After being exonerated of everything but a selfie, Eddie Gallagher should have been home free. Turns out that wasn’t the case and he was about to get drummed out of the military for “having a conviction”. And then, Trump stepped in and reinstated Gallagher in full, and also pardoned two other soldiers whose stories I’d never heard of. I’ll cover the other two first because Gallagher’s case goes all the way up to the Secretary of the Navy.
Donald Trump Grants Clemency to Army Major Matt Golsteyn and 1st Lt. Clint Lorance
President Donald Trump granted clemency to Army Maj. Matt Golsteyn and 1st Lt. Clint Lorance on Friday, who were accused of war crimes.
Lorance served more than six years of a 19-year sentence he received after he was found guilty for ordering his men in Afghanistan to engage a motorcycle with three men on it.
He capped either Cirque du Soleil or two goons riding shotgun.
“Many Americans have sought executive clemency for Lorance, including 124,000 people who have signed a petition to the White House, as well as several members of Congress,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.
Lorance was released from prison at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on Friday night.
Golsteyn was scheduled for a trial after killing a terrorist bomb-maker after he was released from detention.
Translation, he took a known terrorist behind a dumpster in a war zone and came back alone. How is THAT a crime? Oh right, the terrorist didn’t get a taxpayer-funded legal defense and lifetime free room & board.
“After nearly a decade-long inquiry and multiple investigations, a swift resolution to the case of Major Golsteyn is in the interests of justice,” the White House statement from Grisham said.
Several members of Congress advocated for Golsteyn’s clemency as well as Clay Higgins, American author and Marine combat veteran, Bing West, and Army combat veteran Pete Hegseth of Fox News.
The president also restored the rank and honors of Special Warfare Operator First Class Edward Gallagher.
(Segue for those suffering low blood pressure:)
Gallagher was found not guilty of murdering an ISIS fighter in Iraq in 2017 but was convicted for posing in a photo with a dead ISIS fighter.
“For more than two hundred years, presidents have used their authority to offer second chances to deserving individuals, including those in uniform who have served our country,” Grisham said. “These actions are in keeping with this long history.”
We begin with Major Golsteyn.
Former decorated Green Beret, after years of investigations, charged in death of suspected Taliban bomb maker
By: Greg Norman, 14 December 2018
Just the title tells you this is bullshit.
A former Green Beret who told Fox News in 2016 that he killed a suspected Taliban bomb maker nearly a decade ago during combat operations in Afghanistan is now being charged in the man’s death — a move his lawyer says is an act of betrayal by the Army.
The murder charge facing Maj. Mathew Golsteyn comes after years of on-and-off investigations by the Army following an incident said to have taken place during his 2010 deployment. A military tribunal that probed the killing years ago initially cleared Golsteyn — but the investigation into him was re-opened after he spoke to Fox News’ Bret Baier.
“I think he’s been betrayed,” his attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, told Fox News on Friday when asked how the Army has treated Golsteyn.
Repeat, Golsteyn was cleared of charges (but lost a Silver Star for conduct unbecoming) then was charged anew after admitting to killing him during a Fox News interview.
Do. Not. Talk. To. The. Media.
The once-decorated soldier, who had been on voluntary excess leave amid the latest investigation, has been living in a newly bought home with his wife and a 2-month-old baby in Virginia, working for the International Association of Firefighters, Stackhouse said.
Golsteyn was informed of the murder charge earlier this week after being ordered back into active duty.
“They have insinuated to me that they have new evidence,” Stackhouse told Fox News. “I don’t believe there is any new evidence at all.”
Golsteyn, in 2010, had been deployed to Afghanistan with the 3rd Special Forces Group. Two Marines in his unit during that time in the Battle of Marja ended up getting killed by booby-trapped explosives hidden in the area.
Did those bombs stop after the “murder”, one wonders.
Golsteyn and his men later found a suspected Taliban bomb maker nearby — though he was not on a list of targets U.S. forces were cleared to kill, Fox News previously has reported. After he was detained, Golsteyn said the man refused to talk to investigators.
Under the rules of engagement, Golsteyn was ordered to release him.
However, Golsteyn was concerned that if he did so, the suspect would have in turn targeted Afghans who were helping U.S. soldiers.
More specifically, according to other sources, his indigenous allies knew he was the bomb-maker but didn’t have court-admissible evidence. They told Golsteyn that they feared reprisal for fingering him. Very plausible, and it put the Major in a bind. Legally, the perp had to be released but doing so would cost him supporters among the locals… perhaps by dismemberment.
