Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Navy reassigns prosecutor caught trying to spy on Gallagher defense team before trial
"In an effort to move the [Region Legal Service Office Southwest] Trial Department forward, Capt. Jennie Goldsmith, the new commanding officer, has reassigned the previous Senior Trial Counsel, Cmdr. Chris Czaplak to Code 67 (Technology, Operations, and Plans)," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey, a Navy spokesman, said in a statement to Task & Purpose.
"The role of Senior Trial Counsel at RLSO SW will now be filled by Cmdr. Phil Hamon," Dorsey added.
Hamon, a Navy officer since 2000, had been serving with Naval Surface Force Pacific at Coronado, California since June 2018, according to an official bio.
Czaplak's reassignment to the Washington Navy Yard comes days after the Navy ordered a "comprehensive review" of the Judge Advocate General's Corps on Aug. 1. Though the Navy's announcement said Czaplak was "reassigned," the move is clearly a demotion to what appears to be a desk job following a stint as the top Navy prosecutor in San Diego.
The JAG's Technology, Operations, & Plans Division "provides policy guidance, statistical research and analysis, and information technology (IT) resources, management, and assets in support of daily operations, ensuring that such IT assets are available, interoperable, and secure, and meet mission requirements," according to its website.
The removal of Czaplak from the Gallagher case came in response to a defense motion in May seeking his ouster prior to trial, after defense attorneys learned that an NCIS investigation into media leaks in the case had involved him sending emails to defense attorneys and a Navy Times reporter without obtaining a warrant.
The emails had some kind of tracking software hidden in Czaplak's signature block, which was discovered almost immediately.
"The court concludes that the matter related to Cmdr. Czaplak's participation in the NCIS operation may reasonably create a conflict requiring his withdrawal under due process," Capt. Aaron Rugh, the judge, said in a June ruling on the issue, which removed him from the case.
"While it is not within the purview of this court to conclude whether the actions of a trial counsel violated the rules of professional responsibility, the court must determine whether the fear of or potential danger of a professional responsibility complaint and follow up investigation is sufficient to create such a conflict. Conceding that this area remains both nuanced and unresolved under the ethical rules, still the court concludes that the danger of investigation is sufficiently real that any trial counsel so situated might be motivated by factors unrelated to his position as trial counsel."
In addition to the sudden departure of Czaplak, the Navy on Monday relieved the RLSO commanding officer 14 days ahead of schedule in what it called an "accelerated change of command ceremony," according to Navy Times.
Czaplak did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Task & Purpose.
Jeremiah Sullivan, an attorney who received the tracking code sent by Czaplak while working on a companion case, declined to comment.
Tim Parlatore, a civilian attorney for Gallagher, told Task & Purpose in a statement Czaplak "should have been fired the moment his illegal conduct" was confirmed by the court.
"While it is a good step to ensure that he can no longer participate directly in prosecutorial misconduct, it is a bit disconcerting that the officer who conducts an illegal email spying operation is now reassigned to a unit that is responsible for 'Oversight and governance of IT Assets,'" Parlatore added.
The three sailors whose lives were cut short by a gunman at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, on Friday "showed exceptional heroism and bravery in the face of evil," said base commander Navy Capt. Tim Kinsella.
Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson, Airman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, and Airman Apprentice Cameron Scott Walters were killed in the shooting, the Navy has announced.
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif. – Gen. David Berger, the US Marine Corps commandant, suggested the concerns surrounding a service members' use of questionable Chinese-owned apps like TikTok should be directed against the military's leadership, rather than the individual troops.
Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California, on Saturday morning, Berger said the younger generation of troops had a "clearer view" of the technology "than most people give them credit for."
"That said, I'd give us a 'C-minus' or a 'D' in educating the force on the threat of even technology," Berger said. "Because they view it as two pieces of gear, 'I don't see what the big deal is.'"
WASHINGTON/SEOUL (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un risks losing "everything" if he resumes hostility and his country must denuclearize, after the North said it had carried out a "successful test of great significance."
"Kim Jong Un is too smart and has far too much to lose, everything actually, if he acts in a hostile way. He signed a strong Denuclearization Agreement with me in Singapore," Trump said on Twitter, referring to his first summit with Kim in Singapore in 2018.
"He does not want to void his special relationship with the President of the United States or interfere with the U.S. Presidential Election in November," he said.
The Pentagon’s troop deployment denials means nothing when the White House screams ‘fake news’ all the time
The Pentagon has a credibility problem that is the result of the White House's scorched earth policy against any criticism. As a result, all statements from senior leaders are suspect.
We're beyond the point of defense officials being unable to say for certain whether a dog is a good boy or girl. Now we're at the point where the Pentagon has spent three days trying to knock down a Wall Street Journal story about possible deployments to the Middle East, and they've failed to persuade either the press or Congress.
The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that the United States was considering deploying up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to thwart any potential Iranian attacks. The story made clear that President Trump could ultimately decide to send a smaller number of service members, but defense officials have become fixated on the number 14,000 as if it were the only option on the table.
Just before 8 a.m. on a Sunday morning 78 years ago, Lauren Bruner was preparing for church services and a date that would follow with a girl he'd met outside his Navy base.
The 21-year-old sailor was stationed as a fire controlman aboard the U.S. battleship USS Arizona, overseeing the vessel's .50-caliber guns.
Then alarms rang out. A Japanese plane had bombed the ship in a surprise attack.
It took only nine minutes for the Arizona to sink after the first bomb hit. Bruner was struck by gunfire while trying to flee the inferno that consumed the ship, the second-to-last man to escape the explosion that killed 1,177, including his best friend; 335 survived.
More than 70% of Bruner's body was burned. He was hospitalized for weeks.
Now, nearly eight decades after that fateful day, Bruner's ashes will be delivered to the sea that cradled his fallen comrades, stored in an urn inside the battleship's wreckage.