The Pentagon chief insists that trump, as Supreme commander, had the right to intervene in the situation
Us defense Secretary mark Esper said that President Donald trump instructed him to stop the disciplinary investigation against a member of the elite unit “Navy seals” Edward Gallagher, who is accused of inappropriate behavior on the battlefield.
The President’s intervention has raised questions about America’s commitment to international standards of combat ethics.
The Gallagher case sparked a conflict between trump and military leaders, culminating in the resignation of Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer.
Gallagher was acquitted of charges of premeditated murder of a captive Islamic state militant in Iraq, but found guilty of posing with the body of the dead man.
Esper initially advocated for the case to be considered by the control Commission, as a result of which Gallagher could be deprived of the status of “Navy seal”, but the Minister said that he was obliged to obey the order of the President. At the same time, Esper instructed the Pentagon’s legal Department to check how military personnel are trained in laws in force during armed conflicts and ethics standards.
“I can control what I can control,” Esper told reporters when asked if the President’s intervention in the Gallagher case was sending the right message to the military. – The President is the Supreme commander. He has all the rights, powers and privileges to do as he sees fit.”
Meanwhile, the leading Democrat on the Senate armed services Committee, Jack reed, accused trump of “inappropriate interference” with the military judiciary.
“The way the White house behaves in this situation undermines the chain of command of the armed forces and the basic function of the Uniform code of military justice,” he said.
Trump insists that in the Navy with Gallagher was treated unfairly.
“I stand up for our armed forces –” he said Monday. – There has never been a President who is willing to stand up for them like I am.”