How should a soldier handle that, in the context of facing an enemy that refuses to wear uniforms? The way the good Major did. Officially release him and unofficially walk him to the dumpster. In the unlikely event the man was innocent, welcome to the war party, pal. Soldiers are not lawyers. They do not presume innocence. They make use of premeditated murder the way security guards make use of trespass and loitering laws. If the price of a continued alliance is capping one probable terrorist then a soldier shouldn’t think twice.
If you don’t like that then good. War should not be waged lightly for exactly such reasons. But if you DO wage war then don’t cry when intentional killings happen outside of “due process”.
It boggles the mind, that Golsteyn was only allowed to kill HQ-approved targets in a conflict against irregular forces. Go to Hell, backseat chickenhawk war drivers. Better yet, Get in Front!
“There’s limits on how long you can hold guys,” he told Fox News’ Bret Baier in 2016. “You realize quickly that you make things worse. It is an inevitable outcome that people who are cooperating with coalition forces, when identified, will suffer some terrible torture or be killed.”
Golsteyn told Fox News he killed him. Two years later, he is facing the murder charge.
Whatever SJW did this waited until he was recalled to active service.
“Major Matthew Golsteyn’s immediate commander has determined that sufficient evidence exists to warrant the preferral of charges against him,” U.S. Army Special Operations Command spokesman Lt. Col. Loren Bymer told Fox News in a statement Friday. “Major Golsteyn has been charged with the murder of an Afghan male during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan.”
The first Army investigation was undertaken after Golsteyn disclosed details of the incident during a polygraph test when he was interviewing for a job with the CIA in 2011.
Golsteyn, according to Army documents obtained by the Washington Post, reportedly told the CIA something that Stackhouse disputes – that he took the suspected bomb maker off base, shot him and buried his remains in a shallow grave before returning to the site to dig up the remains and burn them in a pit used to dispose of trash.
Stackhouse told Fox News the suspected bomb maker was released and later killed during combat operations in Marja.
It’s possible that Golsteyn didn’t even admit to killing in the interview and this is pure point & shriek. I don’t have his exact words.
Golsteyn, who had been awarded the Silver Star, the military’s third-highest award for combat valor, was initially accused of murder and conspiracy. But following the lengthy initial investigation by a military tribunal, no formal charges were filed.
Instead, Golsteyn was removed from the Special Forces and had his Silver Star taken away.
As for the latest case, Stackhouse says: “we will be relentless in defending him.”
No need, Stackhouse. Trump has Golsteyn’s back.
Now for Clint Lorance.
This is an obviously partisan source, which means it’s as trustworthy as CNN itself. Good enough for me! (Because I’ll fisk CNN like a proctologist in the third act.)
In July 2012, while serving as a Rifle Platoon leader in a remote sector of Kandahar Province Afghanistan, First Lieutenant Clint Lorance’s platoon embarked on what was seemingly a normal combat patrol. Clint’s patrol, consisting of 16 US Infantrymen, 5 Afghan National Army Soldiers, and 1 US Interpreter, left their Strong Point early in the morning on July 02, 2012 to a neighboring village. The platoon knew this village all too well, as only days before, one of their brothers, a US Soldier, had been shot in the neck in this very village.
Having constant contact with overhead US Army helicopters, it would soon become apparent to Clint that the platoon was headed into enemy held territory. Army pilots warned Clint over the radio of enemy presence to the North, East and West of the Platoon’s position on the ground. Clint confirmed with the pilots a good description of the enemy, and pilots continued to track and provide overhead surveillance for Clint’s Infantry platoon who was traveling on foot in the mine-riddled Afghan terrain. The Soldiers were operating in a terrain that leaders had deemed too dangerous to drive vehicles due to the expensive damage to vehicles as a result of mine explosions. In an effort to preserve their vehicles, the Infantrymen walked everywhere on foot, behind hand-held mine-detectors and explosive-detective dogs.
A dirt road was situated between the small base and the village, which had been restricted to military and police use only. This road had been lined with concertina wire, so as to reduce the Taliban’s freedom of maneuver. This restriction had been in place for several months prior to Clint’s arrival. It was a common Taliban tactic to run from US Forces on their motorcycles to the river to the South of the base, out of Clint’s platoon’s area of operations (sort of like a jurisdiction, keeping military units properly aligned on the battlefield).
As the platoon made their way across the road and through the concertina wire, a two wheeled motorcycle bearing three military-aged males came down the road at a higher-than-normal rate of speed. As the motorcycle approached, the men were pointing at the Soldiers’ positions. Trial testimony proved that back at Headquarters and simultaneously, radio signals were being intercepted by US intelligence Soldiers which clearly indicated that someone was pointing out via radio the positions of the US Troops on the ground. These radio intercepts were being translated into English and relayed via secure military radio to Clint on the ground. These Taliban were clearly setting up for an ambush.
