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Navy Lt Who Apologized To Iran After 2016 Capture Gets To Keep His Job
The Navy officer who apologized to Iran after the crew of the riverine boats he was in command of were captured in January 2016, will be allowed to remain in the service after a separation board in Imperial Beach, California, ruled in his favor on April 18, according to Navy Times.
“What [the Navy] tried to do is use a teeny window of this regulation and drive a truck through it,” Phillip Lowry, Nartker’s Utah-based lawyer, told the newspaper. “And the board saw through it.”
— Abas Aslani (@AbasAslani) January 13, 2016
The Navy was looking to give Lt. David Nartker the boot for two reasons. First, the service alleged that he disobeyed a general order — specifically, the standing order that boat crews were to go from Weapons Condition 4 to Weapons Condition 3 (weapons loaded, with an empty chamber) once they left their home base on a patrol:
Nartker was found guilty of that charge during an admiral’s mast last August, notes the Navy Times.
The second reason — well, it was more about appearances. Bad ones.
The Navy attempted to hit Nartker with a charge for “substandard performance based on his physical appearance and deportment,” a separation-level offense usually doled out to physically unsatisfactory sailors and those who have consistent trouble meeting grooming standards. Nartker wasn’t out of shape or unkempt, but his appearance in an Iranian propaganda video was a national embarrassment.
“The basis for the case was that he had been in the Iranian propaganda video and it made the Navy look bad — and because it made the Navy look bad, [Nartker] looked bad and therefore he should be fired," Lowry said.
Natker was among the 10 sailors who surrendered to the Iranian military after one of the two boats broke down in Iran’s territorial waters near Farsi Island. They had strayed into Iran’s territory accidentally, which Natker admitted to and apologized for in a filmed propaganda video. The crew was held for 16 hours and then released unharmed, but the footage of the apology and images of the sailors kneeling in surrender became a high-profile scandal for the Navy and fueled an international crisis.
The statement made by Nartker was a condition for the boat crew’s release, but it violated the code of conduct all service members must adhere to when in enemy hands, according to a military investigation.
For now, Nartker’s still in the Navy, but it’s unclear what his future will hold. Following his admiral’s mast last year, the 28-year-old surface warfare officer was stripped of his surface warfare officer qualifications and SWO insignia.
NASA is reportedly investigating one of its astronauts in a case that appears to involve the first allegations of criminal activity from space.
Hackers could have breached US bioterrorism defenses for years, records show. We'll never know if they did
The Department of Homeland Security stored sensitive data from the nation's bioterrorism defense program on an insecure website where it was vulnerable to attacks by hackers for over a decade, according to government documents reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.
The data included the locations of at least some BioWatch air samplers, which are installed at subway stations and other public locations in more than 30 U.S. cities and are designed to detect anthrax or other airborne biological weapons, Homeland Security officials confirmed. It also included the results of tests for possible pathogens, a list of biological agents that could be detected and response plans that would be put in place in the event of an attack.
The information — housed on a dot-org website run by a private contractor — has been moved behind a secure federal government firewall, and the website was shut down in May. But Homeland Security officials acknowledge they do not know whether hackers ever gained access to the data.
The State Department doesn't really care if its human rights training for partner security forces is working or not
By law, the United States is required to promote "human rights and fundamental freedoms" when it trains foreign militaries. So it makes sense that if the U.S. government is going to spend billions on foreign security assistance every year, it should probably systematically track whether that human rights training is actually having an impact or not, right?
Apparently not. According to a new audit from the Government Accountability Office, both the Departments of Defense and State "have not assessed the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces" — and while the Pentagon agreed to establish a process to do so, State simply can't be bothered.
A Kansas VA hospital police supervisor reported 'dangerous' deficiencies among his officers. Now he says he faced retaliation
The Kansas City VA Medical Center is still dealing with the fallout of a violent confrontation last year between one of its police officers and a patient, with the Kansas City Police Department launching a homicide investigation.
And now Topeka's VA hospital is dealing with an internal dispute between leaders of its Veterans Affairs police force that raises new questions about how the agency nationwide treats patients — and the officers who report misconduct by colleagues.
A New Mexico woman was charged Friday in the robbery and homicide of a Marine Corps veteran from Belen late last month after allegedly watching her boyfriend kill the man and torch his car to hide evidence.