By Jon Dougherty
(TNS) Fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer whined to CBS News Monday that President Donald Trump was harming the “good order and discipline” that is necessary for the proper function of the U.S. military.
He’s right about that; good order and discipline are the basic principles underpinning military service.
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But screwing over a senior enlisted service member — especially one who has served his country honorably in the very elite SEAL community — doesÂ not instill “good order and discipline.”
In fact, it detracts from it.
Fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer says that Trump's decision to stop a Pentagon review of Eddie Gallagher sends a message "that you can get away with things. We have to have good order and discipline. It's the backbone of what we do." Via CBS pic.twitter.com/hcv1gFmP7Q
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 26, 2019
What Spencer isn’t saying — and what CBS News has no interest in reporting — is that he hijacked this review process and went outside of the chain of command to try to arrange a secret deal regarding the disposition of Gallagher’s case.
USA Features News reports:
Defense Secretary Mark Esper went into further detail Monday on why he fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer following a controversy involving a Navy SEAL involved in a botched murder court-martial proceeding.
Esper explained that Spencer cut a secret deal with the White House without of Esperâ€™s involvement regarding the Navyâ€™s intention to discipline Chief Eddie Gallagher, a SEAL acquitted of murder charges over the killing of a terrorist in Iraq.
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Navy officials were reportedly planning an additional review of the allegations and the disposition of the case. Spencer presented a proposal to President Trump noting that if he allowed the review to proceed, Gallagher could keep his Trident pin, the symbol SEALs wear to designate their membership in the elite military organization.
Esper explained at a Pentagon briefing on Monday that Spencer was dismissed because he did not respect the chain of command when he went behind his back to present a plan to the White House.
The secret proposal left him â€œflabbergasted,â€ Esper said.
â€œA senior White House official took [Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and me] aside and said, â€˜Oh, by the way, did you know that â€¦â€™ and then told me what had happened, that this proposal had been brought by Secretary Spencer, and we had no knowledge whatsoever,â€ Esper said.
â€œWe were flabbergasted by it, and quite surprised and caught completely off guard.â€
There’s that. But there’s more.
As Rush Limbaugh noted on his Monday program, there shouldn’t be any “review process” in the first place. President Trump pardoned Gallagher — wiped his record clean — because the entire prosecution of him for allegedly “murdering” an ISIS terrorist in Iraq wasÂ bogus.
I read aÂ pieceÂ by Kurt Schlichter today at Townhall on the Eddie Gallagher story. And let me just give you his recounting of this so that you can have the details.
â€œHereâ€™s what happened. The president used his constitutional prerogative to pardon or otherwise restore the rank of three accused military personnel, which some of us in the military community had mixed feelings about but which some flag officers vehemently opposed. The most clearly correct action was the restoration of the rank of SEAL Eddie Gallagher. His shameful prosecution had been replete with JAG misconduct, including the mind-boggling decision of the prosecutors to electronically spy on defense attorneys.â€
Man, thereâ€™s a whole lot of spying going on here in this country. Spying on people who are aligned in a variety of ways with Donald Trump. â€œBeyond this outrage â€“â€ by the way, nobody was prosecuted for spying on Eddie Gallagherâ€™s defense lawyers. â€œThe JAG officers put up on the stand an immunized witness who testified that he killed the alleged ISIS victim.â€
Those same officers who spied on the defense lawyers and tried to set Gallagher up then proceeded to award themselvesÂ medals.
Gallagher was acquitted of everything except he took a selfie with a terroristâ€™s dead body.
That was his sole offense. You got a terroristâ€™s body there, and Gallagher took a selfie with the dead body. But Gallagher didnâ€™t kill him. â€œWell, after the acquittal, the JAGs decided to award each other medals.â€ They had tried to railroad Gallagher. He was acquitted. They start awarding each other medals. â€œNot indictments for their eavesdropping antics. Not letters of reprimand for their staggering incompetence.â€
So Trump gets wind of this fiasco and personally directs that these defective medals that the JAG officers who falsely accused Eddie Gallagher had awarded themselves, he directed that those medals be withdrawn.
Now, â€œFast forward to the restoration of Gallagherâ€™s rank and what happens next? The Naval Special Forces commander, apparently the next day, initiated a proceeding to take Gallagherâ€™s SEAL Trident, his status as a special warfare operator.â€
So Trump pardons him. It was found that he did not murder the ISIS leader. Trump pardons him. Heâ€™s totally acquitted. And the next day the Navy Special Forces comma, i.e., the deep state, the military establishment initiated a proceeding to still take away Eddie Gallagherâ€™s SEAL Trident.
So the president pardons Eddie Gallagher, unequivocally states he wants his rank restored and his Trident, and the Navy Special Forces commander publicly defies Trump, disrespects Trump. So thatâ€™s when Trump tweeted it, that this was not gonna happen. Trump tweeted that Eddie Gallagherâ€™s rank was not going to be suspended, was not gonna be taken away from him. â€¦Â
â€œWhat should have happened,â€ according to Kurt Schlichter, â€œis the Chief of Naval Operations should have picked up the phone,â€ and called the Navy Special Forces commander breathing fire and reading him the riot act, â€œbut he didnâ€™t, and it got worse. Rear Admiral Charlie Brown, Chief of Information, issued a statement reading: â€˜The Navy follows the lawful orders of the President. We will do so in case of an order to stop the administrative review of SOC Gallagherâ€™s professional qualification. We are aware of the Presidentâ€™s tweet and we are awaiting further guidance.â€™â€
Meaning, theyâ€™re not gonna follow orders from a tweet. Theyâ€™re not gonna take the presidentâ€™s orders from a tweet. So thereâ€™s open defiance of Trump going on here. Because these people had staked their reputations on Eddie Gallagher murdering an ISIS terrorist. Turns out he didnâ€™t. He was acquitted.
The Judge Advocate General lawyers screwed up the prosecution, gave themselves medals after this. And then after Trump had pardoned Gallagher, the secretary â€” well, the commander-in-chief of Special Forces Navy tried to take away his Trident even after Trump had pardoned him. â€¦
That’s not “good order and discipline,” Secretary Spencer. That’s BS; why didn’t you discipline the JAG officers?
Allowing powerful people to get away with it is whatÂ destroy good order and discipline. The president wasn’t about to allow that to happen.
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