There seemed to be some confusion late last week that had apparently lingered over the weekend as to who is the final judge regarding the issue of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.
The issue was of course quickly resolved Sunday evening when President Trump fired Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer, for apparently forgetting who the Commander-in-Chief is, along with a few ranking officers within the military, who seemed to be at odds with the President’s orders.
According to the New York Times, Spencer along with a SEAL admiral had apparently threatened to resign last week because of an issue regarding Gallagher’s Trident Pin. An honored decoration bestowed on Navy SEALs.
The President had earlier restored Gallagher’s rank back to the grade of E-7, the rank he held before he was tried and found not guilty of murder and nearly all of the charges against him.
The case against Gallagher had made national headlines, because of the personal animus displayed against him by a seemingly vindictive and hostile prosecution team, coupled with a series of questionable and illegal tactics.
Gallagher’s defense attorney argued his client was a subject of “fixation” by military prosecutors. “They started with a conclusion … [and] … ignored everything that didn’t fit,” Timothy Parlatore told the jury of five Marines and two sailors during his closing argument.
The prosecutor dismissed the testimony of Special Operator Corey Scott, who stunned the court when he confessed it was he who ultimately killed the prisoner, not Gallagher.
Within a civilian courtroom that confession would’ve immediately called for a mistrial, however under the “uniform code of military justice,” the legal threshold in proving one’s innocence is a lot more severe.
“He Corey Scott changed his account to assist Chief Gallagher,” Pietrzyk said. “He had his ‘I am Spartacus’ moment because he thought it would assist Chief Gallagher.”
Gallagher’s defense attorney contended that investigators never asked Scott about the cause of the detainee’s death, which is why they were surprised by his testimony.
“After he (Scott) received immunity, he told them,” the defense attorney said. “… Nobody could have anticipated unless they asked him the right question the first time around … They focused solely on Eddie Gallagher … They didn’t even listen to their own witness.”
There’s little doubt that the nationwide publicity, may have been instrumental in the final verdict, which found Gallagher not guilty, on all counts, except posing with the dead terrorist.
While Gallagher beat being locked up for the rest of his life, the “uniform code of military justice” usually has other remedies for abusing those they dislike, especially guys like Chief Gallagher who go public with their tale of abuse and vengeance, which was the reason why the military brass along with the former Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer had the audacity, to challenge the President’s authority regarding Gallagher’s Trident Pin, a symbol of Gallagher’s fidelity as a SEAL.
Thus on Sunday evening, the President confirmed the termination of Spencer, announcing that the current ambassador of Norway, Kenneth Braithwaite will replace Richard Spencer as Secretary of the Navy.
Department of Defense spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a statement.
“Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper has asked for the resignation of Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer after losing trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor over conversations with the White House involving the handling of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.”
The President also took to Twitter to announce the firing, “procedures were not addressed to my satisfaction. Therefore, Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer’s services have been terminated by Secretary of Defense Mark Esper. I thank Richard for his service & commitment. Eddie will retire peacefully with all of the honors that he has earned, including his Trident Pin. Admiral and now Ambassador to Norway Ken Braithwaite will be nominated by me to be the new Secretary of the Navy. A man of great achievement and success, I know Ken will do an outstanding job!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2019