Patterico's Pontifications

12/2/2019

Sickening NYT Article on Trump’s Pardoning of a War Criminal

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:51 am



No sensible person can read this article from start to finish and not be sickened at the behavior Trump has sanctioned — and wants to campaign on sanctioning:

Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher and other Navy SEALs gave the young captive medical aid that day in Iraq in 2017, sedating him and cutting an airway in his throat to help him breathe. Then, without warning, according to colleagues, Chief Gallagher pulled a small hunting knife from a sheath and stabbed the sedated captive in the neck.

The same Chief Gallagher who later posed for a photograph holding the dead captive up by the hair has now been celebrated on the campaign trail by President Trump, who upended the military code of justice to protect him from the punishment resulting from the episode.

. . . .

When senior platoon members confronted Chief Gallagher, they said, he told them, “Stop worrying about it; they do a lot worse to us.” . . . . A week later, Chief Gallagher sent a friend in California a text with a photo of himself with a knife in one hand, holding the captive up by the hair with the other. “Good story behind this, got him with my hunting knife,” he wrote.

That’s the part you knew. You may also know that there were serious allegations of prosecutorial misconduct One of the witnesses took the blame for the murder at trial, making conviction of the murder apparently impossible. (DRJ noted the acquittal back in July.) But Gallagher was convicted for the photo and his pin was taken away. The Navy Secretary was fired for objecting.

Here are some things you may not know:

Before deployment, he commissioned a friend and former SEAL to make him a custom hunting knife and a hatchet, vowing in a text, “I’ll try and dig that knife or hatchet on someone’s skull!”

. . . .

As the deployment wore on, SEALs said the chief’s behavior grew more erratic. He led a small team beyond the front lines, telling members to turn off locator beacons so they would not be caught by superiors, according to four SEALS, who confirmed video of the mission obtained by The New York Times. He then tried to cover up the mission when one platoon member was shot.

At various points, he appeared to be either amped up or zoned out; several SEALs told investigators they saw him taking pills, including the narcotic Tramadol. He spent much of his time scanning the streets of Mosul from hidden sniper nests, firing three or four times as often as the platoon’s snipers, sometimes targeting civilians.

One SEAL sniper told investigators he heard a shot from Chief Gallagher’s position, then saw a schoolgirl in a flower-print hijab crumple to the ground. Another sniper reported hearing a shot from Chief Gallagher’s position, then seeing a man carrying a water jug fall, a red blotch spreading on his back. Neither episode was investigated and the fate of the civilians remains unknown.

Chief Gallagher had been accused of misconduct before, including shooting through an Afghan girl to hit the man carrying her in 2010 and trying to run over a Navy police officer in 2014. But in both cases no wrongdoing was found.

. . . .

SEALs said they started firing warning shots to keep pedestrians out of range. One SEAL told investigators he tried to damage the chief’s rifle to make it less accurate.

It’s a description of a man utterly out of control, which is corrosive to discipline. But Trump watches “Fox & Friends” and the guy on “Fox & Friends” thinks Gallagher got a raw deal, so that is now U.S. policy.

People tell me all the time to look only at what Trump does, not what he says. Well, this pardon is something he did. It is an attack on the rule of law, like so much of what this cretin does. He is wholly and utterly unfit for office.

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

114 Responses to “Sickening NYT Article on Trump’s Pardoning of a War Criminal”

  1. When did we start drawing conclusions based on allegations, rather than what someone was actually convicted of?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  2. When did we start drawing conclusions based on allegations, rather than what someone was actually convicted of?

    When we know the fix was in? Trump did not listen only to Fox and Friends. Gallagher’s last lawyer was also Trump’s lawyer in one of the tax return cases and Giuliani’s friend and former partner.

    Which leads me to suspect that the orange pardoned the other two not so much as a matter of sucking off men in uniform but primarily for obfuscating the Gallagher fix.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Considering the prosecutorial misconduct and the other misconduct surrounding the case; I have absolutely no idea as to whether or not any of those damning allegations are true or made up.

    Ingot9455 (7ff01c)

  4. 1. How many demonstrations of Trump’s unfitness for office do you need before you’re convinced? (Nevermind. I ought to know better than to ask.)

    Gryph (08c844)

  5. This guy has issues and Trumps adoration has real consequences.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  6. @1 You’re right, OJ was innocent.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  7. Does anybody want to bet against a Manafort pardon?

    John B Boddie (0fa0b7)

  8. It would have already happened if Cy Vance had not also indicted Manafort for offenses under New York state law. If Trump pardons Manafort now, Manafort will simply leave federal prison for Riker’s Island which is no country club.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. ”You’re right, OJ was innocent.“
    Time123 (daab2f) — 12/2/2019 @ 8:49 am

    Whaddabout Chappaquiddick?

    Munroe (dd6b64)

  10. War criminals. These are the people Trump identifies with. Along with that gang of world dictators, of course.

    Very seriously… we need to start asking why.

    noel (f22371)

  11. Trump’s multiple pardons is one act of many that demonstrate his unfitness. He betrays allies, he caves to dictators, and he pardons war criminals, all of which, taken together, are unpardonable.

    Paul Montagu (1e7217)

  12. Whaddabout Chappaquiddick?

    Who’ll take the troll bait and derail the thread? This is about the Fifth Avenue 4-F whose concept of the military is the French army on parade.

    nk (dbc370)

  13. Your mockery detection meter needs calibration, nk.

    Munroe (f62389)

  14. I think this fix is more impeachable than Ukrainegate. It’s unlawful command influence under the UCMJ. Donald Duck L’Orange may be the Commander in Chief, but it’s America’s Navy:

    The Congress shall have Power …
    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    nk (dbc370)

  15. @9 Nice! I’ve been saying you need to reach back further than “Hillarie’s emails” in your whatabouts. Good job on the personal stretch.

