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Retired Admiral Slams Trump for Shutting Down Navy Investigation Into Pardoned War Criminal

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On CNN Monday, retired Rear Adm. John Kirby laid into President Donald Trump for firing Navy Secretary Richard Spencer to shut down the investigation into pardoned war criminal Eddie Gallagher, who was convicted of posing with the corpse of a teenage prisoner he had allegedly stabbed to death with his hunting knife.

“I’ve spoken to Navy officers who said they this happens all the time for far lesser issues,” said anchor Jim Sciutto. “One brought up the case of someone lying on a test. How concerning is it that the Navy wasn’t even allowed the discretion to make a decision on that relatively small disciplinary step?”

“Very deeply concerning, Jim,” said Kirby. “Again, we’re talking about an administrative review process. The Navy SEALs do this all the time, and people get their trident pins revoked for much less than what Gallagher has not only been alleged to have done, but actually convicted of doing, and here’s the other thing, Jim, there are three other SEALs that are going through this same review process on their trident pins as Gallagher was, those three other SEALs that were in the same photos. Now what does the Navy do about those guys? They don’t have high-paid lawyers. They don’t have the president or commander in chief weighing in on their behalf. But if they’re going to exonerate Gallagher for this same offense and let him retire with his trident pin, what do they do about those other three? And then, more, writ large, what message does this send to the SEAL community?”

“I want to get to that question, because this speaks to a broad range of behaviors here,” said Sciutto. “Again, I’ve spoken to military commanders and others who worry because they take the law seriously, right. They want soldiers on the battlefield, it is difficult, but follow the law. This goes to chain of command and discipline and goes to how U.S. allies see U.S. forces deployed abroad. You’ve dealt with these issues for years. Describe to people how, you know, the sort of odd fact that Gallagher stays and Spencer is gone now, how does the rank and file read that?”

“I think there’s some worrisome conclusions that some in the rank and file might take away from this, that if you have a high paid lawyer, if the commander in chief is on your side, you can flout discipline,” said Kirby. “Yesterday, Gallagher was on Fox & Friends disparaging Rear Adm. Green, the commander of the SEAL forces. That was an incredible moment. There’s going to be real concern by commanders across the force about what this says for their ability to execute good order and discipline inside their ranks. Also, you brought it up just briefly in what you said, Jim, there’s a message here to allies and partners, if we exonerate this kind of behavior, if we’re able to whistle past that graveyard, how can they trust when they have American boots on their ground conducting operations in their countries, that we have the ability and the forthrightness to hold our troops accountable for what is, essentially, war crimes.”

Related: ‘Deadly Serious’: Read Fired Navy Secretary’s Scathing Letter in Wake of Trump’s Attacks on ‘The Rule of Law’

“I remember the deep concern after the Abu Ghraib scandal,” said Sciutto. “This is about how U.S. forces operate on the battlefield, and part of the soft power, of course, is that U.S. forces follow the law where others may not.”

“Follow the law, and stand for values that are greater than just ourselves,” agreed Kirby.

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Cops Called After COVID-Positive Palin’s Dinner Partner Allegedly Accosts Photographer

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Sarah Palin, who is unvaccinated and recently tested positive for COVID-19 three times, was caught dining out in New York City Wednesday evening. A credentialed news photographer was reportedly accosted after he asked her dining companions if they were “concerned” the Republican former governor “tested positive for COVID.”

One man stood up, walked over to the photographer, and according to the website Upper East Site, “roughed up a news photographer filming them dining outdoors.”

Palin, who is in NYC for her defamation case against The New York Times, waved at the photographer, but one of her dinner companions got up and repeatedly asked the journalist, “Are you looking for trouble?” as the video below shows.

“Are you going to hurt –?” the photographer replied, but then the camera shakes as if it had been knocked down, and the video ends.

Related: Sarah Palin Proudly Declares Herself a ‘White Common Sense Conservative’ – and Unvaccinated

“The unidentified, large man dining with Palin grabbed the victim’s fingers with both hands, wrenching and twisting them down, slamming the camera to the concrete, the photographer told Upper East Site.”

Police were called and an assault report was filed, Upper East Site reports.

Read the entire story here.

 

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Josh Hawley’s ‘Losing Fight’ Against Biden’s Supreme Court Nominee Mocked by Conservative Strategist

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Republicans will be making a political mistake if they seek to go all-in against President Joe Biden’s nomination to replace Stephen Breyer on the U.S. Supreme Court, a top GOP strategist explained on Friday.

Former George W. Bush White House speechwriter Marc Thiessen wrote in The Washington Post that “while Biden now gets to pick a justice, he is powerless to change the court’s ideological makeup.”

“The truth is, while every Supreme Court appointment is consequential, this will be the least consequential appointment in decades. So, Republicans should be gracious in victory, and let Democrats have their day,” he counseled.

His advice runs contrary to the approach of one GOP senator.

RELATED: Top Missouri paper calls on Senate to investigate Josh Hawley over his Jan 6th actions

“Already, Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is warning that if Biden “chooses to nominate a left wing activist who will bless his campaign against parents, his abuse of the FBI, his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, and his lawless vaccine mandates, expect a major battle in the Senate.” Here’s a better idea: Unless Biden appoints someone obviously unqualified, don’t pick a losing fight,” he wrote. “After all, the confirmation of Biden’s nominee is virtually assured. Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) have supported all of Biden’s judicial nominees, and it is difficult to imagine that they will treat this one differently.”

He urged Republican senators to treat the nominee “graciously.”

Read the full column.

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Palm Beach Lawmaker Sues Local Paper Over Attempt to Access Jeffrey Epstein Records

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The Palm Beach Post is reporting that the local County Clerk of the Courts is asking the courts to make the paper pay the legal fees he incurred while blocking attempts to access grand jury records related to a 2006 Jeffrey Epstein investigation.

Getting right to the point, the Post’s Jane Musgrave wrote, “Despite insisting he wants the public to know why serial molester Jeffrey Epstein escaped serious punishment 15 years ago, Palm Beach County Clerk of Courts Joe Abruzzo wants to punish The Palm Beach Post for trying to open secret records that could do just that.”

As the report notes, Abruzzo employed the Tampa law firm belonging to Shane Vogt to fight the request at a cost of $32,794 and, in a motion before Circuit Judge Donald Hafele, seeks double that plus additional costs.

At issue are the grand jury transcripts that the Florida lawmaker successfully kept away from the paper.

RELATED: Jeffrey Epstein’s secret $500K settlement revealed in Prince Andrew legal dispute: report

Explaining the Post’s case, Musgrave wrote, “The newspaper went to court after records showed only one teen was called to testify to the grand jury even though dozens told police Epstein sexually abused them at his Palm Beach mansion.”

“Further, sources familiar with the grand jury proceedings said the 14-year-old girl was vilified by state prosecutors,” she added. “Rather than focus on her claims of abuse, lieutenants for then-State Attorney Barry Krischer quizzed her about her online social media posts where she talked about drinking and boys, they said.”

The report continued, “In court papers, The Post’s attorneys argued that releasing the records would reveal what happened and whether Krischer bowed to pressure from Epstein’s high-octane defense team.”

You can read more here.

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