Time to eat my words
Back in April of last year, I commented upon the JTF2 explosives expert who went AWOL and disappeared into the far east a couple of years ago: Montgomery Paisley.
It will be interesting to find out what motivated him to abandon his life here. Here's my guess: nothing. I'll bet he did this because he could. He had the training and the ability to disappear, so when something in his life threw him the sort of curveball the rest of us simply deal with and move on, he used it as an excuse to live out a Jason Bourne fantasy.
Let me reiterate that this is just a guess. I don't know this fellow from Adam - he might well have had a serious life-crisis event that none of us knew about, or a clinical psychological problem that went undiagnosed. If that's the case, you'll see me eat these words.
As it turns out, I was wrong. Time to eat those words, as I promised I would.
Captain (Navy) Holly MacDougall, the Canadian Forces Director of Military Prosecutions (DMP), has withdrawn the charge of desertion, an offence under section 88 of the National Defence Act, against former Sergeant Montgomery Paisley. Sgt. Paisley was the member of Joint Task Force 2 (JTF 2) who left his unit in July of 2003 and was absent until he turned himself in at the Canadian embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, in April of 2005.
The DMP decision to withdraw the charge was based on a consideration of the public interest, which balanced the nature of the offence and the public interest in prosecuting the charge against recently-provided evidence that the accused suffered at the time of the offence (and continues to suffer) from a major depressive disorder. Had the matter proceeded to court martial, the central issue would have been the mental health of the accused and his level of criminal responsibility.
Depression is a serious issue, and although I'm biased, I think it's a more serious issue for military personnel than for most other segments of society. Let's hope Mr. Paisley gets the help he needs.
Cross-posted to The Torch