    As a reward I’ll respond as if your first comment seriously…

    It’s often necessary to make a decision based on inferior information. I’d prefer to have a fair investigation to rely on, but that’s not available and doesn’t seem likely to happen. The numerous stories about his behavior seem credible. If it’s possible to have these claims tested in a legal proceeding that might be nice, but it’s not necessary for me to form an opinion. Further, even if none of them are true, it’s not in dispute that he stabbed a sedated prisoner in the neck without any good reason and sent a picture of it to a friend. Based on that alone I can find Trump’s behavior around this man disgusting.

    Honest question, do you think it’s ok to stab prisoners of war in the neck?

    Time123 (daab2f)

  16. “Navy prosecutor Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak secretly embedded a tracking virus in an image of the scales of justice and the American flag on emails he exchanged with Gallagher’s defense attorneys, affording him an illegal window into the defense strategy.”

    Tell us again who’s ‘out of control’.
    _

    harkin (337580)

  17. @16
    The former prosecutor should be disbarred. But Trump didn’t pardon him due to prosecutor misconduct.

    Quick questions; Do you think it’s OK to stab a sedated prisoner of war in the neck for no better reason than you want to?

    Time123 (a7a01b)

  18. Quick questions; Do you think it’s OK to pass judgement on a person based on limited info for no better reason than you want to?“

    Fyp – I have no idea whether he did what was alleged and can only hope a fair and lawful court proceeding would come to the correct conclusion.

    Isn’t that how this is supposed to work?

    harkin (337580)

  19. Wait a second … wasn’t this guy acquitted of all charges ??

    bendover2 (076acf)

  20. You didn’t fixed my post, you dodged the question. But I’ll answer yours anyway

    Limited information is all we ever get. So it depends on how limited the information is. In this case multiple witnesses testified under oath that they saw him stab the prisoner. One witness testified that after the stabbing they killed the prisoner as an act of mercy. So far as I know there’s been no testimony that he didn’t stab him. I also know that in a text message he said he got this one with a hunter knife. Seems pretty compelling to me.

    Jury appears to believe the witness that claimed the mercy killing.

    You going to answer my question? Is it OK to gratuitously stab a POW in the neck?

    Time123 (daab2f)

  21. @19, no, he wasn’t.

    Time123 (daab2f)

  22. He was guilty on one of the seven charges, of “wrongfully posing for an unofficial picture with a human casualty”.

    whembly (51f28e)

  23. Indeed he is unfit for the office. He should be impeached on that basis. The search for a crime to hang impeachment upon is unseemly.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  24. There;s more he possibly did:

    Gallagher’s other charges stemmed from allegations from platoon snipers who said he routinely took shots at civilian non-combatants from one of two bombed-out sniper towers during deployment. The towers were just east of the Tigris River and gave the SEALs a position from which to engage ISIS across the river in “old” Mosul.

    Three SEALs said they saw Gallagher shoot two unarmed civilians — an old man and a young girl — and a fourth, who was with Gallagher in his tower, said the chief told him he had shot a girl.

    I think this was called shooting at random, but it probably wasn’t random.

    He also threatened to kill his own men (if they reported him)

    And this:

    https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2019/04/22/what-motivated-fellow-seals-to-dime-out-eddie-gallagher/

    The LPO told NCIS that Gallagher later approached him and said he’d “killed four women today,” alleged war crimes the SO1 said he repeated to Portier and another lieutenant.

    The LPO indicated the platoon’s snipers then began “shooting warning shots so that the civilians would run away and (Gallagher) would not kill them,” according to the report…

    [A SO1] told [Joseph] Warpinski [lead NCIS special agent assigned to the Gallagher probe] he saw four girls walking along it, toward the river, away from ISIS territory.

    “Almost immediately after seeing the group, one of the girls in a grey dress grabbed her stomach and fell to the ground after she was shot,” the SO1 said. “Two of the other girls ran away and over a berm out of sight. The fourth girl, who was wearing a blue dress, helped the girl in the grey dress to her feet and helped get her over the berm.”

    …The other SEAL sniper who’s now a civilian told investigators that he estimated the girl “to be a 12-year-old,” according to another document provided to Navy Times.

    He also told NCIS that Gallagher had shot at but missed another young girl in a previous incident.

    Ne thing after another, some with stronger evidence, some with less. hey all believed Gallagher would wantonly murder people if he could.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1)

  25. Trump probably thinks he’s gaining votes among the military, but he’s way wrong. He may be gaining votes among the armchair Rambos, but he already had their votes. Saner people in the GOP have got to be asking themselves why he is so dead-set on losing the election.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  26. It’s not clear that Trump understood very much (and the Navy didn’t do much to bring out the idea that Gallagher was an evil man, even if half crazy) beyond the idea that Gallagher was “tough.”

    Trump has also shown himself, in the matter of pardons, to be very much influenced by personal contacts, even FOAF’s FOAFs. Think Kim Kardashian. Gallagher may have bought himself one such contact.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1)

  27. Does anybody want to bet against a Manafort pardon?

    Trump will pardon no one. It’s all about Trump, and if he pardons all the underlings there are several bad results:

    1. They MUST testify if called to do so, and they must do so truthfully. This would harm Trump.
    2. Lady Justice would only have one guy left to hold accountable for crimes. This would harm Trump.

    Q: How many underlings will Trump sacrifice to protect himself?
    A: All of them.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  28. It’s unlawful command influence under the UCMJ.

