MILITARY "INJUSTICE" AT McGUIRE
ACCUSED AIRMAN'S RIGHTS VIOLATED
NO LEGAL COUNSEL PROVIDED FOR OVER
TWO MONTHS - O.S.I. "OUT OF CONTROL"
INTERROGATE 17 YEAR-OLD CANADIAN
GIRL ON HER "SEX LIFE"
OUTRAGE IN MONTREAL
The ordeal of Airman Kenneth Betts began in the early morning hours of May 11, 2001.
Asleep and exhausted from a grueling 12-hour duty shift, the 21 year-old computer programmer was groggy when his first sergeant from the 305th Communications Squadron at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey woke him up.
"Come with me," the top-kick said.
Betts had no idea that before the day was out, he would learn first-hand how agents from the feared O.S.I. (Office of Special Investigations), would use trickery and deceit to get him to "talk" despite the airman's request for legal counsel.
The young serviceman found himself accused of committing "indecent acts" on an underage girl - the worst nightmare one could have, short of a murder rap or committing treason.
Just to be "charged" is almost tantamount to conviction. In the "off with their heads" mentality of military "political correctness," Betts didn't have a chance.
THE AIRMAN AND "LOLITA"
It was April 21, 2001 in Broome County, upstate New York, that Betts - on a five-day leave - first met the young "Lolita" MilitaryCorruption.com will call (for legal and privacy reasons) - THE ACCUSER.
Betts came to know the girl's mother on a computer chat line. The woman, a self-described "spiritual healer," had corresponded with Betts by e-mail for several months and had invited him to her home on his next leave.
According to the airman, when he arrived at the residence in April, THE ACCUSER rushed up to "greet" him at the door with "a big hug." He responded with "a kiss on the cheek."
The next several days, Betts would discover the precocious young girl - who looked much older than her years, and who smoked cigarettes and swigged whiskey straight from the bottle - (great "supervision" there, Mom!) - was only 12 years old!
"She was fully developed and almost as tall as I," said the 5'7" airman. "Her mother let her run wild, and all during my visit, the girl constantly tried to come on to me."
Betts told MilitaryCorruption.com he knew he was in "big trouble," when THE ACCUSER, who would rub herself
up against him and "talk dirty," produced three condoms and suggested they have sex.
"I'd told the mother my girlfriend Amy (in Canada) and I were having some problems in our relationship. I said it
had me feeling sad and lonely," Betts recalled.
"Her daughter took a real liking to me - too much so - and I said to myself: This girl is too young. You'd better get
out of here."
Cutting short his visit to New York, Betts drove for hours to get to Montreal, Canada. "I really love Amy, and we were able to patch things up," he said.
But trouble was brewing back in Broome County. The irate "spiritual advisor" knew Amy from the Internet chat
line. Online, the mother threatened the Canadian girl: "I swear, if you get back with him, I'll come up there and
whip your butt!"
The New York woman demanded Amy's phone number so she could speak to Betts.
"I woke up Kenneth and told him what (she) said, and that she was going to press charges against him." Amy told MilitaryCorruption.com.
Betts immediately phoned the "spiritual advisor," but could hardly get in a word edgewise.
"I heard Kenneth say 'I didn't do anything,' and when he hung up, he looked horrified. He told me he could hear the girl in the background admitting 'nothing happened,' but the mother would not listen.
THE "INVESTIGATION" BEGINS
On May 10, 2001, the New York State Police (NYSP) notified AFOSI Detachment 307 at McGuire of an alleged "sexual assault" involving Airman Betts.
The NYSP provided AFOSI with written statements from both THE ACCUSER and a 14 year-old girlfriend who claimed to have "witnessed" the "assault."
MilitaryCorruption.com will only identify the alleged "witness" as "R." (EDITOR'S NOTE: Our investigation
shows "R" made several contradictory statements, indicating deception - and even the O.S.I. determined they couldn't use her - the girls' credibility was so poor.)
