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Trump Reportedly Considering Vietnam War Hero Jim Webb For Defense Secretary
President Donald Trump is reportedly considering former presidential candidate Jim Webb to take over the reins of the Pentagon, according to The New York Times.
Webb, 72, most recently ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. He previously served as a Senator from Virginia from 2007 to 2013 and was Secretary of the Navy and an Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan administration.
Trump administration officials have privately reached out to Webb, according to three sources who spoke to the Times on condition of anonymity. Although a member of the Democratic party, Webb's views align more closely with Trump's push to remove troops from the Middle East to confront a rising China, according to the Times.
If picked, Webb would replace acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who took over the role for former Secretary Jim Mattis, who resigned in protest last month. Webb would likely face some opposition over past comments about women serving in the military, which have come up repeatedly during his political career.
He previously told The Washington Post that he wrote the 1979 article, titled Women Can't Fight, during "an intense national debate regarding women serving in combat" and apologized, saying that "clearly, if I had been a more mature individual, there are things that I would not have said in that magazine article. To the extent that this article subjected women at the Academy or the armed forces to undue hardship, I remain profoundly sorry."
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Webb graduated from the Naval Academy in 1968 and later served in Vietnam, where he was wounded twice and received the Navy Cross for combat heroism. During a firefight with enemy soldiers in 1969, Webb "simultaneously fired his weapon at the enemy" who threw a grenade at his men, and pushed one Marine away from the blast while shielding him from the explosion with his own body.
The heroic action came up during the 2016 Democratic primary debates, earning Webb some internet meme fame after he quipped about the enemy who "is not around right now to talk to."
Jim Webb Could Just Kill A Man www.youtube.com
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Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
Fifteen years after the U.S. military toppled the regime of Saddam Hussein, the Army's massive two-volume study of the Iraq War closed with a sobering assessment of the campaign's outcome: With nearly 3,500 U.S. service members killed in action and trillions of dollars spent, "an emboldened and expansionist Iran appears to be the only victor.
Thanks to roughly 700 pages of newly-publicized secret Iranian intelligence cables, we now have a good idea as to why.
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
For one veteran who fought through the crossfires of German heavy machine guns in the D-Day landings, receiving a Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of his service and that of his World War II comrades would be "quite meaningful."
Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate to award the Army Rangers of World War II the medal, the highest civilian award bestowed by the United States, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
An airman at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base was arrested and charged with murder on Sunday after a shooting at a Raleigh night club that killed a 21-year-old man, the Air Force and the Raleigh Police Department said.