Michael Bloomberg Joins 2020 Field; Navy, President Trump Clash
From NPR WVU ARE BOSTON. I'm Sasha Pfeiffer and this is on point Defense Secretary Mark Esber fired navy. Maybe Secretary Richard Spencer yesterday. That's the latest turn in the dramatic story of Navy Seal Edward Gallagher who had been accused of war crimes. President trump intervened Wien on behalf of Gallagher and to similar cases Navy secretary. Spencer reportedly tried to negotiate a side deal with the White House to let gallagher keep his title but still still face potential discipline then. More chaos ensued. Trump's critics say by getting involved in the case he has undermined military authority and greenlighted bad behavior savior by US troops but trump supporters. Say that as commander in chief. He calls the final shots in the military this hour point upheaval in the navy and whether it was right right for trump to step in but first news from the campaign trail former New York City mayor and billionaire. Michael Bloomberg is officially running for President in twenty twenty. He's obviously a late entrant to the race and to make up for lost time. He plans to bypass early voting states and go all in on Super Tuesday to get us up to speed. We have national political reporter four Politico Elena Schneider Online Elena. Thanks for coming on me and Elena. I WANNA start off by playing a clip from Saturday. Night live this weekend. This is when Michael Boo Gruenberg crashes into the already crowded democratic debate stage and here's Melissa Venus senior as MSNBC host Rachel maddow and also former SNL cast. Remember Fred Bloomberg. Did somebody say billionaire mayor. Dan How did you get here. We'll I tipped the doorman thirty million dollars officially running for president. Oh I don't know maybe okay. The maybe not. It'd be hard to be Elena. Schneider Bloomberg is a multi-billionaire went estimate is fifty billion. I believe that's more than Donald. Trump's it's not worth and that that wealth is both an advantage and disadvantage to Michael Bloomberg in this race. Tell us a little bit about that aspect. Well certainly. His wealth gives him the ability to you. Run A presidential campaign starting at the end of November When voting in Iowa starts just in a couple of months and so certainly he's been able to scramble this primary primary by dropping even in the last couple of days? Thirty five million dollars on television ads across the country that Your listeners may have already seen on their televisions introducing himself as a business leader. Somebody who can bring him a moderate Lane to this party and can be Donald Trump on business credentials and and and that sort of leadership and so I think that in that sense certainly gives him an advantage because he is the only candidate. WHO's in a position to do that? But on on the flip side of that he comes with the real foil for two leading candidates in this Race Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders both of whom who railed consistently against Corruption in politics talked about billionaires and millionaires buying influence in Washington and a lot of ways Michael Bloomberg presents a perfect foil for them in that argument. That's right in fact Bernie. Sanders has wade into say. Here's another white male millionaire billionaire trying to buy the election so that's a that's a point of attack for them onto him right and look at this point doesn't look like he's is going to be trying to even make the debate stage because he will not be accepting donations which is a an element requirement for DNC To appear on the DNC DNC stage is to have a certain number of contributors. So we may not see them sort of going after each other on a debate stage but we certainly are going to see more at an escalating attacks between gene and among these candidates because they sort of present as I said perfect foils for each other in both senses both for Michael Bloomberg being able to say that these plans are unrealistic that he can actually get these things done versus Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Who are both going to say as you said Say He's buying his way into this election and it seems that one of Bloomberg selling points is that he presents a moderate option to Democrats or anyone who is who wants to vote for anyone but donald trump but maybe feels that the entire democratic portfolios portfolios. So far doesn't offer them someone. They can be enthusiastic about it. He basically saying I am that modern alternative. Tell us a bit about why he thinks he's that person right. So Michael Bloomberg very publicly considered considered getting into the presidential race back last spring and once Joe Biden former vice president Joe Biden decided to get into this ultimately Bloomberg pulled back and didn't end ended up getting in last spring. I you know based on our reporting because he thought somebody like Joe Biden would take up too much space in that area in terms of providing themselves house as a moderate alternative to people like Warren and Sanders. But as we've seen Joe Biden has stumbled and has not been able to hold onto many consistently still to leading national polls but has backslid in terms of the amount of support that he's been able to maintain and so people