According to the O.S.I. investigative report, "R," now realizing she had been caught in several lies, "refused,
upon invitation, to attend this hearing" where "evidence" was to be presented to determine if the charges
merited further action.
The frame-up of Airman Betts had suffered a setback. But the Air Force brass weren't going to let THAT get in
the way of their "rush to judgement" and adding another "statistic" to the "political correctness" ledger.
"The top brass here (McGuire) are so scared all they're doing will be exposed, they jump on a case like this as a diversionary tactic," said a veteran Noncom on base and a MilitaryCorruption.com "C.I" (confidential informant). "Anyone accused on a sex charge, whether it's 'he said - she said' is dead on arrival. The O.I.C. jump all over
them, and it's off to jail or a dishonorable discharge. They're all a bunch of hypocrites!"
VIOLATING THE RIGHT TO LEGAL COUNSEL
"When the two O.S.I agents took me into the interrogation room and started grilling me, I knew enough to tell
them I would prefer not to make a statement until I had legal counsel. That is my right," Betts said.
"They looked disappointed at first," he recalled. "Then they smiled and left me in the room alone. They must
have been gone for forty minutes. I was so sleepy, I closed my eyes and tried to nap. When they finally came
back, there was no lawyer and they didn't even mention I'd requested one."
Betts said they told him they only wanted to ask him "a few more questions," and then they promised to "cut
him loose." He was so weary at that point, he agreed to talk to them, but the "few questions" turned into many
over several more hours, during which the agents - well schooled at obtaining "confessions," one way or another - finally succeeded in getting Betts to give a written statement.
Never mind that the statement was ILLEGALLY obtained. Or that nothing in it "confessed" to anything. Betts
said he was in the home in question, but did not "admit" any "assault" on the girl or anything else. The O.S.I.
were frustrated. They tried scare tactics: "Have you ever seen the inside of a New York jail?" Betts imagined
all sorts of horrors. But he was unaware that New York State had not indicted him and that jurisdiction had been passed on to the Air Force. The O.S.I. weren't about to let him know THAT!
NO LEGAL COUNSEL FOR OVER TWO MONTHS
Betts was scared as any 21 year-old airman could be. He knew the O.S.I. were out to get him, and that he'd been falsely accused. The airman desperately needed to speak to a lawyer.
When he went to the ADC (Air Defense Counsel) office at McGuire, Betts found no attorney present. Only an enlisted man "paralegal" who told him that the Air Force was "short-staffed on defense lawyers" and the
captain assigned to McGuire also had to cover other Air Force bases as far away at Keesler in Mississippi.
Not until the first week of August, was Betts assigned a defense attorney, a young officer we will identify
here as Captain "H." But the O.S. I. weren't about to wait for any legal "niceties," such as Betts obtaining legal counsel. On August 2, 2001, they grilled him again!
This time they succeeded in getting Betts to initial the box next to the line on AF FORM 1168 which reads: "I
do not want a lawyer and I am willing to answer questions or make a statement or both, about the offense under investigation."
When MilitaryCorruption.com asked Betts what he possibly could have been thinking in doing that, when he'd ALREADY asked for a lawyer, the 21 year-old responded: "I panicked. I'd tried to get an ADC attorney before
and failed. These agents kept assuring me they wanted to HELP me, that giving them another statement would do that. Now I see they tricked me."
The new statement went into more detail about the incident, but Betts never "confessed" to any charges. He recounted how the girl took his hand and moved it to a part of her body; how she would sit on his knee and rock
back and forth; how she cooed: "What if Amy doesn't come back to you?" In the statement, Betts acknowledges
he may have inadvertently touched the girl's breasts when he tried to push her off him. Hardly the stuff of "sexual assault against a child." But to the O.S.I., the end justified the means. They were out to nail Betts and add another notch in their belt.
