Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Navy prosecutor accused of trying to spy on defense attorneys for two Navy SEALs
The Navy attempted to use tracking software to spy on civilian and military defense attorneys for two Navy SEALs charged in connection with the death of an Islamic State fighter and a journalist covering the cases, one of the SEAL's attorneys said on Monday.
"You can't do this without a warrant," said Timothy Parlatore, who represents Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher. "There's a big difference between what a marketing firm can do to check the demographics of its customer base and what the government can do to directly target and track the email communications of a private citizen."
In total, 13 people received an email on May 8 from Navy prosecutor Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak that included an image that, if opened, would have allowed the Navy to see with whom they communicated, Parlatore told Task & Purpose on Monday.
"The tiny little image that he put at the bottom of his signature line, it was just the logo of the Region Legal Services Office," Parlatore said. "That gives them the ability to track when and where and what system I was using to open it. If I forward it to you, they get to see your email address and your IP address. They're using it to see who I am sending things to."
Parlatore said the email also went to defense attorneys for Navy Lt. Jacob Portier, who is charged with obstruction of justice and related offenses for allegedly trying destroying evidence against Gallagher and not stopping Gallagher from shooting civilians, as well as Navy Times editor Carl Prine.
"These allegations, if true, are a troubling assault on journalists and the work we do," Andrew Tilghman, executive editor for Military Times, said in a statement.
"These are not classified documents that we're talking about, so it's especially disturbing to hear that the federal government is taking these extreme measures to secretly surveil the activities of our reporters and violate their constitutional rights against unlawful search. This is potentially unlawful and should be thoroughly investigated."
On Monday, Portier's attorneys asked the judge in the case to make prosecutors explain what information they were seeking and how widespread the surveillance was, Associated Press reporter Brian Melley first reported on Monday. Task & Purpose was unable to reach Portier's civilian defense counsel.
Czaplak declined to comment on Monday because there is an ongoing investigation into the leak of protected documents in the Gallagher case, said Brian O'Rourke, a spokesman for Navy Region Southwest.
Parlatore said he plans to file motions to have charges against Gallagher dismissed and to disqualify Czaplak from the case.
"They did a warrantless search of a defense attorney's email less than three weeks before trial is supposed to start," Parlatore said. "Quite frankly, this is such a new situation that we're still researching what all the proper remedies are."
SEE ALSO: Trump raises questions about killing vs. murder by embracing US troops accused of war crimes
WATCH NEXT: Regional Victims' Legal Counsel PSA
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Pentagon on Thursday tested a conventionally configured ground-launched ballistic missile, a test that would have been prohibited under the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 INF pact with Russia in August after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.
The Taliban may not have breached the walls of Bagram, but they damaged the hell out of its main passenger terminal
Blasts from Taliban car bombs outside of Bagram Airfield on Wednesday caused extensive damage to the base's passenger terminal, new pictures released by the 45th Expeditionary Wing show.
The pictures, which are part of a photo essay called "Bagram stands fast," were posted on the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service's website on Thursday.
The Pentagon's top spokesman tried to downplay recent revelations by the Washington Post that U.S. government officials have consistently misled the American public about the war in Afghanistan for nearly two decades.
Washington Post reporter Craig Whitlock first brought to light that several top officials acknowledged to the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction that the war was going badly despite their optimistic public statements. The report, based on extensive interviews and internal government data, also found that U.S. officials manipulated statistics to create the public perception that the U.S. military was making progress in Afghanistan.
An Army colonel's alleged abuse saddled his wife with ongoing medical needs. Escaping him could bring that care to a screeching halt.
Katherine Burton was sitting on her couch when she heard a scream.
Though she had not yet met her upstairs neighbors, Army. Col. Jerel Grimes and his wife Ellizabeth, Burton went to investigate almost immediately. "I knew it was a cry for help," she recalled of the August 1 incident.
Above her downstairs apartment in Huntsville, Alabama, Jerel and Ellizabeth had been arguing. They had been doing a lot of that lately. According to Ellizabeth, Jerel, a soldier with 26 years of service and two Afghanistan deployments under his belt, had become increasingly controlling in the months since the couple had married in April, forcing her to share computer passwords, receipts for purchases, and asking where she was at all times.
"I was starting to realize how controlling he was, and how manipulative he was," Ellizabeth said. "And he'd never been this way towards me in the 15 years that I've known him."