Sunday, February 23, 2020

US Navy Chief Sacked By Trump Over SEAL Commando Controversy

On Sunday, US President Donald Trump fired the chief of the US Navy, Richard Spencer in a dispute over an…

By Sumita Ray , in Top Stories , at November 25, 2019 Tags: , , ,

On Sunday, US President Donald Trump fired the chief of the US Navy, Richard Spencer in a dispute over an elite SEAL commando whose demotion for misconduct was reversed by the president. After being sacked Richard condemned Mr Trump. 

Spencer said in a stinging letter published by US media, “I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principles of good order and discipline.”

“I hereby acknowledge my termination as United States Secretary of the Navy,” he added. 

He was dismissed as Navy Secretary, a civilian position, in a case that has fueled reports that the US military leadership has been angered by Trump’s interference in discipline cases. The dispute revolves around the fate of Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher who has accused of war crimes in a high-profile case but was found guilty of a lesser offence. 

The demotion was handed down to Gallagher by the commander-in-chief of the US military, Trump on November 15. On Sunday, Trump tweeted that Gallagher had been “treated very badly” by the Navy and that Spencer had been asked to resign over the issue and over his alleged failure to address budget overruns. 

According to the president, Gallagher would be expelled from the elite SEAL force. Trump tweeted, “Eddie will retire peacefully with all of the honours that he has earned.” 

Mark Esper, the Defense Secretary had asked for Spencer’s resignation “after losing trust and confidence in him regarding his lack of candor over conversations with the White House,” the Department of Defense said in a statement.

Esper said he was “deeply troubled by this conduct.”

A discipline procedure has been launched by the US Navy that could have strip Gallagher and three other members of his unit of their prestigious “Trident pins” — effectively booting them from the SEAL force.

But the intervention of Trump appeared to cut short that process. This month, the president dismissed a second-degree murder conviction against Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance. He was imprisoned for 19 years for allegedly giving order soldiers in 2012 to fire on three unarmed Afghan men on a motorcycle, two of whom died. 

A Navy SEAL commando, Gallagher was accused in the stabbing to death of a wounded Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017, attempted murder of other civilians and obstruction of justice. 

He was declared innocent in July of charges to those accusations but was convicted of posing with the slain fighter’s body in a group picture with other SEALs. As a result, he was demoted one rank from chief petty officer to petty officer first class.

On Sunday, while speaking to Fox New Gallagher accused the navy of acting in retaliation after he lodged a complaint. “They could have taken my Trident (pin) at any time they wanted,” he said. 

“Now they’re trying to take it after the president restored my rank,” he added.