As the motorcycle approached the patrol, one of Clint Lorance army Soldiers, a former policeman, yelled back to the him and said the motorcycle was coming at a faster-than-normal rate of speed and ASKED FOR PERMISSION TO FIRE. The Taliban showed no indication of slowing down and ignored the Afghan Soldiers’ verbal and visual warnings to stop. Clint had 3-5 seconds to react to this threat before the bike reached his men, who were tactically vulnerable because the patrol was in the middle of crossing the road, Clint granted his Soldier permission to fire. The Soldier fired, and missed.
The motorcycle came to a stop under a tree a few hundred meters from Clint’s position. The Taliban dismounted and began approaching the patrol. The Afghan Soldiers who were in front of Clint’s men, instinctively raised their weapons and prepared to fire, shouting at the men to stop. The men ignored the Afghan Army’s commands. This is all happening in seconds. Clint gave permission to fire , killing two of the men, one ran away.
Minutes later, the Soldiers detained that man who had ran away, he later tested positive for homemade explosives residue on his hands. During this patrol, a separate element of Clint’s platoon on the other end of the village engaged and killed two Taliban who were visually observing and communicating that they saw the Soldiers’ position on the rooftop. A second man was captured while attempting to flee the village by another element of Clint’s platoon. This man also tested positive for homemade explosives residue.
It is important to consider that, though the men Clint ordered killed did not have any weapons on them; however, their motorcycle was taken away by another Afghan a few minutes after the engagement and the third man did run away. Was the third man carrying a weapon? Did the motorcycle contain an explosive device? See News reports by motorcycles used by terrorists.
That’s the crux of the case against Lorance: he ordered his men to fire at unarmed persons acting suspiciously and against his orders on a restricted-use road in an environment of IEDs and ambush killings. Once again, soldiers are not lawyers. They aren’t even police, and what’s the Number One cause of police shootings? Say it with me:
FAILURE TO COMPLY.
Never give a man pointing a gun at you a reason to shoot. Innocence and misunderstandings do not stop bullets, to say nothing of motorcycles known to be used for bomb delivery.
Intelligence reports for the area identified any personnel owning or operating a motorcycle as Taliban, as there were no local population living there. The local population had long since moved out of the area because it had been taken over by the Taliban. Essentially, if they were in this area, they were up to no good. The only other non-Taliban actors in this area were farmers who commuted from their homes south of the river to farm the land that had been left abandoned.
Upon return to base, Clint ordered both of the captured men be tested for explosives residue on their hands. Both men tested positive, confirming Clint’s suspicions that the men had handled explosives recently. Clint also ordered the men entered bio metrically into the platoon’s computer to check for past criminal history. Then men both gave a “John Doe” name when asked, negating the computer check.
Clint then ordered that both men be physically separated, put into a shaded area, and be given food and water. Both men refused food, but drank water. When the Afghan Police arrived and asked Clint for permission to interrogate the prisoners, Clint denied the Police access to the prisoners and declared them under US custody, as such, they would be treated in accordance with US Army laws for treatment of prisoners. These laws mandate that the US personnel must protect anyone in their custody from interrogation or unjust treatment. Clint instructed his men to guard the prisoners and not talk to them. 2-3 hours later, the prisoners were transported to the detainee processing facility at the Brigade Headquarters.
Sounds like Lorance followed procedure at every step. There was nothing he could have done differently except to wait for the suspicious trio to arrive and see if they wanted an autograph.
Even though both men tested positive for explosive residue and were acting suspiciously and acted exactly as all other Taliban do in the area, Clint’s higher HQ assumed they were innocent due to political reasons.
Generally an unacceptable presumption, but:
The Army assumed Clint guilty of random acts of murder, fired him from being a platoon leader, took his weapon away–in a combat zone– and moved him to headquarters to assume administrative duties while awaiting the investigation. …
The members of Clint Lorance’s platoon have since made efforts to protect themselves by testifying against him in exchange for immunity. Clint is the only person in this incident to face any criminal charges.
Clint stood in court and said, “I TAKE FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE ACTIONS OF MY MEN”.
Each of the above circumstances were validated by witness testimony, while under oath, during the court martial.
Nine of the ten men being considered of committing murder were granted immunity by then -MG John Nicholson in exchange for their testimony against the remaining one, 1 LT Clint Lorance.
