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French Historian Sentenced For Stealing American World War II Dog Tags To Sell On Ebay
A 33-year-old French historian has been sentenced to a year in prison for stealing hundreds of dog tags belonging to U.S. service members killed during World War II from the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, with the intent of selling them on Ebay.
Antonin DeHays initially pled guilty in January to stealing more than 290 dog tags and 134 records that included “personal letters, photographs and small pieces of U.S. aircraft downed during the war” while visiting National Archives between December 2010 and June 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland.
DeHays, a historian apparently known for his focus on the Allied landing at Normandy Beach in France on D-Day, was ostensibly visiting to review documents regarding American aviators shot down over Nazi-occupied Europe. But his thieving behavior doesn’t capture the respectful and dignified character of a historian — or, you know, a decent human being. From the Department of Justice (emphasis ours):
DeHays visited the National Archives at College Park and stole two dog tags, one silver and one brass, issued to a downed Tuskegee Airman, who died when his fighter plane crashed in Germany on September 22, 1944. DeHays gave the brass dog tag to a military aviation museum in exchange for the opportunity to sit inside a Spitfire airplane. On a different occasion, DeHays stole two dog tags that were linked together with a wire loop. One of the dog tags was issued to a U.S. serviceman who served in World War II, and the other dog tag was issued to his father, who had served in World War I.
After his theft came to light in 2017, DeHays acknowledged that he’d pilfered the artifacts of American war heroes in order to turn a quick buck on Ebay. The stolen dog tags “bore evidence of damage, such as dents and charring due to fire sustained during crashes of Allied aircraft that were shot down,” features that federal investigators say DeHays played up when communicating with potential buyers (emphasis ours, again):
Although DeHays kept some of the stolen U.S. dog tags and other stolen records for himself and gave others as gifts, he sold the majority of the stolen items on eBay and elsewhere. Before selling the dog tags, DeHays sometimes removed from the dog tags markings made in pencil which could have been used to identify the dog tags as having been stolen from the National Archives.
On one occasion, DeHays sent a text message to a potential buyer stating that certain dog tags for sale were “burnt and show some stains of fuel, blood . . . very powerful items that witness the violence of the crash.” On a different occasion, DeHays sent a text message to a potential buyer stating that a dog tag for sale was “salty” (bearing the signs of war-related damage) and that an officer ID and American Red Cross ID for sale were “partially burned.”
In addition to his prison time, DeHays will have to pay $43,000 in restitution to the National Archives and Records Administration, but given the callousness of his offense, it’s hard to believe that the punishment fits the crime here.
“The theft of our history should anger any citizen,” Archivist of the United States David Ferriero told the Washington Post after news of DeHays’ alleged crimes came to light, “but as a veteran I am shocked at allegations that a historian would show such disregard for records and artifacts documenting those captured or killed in World War II.”
GENEVA/DUBAI (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said he was prepared to take military action to stop Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb but left open whether he would back the use of force to protect Gulf oil supplies that Washington fears may be under threat by Iran.
Worries about a confrontation between Iran and the United States have mounted since attacks last week on two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz shipping lane at the entrance to the Gulf. Washington blamed long-time foe Iran for the incidents.
Tehran denies responsibility but the attacks, and similar ones in May, have further soured relations that have plummeted since Trump pulled the United States out of a landmark international nuclear deal with Iran in May 2018.
Trump has restored and extended U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. That has forced countries around the world to boycott Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.
But in an interview with Time magazine, Trump, striking a different tone from some Republican lawmakers who have urged a military approach to Iran, said last week's tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman had only a "very minor" impact so far.
Asked if he would consider military action to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons or to ensure the free flow of oil through the Gulf, Trump said: "I would certainly go over nuclear weapons and I would keep the other a question mark."
Minnesota Democratic Party staffer under fire for calling USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul a 'murder boat'
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz said Tuesday he is appalled by a state DFL Party staff member's tweet referring to the recently-launched USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul as a "murder boat."
"Certainly, the disrespect shown is beyond the pale," said Walz, who served in the Army National Guard.
William Davis, who has been the DFL Party's research director and deputy communications director, made the controversial comment in response to a tweet about the launch of a new Navy combat ship in Wisconsin: "But actually, I think it's gross they're using the name of our fine cities for a murder boat," Davis wrote on Twitter over the weekend.
'We are there to deter aggression' — Pompeo addressed CENTCOM on Iran mere moments before Shanahan announced his departure
TAMPA — Minutes before the Acting Secretary of Defense withdrew Tuesday from his confirmation process, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke at MacDill Air Force Base about the need to coordinate "diplomatic and defense efforts'' to address rising tensions with Iran.
Pompeo, who arrived in Tampa on Monday, met with Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr. and Army Gen. Richard Clarke, commanders of U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command respectively, to align the Government's efforts in the Middle East, according to Central Command.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."
President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will "not to go forward with his confirmation process."
Trump said that Army Secretary Mark Esper will now serve as acting defense secretary.