    I hate to disagree, but a PARDON is never illegal, and it has nothing to do with being CinC, so it’s not command influence.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  29. nk @2.

    Which leads me to suspect that the orange pardoned the other two not so much as a matter of sucking off men in uniform but primarily for obfuscating the Gallagher fix

    It may not have been Trump, but Gallagher’s lawyer, who brought in the other cases, to make it sound more to him like something that had merit, i.e. the U.S. military justice system in general is being too tough on war fighters heroes. Add a couple of letters from political supporters…

    Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1)

  30. BTW, it would probably be a good idea for Gallagher to avoid foreign travel, lest he get a free trip to The Hague.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  31. Found not guilty. pardoned by Trump. He’s going to retire. Case Closed. Only when its someone the Liberal media dislikes do we get this “Oh, he got off on a technicality, did you know he did XYZ?”

    If Hillary had pardoned him, we wouldn’t be hearing squat about this.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  32. “Found not guilty. pardoned by Trump.”

    If he was found not guilty, he wouldn’t need a pardon.

    Davethulhu (fab944)

  33. If this guy was such a kook, why did the Navy let him continue in Combat? How did he slip through the mental screening to become a SEAL in the first place? Who’s been punished over this guy’s continuing conduct? Does the article say anything about that?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  34. Rcocean —

    If he was pardoned by Trump, he could not have been considered not guilty.

    Appalled (1a17de)

  35. #33 that’s a good question.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  36. #35 Yes, cause “Not guilty” can only mean ONE Thing.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  37. He was not found not guilty on all charges

    Appalled (1a17de)

  38. Found not guilty. pardoned by Trump. He’s going to retire. Case Closed. Only when its someone the Liberal media dislikes do we get this “Oh, he got off on a technicality, did you know he did XYZ?”

    If Hillary had pardoned him, we wouldn’t be hearing squat about this.

    rcocean (1a839e) — 12/2/2019 @ 11:51 am

    1. You’re really confused about what words mean on this one.
    2. It’s continuing to be news worthy because of Trumps stated intention to include him in the re-election campaign. There’s large gap between pardoning someone because you think the system treated them unjustly, and holding that person up as a hero.
    3. People dislike this guy because he’s done things that are horrible; such as stabbing POW’s in the neck, taking trophy pictures with corpses, shooting unarmed civilians etc.

    Quick question; do you think it’s OK to stab sedated POW’s in the neck for no good reason? For some reason no one wants to answer that question.

    Time123 (a7a01b)

  39. He got off because of 1)prosecutorial misconduct and 2)a witness who was willing to take the blame without having to fear any consequences (and who can be reasonably suspected of lying in doing so). Do remember that Gallagher not merely admitted to, but boasted about, the acts for which he was charged.

    As Commander in Chief, the President can ensure that the prosecutorial misconduct is investigated and punished, of course.

    kishnevi (0c10d1)

  40. War is hell. gen. sherman. If we were out of iraq and prosecuting bush and his neo-con cronies as real war criminals for lying into iraq war none of this would have happened. remember my lai and kent state?

    asset (9b6b42)

  41. “Navy prosecutor Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak secretly embedded a tracking virus in an image of the scales of justice and the American flag on emails he exchanged with Gallagher’s defense attorneys, affording him an illegal window into the defense strategy.”

    How would President Trump’s and Chief Gallagher’s fans feel if Commander Czaplak were subject to a court-martial for this act, only to have President Elizabeth Warren grant him a pardon and order him restored to full rank before the military inquiry was concluded?

    JVW (54fd0b)

  42. ”Honest question, do you think it’s ok to stab prisoners of war in the neck?”
    Time123 (daab2f) — 12/2/2019 @ 9:50 am

    No. If found guilty, I would hope that he’s punished.

    The president, much like prosecutors exercising discretion, can intervene here and he did. But, unlike most prosecutors, he’s answerable to the people for his decision.

    Are you bothered that prosecutorial discretion is being used for partisan political ends? Or, are you only bothered when you don’t agree with those ends?

    Munroe (f62389)

  43. 43. That last question is a good one to ask yourself. I’m pretty sure you’ve cheered behavior by Trump that you would be howling in displeasure over, had Obama done it.

    Gryph (08c844)

  44. “a person, especially an orator or political leader, who gains power and popularity by arousing the emotions, passions, and prejudices of the people.”

    That is the definition of… a demagogue… and Donald J. Trump.

    noel (f22371)

  45. “… of those men who have overturned the liberties of republics, the greatest number have begun their career by paying an obsequious court to the people; commencing demagogues, and ending tyrants.” — Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist Papers, #1

    noel (f22371)

  46. Wow! That’s a pile of baseless smears. Lies, printed by the NYT, swore to by some seals,(supposedly) is a long way from proof of anything. There was a trial. A trial, JAG officers got caught using corrupt tactics.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  47. Trump’s admiration for, and willingness to pardon, this guy is of a piece with his admiration for, and willingness to pardon, Kim Jong-Un, Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They are all sociopaths, but Trump lacks the courage to actually do the things he fantasizes about doing — remember the quip about “shooting a man on Fifth Avenue” — whereas those others actually have the guts to go through with it.

    So he admires them, and makes excuses for them. A man who not only lacks a conscience (like Trump) but also has the chutzpah to live according to that consciencelessness with bravado and without fear of disapproval and rejection (unlike the coward Trump) is the ideal man, in Little Boy Orange’s childish imagination.

    Daren Jonescu (2f5857)

  48. I remember when talk radio, that I listened to until recently, lamented Obama’s “after the election, I will have more flexibility” quote… for years. “Words matter” was Rush’s ever-present phrase.