THE O.S.I. MAKES A BIG MISTAKE
Betts suspected his telephone and e-mail were being monitored. How else would the O.S.I. know that Amy had
come down to New Jersey, was staying off post, and had come on McGuire to see her then-boyfriend.
In an exclusive interview with MilitaryCorruption.com, Amy recounts her shock and surprise when two
plain-clothes O.S.I. agents showed up at Betts quarters on August 2, 2001 and asked the teen-age girl to
accompany them. They wanted to ask her "some questions."
"At no time did they tell me I did not have to speak with them," the Canadian citizen said. "They told me they
were military police investigators, and I was scared. They said if I didn't talk to them (in the USA), they could
come up to Canada and interrogate me there. I was intimidated by them, so I went to their office.
"They told me they were investigating my boyfriend Kenneth on sex charges.
"I was so embarrassed and humiliated by their questions. They wanted to know all about my sex life. They
wanted to know WHEN Kenneth and I started having relations, IN WHAT WAY, if it was ABNORMAL, etc.
This made me sick inside and I wanted to cry.
"I wished I could leave, but I didn't dare say so. They were police. That frightened me. I've never been in trouble
with the law. I've committed no crime. I was upset that as a Canadian citizen and an innocent person, they could
do that to me.
"It got worse. It seemed like they (the agents) were trying to mess with my head, to turn me against Kenneth.
They talked of him as a "monster" and a "pervert" and made me feel bad I was even his girlfriend.
"The agents said: 'If he's really like this, you wouldn't want to be with him, would you?'
"They upset me very much. I was so confused. The agents were trying to use me to get at Kenneth - to hurt him.
"I was very uncomfortable in that small room. They did offer me water. There was a desk, a few chairs and a
laptop computer. I also saw a video camera set up in the corner. I guess it was turned on. They didn't tell me.
"The agents asked me to type in a statement on the laptop computer. They suggested how I was to say it based on what I'd told them, and they told me to sign a printout of the statement and initial it in several places.
"They knew I am Canadian, my date of birth, they seemed to know a lot about me. They wanted my home address, phone number and even my Social Insurance number. Isn't that the same as your Social Security number in the States? I guess they wanted to look up my medical records.
"I don't have any disease, nothing is physically wrong with me except I have a hard time sleeping since they questioned me. I have nightmares. What right do they have, as Americans, to violate my privacy? I have done nothing wrong.
"Since August, when I last saw Kenneth, I'm scared these agents will come to my house. I moved out, in part, because I fear them. I'm living elsewhere in Montreal."
"I ASK THE CANADIAN GOVERNMENT TO PROTECT ME. I MUST HAVE SOME RIGHTS. I AM ONLY 17 YEARS OLD. WILL FOREIGN MILITARY POLICE AGENTS FROM AMERICA BE ALLOWED TO COME ON OUR SOIL AND QUESTION ME MORE? PLEASE HELP ME!"
In her lengthy statement to MilitaryCorruption.com, Amy (we are concealing her last name for privacy reasons) said when the O.S.I. got done interrogating her, they took her back to Betts' room.
"Then they took him off for at least three hours," Amy said. "I cried while I waited for Kenny to come back. I didn't know if they'd beat him up or what! When he finally returned he looked awful. He said he needed a lawyer, but the Air Force had not provided him one. What kind of country is America? A police state? I don't want to go back there again. I'm scared to go back."
A "DEFENSE" ATTORNEY - SORT OF
Airman Betts met with his legal counsel for the first time after two interrogations by the O.S.I.
Capt. "H" told Betts he didn't want to get the young airman's hopes up, that the situation was very bad and that he should follow his advice.
After several meetings with his "client," Capt. H sent off a letter on November 9 to a lieutenant colonel and "all reviewing authorities" which, in the beginning, SEEMED to be a spirited defense of Betts. But half way through the letter, the ADC did a 180-degree turn, and practically begged the Air Force brass to give Betts a UOTHC (Under Other Than Honorable Conditions) "bad conduct" discharge. In effect, it would ensure that the LEAST Betts would get from the flimsy charges against him would be loss of all medical and educational benefits - many thousands of dollars.
