RCM's) allow for that evidence in that form during sentencing E & M. So tonight, I call via DSN (Defense Switch Network) to Fort Bragg which connects me to an outside line. From there I call a 1-800 number to get to a calling card center, where I enter my calling card number (no the Army does not pay for this). Then I dial a number in Puerto Rico and its a bad cell phone connection answered by someone who does not speak English as his first language--and we go from there.

Monday, 10-Jan-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
a bad day

10 January 2005:

Today was the opposite of yesterday. Very homesick. Got no work done. I guess every high has a low.

Sunday, 9-Jan-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
A Good Day

9 January 04

I’ve heard from MAJ Schmitt. He made it to Talil. I’ll never forget the look on his face when he saw Navistar. As I helped unload his stuff into one of those big transient tents, he looked at me and said, “This is one of those moments when you wonder, ‘What did I get myself into.’” I think we both agreed it was also one of those moments that you came for—the adventure. Navistar can be pretty shocking, but in some ways it is more soldier friendly. The Green Bean (with its pretty bad coffee) is open 24/7 as is the Subway and the movie tent (a GP medium full of couches and conference room sized screen).

Today so far has actually been one of the more relaxing days that I’ve had here in Kuwait. I actually slept pretty good in my new accommodations. I finally broke out my high speed Sure-Fire flash light that Amy bought me. I’ve needed several times when wandering around strange camps in the dark. But finally moving into a bay that has a lights out well before I’m usually home from work motivated me to get it out. The bay has a really weird mix of people. There are quite a few E-4’s and lots of LTC’s and not a lot of ranks in between and one client that I’ve seen and a few Marines. The building itself has feel of a cross between a high school and prison.

Some soldiers walked in after midnight—talking like it was noon—sometimes you wonder where people were raised. I woke up once in the wee hours. Some guy was snoring—sounded like a cornered animal, snarling in its throat. Then, in the morning, people’s alarms started going off at about 0500 and continued that way in roughly 15 minute intervals until I finally rolled out.

I was planning to go for a run this morning. Went to gym to do situps and stopped in the basketball courts, where there were some guys playing indoor soccer, using homemade goals that were 2 feet by 4 feet. They asked me to play, and despite my promise to myself not to play sports because of my shoulder, I did. I played an hour and had a great time. My teammates were some Hispanic soldiers and they had the moves—they even made me look good.

After that I went to the Hol-n-One donut shop which I recently discovered. Great donuts and they have espresso—better than Green Beans. I went to my office, listened to Francis Albert and read the Stars & Stripes (Military equivalent to USA Today—but it’s been around a lot longer). They publish a Theater version and its one of the better ways to keep up with what’s going one in Iraq. All in all, that was a great morning.

Now, I am once again on my way to Buehring to interview witnesses. Five courts-martial at the end of the month.

Saturday, 8-Jan-2005 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

Finally, I've been busted out of my squat. For weeks, they've been trying to come up with a way to get rid of the squatters. Most recently, they started changing out locks. They moved inexorably from door to door until today--there they were, a squad of Indian TCN's changing the locks.

Now I'm slumming. I'm not in a tent, and I'm not in a the big warehouse, but I am in an open bay. I'm crammed into an 8x8 little square that includes a bed and a wall locker. It's a little like Camp Buckner was during my second summer at West Point. Except at WP, everything was dress right dress. Here everyone has their little areas walled off with poncho liners, sheets, or whatever else is handy. Ellis helped me move in. When we walked into the building (which had a rat trap outside it), Ellis said this place smells just like Basic and AIT. Not really a pleasant smell, but definitely an Army smell. Just like all Army omelets smell the same and not like any other omelet you've ever had. I spent a large part of the afternoon trying to segregate my stuff into a small pile of things I must have to live for a couple weeks and into a large pile of stuff I can live without. I am trying to coordinate with the 42nd Infantry Division (ID) to ship my stuff up to Tikrit with their own. Then after the trial term at the end of Jan. I will fly to Baghdad and then on to Tikrit and Foward Operating Base (FOB) Speicher.

I'll post pictures of the new digs at some point. They'll be worth 1000 words.

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