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That moment a British soldier realizes he probably shouldn't be using an elected official for target practice
The only thing dumber than using a photo of an elected official for target practice is documenting it in an incriminating video that will almost guarantee an official investigation.
That's clearly what's running through the mind of at least one British Army soldier in a Snapchat video that shows several British troops deployed to Afghanistan blasting away with blue simulation pistols at a enlarged photo of controversial politician Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the UK's Labour opposition party and a key player in the country's ongoing Brexit drama.
The cellphone footage, first posted to Snapchat with the caption 'Happy with that,' shows four soldiers identified by British media as members of 3rd Battalion, Parachute Regiment at the New Kabul Compound in Afghanistan's capital city, according to Sky News defense correspondent Alistair Bunkall.
The UK Ministry of Defense confirmed the authenticity of the video and that the incident is currently under investigation.
"This behavior is totally unacceptable and falls well below the high standards the army expects," a British Army spokesman told the New York Times on Wednesday.
While the British Army doesn't explicitly bar contempt towards elected officials like Article 88 of the United States Uniform Code of Military Justice does — the Armed Forces Act of 2006 details only general 'insubordination' as a punishable offense — the activity captured in the video goes against the ostensibly apolitical character of the British military.
"The Army is, and always will be, a totally apolitical organization," Nick Perry, commander of the 16 Air Assault Brigade Commander that includes the 3 PARA, told BBC News. "This is a serious error of judgement."
Ironically, Bunkall reports that the footage was taken during a so-called 'guardian angel' force protection drill implemented by the British Army to prepare service members for VIP personal protection details.
"There are images of celebrities on the range, but as VIPs to be protected rather than shot at," Bunkall wrote on Twitter.
WATCH NEXT: US Marines Go Head-To-Head Against British Royal Marines
Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.
Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."
Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
An airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was arrested and charged with murder on Sunday after a shooting at a Raleigh night club that killed a 21-year-old man, the Air Force and the Raleigh Police Department said.