Betts, frightened by tales of a "seven year jail sentence" if he were to be convicted, went along with the ADC's "suggestion" he sign and "request" the bad discharge. This way, the Air Force could be sure to "punish" Betts, rather than take their chances in a court martial.
It's true that the court martial conviction rate in the United States military runs between 96 and 98 per cent, rivaling the 100% rate of Communist China and other totalitarian nations. But the case was so weak against Betts, and the violations of his rights so egregious by the goons at O.S.I., Betts had a better chance in the courtroom.
The problem is, no one told him that.
So revealing is the ADC letter, we are reproducing it, practically word-for-word, below. We have Airman Bett's permission to do so.
1. Sir, on behalf of A1C Betts, I respectfully submit this memorandum in support of his request for discharge in lieu of court-martial under AFI 36-3208, Chapter 4. You should support this request because discharging A1C Betts under Chapter 4 is the most reasonable and appropriate way to dispose of his case under the circumstances.
2. Sir, the facts in the Article 32 report reflect that this is a case of "he said - she said." The accuser in this case is a twelve year-old girl who is not unwise to the ways of the world. She is a smoker and has been seen drinking. She has been removed from her home because she does not respect authority and is truant from school frequently. For this, she has to report to a probation officer. One of the witnesses that submitted a statement recalls a completely different version of the events from the accuser . . . The witness (has told me) the accuser has told untrue stories in the past about being pregnant and having to get an abortion. This witness also stated that the accuser likes older guys and that the accuser gets crushes on older guys.
3. The accuser in this case has told inconsistent statements on three separate occasions, two times under oath. First, inconsistencies have been revealed in the accuser's statements to OSI during a videotaped interview when she described the events. Second, while under oath, the accuser signed a statement that has been shown to be inconsistent with other accounts of the facts and testified similarly at the Article 32 hearing with regard to the events that occurred in April. The accuser's credibility at trial will be questionable at best and she is the only person who can attest to the allegations set forth.
4. Sir, there is a strong issue with regard to the statement made by A1C Betts that will be brought up at trial. When A1C Betts initially was called to be interviewed, he requested legal counsel. A1C Betts then called the ADC office at McGuire and spoke with the defense paralegal. Unfortunately at that time, there was no ADC manning the office. . . At the beginning of August, the OSI called A1C Betts over once again for questioning . . . believing he had not obtained counsel. This issue creates the strong chance that A1C Betts' statements will not be received as evidence at trial.
5. Sir, the statements and therefore most of the testimony that the prosecution is relying on are based upon hearsay. Things the accuser has told to someone else. There is no one that can verify what she is saying. Hearsay testimony is not admissible at trial.
6. Sir, an Under Other Than Honorable Conditions (UOTHC) discharge is the most severe administrative discharge available and would provide sufficient deterrence, retribution and punishment in this case. If a discharge under Chapter 4 is approved, A1C Betts will be discharged from the service with a service characterization of Under Other Than Honorable Conditions (UOTHC). A UTOHC is regarded as the administrative equivalent of a Bad Conduct discharge. It is "the worst possible administrative discharge" according to AFI 36-3208. Much like a Bad Conduct Discharge, a UOTHC discharge carries a stigma that will make it more difficult for A1C Betts to succeed in life after he leaves the Air Force. A1C Betts would lose any separation pay he might be entitled to if he were to separate voluntarily. He also is forced to separate from the Air Force without the chance to serve twenty years and retire. In addition, he would lose his Montgomery G.I. Bill and virtually all of his veteran's benefits. These are significant losses for A1C Betts. In light of his youth, A1C Betts would face living the rest of his life under the shadow of a UOTHC discharge.
