Navy’s Top Attorney Accused Of Unlawful Influence As War Crimes Court-Martial Starts For SEALs
USN SEAL INSIGNIA
Earlier this week Navy Commander Arthur Gaston, a military judge ruled that Vice Admiral James Crawford III, the U.S. Navy's Judge Advocate General appears to have exerted unlawful command influence in a case that responded to a 2015 story by the hyper liberal and military hating NEW YORK TIMES. The New York Times screed led to charges against Special Warfare Operator (SEAL) 1st Class Daniel V. Dambrosio, Jr., and Chief Petty Officers Xavier Silva and David N. Swarts who are accused of abusing male prisoners taken at Village Stability Platform Kalach in the Chora District of Afganistan's Uruzgan Province on May 31, 2012.
The Navy plans a June 2018 trial for the present accused's commander Navy Lieutenant Jason L, Webb. That trial will be affected by the outcome of the ongoing investigation into the appearance of undue command influence on the part of Vice Admiral James Crawford. Our question is the obvious why did the Navy pay any attention at all to the New York Times or any other element within the US main stream media at this time in history?
The charges involve allegations that the SEALS and several village militiamen began committing "war crimes" after the capture of several "suspects" who may have detonated a bomb at an Afghan local police check point. According to NCIS reports of various "witnesses" the militiamen were angry over the death of one of their comrades in the blast. After detaining the men the militia men are accused of marching them to the American compound and beating them with rifle butts and car antennas. According to some reports one prisoner died in custody later that night. Three "witnesses" are reported to have claimed that the three SEALS who accompanied the Afghan militia men outside the wire joined them in "abusing the prisoners".
Of course at this point no actual sworn testimony has been heard. We do not know if the prisoners were struck while resisting , to what level the SEALS are accused of "participating", why or how the alleged death of a prisoner occurred. We do know that the militia men are not under the command of US Forces even when US trainers accompany them into the field. We know that the charges against the SEAL's Commanding Officer scheduled to be heard in June are based on his being in the office and not present during the alleged abuse. Thus the Navy in a stretch of the imagination reminiscent of the old British charges of "failure to do his utmost" , shot admirals who lost battles, charge the lieutenant with responsibility for failure to prevent the alleged abuse . Of course according to the New York Times reports there are "witnesses" who claim that the allegedly "abused" prisoners were "innocent". The "innocence" of the relevant prisoners is of course not based on any results of trials. Now if the allegations of unlawful command influence hold up, there may never be any trials.
In our opinion unlawful command influence, even the appearance of it is a direct result of higher level Navy officers charged with responsibilities in this case paying attention to main stream media interest, possibly knuckling under to politically correct media and higher command demands. The higher command will never be able to escape the public perception of misconduct in a rush to judgement to appease the politically correct civilian administration then in office. The whole case begins during the Obama administration when actually doing bodily injury to an armed enemy of the United States could land a military member in hot water, a time when most of our fighter bombers returned from sorties with their bomb racks still full due to highly restrictive rules of engagement.
At this point the best thing for the nation, the military, and especially our troops in the field is to retire the Admirals involved, officially exonerate the SEALS and move on. This might not be fair to the detained prisoners in Afghanistan but they are the prisoners of the Afghan militia and not the United states. But the tainting of this case by the demands of the politically correct have made a fair trial for the SEALS impossible, if they ever should have been considered for trial. The New York Times created this issue, the main stream media sustains it. At this point in history most of the American electorate doesn't trust the commercial media. Obama "embedded" the media into our military units for the express purpose of impacting negatively their effectiveness.
Time to disembark the media agents, (We refuse the title of "journalists" to anyone, including ourselves today, opinion of opposing American camps is all that is in print or on air, or screen today. We at least admit when we are editorializing), Today the military is our most trusted governmental organization, the media is our least trusted supposedly public service provider. We desperately need to be able to trust someone. The American people need for the American Military to start holding the main stream media at arms length. The American people won't support ruining the lives of American warriors on highly dubious charges six years after events in the war zone. Return the enlisted and junior officer SEALS to duty and retire the admirals from the lamented and regrettable past administration. Move on! We are finally starting to repel ISIS in the Middle East. Now is not the time to inhibit our warriors confidence by making examples of warriors who may or may not have played a little rough on a field contested by arms six years ago. Even if everything happened as the New York Times claims, there may have been unnecessary, even in one case possibly fatal unnecessary use of force, by Afghan militia, but there was no American "War Crime".
In a war the job of our armed forces is to kill our enemies and break their weapons and supplies. A media agent who sees all violence or rough behavior as criminal does as much damage to the swift ( and thus humane) prosecution of the war as any enemy propaganda mill. "Collateral damage" is to be avoided as much as humanly possible but some is inevitable, rarely is collateral damage a "war crime". If we train foreign troops and they misbehave , depending on their behavior, they may or may not be guilty of a war crime. But their American coaches are at most guilty of "collateral damage". The victims of collateral damage experience diminished life , death, property loss, or personal injury. Those who imposed real collateral damage may or may not have some moral culpability, but no criminal or civil liability. War is hell, anyone who doesn't understand that should not be allowed to cover it under the guise of "journalism".