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[Thread] Ok. I should be doing work, but because of Anger Yam's latest atrocity against the foundations of our state, I have to say a couple of things about this Gallagher mess which is an insult to all Americans and all those who have served.

Current status at the White House:
PART I. The latest news from the Gallagher case is that the Secdef has fired the Secnav for allegedly going seeking a deal that would allow Gallagher to retire with his trident (i.e. as a Navy SEAL), avoiding losing it in a scheduled admin hearing.
Who is Eddie Gallagher? A war criminal. There is really no reasonable doubt on that count. He escaped major prosecution due to some courtroon shenanigans and technicalities.

@TaskandPurpose provides a good accounting of the acquittal.

Note the comment by the Navy prosecutor here:
Gallagher was convicted of posing with an enemy corpse, which may seem trivial, but is actually incredibly unprofessional as well as a war crime. But wait, before you say something about international law not applying, remember that the US military also considers it criminal.
For all references, see...

For this very serious offense, the Navy elected to hold a hearing to determine if Gallagher could remain a SEAL (after Trump had annulled his demotion- but not his conviction). It is entirely appropriate that this kind of ADMINISTRATIVE action take place.
Gallagher clearly acted unprofessionally (at a minimum) in a way that is detrimental to good order and discipline. He is fortunate that he is (as of writing) to be allowed to retire with an honorable discharge.
Enter Trump. Bucking decades of precedent, he intervenes (via Tweet) in a Navy administrative (non-judicial) matter several hundreds rungs below his position. This would be like the Army Chief of Staff reversing Pvt Snuffy's Article 15 for repeated PT test failures.
Before we move back to Gallagher, recognize that Trump has repeatedly dealt body blows to the reputation of our military by pardoning the most eggregious of our war criminals where there is literally no gray area. (Unprecedented in magnitude at least)
Now he is chopping away at civil-military relations. While the commander in chief has broad powers to be sure, Presidents typically exercise a good deal of discretion in deferring to professional officers and the UCMJ (military justice).
If they do try to exert pressure (for better or worse), it is usually done behind the scenes, not publicly in such a way that it undermines the authority of commanders.
Of course, Trump bucks this trend, inserting himself into a high-profile, but ultimately low level administrative process. (One initiated by the COMMANDER of the SEALs).

(Here is Trump in action.)
This is just more evidence of his erratic thrashings in an attempt to exercise power for power's sake and in a mind-bogglingly ignorant belief that most Americans think our war criminals are being ill-treated.
I think we should take the WH's description the SECNAV Spencer's firing with a battleship's worth of salt. His letter is NOT a resignation letter; it is an "acknowledgment of termination." And, if he was compromised, I doubt it would be so biting.

Finally, someone has had the fortitude to stand up to the bully on PA avenue and to stand for his morals (as I read it.)

Conversely, the SECDEF seems to have caved to the political desires of the President, which is sad.
Not only does this set a precedent for convicted military members to politicize their cases seeking sympathy from the president, it undermines the power of both commanders and military justice to enforce the most important rules we have: the law of war.
It must also have a chilling effect on military juries, judges, and prosecutors who now have to wonder if their decisions will be second-guessed not only by the public but by their own commander-in-chief.
And...if that wasn't bad enough, it could cause those servicemembers doing the right thing to wonder they should choose the harder right over the easier wrong if the bad apples are getting away with it.

We must be better than this.
Part II. The yellow journalism of the "persecuted war criminal."

Gallagher has already committed another offense that should result in another conviction and a dishonorable discharge.
Appearing on Fox and Friends (naturally) with war criminal apologist @PeteHegseth, Gallagher explicitly accused his commanding officer and chain of command of "retaliation" and essentially operating based on ego.

You can watch THAT trainwreck here:

Remember: Gallagher is STILL on active duty status and is appearing in the press explicitly as a military member.

He is clearly participating in a political process while ALSO undermining his leadership...on TV.

That should be enough of a punishment to warrant UCMJ action in and of itself.

This is just shameful behavior, especially because he is empirically NOT being treated badly. In fact, he is getting away with murder.
Part III. The commoditization of Criminality.

Appearing on that Fox interview with Gallagher was one of his cheerleaders and financial backers, Tyler Merritt.

Tyler is a former Army officer (and @WestPoint_USMA grad <cringe>) who founded an apparel company @NineLineApparel.
Duty keyboard warrior, and Special Forces fanboy community.

It touts its charitable work, but is a blatantly political organization...marketing itself directly to the Gallagher support group community. Hannity?!
Merritt calls Gallagher a "brand ambassador." Note: this is a guy who killed noncombatants and is convicted of posing with a corpse.

Here he is modeling a "Free Eddie" shirt.
Speaking of "Free Eddie," I'll just leave this here. . .
@googleimgs knows what's up.
Merritt says that it's ok to "do bad things to bad guys" which is a terrible way to go about military service.

We follow the laws of war because of what it says about US, not the enemy.
He brings up other talking points like #Kaepernick which just goes to show the extent of the political gaslighting.

It's repellent that there exists a market for war criminal-approved apparel.
I'll close with this. I'm a @WestPoint_USMA grad. I served a year in Iraq. I am no hero. I was a competent officer during my service. I (and many like me) are disgusted by Gallagher, @LoranceClint , Behenna, @Rep_Hunter, and the rest of the war criminals.
Most of us strive hard to serve honorably, to choose the harder right, to avoid killing civilians, etc.

It's sad that that message is becoming blurred in the Age of Trump.

@GilmoreGlenda @jbf1755 @AdamWeinstein @PaulRieckhoff @notabattlechick @TaskandPurpose @iava @SamuelSokol @iAmTheWarax @HC_Richardson @KevinMKruse @KevinLevin @TheTattooedProf @DrRobThompson P.S.- I take no pleasure at all in having predicted this kind of insidious erosion of military culture.
For other veterans writing on this and other topics, see this great list of Twitter folks compiled by Kevin Kruse and the comments below:

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