like Mayor Michael Bloomberg. See that as an opening where you know if Joe Biden cannot hold onto that mantle that. Maybe there's room for somebody like him to do that. But you know when I talked to voters in Iowa New Hampshire and even more broadly across the country. There's there's not a there's not a a huge interest in adding to the list of people who are running for President what I hear most consistently is people wanna see fewer people on that debate stage so that it's easier for them to actually make a decision here so it's GonNa be a real uphill battle for Michael Bloomberg to explain to voters why you know in this in this long menu of candidates that they could pick from from why he is the one who Who Getting in this late is the one that they should go and support? And what do you think his biggest selling point will be. Well I think that his he's he's. He's spent an enormous amount of money after his years as New York City mayor on issues like climate change and on gun control and and spending enormous sums of money backing acking candidates to try and change the makeup of Congress and state legislatures so he certainly has put his money where his mouth is in terms of the issues that he cares about and he also is the mayor. What's the mayor of of the biggest city in in in the country and certainly that presents a striking contrast to somebody like people to judge? Who is the mayor of South Bend? Indiana which is only about one hundred thousand people and He's certainly been able to galvanize a some of that. Sort of center left Area of the of the the primary that maybe have been less enthused about Joe Biden but find people should have a young fresh alternative that that Bloomberg can come in and say look. You know it's Nice that you you've you've led this the town but I've led an entire city and has a long record Of bringing out of business economic redevelopment in the city but obviously there that also then comes uh-huh with some real challenges Just last week he. He announced that he or apologized for his support. For Stop and Frisk very controversial Policing tactic that was using your Eric City that targeted at particularly people of Color in that city. So it's not without a doubt record also comes with a lot more questions for him. Elena Schneider Schneider. Schneider is a national political reporter for politico. We may be speaking with you again on the show in coming months as we follow this race. Thanks very much for talking with us about Michael Bloomberg entering the presidential race. Thanks for having me and now we are moving onto the chaos at the. US Navy joining us from Washington is Jeff Shogo. He's a Pentagon reporter for task and purpose which is military and veteran focused digital media company. You can link to his reporting at our website on Point Radio Dot Org Jeff. Welcome to on Point Hargeisa. Asha pleasure to be here and listeners. As we talk with Jeff and other guests this the rest of this hour we want. Hear what you think about this case whether Donald Trump should have intervened in this war crimes case involving a navy seal zeal whether having done so as his critics argue undermines military justice and perhaps gives a green light to a US troops who think they can behave badly and and be pardoned for Jeff in terms of just the basics this whole situation largely revolves around a navy seal named Edward Gallagher. Can you tell us what he was accused of. Convicted of acquitted of. It's a long story. He was accused of killing wounded isis fighter in Mosul in two thousand seventeen. I mean he was also accused of shooting at civilians An old man and young girl and going back to killing the alleged. Excuse me calling the ISIS fighter. He was accused of off posing for a picture with the corpse. Ultimately he was acquitted of murder and acquitted of shooting at the Iraqi civilians. He was convicted of posing housing with the picture and sense to be demoted. One rank but the president on November fifteenth ordered that he be restored to the rank and pay grade chief petty the officer one thing to keep in mind chief cowger has not been pardoned that conviction for posing with the With the corpse still stands then then we found out last week the navy was going to try to take away his seal. Trident the Trident is the insignia. The seals where it is the symbol of being in that elite community taking it away amounts to a public excommunication and on Sunday Chief Gal appeared on Fox News talking about this and what the defense secretary told reporters just this morning was that on Sunday the president told him that gallagher would keep his trident after all speaking of Fox is last month Fox and friends co host. Pete Hegseth sat down with a group of former us. Special operators including Edward Gallagher in an episode of Fox Nations Modern Warriors Hegseth asked Gallagher to respond to criticisms of navy culture. And here's part of Gallagher's answer. We do not have a problem. There are people in the community that are mistakes are made. That's it's been going on since the beginning of the military we take care of our own. Those mistakes are made. There shouldn't be knee-jerk reactions to you know either firing wieners or get rid of individuals in the military which may taking care