Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for Sunday, May 5, 2019

Many thanks for helping veteran get proper burial

On April 26, eight former paratroopers, ranging from 71 to 77 years of age, gathered in Columbus to reinter a former member of their company which trained at Fort Benning and fought in Vietnam from 1965 to 1972.

1st Sgt. Robert L. Kirby was awarded the Silver Star and a Purple Heart for actions at the Battle of LZ Hereford on May 21, 1966, written about by BG (Retired) S. L. A. Marshall. Kirby was the platoon leader that day of 19 men, who were left alone on a hill overlooking Happy Valley in Vietnam. Over 200 NVA soldiers overran the platoon and executed everyone they could find. In all, 14 soldiers were killed that day, and additionally a civilian Look magazine editor named Sam Caston was killed. Kirby went on to retire from the Army. He fell onto hard times and when he died in March 2018, he was buried in a potter’s field with no known next of kin. Due to the work of Buddy Bryan, coroner for Muscogee County, an address found in Kirby’s personal effects led to a call to former members of C Company, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 12th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. When they found out that their comrade was buried in an obscure graveyard for paupers, they quickly found the money and paperwork to have him interred at the national cemetery at Fort Mitchell, Ala., with his widow, Joanne Kirby, in attendance.

Charlie Company fought for 77 months in Vietnam and veterans from all time periods want to thank Buddy Bryan for his devotion to our fallen comrade, as well as Muscogee County and McMullen Mortuary.

We have a connection to the Ledger-Enquirer from over 50 years ago. Charlie Black, who worked for the Ledger-Enquirer, covered our company both at Fort Benning during training and during our operations in Vietnam.

Doug Warden,

C Company, 1st BN (ABN), 12th Cavalry, Vietnam

Shawnee, Okla.

Mueller Report full of misdeeds

I read the 448-page Mueller Report, sans the 991 redactions and key missing supporting documents. My take away was different from the author of “Not Seeing Justice” (April 28).

Mueller was tasked with determining if a criminal conspiracy (collusion is not a legal term) existed between the Trump campaign and Russia, and if Trump committed obstruction. Mueller left no doubt that Russia interfered with the election on Trump’s behalf and that the Trump campaign was an eager beneficiary of Russian interference.

“While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him,” the report said. Without confessions, tapes or written instructions, Mueller could not confirm a criminal conspiracy to the legal standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Emails and over 100 meetings, however, document there was nefarious activity occurring even if the legal burden of proof was not met. Thirty-seven indictments, an increasing number of guilty pleas and 12 ongoing investigations attest to that point.

As for obstruction, there is no such thing as “attempted” obstruction — successful or otherwise. Mueller laid out a list of Trump’s obstructions in Section F. It’s a road map to Trump’s prosecution after he leaves office.

Why didn’t Mueller prefer charges? He was hamstrung by the DoJ’s Office of Legal Counsel opinions that a sitting president is “constitutionally immune” from indictment and criminal prosecution — above the law. The memos are binding on DoJ employees, including Mueller. He could only deviate from that policy with the approval of the attorney general. Do you honestly think Barr would have given him permission?

James H. Centric,

Phenix City, Ala.