Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

A Really Strange Story

The story in the Virginian Pilot (reprinted over at about the submarine Sailor from USS Albuquerque (SSN 706) who was caught as a deserter in March and has been held "secretly" since then in the Norfolk brig just does not make sense. Here's an excerpt:
A petty officer has been in the Norfolk Naval Station brig for more than four months facing espionage, desertion and other charges, but the Navy has refused to release details of the case. The case against Fire Control Technician 3rd Class Ariel J. Weinmann is indicative of the secrecy surrounding the Navy military court here, where public affairs and trial court officials have denied access to basic information including the court docket -- a listing of cases to be heard...
...The command's e-mail to The Pilot this week said that Weinmann was arrested at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on March 26 after he had been listed as a deserter. Fleet Forces officials refused to release the so-called charge sheet, which would detail the accusations against the Sailor.
Weinmann had been serving aboard the submarine Albuquerque until he deserted in July 2005, according to Brown. Weinmann enlisted in July 2003, he said.
Now, this could just be a story about how the press is unable to get the dockets from the Virginia military courts released, and they're just using this case as an example. (The majority of the article is about why the military court papers should be made available, and has a really inventive excuse from the Navy about why they haven't provided them.)

While they say the Sailor is accused of "espionage", they later admit that the charge sheet hasn't been made available. Still, it's weird to have a run-of-the-mill deserter in the brig for 4 months awaiting trial. The Albuquerque seems to be out right now with the Iwo Jima ESG, but we haven't seen the normal "here's the sub visiting the fun port" stories about them, so maybe they're having a productive deployment. I really hope the kid wasn't planning on going somewhere to talk to someone about what the boat was planning on doing -- since he deserted over a year ago, though, that's fairly unlikely.

Staying at PD...


Blogger Vigilis said...

Most intriguing story. From his enlistment in July 2003 until his dessertion in July 2005, how long could PO3 Weinmann have possibly been assigned to Albuquerque - roughly a year maybe?

Was his intent to divulge MK-48 ADCAP info (doubtful, he could have done much of that after FT school).

His airline ticket must have been to a foreign destination, because the kid was being watched and was probably using a ticket alias. Wherever was he bound?

Tidbits on SSN-706: The United States Navy confirmed Albuquerque was operating off the coast of Long Island, New York on the evening of 17 July 1996, when TWA Flight 800 went down. In 1999, she fired TLAMs at targets in Serb-controlled Yugoslavia, setting old records for a Flight-I 688 class submarine, as well as time from tasking to firing on a target, earning her the nickname "Sure Shooter". Albuquerque has received two MUCs.

8/05/2006 1:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is obvious, dahlink. He had secret plan for taking over whole world. What, Boris? Moose and squirrel are coming? Quick! Into submarine!

8/05/2006 7:31 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could it be another situation where sensitive info was on it's way to the Israelis?

Nyet, Natasha, moose and squirel do not like water, and are afraid of small smelly spaces;)

8/06/2006 8:29 AM

Blogger jeffox said...

Civilian news sources just don't seem to understand that the US criminal justice system and the UCMJ are 2 completely different spheres of reality. While the former is a matter of public record, it's a little bit much to expect the same level of information-release from the latter. That having been written, I think this kid has enough to worry about. Desertion is a very serious affair, in and of itself.

I, myself, would like to see where the chips land on this one. Thank you, Bubblehead, for the information; and please keep us posted on this one.

8/06/2006 10:01 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've never been under the impression that the Israelis were particularly interested in our sub technology. They usually dig foreign intel on their unpleasant neightbors. They've also been very reticent to use "illegals" (US citizen) for espionage since the Pollard incident. This is because it both angered the US government severely, and irritated the American jewish community, particularly those in positions of trust. (for those who are curious, the ongoing Franklin case is significantly different from Pollard - Franklin is non-Jew who was not recruited, but decided to share some intel unasked, in an effort to shape policy his way)

Of course, its entirely possible that this guy deserted and then tried to shop his info (which couldn't have been much) around to various buyers in hopes of asylum, one or more of whom may have dropped the dime on him, not wanting to anger the US government over worthless (to them) intel. There's plenty of US intel that people would kill to get, but I doubt this kid would know any of it.

8/07/2006 10:28 PM


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