of our own. Jeff Shaw goal in some ways. That seems to summarize what trump's perspective on this seems to be. He seems is to think that Edward Gallagher was caught up in the unpleasantness of war. The horror of war but maybe not intended to commit crimes and and they believe in mercy and second chances how would you summarize. Trump's position about Edward Gallagher in his actions when talking about trump's position it's impossible not to Say how how important Pete Hegseth has been to this process. He is says the Fox the Fox. Yes there's not only is he fox news personality. He is an informal presidential adviser and he has spoken numerous times with President trump about this. In fact on November Fourth Hegseth said he had spoken to the president who had told him he was going to Issue Clemency for Gallagher to other service members from the president's public comments. It sounds as though his philosophy on how you win. Wars wars fits in here that you win. Wars by killing as many of the enemy is possible. Something that's almost Sherman esque so With Pete Hegseth arguing that gallagher got a raw deal from the Military justice system the president's Sprang to action. He lent his personal attorney Ernie to Represent Chief Gallagher. He also ordered that Gallagher be released from pretrial confinement and when gallagher was acquitted for murder. The president tweeted glad. I could help and in the past few months. Trump has either said or tweeted. I'll read some of them. Says we teach them meaning our troops had to be great fighters and then when they fight sometimes they really get treated very unfairly he also said we train our boys to be killing machines then prosecute them when they kill so his position seems to be. Let's let's keep that in perspective we we need to take a brief break but hang on with us and we actually have Edward Gallagher's lawyer with us on the show. We're going to hear his perspective as well. Jeff show goes a Pentagon reporter for task and purpose military veteran focused digital media company. We're talking about the war. Crimes Case Involving Navy Seal Edward Gallagher in Donald Trump's intervention that which ultimately led to the termination of Navy Navy secretary. This weekend I'm Sasha for this point to stay with us I know we'd all love the holidays to be this happy stress-free joyful time but let's be real that is not always the case. NPR's Life Kit is answering your holiday questions and helping you. Navigate family dynamics all season season-long new episodes every Tuesday and Thursday. Listen and subscribe to Live Kit all guides this is on point. I'M SASHA PFEIFFER we're taking look at the war crimes case of Navy Seal Edward Gallagher and how that ultimately led to the firing this weekend of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer listeners. Please join this conversation. Asian and in particular military veterans or members of the military. What is your take on this upheaval at the top of the military what should affair disciplinary process? Look like for for members of the military. If you're in the military you disagree with something that a commanding officer tells you is your only choice to resign. Can you ever justify disobey find find us on twitter and facebook at on point radio. I'm with Jeff. Shogo a Pentagon reporter for task and purpose and military focused media company. Also joining us now from Washington is Timothy Parliamentary. He's an attorney for chief. Petty Officer Edward Gallagher. The navy seal at the center of this and Timothy Tori is a former naval officer himself timothy. Welcome to on point point. Thank you for having me. Can you talk to us about. There's been a lot of activity over the weekend as you know. This ultimately led to the resignation yesterday. Take the Navy secretary as you see it has this case played out the way it should in adjusted fairway. I the result. What is but the manner in which we've taken to get here Is is circuitous best. I mean this is the case right from the beginning was was just hopelessly infected by misconduct by the investigators misconduct by the prosecutors misconduct by the Naval Special Warfare Command and and while we were at each stage we had to fight hard to get the jury to see through all that to get the correct verdict Than Oh fighting to try and Get Him to keep his rank And then this final fight with the with the try to impede and In the the end the result is correct. But I can't say it was because the system work the way that it was supposed to laud lot of flaws we sitting the trident pen to sort of the signature insignia for seals and there was a move to try to take that away from Edward Gallagher. Donald Trump has said that Edward Gallagher will keep it and I do want to note. You're correct. This was a trial that rebel. That was very problematic and there was a military judge actually removed lead prosecutor because they felt like there was wrongdoing and how that trial was being conducted. But I want to Timothy Polidori. Focus on something you have said many times. which is that when you are in the military you do not disobey that if you cannot accept the the guidance of the commander in chief then you just need to leave that you don't rebel your resigned? Do you believe that truly the