Something to think about: July 2012 was an important time for senior US officials in Afghanistan. Civilian casualty allegations across the battlefield were beginning to complicate the end-of-war transition negotiations to include a similar incident that happened only weeks before in the same area by a different infantry unit as well as a mass killing of Afghans by a US Soldier that made international news. Sufficed to say, Army officials needed someone to harshly punish in order to show the Afghan government we will take care of our own. Keep in mind that this is all happening as the US and Afghan governments are discussing a status of forces agreement between the two nations. That is, the US guarantees that if Americans commit crimes, they will be dealt with swiftly by US justice system. The US officials needed an example to drive this point home at this pivotal time in transition. Enter 1LT Clint Lorance.
Clint’s words today, ” I NEVER LEFT MY SOLDIER’S BEHIND”
And Trump didn’t leave him behind, either. If he doesn’t win 2020, it’ll only be because California voted twice.
My readers have already met Eddie Gallagher.
Now meet the scalp Trump took in his name!
Former SECNAV Richard Spencer. This pic is good enough you can see the horizontal lines on his forehead indicating good concentration/intelligence. When the lines are staggered horizontal, they indicate many intellectual interests.
Navy Secretary forced out after Trump’s war crimes intervention causes division and chaos in military
By Barbara Starr and Nicole Gaouette, 24 November 2019
In an extraordinary move, the Pentagon chief “fired” the Navy secretary Sunday for going outside his chain of command by proposing a “secret agreement with the White House,” according to a senior defense official.
No no, Barbies, no quotations around “fired”. The door hit SECNAV in the ass on his way out. Then he cried like a bitch.
The agreement that led to Navy Secretary Richard Spencer’s forced resignation involved the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, one of three service members facing war crimes allegations whose cases have caused unprecedented tension between the Pentagon and President Donald Trump.
Spencer had appeared to be seeking a way to resolve a standoff between the Pentagon and White House over Gallagher’s case, but competing narratives that emerged in the chaotic hours after Spencer’s dismissal suggest the depth of the upheaval, disconnection and discord that remains.
Resolve a standoff, yeah right. The Deep State is trying to wrest control of the United States military away from the Commander in Chief. As we’re about to see.
Trump suggested on Twitter that Spencer’s dismissal had to do with cost overruns and the way Gallagher had been treated by the Navy. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he asked Spencer to resign because he had lost “trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor,” according to a Pentagon spokesman.
That tweet had nothing to do with this incident. The Navy wouldn’t have anybody ranked higher than O-2 if cost overruns were punished by dismissal.
“Can you sign for delivery on these USS Ford replacement part part replacements?”
“NOOOOO why me, O God? I have kids to feed!”
And Spencer pointed squarely to the President, suggesting that Trump was undermining the “key principle of good order and discipline” of the US military by intervening in Gallagher’s case.
“I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,” Spencer wrote in his letter to the President acknowledging his termination.
CNN is putting the cart before the horse. Spencer broke chain of command to pressure Trump to let him destroy Gallagher’s career; some news reports claim he even made threats to resign if Trump did not accept his decision. Trump made no public reply but Secretary of Defense Esper demanded his resignation for breach of military protocol.
AFTERWARDS, Spencer blamed Trump for undermining “good order and discipline” in his resignation letter.
Dear Mr. President: It has been the extreme honor of a lifetime…
As Secretary of the Navy. one the most important responsibilities I have to our people is to maintain good order and discipline throughout the ranks. I regard this as deadly serious business. The lives of our Sailors. Marines and civilian teammates quite literally depend on the professional execution of our many missions. and they also depend on the ongoing faith and support of the people we serve and the allies we serve alongside.
The rule of law is what sets us apart from our adversaries. Good order and discipline is what has enabled our victory against foreign tyranny time and again, from Captain Lawrence’s famous order “Don’t Give up the Ship”, to the discipline and determination that propelled our flag to the highest point on lwo ima.
The Constitution. and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, are the shields that set us apart. and the beacons that protect us all. Through my Title Ten Authority, I have strived to ensure our proceedings are fair, transparent and consistent, from the newest recruit to the Flag and General Officer level.
Unfortunately it has become apparent that in this respect. I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me. in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline. I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Cry, you whiny Admiral bitch. What order is that? Nobody is talking about an order. You didn’t even mention an order when you had the chance.
You didn’t quit, SECNAV Richard V. Spencer. Your ass was shoved out the door by SECDEF for lapses in discipline that would have shamed a Second Lieutenant.
The President deserves and should expect a Secretary of the Navy who is aligned with his vision for the future of our force generation and sustainment.
