…from Press TV, Tehran
[ Editor’s Note: Normally I would not even cover Trump’s publicity stunt of eating T-Day turkey with the troops, but this year was especially twisted as he was using the troops here to wallpaper over his interference in the military justice system.
He has made a mockery of the system by showing that he will not allow prosecutions of war crimes by US soldiers, I suspect due to some polling service showing he will get more troops to vote for him in 2020.
This is sending a clear signal to all of his slime ball cohorts that they can count on Grand Inquisitor Trump to pardon anyone for anything if they are “on the team”.
From the Daily Beast: “Despite military and international backlash to Trump’s Nov. 15 clemency—fallout from which cost Navy Secretary Richard Spencer his job on Sunday—Trump believes he has rectified major injustices.
Two people tell The Daily Beast they’ve heard Trump talk about how he’d like to have the now-cleared Clint Lorance, Matthew Golsteyn, or Edward Gallagher show up at his 2020 rallies, or even have a moment on stage at his renomination convention in Charlotte next year. Right-wing media have portrayed all three as martyrs brought down by “political correctness” within the military.
“He briefly discussed making it a big deal at the convention,” said one of these sources, who requested anonymity to talk about private conversations. “The president made a reference to the 2016 [convention] and where they brought on-stage heroes” like former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, who refused to execute detained civilians ahead of a devastating Taliban attack.”
He is doing what no president has ever done, reaching out to the voting base troops at the expense of the command structure, as Trump has consistently displayed that loyalty to country and the oath may be nice, but without loyalty to the Prez none of that matters to him.
It is a gangster’s way of looking at the command structure, and his NeoCon backers, along with the Israel Lobby, are all onboard this train. None of them want to be accountable for anything.
If top people resign, that will be just fine for Trump, as he will fill the slots with those who pledge allegiance to Donald Trump and the Deep State Manifesto, “We are always right, all the time, and (political/career) death to all those who disagree”.
Watch carefully to see what the major Vet groups say on this, whether they will line up with Trump against the command structure and their oaths, or just do their duck-and-dodge routine of staying out of it to not get on a shit list… Jim W. Dean ]
– First published … December 01, 2019 –
American military leaders are increasingly concerned about President Donald Trump’s interference in military justice system, with senior officers complaining about the undermining of the chain of command and US credibility abroad.
Over the past few months, Trump has repeatedly intervened in the military disciplinary system to grant clemency to service members convicted of war crimes overseas.
In the latest such cases, Trump, on November 15, reversed the punishment handed down to Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher who was accused of war crimes. The president said Gallagher had been “treated very badly” by the Navy, and then ordered that he not be dismissed from the elite force.
The defense team representing Gallagher reportedly included two friends of the president, who are also former partners of Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani.
Several former commanders and current senior officers have expressed concerns in recent days about how Trump’s actions are corroding the integrity of the US armed forces.
Trump’s intervention in Gallagher’s case has created “confusion, there’s chaos, and it makes it appear like, as if there’s really not accountability, that if people violate their oath or commit crimes, there’s a way out,” retired Marine Corps Colonel David Lapan, a former senior military spokesman, told CNN.
Lapan said he was worried some service members could now believe “they can escape accountability if they get the president in their corner.”
In an article in the Washington Post, former Navy secretary Richard Spencer said “the president has very little understanding of what it means to be in the military, to fight ethically or to be governed by a uniform set of rules and practices.” Spencer was dismissed last week after clashing with Trump over his repeated interventions in the military justice system.
In his tweets and speeches, Trump has held up convicted soldiers as “warriors” who have been abandoned by their military commanders. “We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!” he charged in a recent tweet.
The comments have sparked fury in military circles.
“That represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the American warrior ethic,” said Rachel VanLandingham, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and a professor at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles. “A true warrior is one who exercises restraint and it requires moral courage to exercise restraint.”
Military leaders say they are worried that the president is taking his cues from pundits on Fox News and other conservative networks rather than from his military advisers. The war crimes cases and Trump’s interventions in them have particularly been championed by Pete Hegseth, a show host on Fox & Friends who is a former reserve military officer.
With presidential election less than a year and the cloud of impeachment hanging over the White House, Trump, however, seems willing to risk the ire of the military brass if that is what it takes to fire up his base.
The Daily Beast reported that Trump is planning to hit the campaign trail with the three service members he recently intervened to absolve them of war crimes charges.
The trio, apart from Gallagher, includes former Army lieutenant Clint Lorance, sentenced to 19 years in prison for murdering two civilian Afghan men, and Matthew Goldsteyn, a Green Beret major who has admitted to killing an unarmed detainee and burning his corpse in Afghanistan.
Trump’s disregard for the military leadership is a far cry from the early days of his presidency, when he surrounded himself with “his generals.”
However, one by one the generals — most notably retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, retired Marine Gen. John Kelly and Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster—left the administration to be dismissed by their commander-in-chief as “failed generals” who were “not tough enough” and “overrated.”