U.S. military officials are refusing to provide the most basic information about the death of an American contractor in Iraq, for which two Marines and a sailor are reportedly under investigation.
The Daily Beast has identified the contractor as former Green Beret Rick Rodriguez, who worked for Lockheed Martin in Irbil. Rodriguez died at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany, on Jan. 4, reportedly from injuries that he sustained during a fight with U.S. service members.
A Lockheed Martin spokesperson confirmed that one of its employees had been "fatally injured" while supporting U.S. special operations forces taking part in Operation Inherent Resolve, but the company is not releasing his name "out of respect for the family's desire for privacy."
The New York Times reported that the two Marines and Navy corpsman under investigation for Rodriguez' death are assigned to a Marine special operations unit. A spokesman for Marine Special Operations Command had little information to share on Tuesday.
"We're aware of the non-combat related death of a contractor supporting a forward-deployed MARSOC unit in the Operation Inherent Resolve theater of operations," said Maj. Nick. Mannweiler. "MARSOC is providing all requested support to investigators as they look into this incident."
Officials with Operation Inherent Resolve and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service declined to comment on Tuesday because the investigation into Rodriguez' death is ongoing.
Rachel VanLandingham, a former military attorney, said she did not think there is a legal policy that prevents the Defense Department from discussing this matter.
"As far as I know, Congress has never passed a law explicitly requiring the federal government to share information about an on-going criminal investigation prior to the formal charging stage (when pre-trial discovery obligations kick in)," said VanLandingham, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who teaches at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Karl Munson pilots a 26-foot boat while Petty Officer 2nd Class Gabriel Diaz keeps an eye on a boarding team who is inspecting a 79-foot shrimp boat in the Gulf of Mexico, off the coast of New Orleans, La., on April 27, 2005
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"