    Forward to today. All of that was BS. Lies don’t matter. Obstructing justice… nope. Pardoning war criminals…. nada. Identifying with dictators? Same. Aiming foreign government investigations at your opponent? Yawn.

    All that matters to Rush and company is winning. Having their guy in power.

    noel (f22371)

  49. #42 “Navy prosecutor Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak secretly embedded a tracking virus in an image of the scales of justice and the American flag on emails he exchanged with Gallagher’s defense attorneys, affording him an illegal window into the defense strategy.”

    How would President Trump’s and Chief Gallagher’s fans feel if Commander Czaplak were subject to a court-martial for this act, only to have President Elizabeth Warren grant him a pardon and order him restored to full rank before the military inquiry was concluded?

    JVW (54fd0b) — 12/2/2019 @ 1:51 pm

    Gallagher’s was convicted of taking a picture of a dead combatant.

    The fact that his prosecutors overstepped wildly here that really the only recourse is to throw the whole damn thing out. Not out of wanting Gallagher to skate by the charges, but to send a signal to other prosecutors that bad-faith prosecutions is unacceptable, even in the face of damning evidence against the defendent.

    So, no JVW… I won’t equivocate your hypothetical here as it isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. However, if President Warren does what you stated, of course she’d deserve criticism… but, as POTUS her pardon power is plenary.

    If the the US didn’t freakout over Obama’s pardon of Bradley Manning… then neither should Gallagher’s or your hypothetical Warren pardon either. POTUS suffers little, if any political price in these scenarios.

    Has Trump suffered any price for pardoning Arapio? A dude who literally disregarded a judge’s edict?

    whembly (fd57f6)

  50. I don’t approve of abortion on demand and have supported conservative justices for many years. I don’t think open borders policies are without consequence. I want a strong military and reasonable taxes. But I will not support a strongman President who has no respect for our Constitutional norms that have stood for over 200 years.

    And this idea that Trump is better than Lincoln? That is the majority thinking now in the Republican Party. If you can call it thinking.

    noel (f22371)

  51. And this idea that Trump is better than Lincoln? That is the majority thinking now in the Republican Party.

    I saw that poll result, but I have a strong suspicion that respondents were doing their time-honored sacred duty of messing with pollsters. Thus, I don’t take that response too seriously.

    JVW (54fd0b)

  52. 15.It’s often necessary to make a decision based on inferior information. I’d prefer to have a fair investigation to rely on, but that’s not available and doesn’t seem likely to happen.

    Beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Inferior/incomplete, contraditory, information, is not information. For crimes, its reasonable doubt. Verdict? Not Guilty.

    iowan2 (9c8856)

  53. I found this quote on point:

    Chris Shumake, a former sniper who served in Chief Gallagher’s platoon, said in an interview that he was troubled by the impact the president’s intervention could have on the SEALs.

    “It’s blown up bigger than any of us could have ever expected, and turned into a national clown show that put a bad light on the teams,” said Mr. Shumake, speaking publicly for the first time. “He’s trying to show he has the troops’ backs, but he’s saying he doesn’t trust any of the troops or their leaders to make the right decisions.”

    In truth this is nothing more than a cynical political ploy to benefit one person: Donald Trump.

    Dave (1bb933)

  54. Look who he pardons. Also, look who he tries to get investigated or imprisoned.

    2016: “Lock her up!”

    2020: “I have a favor, though.” and, don’t forget the…. “Arrest for treason”

    noel (f22371)

  55. Rich New Yorkers… “Taxes are for the little people.” And so, apparently, are laws.

    noel (f22371)

  56. rcocean (1a839e) — 12/2/2019 @ 11:55 am

    If this guy was such a kook, why did the Navy let him continue in Combat?

    That is a very good question, because his men were complaining about him, and reporting him to higher authority.

    My first guess (but it needs to be checked out) is that he came from a long time Navy family with many friends at officer levels.

    There has to be a conspiracy. It’s either a conspiracy to protect him, or a conspiracy out to get him. But no conspiracy at all, you can’t say.

    His family said a conspiracy out to get him.

    https://fox5sandiego.com/2019/01/11/family-speaks-out-about-navy-seal-accused-of-murder

    “The malicious and slanderous lies emanate from two people that we know. We know who they are. We know why they’re telling these stories,” Sean Gallagher said.

    According to Gallagher’s family he was set up by people who had it out for him.

    I see here one of big supporters was Congressman Duncan Hunter. He waned Trump to stop the court martial before it happened and said he was goin to take it up directly with President Trump. (who did not interfere at that stage)

    Maybe with Duncan Hunter it was just hsi idea sticking up for the enlisted man.

    Me, I think the belated and probably false confession argues for a conspiracy to protect him, at least among his friends.

    Now of course it could be that people hated him for some other reason, and/or there could be a virtual civil war going on in the Navy, or this part of the Navy, with people choosing sides, and virtually everybody’s on one side or the other, but whatever you say, there’s got to be a bigger story here.

    How did he slip through the mental screening to become a SEAL in the first place?

    Mental screening is useless. All that that means is , probably, that a person hasn’t been under psychiatric supervision, and that he makes friends, because that’s probably what they screen for – which is maybe actually no good.

    It doesn’t check for values or a conscience.

    Who’s been punished over this guy’s continuing conduct? Does the article say anything about that?

    I think there could be some articles about that sort of thing.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1)

  57. That tears it. I will be voting against Trump in the primary.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  58. /s

    Kevin M (19357e)

  59. Are you bothered that prosecutorial discretion is being used for partisan political ends? Or, are you only bothered when you don’t agree with those ends?

