We learned late Friday evening that President Trump made the right decision in the cases of Army Major Matthew Golsteyn, 1LT Clint Lorance, and Navy Special Operator Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher. I was so greatly honored to receive a call from Clint late Friday evening as he walked out of Ft. Leavenworth’s US Disciplinary Barracks, where he had been imprisoned for some six years.
This missive is being written because of the commentary I listened to while driving to and from my Texas State Guard drill. It was appalling for me to hear some of the assertions and responses being made by those who have no idea what this 21st-century battlefield is like.
First of all, let me clarify something: Islamic jihadists — terrorists — are non-state, non-uniform belligerents on the battlefield. They seek to blend in with civilian populations and take cover in the midst of non-combatants. These are not “enemy soldiers.” They are unlawful enemy combatants, and should not be accorded any Geneva Convention rights, certainly not constitutional rights. This conflagration is not about reading jihadists “Miranda rights” as though we regard this as a law enforcement operation. This is a most complex battlefield, and we are asking our brave warriors to contend with a savage, brutal, vile, vicious enemy.
The Obama administration’s absurd policies, evidenced by way of highly restrictive rules of engagement, and worse, the policy of “catch and release,” were detrimental to the conduct of operations against this enemy. In many ways, it afforded the enemy an advantage over our warriors, insidious edicts such as one not being able to engage the enemy until engaged were disdained.
The world is not going to miss a Taliban bomb maker, and there is no way we should be charging anyone with murder in a combat zone, unless they take the lives of innocent civilians. If we want to start charging combat troops with murder for doing what we ask them to do — kill the enemy — then we should start handing out speeding tickets at NASCAR races.
Chief Gallagher was guilty of taking a picture with a dead ISIS fighter. Yet, the US Navy JAG officers sought to make an extreme example of this US Navy SEAL. Why? We should all recall the book, and film, “Lone Survivor” where a Navy SEAL reconnaissance team, whose mission had been compromised, decided to release the three herders who had stumbled upon them. They took a vote, and they pondered what would happen to them, not due to the enemy, but because of our own JAG officers, and media. Our men and women in combat should not be considering the responses of desk jockeys and pundits when their lives are on the line.
In the case of Army 1LT Clint Lorance, he was replacing a platoon leader who had just been seriously wounded. Clint was operating in “Taliban Central,” Kandahar Province’s Zheri and Panjwai districts. I know that area well since I was based in southern Afghanistan for some two and a half years as a civilian/military adviser and mentor to the Afghanistan National Army’s 205th Corps. As well, I know the TTPs (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures) of the Taliban when it comes to using 2-3 unarmed scouts on motorcycle to gather intelligence and probe our positions and patrols. This is exactly what was done before 1LT Lorance. He followed combat protocols, and when the enemy did not retreat, he ordered their being fired upon, two of the three were killed.
What was disturbing was that the Army knew that these Taliban members had gun residue on their hands, but the lawyers withheld that exculpatory evidence in Clint’s case. Instead, they charged this young man with second-degree murder, saying it was a premeditated killing of innocent civilians, a known lie. Yet, the Army went forth and took away six years of young Clint’s life. I am damn sick and tired of hearing these news commentators and pundits referring to Clint as being guilty of war crimes.
Heck, where were these people when it was decided to set Bowe Bergdahl and Bradley Manning — a deserter and a traitor — free. Oh yeah, Susan Rice claimed that Bergdahl had served with honor and distinction. Obama hosted Bergdahl’s parents at the White House. The progressive socialist left made a disturbed young man suffering from gender dysphoria their cause célèbre. These are the ones speaking out now?@POTUS @realDonaldTrump has just boosted the morale of warriors & sent a message: stop persecuting and prosecuting our warriors while you free deserters and traitors. #ClintLorance Click To Tweet
I keep hearing that President Trump’s decision will have an adverse effect on the good order and discipline of the military. That President Trump has undermined the military justice system. No, President Trump has just boosted the morale of warriors and sent a message to these corrupt JAG officers, stop persecuting and prosecuting our warriors while you free deserters and traitors.
The person truly hurting our military is the current SecDef, Mark Esper. For SecDef Esper to come out and publicly admit that he counseled the President against making this decision is highly disconcerting, and if SecArmy Ryan McCarthy did the same, both of them have lost the confidence of our warrior class.
If these bureaucrats would rather side with the evident corruption of our military legal system, they should be fired from their current positions. They are not in these positions just to secure lucrative contracts for their defense industry friends. I couldn’t care less that Esper was SecState Pompeo’s classmate at West Point. He was wrong and should go back before the camera and apologize to the families of these three men, and punish the military JAG officers who perverted the UCMJ, for their own self-advancement. As a matter of fact, where is that Army Judge who set Bowe Bergdahl free? Where was the massive uproar when Obama pardoned Manning?
I had to listen to Chris Wallace, Rep. Jim Himes, Jonah Goldberg, and Gillian Turner on Fox News Sunday offer their mind-numbing comments on this situation. None of them have ever had to face an AK-47, PKM, or RPG. I have, and I also know a little about overzealous JAG officers who will destroy the lives of warriors just to pad their resume, and protect commanders who should be commanding, and not being subservient to some lawyer..@BarackObama released a deserter & traitor. @POTUS @realDonaldTrump freed & pardoned warriors, heroes. That, everyone, is very telling, and what we, the warrior class of America, see. #ClintLorance Click To Tweet
Thanks, President Trump for letting lawyers, pundits, politicians, and bureaucrats know that they are not as important to the security of our Republic as are our warriors.
There is a simple comparison to recognize in this matter.
Barack Obama released a deserter and traitor. President Trump freed and pardoned warriors, heroes who faced the enemy . . . who did not run away from them. That, everyone, is very telling, and what we, the warrior class of America, see.
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LTC West is running for Chair of the Republican Party of Texas! To support his efforts, please visit his campaign website!
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During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
West is a commissioned officer in the Texas State Guard. He’s Fox News Contributor, former Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, and the forthcoming We Can Overcome.