Earlier this month, the United States Coast Guard upheld its self-declared status as a ‘special’ branch of the military with the ability to prosecute civilians in military tribunals. This startling declaration, unreported in the media, came in a Decision on Appeal related to the case of Lieutenant Eric Shine, a commissioned Naval officer in the Merchant Marines and a graduate of Kings Point Military Service Academy, and was penned by the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard. The decision can be downloaded and read here.
The Coast Guard began proceedings to strip Lieutenant Shine of his merchant mariner license in March, 2003, supposedly as the result of incidents related to his service on two private vessels in 2001. In actuality, as Lieutenant Shine points out, the charges were brought in retaliation for attempting to blow the whistle on illegal dumping and other practices he had been asked to engage in during his employment. The Coast Guard’s case against him rested on two hostile witnesses (who had previously been named by Shine in his whistleblower litigation) and the Chief of the Coast Guard Medical Evaluations Office, an officer in the Coast Guard who had never examined Shine but was willing to testify to his medical incompetence.
Taking a Closer Look at the Stories Ignored by the Mainstream Media