    Yes, but I don’t think that’s happening here. I think this is what it looks like when the government pursues a normal investigation. We’ll know more for sure when the IG report is published. But what I expect it will show is that this is how the system is supposed to work. I’m sure there will be some mistakes. But I expect that they will be minor and that we’ll find out that FISA warrant and everything that followed were ‘correct’. I’ve written comments in other threads to this effect and faulted the Trump administration for doing nothing to address the system.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  60. @50 that’s a reasonable stance. But it doesn’t justify making a war criminal into a hero.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  61. 15.It’s often necessary to make a decision based on inferior information. I’d prefer to have a fair investigation to rely on, but that’s not available and doesn’t seem likely to happen.

    Beyond a reasonable doubt.

    Inferior/incomplete, contraditory, information, is not information. For crimes, its reasonable doubt. Verdict? Not Guilty.

    iowan2 (9c8856) — 12/2/2019 @ 2:53 pm

    For delivering a criminal verdict yes.

    I’m trying to be nice here, but I bet I could find comments from you in recent threads that stated conclusion based on far less. Some I think we’ll agree on. For instance I don’t need a jury trial to conclude that Hilary set up a private email server to avoid transparency.

    If better information comes out I’ll defer to it and admit my mistake, but it’s silly to say we can’t make a conclusion without jury finding at a reasonable doubt.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  62. @42 Consistency is not notable trait among Trump strongest supporters and the only principles some of them adhere to are personal grievance and Trump’s greatness.

    And just to be clear, if this doesn’t apply to you, i’m not talking about you.

    Time123 (ca85c9)

  63. I wonder if the reason for the delay in releasing the report is because it doesn’t say what Trump and Barr want it to? If there is evidence the report’s wrong it should be made public. Interesting hypothetical, and it will be good for the report to be released

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  64. This would be an example of better information competing with inferior information…assuming the post report is accurate.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  65. I wonder if the reason for the delay in releasing the report is because it doesn’t say what Trump and Barr want it to?

    Horowitz’s fall from Savior to Satan in TrumpWorld mythology will be amusing to watch.

    All it’ll take is one tweet from their orange master.

    Dave (1bb933)

  66. #61

    @50 that’s a reasonable stance. But it doesn’t justify making a war criminal into a hero.

    Time123 (f5cf77) — 12/2/2019 @ 4:31 pm

    Well… I’m just not going to assume Gallagher *is* a war criminal. The evidence looks bad… but, he also had numerous defenders too, so I don’t feel comfortable rendering judgement.

    As to Trump politicizing this… yes, it’s boorish and an obvious pander. Like a standard politician there…eh?

    whembly (c30c83)

  67. Like a standard politician there…eh?

    Remind me who was the last American politician to pardon three war criminals so he could use them as campaign props.

    I’m drawing a blank here.

    Dave (1bb933)

  68. Horowitz’s fall from Savior to Satan in TrumpWorld mythology will be amusing to watch.

    All it’ll take is one tweet from their orange master.

    I’m waiting for him to go wholesale. First up: the armed forces, those ingrates.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  69. First up: the armed forces, those ingrates.

    He already condemned them as “the Deep State” during one of his rallies cult rituals.

    Dave (1bb933)

  70. Yeah, he attacked the brass hats, but he still needs to trash the grunts.

    Then he could go on about how stupid his supporters are, and how he’s taking them to the cleaners.

    They’d cheer him, too.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  71. That tears it. I will be voting against Trump in the primary.

    Given you didn’t vote for TRump in 2016 against Hillary, that’s not surprising.

    rcocean (1a839e)

  72. Mental screening is useless. All that that means is , probably, that a person hasn’t been under psychiatric supervision, and that he makes friends, because that’s probably what they screen for – which is maybe actually no good.

    Thank you doctor. when did you graduate from Medical School?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  73. I find it amusing that the Left-liberal Media and the Never-trumpers get all upset at one Navy SEAL’s who’s been found NOT GUILTY of war crimes, and no one remembers Clinton, Bush and Obama firing off cruise missiles and drone strikes that killed hundreds of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Syria, Libya and Sudan. And tens of thousands in Iraq.

    Remember when Clinton destroyed an Aspirin factory by mistake?

    rcocean (1a839e)

  74. @74. One more try. He was found guilty of a war crime, and appears to have gotten a light punishment for what he did. The rest of your comment is just ‘whatabout’. I think you owe Munroe a royalty. That’s his shtick.

    Time123 (f5cf77)

  75. It’s not a matter of the pardons only. The Trident pin interference was an egregious violation of the UCMJ and Navy regulations, and it does not come under the pardon power. Moreover, granting a pardon can be a crime if it’s procured corruptly.

    BTW, did you know, I bet you did, that for a Presidential pardon to be effective the pardoned person must accept it thereby admitting guilt?

    nk (dbc370)

  76. Now, let’s talk about the prosecutor’s “misconduct”, which I maintain was mere incompetence.

    He said, and I believe him, that he suspected the Trump butt-gerbils who were defending Gallagher of leaking confidential material, under seal, which he was providing to them in discovery, to persons not authorized to see it, and that was the reason for the tracers.

    His incompetence, not misconduct, was in doing it himself without a court order. He should have referred it to NCIS or the FBI, provided them with the information necessary for an affidavit for a warrant, let them do it, and everything would have been copacetic.

    nk (dbc370)

  77. ”The rest of your comment is just ‘whatabout’. I think you owe Munroe a royalty. That’s his shtick.“
    Time123 (f5cf77) — 12/2/2019 @ 5:57 pm

    I’ll accept PayPal for your O.J. reference @6.

