'New Yorker' Magazine Apologizes To Double Amputee Marine Vet Who Staffer Smeared As Nazi

news
Marine Corps Wounded Warrior, Justin Gaertner (red), during men's 100 meter dash competition at the 2012 Warrior Games at the United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO.
Cal Sport Media/Associated Press

The New Yorker magazine has apologized to a combat-wounded Pasco County, Florida, veteran about a tweet posted by one of its staffers.


Over the weekend, New Yorker staffer Talia Lavin wrote in a tweet that a tattoo on the left elbow of Justin Gaertner looked like an Iron Cross — a post that the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said "essentially labeled him a Nazi."

The tweet was deleted, but a screenshot of another Lavin tweet from Sunday night shows she acknowledged the error and removed it "so as not to spread disinformation."

A now-deleted tweet from New Yorker staffer Talia LevinTwitter

Still, it sparked outrage and put the spotlight on Gaertner, a computer forensic analyst who tracks down online pedophiles for ICE and other agencies.

"The New Yorker has just learned that a staff member erroneously made a derogatory assumption about ICE agent Justin Gaertner’s tattoo," according to an email statement sent by the New Yorker. "The personal social-media accounts of staff members do not represent the magazine, and we in no way share the viewpoint expressed in this tweet. The tweet has been deleted, and we deeply regret any harm that this may have caused Mr. Gaertner."

Efforts to reach Lavin were unsuccessful.

In a tweet Monday afternoon, ICE officials denied the veteran Gaertner has any association with Nazis. It quotes Gaertner, a Marine who lost both legs to an explosion in Afghanistan in 2011, saying the tattoo is not an Iron Cross but a "Titan 2" design — the symbol of his platoon.

Gaertner has been featured in news stories about a public-private program to investigate pedophiles, called the Human Exploitation Rescue Operative Child-Rescue Corps or HERO.

———

©2018 the Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

WATCH NEXT:

The Armed Forces Service Medal has a green, blue and yellow ribbon and a bronze medal featuring a torch like that held by the Statue of Liberty. (U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Alexx Pons)

Editor's Note: This article by Gina Harkins originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."

The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.

There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.

Read More Show Less
Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.

Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.

It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.

Read More Show Less
Photo illustration by Paul Szoldra/Task & Purpose

It all began with a medical check.

Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.

It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.

Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.

Read More Show Less
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)

U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.

However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

Read More Show Less
Army Spc. Clayton James Horne

Army Spc. Clayton James Horne died in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 17, making him the eighth non-combat fatality for Operation Inherent Resolve so far this year, defense officials have announced.

Horne, 23, was assigned to the 351st Military Police Company, 160th Military Police Battalion, an Army Reserve unit based in Ocala, Florida, a Pentagon news release says.

Read More Show Less