Eddie Gallagher

Excerpt

The case of Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher, which ultimately resulted in the firing of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, should have been handled differently. The prosecution mishandled the case, President Donald Trump intervened prematurely, and the Navy secretary got caught between trying to do the right thing, an unorthodox president, and keeping the defense secretary in the loop.

Brett Crozier is not reinstated

Excerpt

“Everyone up and down the chain of command had a role to play in the inadequate response – including then-Acting Secretary of the Navy [Thomas] Modly,” Smith said of the former Navy official who fired Crozier before stepping down himself. “The department’s civilian leadership portrayed Capt. Crozier’s decision-making aboard the Roosevelt as the critical weakness in the Navy’s response, but the truth is that civilian leadership was also to blame.”

Fired

Excerpt

Thomas Modly had been on the job for just over four months after his predecessor, Richard Spencer, was forced out amid a disagreement with President Trump over the handling of the Eddie Gallagher case. This week, Modly came under intense pressure to resign due to his handling of the situation on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier that quickly went from having three COVID-19 cases to hundreds among a crew of nearly 5,000 sailors after a port visit to Vietnam in early March.

Military props

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President Trump has demonstrated, time and again, that he has no qualms about using the military to advance his personal political ends. He routinely stages uniformed personnel as props for partisan speeches. He treats deployments like political theater, as when he dispatched elements of the 82nd Airborne to the southern border to stoke fears of an immigrant invasion. And he undermines discipline and unit cohesion, pardoning war criminals convicted by military juries.