    Munroe (f62389)

  78. ”Horowitz’s fall from Savior to Satan in TrumpWorld mythology will be amusing to watch.”
    Dave (1bb933) — 12/2/2019 @ 4:56 pm

    I doubt it will be a total exoneration akin to the Mueller report.

    The standard for squeezing every last drop of incriminations from nothing has already been set. We’ll follow that.

    Viva le Resistance.

    Munroe (f62389)

  79. @78 I was mocking you. That’s fair use.

    Time123 (d54166)

  80. no one remembers Clinton, Bush and Obama firing off cruise missiles and drone strikes that killed hundreds of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Syria, Libya and Sudan. And tens of thousands in Iraq.

    Actually the Left hates Clinton, Bush, and Obama precisely for that.

    Kishnevi (bc20e2)

  81. Not even Clinton caused a french fry shortage: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/12/02/a-french-fry-shortage-could-be-coming-after-weak-potato-harvest.html Eat mor salid, Donnie!

    nk (dbc370)

  82. @57 Either way, he must’ve eff-up royally for a long time. They were a combat unit. You don’t report your top NCO unless they have been truly incredibly entirely terrible. And probably over the top dangerous to the unit.

    It isn’t that hard to fool a psych eval if you know what you are doing. Most psych tests depend on you being at least vaguely honest, so if you know what they are looking for, you just give them what they want to hear and you are good to go.

    Nic (896fdf)

  83. Given you didn’t vote for TRump in 2016 against Hillary, that’s not surprising.

    Living in CA as I did, and knowing what the result would be, I’d never be able to look myself in the mirror if I’d made an unforced vote for Trump.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  84. At no point since have I ever thought: “I should have voted for Trump.” Except for judges — which any Republican could have done as well, even old Jeb — the nation would be better off if Hillary had won. Trump is TERRIBLE on everything else.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  85. ‘… rule of law…’

    Take note; then take a toke; the ‘rules’ are changing.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  86. One more try. He was found guilty of a war crime, and appears to have gotten a light punishment for what he did. The rest of your comment is just ‘whatabout’. I think you owe Munroe a royalty. That’s his shtick.

    Time123 (f5cf77) — 12/2/2019 @ 5:57 pm

    No he wasn’t. I’m sick of this lie.

    They had the option of charging him with war crimes and chose not to do so. So stop saying it.

    If he was convicted of taking a picture with a dead terrorist, why weren’t any of the other soldiers who were in the pictures charged as well? Purely to cover up for the disgraceful attempt by the prosecution to railroad him on charges.

    Disgusting.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  87. It’s a war crime.

    why weren’t any of the other soldiers who were in the pictures charged as well?

    1. He was in charge.
    2. He also stabbed the guy in the neck and bragged about it when he texted the picture out. Looks like the military justice system went pretty easy on him.
    3. The original prosecutor should be disbarred at a minimum for his conduct.

    None of that justifies making this guy into a hero.

    Time123 (80b471)

  88. Talk about a really bad idea. Giving Donald Trump the ability to pardon criminals.

    Case in point: Rudy

    In a telephone interview with the Guardian, in response to a question about whether he was nervous that Trump might “throw him under a bus” in the impeachment crisis, Giuliani said, with a slight laugh: “I’m not, but I do have very, very good insurance, so if he does, all my hospital bills will be paid.”

    A former prosecutor says this?

    He looks to be headed for the hospital, alright, but he won’t need to use that “good insurance” and he knows it. I predict a record number of pardons after the election. Win or lose. And the innocent… they rarely need a pardon, do they?

    noel (f22371)

  89. 64. Time123 (f5cf77) — 12/2/2019 @ 4:48 pm

    I wonder if the reason for the delay in releasing the report is because it doesn’t say what Trump and Barr want it to?

    It coukd be that akarge oart of the delay is that the tenetative schedule was too optimistic. In that every person mentioned in an Inspector General’s report gets to see in advance what it says about him or her, and comment and ask for corrections, They may not have factored in how much commenting there would be.

    If there is evidence the report’s wrong it should be made public. Interesting hypothetical, and it will be good for the report to be released

    I think we on;y see the final report, after people defend themselves, but we don’t see where it might have gone too easy on someone. But always thought they followed procedures, which are fairly lberal – it’s just that a lot of the premise was pretty obviously wrong – that was not the way to find out what Russia was doing because Putin would not take any Americans into his confidence, I don’t think.

    There was maybe some hope on the part of Putin of penetrating the campaign and maybe the future Administration. It looks like, with the Ukraine stuff that Trump was getting in 2019 they may in fact have succeeded a bit, getting some people in a position to be close to Giuliani by contributing large sums of money to various Republican fundraising endeavors, following that up by hiring Giuliani to do whatnot, and then steering him to lying Ukrainian sources..

    Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1)

  90. 89. “Insurance” here is a metaphor, and if it means anything it means he can take care of himself. He also later said that’s what he tells people. I think he said that so as not to lose clients. so they wouldn’t drop him.

    He issued a statement November 23 saying it was sarcastic, and then his lawyer said a few days later that he had him call Trump to say he didn’t mean anything by that.

    Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1)

  91. No he wasn’t. I’m sick of this lie.

    You keep saying that, NJ, but you’re wrong, every time you say it. Words mean things.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  92. 1. He was in charge.
    2. He also stabbed the guy in the neck and bragged about it when he texted the picture out. Looks like the military justice system went pretty easy on him.
    3. The original prosecutor should be disbarred at a minimum for his conduct.

    None of that justifies making this guy into a hero.

