Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Letter to Senator Webb

NB: I sent the following letter to Senator James Webb, who serves as one of my representatives in the US Senate and as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

March 5, 2009

The Honorable James H. Webb, Jr.
United States Senate
144 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4604

Re: US v. Alberto Martinez

Dear Senator Webb:

I am the widow of US Army Captain Phillip Esposito who was murdered in Iraq in 2005 alongside 1st Lt. Louis Allen by one of the solders in his unit. I seek a meeting with an appropriate member of your staff so that I may brief them on the facts of this case and the various discrepancies that lead to this crime being committed and the acquittal of its perpetrator. These discrepancies include:

  1. That an individual with blemished character and a dubious past was admitted into the National Guard and placed in a position of trust and responsibility.
  2. That when this individual was accused of incompetence and corruption, he was nevertheless retained in his position. The initial attempts by his commander to relieve him were met with indifference, as if sympathy was extended not to the commander attempting to enforce order, but to the recalcitrant attempting to evade it.
  3. That when this individual issued repeated threats of violence against his commander, his outrageous and undisciplined behavior was left unchecked by his peers and the other commanders in his unit.
  4. That when this individual committed the crime of premeditated double murder, a lack of professionalism on the part of military investigators led to valuable evidence being excluded from his trial.
  5. That when this individual offered to admit his guilt and accept life imprisonment, his plea was unilaterally rejected by Army commanders and without informing the families of the dead or seeking their counsel.
  6. That a jury was seated with members that had clear conflicts of interests to include a married couple opposed to capital punishment and solider who stated that he believed that military investigators routinely lie in order to secure convictions.
  7. That when a jury was tasked with the responsibility of determining this individual's guilt under the laws that govern the armed forces, it failed to reach a logical conclusion based upon the evidence presented before it and instead voted to acquit this individual of any responsibility for his crimes.
  8. That other ancillary criminal charges against this individual were severed from the murder indictment against him and not pursued when he was acquitted of murder.
  9. That the individual's military attorneys, having full knowledge of their client's guilt based upon the ethical requirements of their submitting his plea bargain attempt to the government, nevertheless chose to celebrate his acquittal by press release, a gratuitous and unnecessary an act extending far beyond their client's right to council under the Sixth Amendment.
  10. That this individual was honorably discharged from the armed forces and released a free man without informing the families of his victims of his release and without there being any legal means to restrain him should he threaten them with his presence.

At root, the catalyst for the murder of two innocent officers was a systemic lack of professionalism and military discipline within the National Guard and Army. The American all-volunteer military is one of the greatest evolutions of freedom in human history, yet for it to meet the demands of defending the nation, this force must be a disciplined force and its members must be held to the highest standard of conduct.

As evidenced above, I have serious issues with this prosecution of this case and its larger implications for the Army. As someone who has paid an unfathomable price through the loss of my husband, I am determined that the larger problems that led to this miscarriage of justice be addressed and corrected. As you are my representative in the Senate and a member of the Armed Services Committee, I seek to enlist your support accordingly.

Please have an appropriate member of your staff contact me to arrange a meeting at their earliest convince so that I may brief them. From there, we can contemplate the next course of action. I may be reached via e-mail at [withheld] or via phone at [withheld].


Mrs. Siobhan Esposito