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Air Force lieutenant gets off light after strangling a Korean taxi driver
A U.S. Air Force 1st lieutenant assigned to the 51st Fighter Wing at Osan Air Base was reprimanded in February for strangling a Korean national after a night of drinking, according to a recent discipline update.
The lieutenant "grabbed a Korean National taxi driver's neck while riding in the taxi after 1 a.m., the curfew time for U.S. forces in Korea," Capt. Rachel Salpietra, a 51FW spokeswoman, told Task & Purpose.
The driver declined to press criminal or civil charges and accepted a voluntary settlement from the service member, Salpietra said, adding that alcohol "appears to have been involved" in the incident.
The lieutenant was hit with an Article 15 punishment of 30 days restriction and an official reprimand, according to the February discipline update.
"Discipline of service members who engage in misconduct is taken very seriously," Salpietra wrote in an email to Task & Purpose. "Every case is judged on its own merits, and decisions are made with a constant eye toward promoting justice, maintaining good order and discipline, and promoting the efficiency and effectiveness of the command."
The February discipline update, first posted to the popular Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page, contains several separate Article 15 punishments that are a stark contrast to the officer's 30-day restriction.
A senior airman found guilty of larceny for stealing a blanket was reduced in rank to an E-3 and forced to forfeit $1,116 in pay a month for two months.
Another senior airman found guilty of stealing a blanket and jacket was reduced in rank to an E-3 and slapped with 45 days restriction.
"The Uniform Code of Military Justice gives commanders discretion in disciplining members under their command and commanders impose discipline based on the specific facts of each case," Salpietra told Task & Purpose. "For officers, the consequences of Article 15 can be more severe than those experienced by similarly-situated enlisted members."
Other observers don't see the disparity as a clear case of "different spanks for different ranks."
"What I'm going to take from this is if you get cold, strangle a Korean national," wrote one Air Force amn/nco/snco reader, "but whatever you do, DON'T STEAL A EFFING BLANKET."
ANKARA (Reuters) - President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday Turkey would press on with its offensive into northeastern Syria and "crush the heads of terrorists" if a deal with Washington on the withdrawal of Kurdish fighters from the area were not fully implemented.
Erdogan agreed on Thursday in talks with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a five-day pause in the offensive to allow time for the Kurdish fighters to withdraw from a "safe zone" Turkey aims to establish in northeast Syria near the Turkish border.
President Trump stoked confusion Friday by declaring the U.S. has "secured the Oil" in the Middle East amid continued fallout from the Turkish invasion of northern Syria that he enabled by pulling American troops out of the region.
It wasn't immediately clear what the president was talking about, as there were no publicly known developments in Syria or elsewhere in the Middle East relating to oil. White House aides did not return requests for comment.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence of deliberate mishandling of classified information by department employees.
The investigation, the results of which were released on Friday by Republican U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley's office, centered on whether Clinton, who served as the top U.S. diplomat from 2009 to 2013, jeopardized classified information by using a private email server rather than a government one.
BYESVILLE — A Meadowbrook High School student removed from class last Friday for being intoxicated is now facing a felony charge after allegedly threatening to shoot people if the previous incident harmed his chances to join a branch of the United States military.
Gabriel D. Blackledge, 18, of Cambridge, is facing one count of making terrorist threats, a third-degree felony, filed by the Guernsey County Sheriff's Office on Thursday. Blackledge remained incarcerated in the county jail on a $250,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed, according to the sheriff's office's website.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.