    Time123 (80b471) — 12/3/2019 @ 5:01 am

    He was acquitted of that charge yet you keep saying otherwise. He saved the terrorist’s life, but you keep saying otherwise. Someone else confessed to the action, but you keep saying otherwise. You are invested in this narrative.

    I’m in agreement in disbarring the prosecutor.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  93. You keep saying that, NJ, but you’re wrong, every time you say it. Words mean things.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1) — 12/3/2019 @ 7:20 am

    Yes they do. And no where in your link does it say that taking a picture of a dead terrorist is a war crime. It minimizes real war crimes such as murdering or raping civilians as you well know.

    You can try to claim it’s intentionally mistreating a dead body, but since there is no mutilation done to the body, I don’t see how you can claim such.

    Lastly, a terrorist is not a solider. According to all laws, they should be treated as a spy and given no quarter.

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2015/03/26/terrorist-organizations-are-not-entitled-to-the-protection-of-the-geneva-conventions/#4c22cb69d96e

    NJRob (4d595c)

  94. Directly from your link Gawain:

    Earlier this month, President Donald Trump pardoned a former Army lieutenant who was convicted of ordering his troops to fire on unarmed civilians. He granted a pardon to an Army major who had been awaiting trial for killing an Afghan man. Trump reversed the demotion of another officer, who had been acquitted of alleged war crimes charges but was convicted of a lesser charge of posing with a dead Taliban fighter.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  95. NJRob

    I’m going by the Navy Times. I think you’re mistake as to the facts. The person who confessed to the mercy killing also testified that Gallager stabbed the prisoner.

    SAN DIEGO — A Navy SEAL who was acquitted of killing a wounded Islamic State captive but convicted of posing with the corpse was sentenced by a military jury Wednesday to a reduction in rank and four months of confinement.

    A judge, however, credited Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher with enough time already spent in custody to ensure he won’t be locked up.

    Gallagher told the jury he was fully responsible for his actions on the day he took photos with the body of the 17-year-old militant.

    Time123 (b53270)

  96. Time123,

    you’re quoting the part about him posing with the terrorist’s dead body.

    Here’s the closest it gets to saying he did anything else, but never says he stabbed the terrorist.

    Defense lawyers said Gallagher was framed by junior disgruntled platoon members who fabricated the allegations to oust their chief. They said the lead investigator built the probe around their stories instead of seeking the truth.

    They said there was no physical evidence to support the allegations because no corpse was ever recovered and examined by a pathologist.

    The prosecution said Gallagher was incriminated by his own text messages and photos, including one of him holding the dead militant up by the hair and clutching a knife in his other hand.

    “Got him with my hunting knife,” Gallagher wrote in a text with the photo.

    The defense said it was just gallows humor and pointed out that almost all platoon members who testified against him also posed with the corpse.

    The jury of five Marines and two sailors, including a SEAL, was comprised mostly of seasoned combat veterans who served in Iraq. Several lost friends in war.

    NJRob (4d595c)

  97. You can try to claim it’s intentionally mistreating a dead body, but since there is no mutilation done to the body, I don’t see how you can claim such.
    Lastly, a terrorist is not a solider. According to all laws, they should be treated as a spy and given no quarter.

    “Try to claim”? I’m not trying anything, I am claiming that Gallagher was literally convicted of that war crime in a military tribunal. That’s just a fact. No lie.
    We agree that terrorists are not soldiers under the Geneva Conventions and should not classified as POWs. They don’t warrant POW protections, which means we have the right to interrogate them. However, we are obligated under the Geneva Conventions and customary international law to treat detainees humanely, and torture is not humane treatment. In fact, torture is also a war crime. And we are obligated under our very own Constitution to not inflict cruel and unusual punishment. There may be justification to cross the line in a ticking-time-bomb situation, but those situations rarely if ever occur.
    Oh, and denying quarter is also a war crime under US Code 950. We are a nation that is all about due process and the rule of law, no?
    Finally, those guys in your link are making a ridiculous argument, and it’s an argument they lost ten years earlier with the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, passed by Congress and signed by Bush, forbidding mistreatment of detainees in our custody.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  98. Denying quarter to someone who

    1. Wears a uniform or other clothing clearly identifying himself as a combatant
    2. Carries weapons openly
    3. Is subject to an identifiable chain of command responsible for his actions
    4. Gives quarter himself.

    is mandatory under the Geneva Convention. Otherwise not.

    The history of these conventions go back several hundred years, and the main idea was to prevent the killing of civilians when the identity of combatants was unclear. In short, guerilla tactics were outlawed and those caught in the field engaging in such are not protected persons. One might way that it is the DUTY of those observing the Conventions to punish those who do not (“war criminals” by definition). The rights of captured soldiers were intended to benefit those who played by the rules.

    That the US does not adequately punish these war criminals (aka unlawful combatants) — after due process — is our shortfall. None of which justifies individual soldiers from taking action, of course.

    Kevin M (19357e)

  99. NJRob, I think you need to learn more about this case.

    on the second day of witness testimony, a Navy SEAL Petty Officer 1st Class, Corey Scott, testified that after Gallagher stabbed a wounded ISIS fighter in the neck, Scott suffocated the fighter by covering his breathing tube.

    His testimony that he killed the fighter, not Gallagher, stunned the courtroom.

    Looking at Gallagher, Scott said he did not want to see him sent to prison.

    Prosecutors accused Scott of lying. Then later they told the jury to convict Gallagher anyway because, under the law, any action that contributed to the fighter’s death warranted a murder conviction, even if it wasn’t the fatal blow.

    From another Mil times article.

    Vriens said Friday that he never saw the killing, but said later that day a fellow SEAL who was viewing photos of the dead militant on a laptop shared by the platoon asked Gallagher, “Is this the guy?”