7. Sir, under the Chapter 4 option, A1C Betts does not escape punishment for whatever offense or offenses he may have committed. Rather, he suffers a substantial punishment by being discharged with the worst possible administrative service characterization. On the other hand, if the case proceeds to trial, and the court does not discharge him, a board hearing would be necessary to attempt to obtain a UOTHC discharge.
8. Sir, if convicted, there is no guarantee that A1C Betts would receive a punitive discharge. The government would save substantial time and effort in avoiding time needed to prepare and try a court-martial as well as potentially saving time that would be needed to facilitate an administrative discharge if the court-martial does not adjudge a punitive discharge.
9. Sir, if this case proceeds to trial, the government will likely have to produce several witnesses. A trial is likely to last two days if litigated. A litigated trial will cause court members to be away from their regular duties for at least two days. It will also demand a substantial amount of time from the witnesses in the case, who would have to meet with defense and government counsel in the days before the trial, as well as be available to testify during pre-trial motions and at trial. In addition, the defense will request that the government transport A1C Betts' mother to the trial to testify as a witness. A court-martial will also require the services of a military judge. Recently, the circuit has become very busy with trials. A Chapter 4 discharge can be accomplished using a small fraction of the resources that would otherwise be expended on a litigated court martial.
THE ABUSE OF AIRMAN BETTS CONTINUES - DRUGS
Why is Betts' future being sacrificed on the altar of "political correctness?" An ADC attorney confided to the young airman: "The reason you weren't offered an Article 15 is because of politics." That's not much comfort to a young man kicked out of the Air Force and trying to find a meaningful job.
While waiting for the scheduled start (Dec. 12) of his court-martial - the Air Force turned down Betts' "request" for a UOTHC discharge - the brasshats at McGuire decided it would be a good idea if the young airman be sedated.
"They suggested I take 100 mg. a day of Serzone," Betts said. "It made me feel like a ZOMBIE and I started thinking thoughts like I don't care anymore what happens. That scared me."
This was followed up by daily and sometimes several calls a day from the chaplain and others asking Betts: "You're not feeling SUICIDAL are you? You wouldn't HURT yourself, right?"
"It's almost like they WANT to put the thought of SUICIDE in my head," Betts told MilitaryCorruption.com. "I could hardly believe it when they gave me a loaded rifle and put me on guard duty after I'd been charged. And they know I'm on drugs, they've prescribed them!
"I wondered what it was all about, until it dawned on me. They want to make it EASY for me to take myself out! That would save them a lot of trouble. Well, I won't commit suicide, I believe in God. And if I end up that way, it will be MURDER, not by my own hand."
TO YOU KNOW WHO - A WARNING
We know, by telling Airman Betts' story, we may be putting him in HARM's WAY. MilitaryCorruption.com feels, however, by letting the whole world know in this investigative article, what passes for "justice" in today's Air Force and at McGuire AFB, it will in effect provide an "insurance policy," if you will, for this young man - who has a clean record (not even a speeding ticket) and two years of college.
BUT, if so much as a hair on his head is harmed. If Airman Betts has some unfortunate "accident." If he is "suicided," or even catches a cold, WE PROMISE YOU, MilitaryCorruption.com and our many friends in the civilian media, will search under "every rock" on base, uncover every scandal, expose any and all corruption and cover-ups. We will not let up!
You don't know WHO our many C.I.'s are at McGuire, Fort Dix, in Wrightstown and the surrounding area, but they know who YOU are . . . and they will be watching!
(P.S.) - Just the other day, the O.S.I. called in Betts and told him they needed "another" set of prints and mug photos because the first ones were "of poor quality." Sure! They spent all of six minutes, allegedly "patting down" the young airman checking for "weapons." What a farce! No police "pat down" takes that long or involves running fingers up and down the subject's spine. The O.S.I. are nervous - looking for a "wire." Well, we've got news for you. We don't need a "wire." You're ALREADY cooked.
All Written Material
All Rights ReservedŽ 2000-2001
Gulf War Vets Home Page