Inteview with Robert Shaines Author of Command Influence:
Why did you decide to write your book?
I was a 23‐year‐old Air Force Judge Advocate officer and was one of the defense counsel for Lt. George C. Schreiber, who was accused of premeditated murder in the court martial. The story of this injustice has haunted my thoughts all of my adult life, and I finally found the time and the ability to vindicate my own conscience in writing the book. I came to understand how George Schreiber and myself were a couple of dedicated but naive and trusting young Air Force officers, whose lives and characters became permanently shaped by the events in those years.
What types of readers will be interested in your book?
Anyone interested in justice, and military justice and history of the Korean War and an understanding of how political events can affect the lives of those in the military.
What is special about your book? What differentiates it from other books in the same category
My book is differentiated from others involving history of the Korean War and the politics of injustice in the military by the exercise of command influence leading to the conviction of an accused because I was personally present and participated in the events set forth in my book.
Have you published any other books? Do you plan to publish more?
I have not published any other books, but I do plan to publish more and am presently working on a book, a work of fiction, based upon my experiences working for the Defense Nuclear Agency in the former Soviet Union from 1992 to 1996. I would anticipate that book being out sometime in late 2011.
George C. Schreiber was a twenty-five year old second lieutenant in charge of an Air Police guard unit in Pusan, Korea. A year earlier, in 1951, he had innocently been teaching fifth and sixth grade children in Brookfield, Illinois. A year later, he was convicted by a general court-martial of premeditated murder. The unconscionable injustice made no sense to twenty-three year old Air Force lawyer Robert A. Shaines and Schreiber’s story has haunted his thoughts ever since. Command Influence chronicles Shaines’ first hand observation of the dramatic events leading up to the trial of Schreiber and two of his contemporaries and shows how he, Schreiber and others became pawns in a power game among ambitious and vindictive men eager only to please those who could advance their military careers. This series of events would ultimately involve the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, the Governor of Illinois, the President and the Supreme Court of the United States and bring about a change in the law which would reach the highest levels of government. A fascinating tale of military and legal history, Command Influence is also a captivatingly personal vindication of the conscience of the author, who comes to understand that he and Schreiber were a couple of dedicated, but naive and trusting young fellow officers whose lives and characters became permanently shaped by these events. Both were victims in their own ways.
1 copy of Command Influence by Robert Shaines
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