Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Sailor charged with alleged rape during leave in Idaho
A Lewiston man serving in the U.S. Navy was charged with rape in Nez Perce County 2nd District Court on Thursday.
According to a probable cause affidavit, a woman alleged Koby E. Thrasher, 22, of Lewiston, raped her after she invited him to her home on Oct. 6 of last year. The woman's name was redacted in court documents, and it's the policy of the Lewiston Tribune not to identify alleged victims of sexual assault.
According to court documents, the two had been communicating via a social media application, and the woman invited Thrasher to her home while he was in Lewiston on leave from military service. The woman told Thrasher to come into the home and gave him directions to her room, according to the documents. She told Lewiston police Thrasher had not arrived when she fell asleep about 1 a.m. She said she woke at about 2:30 to 3 a.m., with Thrasher on top of her.
She said he forced her to perform oral sex and have intercourse, and she repeatedly told him he was hurting her and wanted him to stop. She told police she tried to push herself up during the encounter, but he pushed her back down and kept a hand on her back, and at that point she "just gave up," was confused and didn't understand what was happening.
The officer who interviewed the woman asked if the two talked about sex during their exchange of messages. She said she flirted with him one night while intoxicated and sent him pictures, but later clarified all she wanted from him was friendship. She said the night she invited Thrasher to her home they had not discussed anything sexual.
She showed police a message Trasher sent after the alleged incident in which he indicated sex had occurred, but he claimed it was consensual and they had talked about it during the encounter.
An agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service interviewed Thrasher on Feb. 23 of this year, and according to court documents, he told the agent he believed the encounter was consensual and the woman never told him to stop.
Thrasher is being represented by Paul Thomas Clark of the Lewiston law firm Clark and Feeney. A status conference is set for Nov. 25, and a preliminary hearing for Nov. 27.
©2019 the Lewiston Tribune (Lewiston, Idaho). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
New Vietnam War movie 'The Last Full Measure' takes some well-deserved shots at the military’s award process
Todd Robinson's upcoming Vietnam War drama, The Last Full Measure, is a story of two battles: One takes place during an ambush in the jungles of Vietnam in 1966, while the other unfolds more than three decades later as the survivors fight to see one pararescueman's valor posthumously recognized.
On April 11, 1966, Airman 1st Class William H. Pitsenbarger (played by Jeremy Irvine) responded to a call to evacuate casualties belonging to a company with the Army's 1st Infantry Division near Cam My during a deadly ambush, the result of a search and destroy mission dubbed Operation Abilene.
In the ensuing battle, the unit suffered more than 80 percent casualties as their perimeter was breached. Despite the dangers on the ground, Pitsenbarger refused to leave the soldiers trapped in the jungle and waved off the medevac chopper, choosing to fight, and ultimately die, alongside men he'd never met before that day.
Decades later, those men fought to see Pitsenbarger's Air Force Cross upgraded to the Medal of Honor. On Dec. 8, 2000, they won, when Pitsenbarger was posthumously awarded the nation's highest decoration for valor.
The Last Full Measure painstakingly chronicles that long desperate struggle, and the details of the battle are told in flashbacks by the soldiers who survived the ambush, played by a star-studded cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Ed Harris, and William Hurt.
After Operation Abilene, some of the men involved moved on with their lives, or tried to, and the film touches on the many ways they struggled with their grief, trauma, and in the case of some, feelings of guilt. For the characters in The Last Full Measure, seeing Pitsenbarger awarded the Medal of Honor might be the one decent thing they pull out of that war, remarks Jackson's character, Lt. Billy Takoda, one of the soldier's whose life Pitsenbarger saved.
There are a lot of threads to follow in The Last Full Measure, individual strands of a larger story that feel misplaced, redacted, or cut short — at times, violently. But this is not a criticism, quite the opposite in fact. This tangled web is part of the larger narrative at play as Scott Huffman, a fictitious modern-day Pentagon bureaucrat played by Sebastian Stan, tries to piece together what actually happened that fateful day so many years ago.
At the start, Huffman — the person who ultimately becomes Pitsenbarger's champion in Washington — wants nothing to do with the airman's story, the medal, or the Vietnam veterans who want to see his sacrifice recognized. For Huffman, it's a burdensome assignment, just one more box to check before he can move on to brighter and better career prospects.
The skepticism of Pentagon bureaucracy and Washington political operators is on full display throughout the movie. When Takoda first meets Huffman, the Army vet grills the overdressed and out-of-his-depth government flack about his intentions, calls him an FNG (fucking new guy) and tosses Huffman's recorder into the nearby river where he's fishing with his grandkids.
Sebastian Stan stars as Scott Huffman alongside Samuel Jackson as Billy Takoda in "The Last Full Measure."(IMDB)
As Huffman spends more time with the grunts who fought alongside Pitsenbarger, and the Air Force PJs who flew with him that day, he, and the audience, come to see their campaign, and their frustration over the lack of progress, in a different light.
In one of the movie's later moments, The Last Full Measure offers an explanation for why Pitsenbarger's award languished for so long. The theory? Pitsenbarger's Medal of Honor citation was downgraded to a service cross, not because his actions didn't meet the standard associated with the nation's highest award for valor, but because his rank didn't.
"The conjecture among the Mud Soldiers and Bien Hoa Eagles is that Pitsenbarger was passed over because he was enlisted," Robinson, who wrote and directed The Last Full Measure, told Task & Purpose.
"As for the events in the film, Pitsenbarger's upgrade was clearly ignored for decades and items had been lost — whether that was deliberate is up for discussion but we feel we captured the spirit of the issues at hand either way," he said. "Some of these questions are simply impossible to answer with 100% certainty as no one really knows."
The cynicism in The Last Full Measure is overt, but to be entirely honest, it feels warranted. While watching the film, I couldn't help but think back to recent stories of battlefield bravery, like that of Army Sgt. 1st Class Alwyn Cashe, who ran into a burning Bradley three times in Iraq to pull out his wounded men — a feat of heroism that cost him his life, and inspired an ongoing campaign to see Cashe awarded the Medal of Honor.
There's no shortage of op-eds by current and former service members who see the military's awards process as slow and cumbersome at best, and biased or broken at worst, and it's refreshing to see that criticism reflected in a major war movie. And sure, like plenty of war movies, The Last Full Measure has some sappy moments, but on the whole, it's a damn good drama.
The Last Full Measure hits theaters on Jan. 24.
With ISIS trying to reorganize itself into an insurgency, most attacks on U.S. and allied forces in Iraq are being carried out by Shiite militias, said Air Force Maj. Gen. Alex Grynkewich, the deputy commander for operations and intelligence for U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria.
"In the time that I have been in Iraq, we've taken a couple of casualties from ISIS fighting on the ground, but most of the attacks have come from those Shia militia groups, who are launching rockets at our bases and frankly just trying to kill someone to make a point," Grynkewich said Wednesday at an event hosted by the Air Force Association's Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
About a dozen more US troops medevaced from Iraq over possible concussions following Iran's missile attack
Trump says he doesn't consider the brain injuries US troops sustained during Iran's missile attack 'very serious'
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
President Donald Trump, who initially claimed that "no Americans were harmed" in the Iranian missile attack on U.S. forces, told reporters Wednesday that recently reported injuries suffered by U.S. troops — at least a dozen of whom were treated for concussion symptoms and possible traumatic brain injuries — were "not that serious."