Recently ousted Navy Secretary Richard Spencer gave an interview to CBS News on Monday in which he continued to rip President Donald Trump for interfering with military justice on behalf of a disgraced Navy SEAL.
Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher allegedly committed war crimes by killing a teen ISIS fighter who was already wounded and out of the fight and posed for a photo with a dead prisoner, landing him in hot water and an almost certain court martial. Instead, Trump interfered and a jury later acquitted Gallagher of war crimes but found him guilty of posing for the photograph, which violates the military code of conduct.
Trump would go on to pardon Gallagher, causing an uproar among veterans because Trump is promoting the idea that troops can commit war crimes and get away with it.
However, the Navy continued to pursue the issue and convened a review board to consider stripping Gallagher of his rank and Trident pin. But again, Trump intervened and demanded the case be dropped via Twitter. It went forward anyway, and then Navy Secretary Richard Spencer was fired by Trump through Defense Secretary Mark Esper, which likely lets Gallagher off the hook.
In response to his firing, Spencer released a letter taking Trump to task for ignoring the rule of law and weakening our military.
“The rule of law is what sets us apart from our adversaries,” Spencer wrote. “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 Iwo Jima.”
“The Constitution. and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, are the shields that set us apart, and the beacons that protect us all,” he continued. “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.”
Make no mistake, Trump wrongly intervened in a case that he had no business involving himself in. An alleged war criminal has no place in the Navy SEALs. Gallagher violated the military code of conduct and the Navy has the right to strip him of his rank and pin as consequence. Trump, of course, has gone on to brag that he “protects” America’s “war fighters.”
On Monday, Spencer continued trashing Trump’s interference and responded to his claim.
“We have to have good order and we have to have good order and discipline,” he said. “It’s the backbone of what we do. I don’t think he really understands the full definition of a war fighter. A war fighter is a profession of arms and a profession of arms has to have standards that they have to be held to and that they hold themselves to.”
Here’s the video via YouTube.
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