…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.

But even worse, beyond the pale, we have the report below from The Daily Beast that he is planning to hit the campaign trail with the three amigos that he recently sprung with pardons, to rub it in the command structure’s faces.

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 listJim W. Dean ]

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Trump works the chow line

– 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.”


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8 COMMENTS

  1. Isn’t the president the commander in chief? Does a commander in chief “meddle”? Isn’t “meddling” interfering in something that is not one’s concern? Are not the armed services the concern of the commander in chief? The brass might not like it, but the president is their commander, Article II. Section 2 of the Constitution.

    • Nobody is disputing that banal reality. However, if the president had prior military service as an officer then input may be still regarded as interference at this level of discipline. To undermine your commanders is a major message that spreads across all branches and ranks. The construct of Justice in the military is the UCMJ, the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The first few lines mention Congress as well. Either way, it is not productive for a president with no officer experience in the administration of justice, at the level which is in question. The only benefit of this, is to the Ego of the president and serves no purpose for morale, appropriate discipline, justice, or confidence in commanders which is absolutely integral to maintaining a disciplined force. Now, every soldier ever convicted will want to go over the heads of their superiors. There is a pathway for that, but it does not involve the president. His position is largely as a figurehead as How can he be an expert in any of this ? Can he even pass an exam to display basic knowledge of the UCMJ ? No. It is bad leadership. Bravado on it’s face.

    • The issue is being largely understated in the public and even here on VT due to a couple things. One, it is so dumb it is not worth mentioning, and two , discussing it at length makes it worse. I was never accused of having an excess of military bearing, and have no current connection to anything, so let me say it .. everyone would simultaneously laugh at the very idea, and now that it actually occurred, the word “Idiot”, is being used a number of times that would set a Guiness World Record, if that sort of thing were to be tracked. And it is not for a lack of other word choices. That is the best one.

  2. Read the Wikipedia article on Gallagher. Unless they removed it witnesses observed him walk up to an unarmed POW and put his knife right into the POW’s stomach. Then they laughed about it. This isn’t war but cold blooded murder. This is why there are rules. Idiot Israel lover Trump violated the rules himself and got away with it. In fact he has no respect for any rules except when others disobey them. Obviously his parents spoiled him so much they never even took him to the Statue of Liberty and explained its meaning to him or took him behind the woodshed and beat the H out of him when he misbehaved. It is disgraceful the fools in America elected such a punk from New York. Everyone must remember this: He could start WWIII to divert attention from all his misdeeds. The whole thing is sickening. Just imagine what a drill sergeant would do to Trump if he had enlisted. Why we might not even have him as a President today.

  3. Simply , because he can. He also advocated police “bumping” heads against doors while loading cruisers, killing families, ripping children from their mothers arms, publicly hanging 5 innocent men, and now this. he’s a real peach.
    He is the model and epitome of “the loud mouth punk”. It is a display to the world, that we are not fit to lead ourselves or others at this time. It is actually going to be used as an example of why democracy does not always work. They will say, “But you had Trump “.

    • H.L. Mencken was correct. Sooner or later the people would elect a moron. Especially this moron, one with no moral compass and a total lack of understanding of what’s right and what’s wrong. Someone who grew up under no discipline and grew into an adult sociopath. However, what does that say about his supporters? Are they too, sociopaths? Or are they misguided and disinformed?
      tRump is obviously unfit for the Office but who will take his place? Certainly not Mike Pence, who could prove to be even worse.
      The repercussions from these decisions will last a long time but what will Trump care? After he’s gone, life will continue on without him.
      We are stuck with this miscreant, for the time being anyway.

  4. The military seems to love sociopaths, and psychopaths, they seem to select them for further training and elite units. As much as I don’t like Trump, I agree with him on this one, as the military encourages this behavior and then punishes the ones who get caught.