only option it is a lawful order. Yes yeah you can if it's a lawful awful order that has been publicly promulgated like that then you do have that obligation. Yeah you can discuss it. Ah with the with the commander in chief ahead of time or with whoever's issue in the order ahead of time but once you're commander makes decisions says this is what you're GonNa do you you execute it or you resigned disobey if it's an unlawful order unlawful orders entirely different scenario if you you know if your commanding officer tells you to go execute prisoners then you have an obligation to disobey the order Yeah that's the. That's the legacy of Nuremberg it. I was just following. Orders is not pets but if it's a lawful order executed. I want to play you a piece of sound from former. US Navy secretary. This is Ray Mavis. He served from two thousand nine to two thousand seventeen and the bomb administration he told. MSNBC last week that President Trump's pardons of in these cases of not just Edward Gallagher allegory. But to other officers were quote bad. Any way you look at it. Here's Ramos the message this sends to people is. You're not going to be held accountable. You can do whatever you want to you. There are no consequences for really bad axe and as I said it completely dishonors those Americans who have fought and many of them who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan without feeling the need to to do these these horrendous breaches of of of Law Timothy As Attorney for Edward Gallagher the navy seal. How do you feel about that quote by Mavis? I look this is a politician and he is obviously taking this This situation you didn't try to put a political spin on it and that's unfortunately one of the byproducts of of the politicization of this case obviously not having the president's involvement has been very helpful to us he was able to We were able to get out of prison and how he was able to participate suspended defense but the downside of the president's involvement is for a lot of people that's all on one side of the political the other it made it so that The facts were no longer relevant. And so they were more worried about the politics and And because Donald Trump supported at a gallagher therefore he must've yeah murdered women and children and therefore you should be in jail for the rest of his life and all these other crazy things That just because of their their hatred of the president. Now the problem with Secretary May Statement there is that it fails to take into account. What actually happened here? There are many many cases of so-called war crimes and there are several individuals who are currently serving life credit life sentences in Fort Leavenworth for that President trump did not make wholesale pardon of all of these cases instead he took very targeted action against very individualized cases cases So in the case of Michael Stain which hasn't gone to trial yet but it is a case that also so hopelessly infected with if with prosecutorial misconduct facing murder charges for a similar correct. And and that case because of the severe misconduct the prosecutors. The amount of time that's passed the quality of the evidence. You know what the President ended up doing. Their effect was despair. The the country from -pecially another high profile and highly embarrassing acquittal. Y- Timothy Proletarian the case. If you're trying Edward Gallagher. This is a case where members of his own platoon told commanders and investigators that they saw him shoot civilians and murderer wounded captive and in terms of posing with a corpse. Edward Gallagher never even denied that I I think for the people who are upset by trump's intervention they feel that there's a difference between giving a soldier the benefit of the doubt and then just excusing unacceptable illegal app ax six. We actually got a comment on our website. They don't WanNa read a woman a man. I think who writes I never in a million years would have thought I would see this in my lifetime. The president is literally elevating a war criminal over the chief of the US Navy. This is beyond the Pale. Someone stopped this man before it is too late. The wrong man resigned. Do you feel like this is a case where atrocities were forgiven. That should not have been well and this is exactly what I was talking about. Where that comment or is focusing more on yeah their hatred of the president than the actual facts in this case and even even your question you talk about how A couple of members of his not the whole platoon claimed aimed things that weren't true. They claim that he shot at civilians. Nobody who is actually in the same building with them ever saw him shoot at civilians. The people who claim this where people who are different buildings who initially thought that these people were shot by Isis. Not by Eddie Gallagher and those charges were so laughable that the jury actually asked the prosecutors afterwards. Why did you even include those because you make the whole thing look weak by comparison and because those charges were just so Baseless you know the as to stopping this isis prisoner. Yeah one guy in the and said he stabbed and killed him and yet you have another one who said he stabbed him but there was no blood. You have another