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Army rejects Bowe Bergdahl's appeal accusing Trump of unlawful command influence
An Army appeals court has rejected Bowe Bergdahl's claim that President Trump's public description of him as "a no-good traitor who should have been executed" and other comments on the disgraced soldier's case were substantial enough to alter the course of his court-martial proceedings despite evidence of unlawful command influence (UCI).
In a 2-1 ruling, a trio of Army Court of Criminal Appeals judges determined that while Trump's frequent invocation of Bergdahl in the White House rose to the level of "some evidence" of UCI, the "cumulative effect could not reasonably be perceived by the disinterested member of the public as improper command influence or otherwise indicative of an unfair proceeding."
The judges heard arguments from Bergdahl's attorneys earlier this month that Trump's comments about the case as president constituted "apparent" UCI, evidence of which has led judges in several recent cases to overturn convictions on appeal, by making it it impossible for the soldier to "get a review by a convening authority liberated from the toxic comments of the president of the United States."
During Bergdahl's original court-martial proceedings in February 2017, Army Col. Jeffery R. Nance ruled that Trump's statements on the campaign trail (and, therefore, a private citizen) didn't rise to the level of UCI, but he did delay Bergdahl's sentencing so he could carefully weigh the issue after Trump referred back to his previous comments after becoming president.
"I don't have any doubt whatsoever that I can be fair and impartial in the sentencing in this matter," Nance told the AP. "[But] the member of the public that we are interested in maintaining confidence in the military justice system... is going to be influenced by context."
Bergdahl was was sentenced in 2017 to reduction in rank from sergeant to private, forfeiture of $10,000 in pay and a dishonorable discharge. On Twitter, Trump called the sentence"a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military."
Search efforts are underway to find a West Point cadet, who has gone missing along with his M4 carbine, the U.S. Military Academy announced on Sunday.
"There is no indication the Cadet poses a threat to the public, but he may be a danger to himself," a West Point news release says.
Academy officials do not believe the missing cadet has access to any magazines or ammunition, according to the news release, which did not identify the cadet, who is a member of the Class of 2021.
Three soldiers were killed and another three injured when their Bradley Fighting Vehicle rolled over during a training exercise at Fort Stewart in Georgia on Sunday morning, Army officials announced.
KABUL (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper arrived in Afghanistan on Sunday in a bid to bring talks with the Taliban back on track after President Donald Trump abruptly broke off negotiations last month seeking to end the United States' longest war.
Esper's trip to Kabul comes amid questions about the United States' commitments to allies after a sudden withdrawal of U.S. troops from northeastern Syria and Trump's long-time desire to get out of foreign engagements.
Mark Esper is the third person after James Mattis and Patrick Shanahan to helm the Pentagon since Donald Trump became president, and he's apparently not making much of an impression on the commander-and-chief.
On Sunday, Trump sent a very real tweet on "Secretary Esperanto," which is either a reference to a constructed international language developed more than 130 years ago and only spoken on the PA system in Gattaca or an egregious instance of autocorrect.
This rifle could be a dark horse candidate for the Army's next-generation squad weapon — and you can snag one next year
The Army says it's settled on three defense contractors to battle it out to become the service's M4 carbine and M249 Squad Automatic Weapon replacements, but at least one other company is hoping that a bit of consumer approval could help upset the competition.