Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Trump expected to intervene in Golsteyn, Lorance, and Gallagher war crimes cases by Veterans Day
President Donald Trump is poised to order the Army to dismiss charges against Maj. Matthew Golsteyn and former 1st Lt. Clint Lorance and force the Navy to make SEAL Eddie Gallagher a chief again, Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth stated on Monday.
Gallagher was found not guilty of killing a wounded ISIS fighter but he was convicted of posing for a picture with the dead man and demoted to first class petty officer. Golsteyn is accused of murder after repeatedly admitting he killed an unarmed Afghan man 10 years ago, whom he believed was a Taliban bomb maker. Lorance was convicted of murder in August 2013 for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men whom he believed were Taliban bomb makers, killing two of them.
Trump is expected to intervene in all three cases by Veterans Day, Hegseth said during Monday's edition of Fox & Friends.
"I was able to confirm yesterday from the president of the United States himself – the commander in chief – that action is imminent, especially in the two cases of Clint Lorance and Matt Golsteyn," said Hegseth, who enjoys a close relationship with Trump.
"The president will be speaking to the Army secretary about this because both Lorance and Golsteyn are soldiers in the Army," Hegseth continued. "It doesn't have to be a pardon or a commutation. It could be, but pardons and commutations, they imply guilt – that you've done something wrong and you need to be forgiven for that."
"The president … has a lot of latitude under the Uniform Code of Military Justice to dismiss a case or change a sentence. From what I understand that is likely what will happen here shortly."
Golsteyn's court-martial is expected to begin on Dec. 2 at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. His attorney Phillip Stackhouse confirmed to Task & Purpose that Trump is expected to speak to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy about this case this week.
"We are very grateful the president is taking action in Major Golsteyn's case," Stackhouse said on Monday. "As the most senior court-martial convening authority under the Code, the president has many options available to him - including assuming jurisdiction of this case and dismissing the charge with prejudice."
Lorance is serving a 19-year prison sentence at the United States Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. His attorney Don Brown declined to talk about his discussions with the White House about what the president might do.
"I hope that the president will sign and order to disapprove the findings and sentencing of Clint's court-martial; to order him released immediately from Leavenworth and to order to the secretary of the Army to return him to active-duty," Brown told Task & Purpose.
The president is also expected to order the Navy to restore Gallagher's rank and prevent his SEAL trident from being taken away, Hegseth said during Fox & Friends.
The Navy had planned to take away Gallagher's trident on Friday, but they had delayed that move until Monday, said Gallagher's attorney Timothy Parlatore.
However, Parlatore wrote a letter on Sunday to Rear Adm. Collin Green, head of Naval Special Warfare Command, warning that any further punitive action taken against the SEAL would be illegal.
Gallagher has already lost his nomination for a Silver Star, a promotion to E-8, and nearly $200,000 from his pension earnings, Parlatore wrote.
"If you choose to move forward with any further unlawful retaliatory efforts against our client, we are prepared to use every additional option available to us including, but not limited to, an Article 138 complaint, a criminal complaint for violating UCMJ Article 132, and a lawsuit before the Court of Federal Claims," Parlatore wrote.
KABUL (Reuters) - At least 29 members of the Afghan security forces have been killed in Taliban attacks that followed air and ground assaults by government forces on the Islamist group at the weekend.
The surge in hostilities signals deadlock at stop-start peace talks involving U.S and Taliban negotiators in Doha. The Defense Ministry said on Sunday government forces had killed 51 Taliban fighters in the weekend assaults.
But the Taliban hit back, carrying out attacks on security checkpoints in the northern province of Kunduz on Tuesday night in which a security official who declined to be identified said 15 members of the Afghan army were killed.
29 years after Desert Storm, an Air Force general says we’ve forgotten the lessons that made it so successful
When Air Force Gen. Chuck Horner (ret.) took to the podium at the dedication of the National Desert Storm and Desert Shield Memorial site in Washington D.C. last February, he told the audience that people often ask him why a memorial is necessary for a conflict that only lasted about 40 days.
Horner, who commanded the U.S. air campaign of that war, said the first reason is to commemorate those who died in the Gulf War. Then he pointed behind him, towards the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where the names of over 58,000 Americans who died in Vietnam are etched in granite.
"These two monuments are inexorably linked together," Horner said. "Because we had in Desert Storm a president and a secretary of defense who did the smartest thing in the world: they gave the military a mission which could be accomplished by military force."
The Desert Storm Memorial "is a place every military person that's going to war should visit, and they learn to stand up when they have to, to avoid the stupidness that led to that disaster" in Vietnam, he added.
Now, 29 years after the operation that kicked Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army out of Kuwait began, the U.S. is stuck in multiple wars that Horner says resemble the one he and his fellow commanders tried to avoid while designing Desert Storm.
Horner shared his perspective on what went right in the Gulf War, and what's gone wrong since then, in an interview last week with Task & Purpose.
The Navy SEAL accused of strangling Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar was promoted to chief petty officer two months after Melgar's death, according to a new report from The Daily Beast.
March Air Reserve Base in California will host nearly 200 U.S. citizens who were flown out of Wuhan, China due to the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, a Defense Department spokeswoman announced on Wednesday.
"March Air Reserve Base and the Department of Defense (DoD) stand ready to provide housing support to Health and Human Services (HHS) as they work to handle the arrival of nearly 200 people, including Department of State employees, dependents and U.S. citizens evacuated from Wuhan, China," said Pentagon press secretary Alyssa Farah in a statement on Wednesday.
Wuhan is the epicenter of the coronavirus, which is a mild to severe respiratory illness that's associated with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The virus has so far killed 132 people and infected nearly 6,000 others in China, according to news reports.
More problems with Air Force's new tanker could put the squeeze on the Pentagon's refueling capabilities, TRANSCOM chief says
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Protracted delays on Boeing's new KC-46 tanker could leave the Pentagon with a shortage of refueling capacity, the head of U.S. Transportation Command warned on Tuesday.