person who said Yeah. He stabbed them but not in. The neck was in his inside of another person. WHO said I was there the whole time? He'd never stabbed them at all. And there's no stab wounds on the body if photographs of the body where if you stab somebody in the neck and kill them. This could be a whole lot of blood and none of the bloods there. There was no blood found on his knife. There's pictures of Eddie Gallagher. Right after. There's no blood on his arms. I mean I don't want to relitigate the case the jury saw through this but t to the bigger cluster to the bigger question whether this undermines military justice do you think it has that effect absolutely not big. I think that the the miss reporting of this is what has a potential undermine military justice. The idea that Eddie Gallagher is getting off with no punishment is a farce Eddie. Gallagher's children were dragged out of their house at gun point in their underwear and held at gunpoint on the side of the street and he gallagher was dragged out of TBI clinic on nine eleven thrown into jail surrounded by sex offenders where he had to stay for seven months he was then put into into a hospital and put on restriction that I had access to To real food that I had access to phone or computer to be able to participate in his defense offense He's lost A lot of money from his pay his rank was taken away from them and even though it was eventually restored The idea that he didn't suffer any punishment is is completely false. Timothy pilot error is tell me tell let me somebody who spends that much time in jail surrounded by sex offenders to where their kids have to wear robes to come visit them so that they don't arouse the other inmates and that person it hasn't suffered any punishment. I'M GONNA put that question to our next guest. And thanks to you Timothy Parlow Tori for coming on the show Timothy Proletariat is the attorney for Edward Gallagher who is the navy seal at the center of this war war crimes case. Thank you for coming on and I want to bring in Bradley Strasser. He's a professor of philosophy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California he teaches the ethics of warfare or fair to navy seals and other special forces cases Bradley Strasser. Welcome to the show under this is a case you have followed closely. We just heard Edward Gallagher's lawyer essentially say that it's Edward Gallagher. Who is is the victim? I'm GonNa let you feel better. What what's your reaction to what we heard from Edward Gallagher's lawyer Sasha Not Surprising that is Gallagher's lawyer. That is his job. I suppose as an attorney but it is disappointing Frankly kind of breathtaking to here in the same breath Mr pro-tory say that He believes the other people that politicize these cases in response to their quote unquote hatred of trump where it was the president himself who inserted himself into these cases while they were going on? publicly tweeting about them constantly weighing in as the commander in chief weighing in on an ongoing UCLA. J. Trial That's unprecedented and Frankly it's very damaging to our ideal of the military profession being a self-regulating autonomous profession. Tennis in terms of history in terms of the history of presidents interceding and military justice cases like this there certainly are examples of it all the way from Abraham Lincoln who President Obama. So how do you. Why do you think this one or do you think this one is different than past examples? People's I do. I think it significantly different in it. I should stress again. It's not just gallagher. The accident was taken last week was about gallagher was also regarding our major goals team. You mentioned attend as well as a first lieutenant. Lorraine's and look each one of these cases have their own piece of controversy in them they're complicated In some ways but remember that the profession of arms is one that hold itself to account under its own system of governance with the Uniform Code of military justice and so off. Three of these men were put on trial or we're going to be put went on trial in the case of Goldstein by other military members by their commanders by the people that served with them and they were going to be tried in jury in something both the two cases with the rain send gallagher where tried by jury of other military members For the president to come to intervene in that and affect the cases actually as they went on is frankly. It's a slap in the face to the honorable audible service of all of those service members who do not only serve and fight and war honorably and fight for the right way which is what we train our our military members to do. We do not train to them to be how did Donald Trump put it some kind of bloodthirsty killing machines or something like that some nonsense instead. They trained and proudly serve honorably. And they they have their own system accountability to hold themselves to account win. That is breached practice. Hold that thought because we have a number of callers. You WanNa win. Let's go to Cheryl calling from wrentham Massachusetts -Chusetts Cheryl welcome to on point in your thoughts about all of this high just a couple of comments as the mother of the navy officer. I can tell you. I am outraged by President