We can agree that that ain’t you.
Gallagher had been convicted of bringing discredit to the armed services after posing next to a dead ISIS fighter’s body, which is against regulations.
No, Gallagher was not charged with conduct unbecoming.
He was demoted for that offense and acquitted of a separate murder charge.
Also acquitted of willfully discharging a firearm to endanger human life, retaliation against members of his platoon for reporting his alleged actions, obstruction of justice and the attempted murders of two noncombatants. That’s a lot of innocence.
After Trump reversed Gallagher’s demotion a week ago, military officials launched a formal review to determine if Gallagher was fit to serve, which is protocol after a conviction. That review was expected to lead to his expulsion.
Those poor, sore losers couldn’t take a hint. Trump forcibly reinstating Gallagher should have preempted any such review. Looks like the opportunity to Punch A Nazi while simultaneously disrespecting Orange Man the C-in-C was too much temptation for these Wokes.
Trump was too kind. He should have cut orders for Spencer to take a helicopter ride. For training purposes, of course. With SEAL Team 7.
Nah. Eddie got in trouble once already for posing with a dead man.
Gallagher issued a statement on Sunday evening thanking his family, legal team and supporters that ended by heaping praise on Trump.
“President Donald Trump you have my deepest gratitude and thanks. You stepped in numerous times and showed true moral fiber by correcting all the wrongs that were being done to me. You are a true leader and exactly what the military and this nation needs,” Gallagher said.
I remember watching Obama shove his mentors under a bus. What a difference!
Spencer’s departure is the latest shocking twist in an ongoing standoff between the Pentagon and Trump over Gallagher and the two other service members — a standoff that looks set to aggravate tensions between the President and Democrats in Congress.
For once, I believe the Clinton Narrative Network.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a statement Sunday night saying he had spoken with Spencer and offered support.
Wow. Spencer just got scalped for trying to bait Trump into abandoning an innocent serviceman and Schumer wants to be the first name associated with him? Does he want to throw his hat into the Democrat 2020 race, too? It’s not too late. [This just in, (((Bloomberg))) announced his Presidential candidacy in frustration that all his useful idiots are either dying of old age while live on national TV or boycotting Israel for the migrant vote.]
“Secretary Spencer did the right thing and he should be proud of standing up to President Trump when he was wrong, something too many in this administration and the Republican Party are scared to do,” Schumer said. “Good order, discipline, and morale among the Armed Services must transcend politics, and Secretary Spencer’s commitment to these principles will not be forgotten.”
Admirals who see nothing wrong with women on Navy ships do not know the FIRST GAWDDAMN THING about good order and discipline.
Trump intervened to reverse sentences against all three service members, ignoring Pentagon leaders who had told him such a move could damage the integrity of the military judicial system, the ability of military commanders to ensure good order and discipline, and the confidence of US allies and partners who host US troops.
Allies such as the Ukraine? CNN, if you have their names then Texas has rope.
Trump made the intervention on the day the House launched its public impeachment trial.
In the days afterward, the tensions between the Pentagon and the White House became concentrated on Gallagher, whose cause had been taken up by Fox News’ personalities.
After military officials started Gallagher’s review, Trump vowed on Twitter that he would never permit the Navy to revoke the Gallagher’s membership of the elite group.
Spencer had indicated publicly that he felt the review should proceed, telling the audience at the Halifax Security Forum in Nova Scotia, Canada, that “the process matters for good order and discipline.”
Behind the scenes, he proposed to the White House that Gallagher’s review go ahead, but offered a secret guarantee that Gallagher would be allowed to keep his status as a Navy SEAL, according to the senior defense official.
The Deep State wants Gallagher gone in a really bad way. I begin to wonder if liberals want to fast-track the convergence of American special forces in order to have alternative “cleanup crews” to the Clinton Machine. Competition lowers prices! Or as the next contingency plan against a “flawed” Presidential election.
The move prompted Esper’s decision to ask for Spencer’s resignation, according to Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman. The defense official said that Spencer’s decision to circumvent his chain of command — namely Esper — and go straight to the White House was a violation of military policy.
Moreover, Spencer’s private request to restore Gallagher’s rank and allow him to retire with his Trident pin contradicted his public position, according to the statement. The Trident Pin, which is worn by Navy SEALs, is awarded following their completion of an intense qualification course and symbolizes membership of the elite military community.
“I am deeply troubled by this conduct shown by a senior DOD official,” Esper said in the statement. “Unfortunately, as a result I have determined that Secretary Spencer no longer has my confidence to continue in his position. I wish Richard well.”
And the horse he rode in on.