Opinion: ‘Making America Great Again’

UPDATE: Donald Trump has ordered his defense secretary to reverse US Navy Department order to remove a decorated SEAL from the team he leads because of three instances of controversial “bad-guy” remarks. Trump canceled the order just days after a highly competitive Navy selection board recommended to the president to remove the decorated senior SEAL, Edward Gallagher.

The order from Defense Secretary James Mattis requiring the removal from the team by an officer on the senior enlisted ranking at rank of E6, was issued following a request from Trump and top White House adviser, Jared Kushner.

The Navy said Trump asked for the order against Gallagher to be put back into effect on Saturday, in a move that the president declared, in a tweet, had “made the country proud”.

A senior member of the White House National Security Council told Fox News that Trump and Kushner wanted to reach out to “connect[d] with a specific element of the community who could take a stand”.

Stripped of the job

Gallagher is the most senior Navy SEAL killed during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is highly unusual for a Medal of Honor nominee to be removed from the team on the senior enlisted rank.

White House sources confirmed that the order was reversed on Saturday evening. The following tweet was posted on Saturday night, shortly after the order was overturned:

Just 10 minutes before Trump reversed the Navy’s decision, the Navy circulated a short memo on the career of the 20-year-old Gallagher and publicly outlined the three incidents of questionable behavior.

One of those was what has been described as “casual violence”, seen as inappropriate harassment, throwing a seat from a plane at a man and shoving a woman.

The third incident detailed by Navy officials is a speech to a group of students that included a disclaimer not to interact with any athletes during the Olympics. Although these latest allegations paint Gallagher in a different light from previous incidents and are seen by some analysts as precedent in the modern service.

Gallagher has refused comment on the incident or the Navy’s investigation into the complaints.

Source: The Huffington Post.


Former Texas Ranger Has Been Fired By Trump, A Drone ‘Constantly’ Hunting Down Integrity

The list of military officers fired by President Trump is long. His recent dismissal of former Navy SEAL Clint Blackburn has left many in the SEALs community frustrated that their careers are so quickly and mercilessly terminated.

Since the recent removal of a highly decorated and trusted commander from the ranks of the Army Rangers, Special Forces, Navy SEALs, and Air Force medics, many members of SEAL Team Six who participated in ISIS, Laos, and Afghanistan-related missions have raised concerns that the brass are trying to erase all that military expertise and expertise by toppling commanders and captains who were previously openly outspoken on legal and ethical ground.

Known as the “Slippery Slope”, the NFL, NFLPA, and MLB have all been widely reported as instances where professional athletes have bashed society and oppression through their words and actions on the field of play. The problem with this practice is that all professional athletes were given a clean slate by their superiors and essentially served their suspensions, reprimands, jail time, and fines for the heinous acts they perpetrated upon an entire nation of people they were sworn to protect, yet the men and women who have sacrificed their lives and limbs through global conflicts, have been punished to an even greater extent.

Halsey (Vincent John) Lawton

According to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford, “[I]t’s not within my power to intervene” and suggested that those in question be dealt with “in the ranks.” Yet according to the Flag Officers Association of America, Obama was dismissed of responsibility as Commander in Chief for his mishandling of the Benghazi fiasco and Trump was either firing or demoting top military leaders far more for making their case rather than the clear criminal prosecution of Hillary Clinton.

Recently retired deputy Cmdr. Edward Gallagher was removed from his post with the White House Operating Group—known as the “Office of the Presidential Liaison”—by Trump, even though his involvement in Wikileaks and the IRS involving Hillary Clinton has been well-documented. In the past, White House staffers have acknowledged that the stolen emails of Hillary and John Podesta provided valuable insight and knowledge into what occurred in the 2016 Presidential race, which was in fact many times Trump’s campaign, yet when it came to the IRS’ illegal targeting of conservative groups, they hesitated.

Many eyewitnesses believe the Trump decision to fire Gallagher was politically motivated, while others suggest it was a poorly designed solution to a problem.

Former Navy SEAL Capt. Ed Thompson has always considered Gallagher a friend and he was shocked when he discovered Gallagher was being removed from his post. “I didn’t have to be told how valuable and revered he was by members of SEAL Team One,” Thompson shared. Thompson stated that Gallagher was the number one SEAL in the U.S. Navy at that time and was considered a hero for being embedded in hostile territory to rescue kidnapped foreign hostages, even though technically not on active duty. He was not involved in Obama’s administration and was only receiving a bonus for his services. “After being in the Navy, these rewards are few and far between,” Thompson explained.

Gerald Harold Wells once said of Gallagher, “I could call Ed Gallagher any time of the day or night and he would answer. That is the type of person we were all looking for in SEAL Team One.”

[Featured Image by SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images]


John S. McCain – “man of few words”

John S. McCain was a man of few words and a man of principle. The Trump family have displayed quite a few; according to Aaron Sorkin, the “we don’t care if you voted for Trump” line used in Steve Bannon’s inaugural book came from Meghan McCain. But it was the statement John McCain gave on August 21, 2010, after Meghan was invited to join the McCain family as he honoured a Purple Heart recipient who came to the city to present the medal, that really sent the message this senator sought to send to America.

The most famous quote, when asked whether he supported Barack Obama, was: “I hate to say it, but the answer is yes”. But what McCain found even more difficult to stomach was the intolerance of his own party which made it so difficult for McCain to actually serve. So to the Senate majority leader Harry Reid who made another kind of sworn statement in the Senate that “on matters of war and peace, the United States Senate has no greater loyalty than to its party”, a scarcer expression than hell, and to his colleague John Kennedy who said: “Our partisan fidelity dictates we vote no on anything our leader says”—he called you “friends” and “partisans”.

“Brothers and sisters, do not let ‘Republican’ or ‘Democrat’ substitute for patriotism. Real patriotism is not taking sides. Real patriotism is not believing anything that’s being said. Real patriotism is loving your country so much that you’re willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for her,” said McCain. It is difficult to imagine a better word to describe a man on who friends and partisans alike should instinctively aspire. Despite McCain’s primeval hostility towards those who disagree with him, George, Eric, Cindy, Jack, Sidney, Meghan, Larry, Ryan, Conor, Terence and Bobby to name a few, Tony, Maria, Jack, Conor, Henry, Will, Sidney and Matta lived with him through thick and thin and refused to let partisanship derail or derail their friendship. Their connection to John was so strong that the old man fell into bed with them. And for the next few years they worked together in these increasingly difficult times, coming together in the ultimate sacrifice and unceasing struggle for the values that made the country what it is today.

John S. McCain is widely considered the greatest living senator in the United States Senate. But his ability to cajole, pep talk and empower colleagues had an addressee other than what he would usually be. And this loyalty did not just change the course of the administration of George W. Bush—it found his party and especially Republicans who had run for the White House on a promise of not entering Iraq. In fact, the Republican Party was held hostage to John McCain’s “skin in the game”—that was the name that President Trump was given when he was his vetting team’s chief “Skin in the Game”, but which he largely self-deceitfully refused to hold himself accountable for as he went about erecting his brand.

America’s political landscape has been peppered with its fair share of objectionable and anti-democratic behaviour. Let’s not add John McCain, the last brave man in the Senate to step forward against the toxic gene from which contemporary politics must be overcome, to that coterie.