    Vriens said Gallagher replied: “Yes, I stabbed him in the side, then grabbed him by the hair and looked him in the eyes and I stabbed him in the neck.”

    Time123 (80b471)

  100. Time123,

    I’ll do more research.

    What is your opinion on Cpl Gallagher being the only member of the platoon charged and convicted of taking a picture, after the other charges failed, when not a single other member of the platoon was charged with the same act?

    NJRob (4d595c)

  101. the main idea was to prevent the killing of civilians when the identity of combatants was unclear.

    This not remotely accurate.

    The Geneva Convention was a series of international diplomatic meetings that produced a number of agreements, in particular the Humanitarian Law of Armed Conflicts, a group of international laws for the humane treatment of wounded or captured military personnel, medical personnel and non-military civilians during war or armed conflicts. The agreements originated in 1864 and were significantly updated in 1949 after World War II.

    Henry Dunant
    For much of mankind’s history, the ground rules of warfare were hit or miss, if they existed at all. While some civilizations showed compassion for the injured, helpless or innocent civilians, others tortured or slaughtered anyone in sight, no questions asked.

    In 1859, Genevan businessman Henry Dunant traveled to Emperor Napoleon III’s headquarters in northern Italy to seek land rights for a business venture. He got much more than he bargained for, however, when he found himself a witness to the aftermath of the Battle of Solferino, a gory battle in the Second War of Italian Independence.

    The horrific suffering Dunant saw impacted him so greatly he wrote a first-hand account in 1862 called A Memory of Solferino. But he didn’t just write about what he’d observed, he also proposed a solution: All nations come together to create trained, volunteer relief groups to treat battlefield wounded and offer humanitarian assistance to those affected by war.

    Time123 (b53270)

  102. The Geneva Convention is all fine and good, but it does not supersede the Uniform Code of Military Justice, it only complements it. What does the UCMJ say about the treatment of prisoners, unlawful combatants or not, and the conduct of United States military personnel in combat, in the field, and generally? I know, but I’m not saying. You’ll have to guess.

    nk (dbc370)

  103. While we’re on the subject of “sickening”, Tucker Carlson is a sickening pro-Putin pundit, spouting Kremlin propaganda to FoxNews viewers.

    “I should say for the record that I’m totally opposed to these sanctions and I don’t think we should be at war with Russia,” Carlson said. “And I think we should probably take the side of Russia, if we have to choose between Russia and Ukraine.”

    What’s worse is that Tucker has Trump’s ear, listening to his tripe.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  104. @103, I suspect that they wanted to prosecute him for the wanton murder of civilians and stabbing a sedated prisoner. I think they couldn’t meet the burden of proof for a criminal conviction. For instance in one case no one saw him pull the trigger, they just knew he was the gunman at the location the killing shot came from. Failing to meet the burden of proof for murder they ended up convicting him of a lesser crime.

    From my understanding of military discipline the fact that the other people pictured were subordinate to him would have been a mitigating factor for them. But i’m not completely sure of that. I also don’t know if the other people in the photos received administrative discipline short of a full court martial. That might have been appropriate if they didn’t have a history of murdering civilians and hadn’t texted the picture a friend with the caption “Got this one with my hunting knife

    Time123 (b53270)

  105. NK, Just one question, does it authorize stabbing them in the neck when they’re sedated?

    Time123 (b53270)

  106. No, Time123, it does not.

    nk (dbc370)

  107. Buh-bye, Kamala.

    Paul Montagu (00daa1)

  108. From my understanding of military discipline the fact that the other people pictured were subordinate to him would have been a mitigating factor for them. 

    But they are war criminals, just like Gallagher? Or at the least, they committed war crimes and got away with it?

    BuDuh (0187bc)

  109. 74. rcocean (1a839e) — 12/2/2019 @ 5:51 pm

    Remember when Clinton destroyed an Aspirin factory by mistake?

    I don’t believe that was a mistake. It was designed to fool the public into thinking he was doing something against Osama bin Laden. Bill Clinton had enough information that he knew good and well that that plant was not being used to produce poison gas. And it wasn’t owned by Osama bin Laden, who had left Sudan a few years before.

    https://archive.nytimes.com/www.nytimes.com/library/world/africa/102799us-sudan.html

    This one was the decoy, built as a cover for the other one, and it was indeed (for the time being anyway) a pharmaceutical plant.

    It was a completely ridiculous detection method that they used to “prove” ot was producing chemical weapons.

    He went through a whole thing where they would only do the bombing at night, when it was supposedly, but not really, copletely empty of people..

    Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1)

  110. 110. Paul Montagu (00daa1) — 12/3/2019 @ 10:33 am

    Buh-bye, Kamala.

    Today’s New York Times reported that Montana Governor Steve Bullock was ending his presidential campaign.

    Kamala Harris, too? Before any votes had been cast? Even tough she was going to be in he December debate?? I think she was running out of money, and her staff was quitting and rebelling, and maybe worried aboutt getting paid the money they had been promised, and maybe she had cut their salaries, besides laying others off, or asked them to sleep in supporters’ homes rather than hotels.

    Her staff was anxious to leave to work in other campaigns, and went to her and asked her what was her plan to win the nomination. One already went to work for Michael Bloomberg.

    https://nypost.com/2019/11/28/michael-bloomberg-swipes-top-staffer-from-kamala-harris-presidential-campaign

    Sammy Finkelman (ce04e1)

  111. Hatchets and knives are part of the SEALs regular weapons used underseas. They are working on a bullet that will go more than 6 yards underwater, but until then its hand to hand.

    steveg (354706)

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