Trump. Interfering in military justice this is pure political. Move by trump. He imagined that the enlisted off. The enlisted did Personnel are part of his base. And he will do anything to try and appeal to part of his base just like when he's tweeting about Hispanic judges it's an absolute atrocity for him to interfere military law. I also find it. Despicable to see chief Petty Officer Gallagher who was an active duty member on Fox News trying to undermine the rule of law in military command. It's just unprecedented to me to have someone undermining the officer in the navy sitting as an active duty member. It's it's atrocious Cheryl. Thank you for your call. Let's go to Fran who's calling from West Hartford Connecticut friend. Welcome to on point your thoughts about the navy seal warcrimes case of Edward Gallagher. Thank thank you. I'm sick of the knee jerk. Reaction About anybody that disagrees with trump is just a trumpeter. And that's it that being said I will tell. Democrats took relax about one thing. The fact is that the president being commander-in-chief has the right to pardon Somebody if he he wants to that says right. That's the law. So if we get over that my question is a veteran is this and I think it's very debatable about the presidency this judgment as far as it's not clear to me that I guess he has the right to say the guy can say in the navy if he wants to but whatever your opinions are on it the right that really surprises me is that he can say this guy who has never served can tell the Navy maybe that this guy has to remain as a CEO in an elite position when everything that is about that is not just the the draw the killing and all that but it's the honor and the the the ethics that you are required to meet the moral ethics. That's were the debate that part of it. And so you you know you're clearly saying as commander-in-chief trump is of course he has the right department. Do you feel like this was the right thing to do. Interceding seating in this case on transport. I don't look at it that way. Because whether he was right or not doesn't matter he has the right to so yes he he has the right to Fran. Thanks for your call. Let's go to Joe Calling from Melbourne Florida Joe. Welcome to on point your thoughts about this naval seal warcrimes case. Thanks for taking the call. I decided to call when I heard the attorney for Mr Gallagher Speak to a political response has nothing to do with. That is a marine. We're all trained to honor the Geneva Convention and and on around the battlefield. What troubles me? Most is the precedent that at this is set by Mr Trump. I completely agree with connotation I completely agree with mitigating circumstances. Outright murder can't be condoned the idea that if you I'm a first lieutenant and someone in my command comes with a complaint. I now have to worry that my promotional opportunities but be curtailed or enhanced. Bye Bye me letting something go forward because now. I know that the precedent has been set if my son commits murder on the battlefield. I now can claim well well. President Trump Excused imparting this person. This has been a slap to the face to every honorable person. Who's wanting and absolutely disgusted? And so you believe you believe this. Make other people in the military less likely to come forward and report what they think we're violations. There's ten percents of excuse me scumbags in every the organization and what this president has done is allowed people that think the way. He does that at the way he does now. He's basically spread that disease the armed forces and I'm so proud of Mr Spencer speaking Admiral Green for speeding up. Joe Thank you. Thank you for call. We have to go to brief break. Bradley Straw Sir of Naval Postgraduate School Monterey stay with US also Jeff Schobul of tasking purpose military focus media companies. Stay with us. I'm Sasha favor this is on point this is on point. I'm Sasha Joshua Pfeiffer we're looking at due process for Navy officers accused of war crimes in the highly publicized case of Naval CEO Edward Gallagher. His case led to the termination over the weekend of the. US Secretary of the Navy listeners joined the conversation. What message does this disputes into US troops? How America's partners abroad interpret this? Follow us on twitter and find us on facebook at on point radio. I'm speaking with Jeff Showgirl. He's a Pentagon reporter for task and purpose and military focused digital media company and Bradley Strasser. A professor of philosophy awesome via the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey and Jeff. You didn't get a chance to talk less break so I want to go to you. Because we listened to Edward Gallagher's lawyer Timothy Polidori basically saying this was a flawed trial. The evidence was not clear. I'm wondering if you if you believe that was true. was such a problematic trial. But that's getting lost. In this larger controversy it can be politely politely described as a a massive failure The the lead prosecutor was removed a month before trial after it I believe he personally sent sent out. SPYWARE TO ATTORNEYS and Navy Times editor Carl Prime without obtaining a warrant then their key witness for the prosecution acution testified on the stand that he killed the Isis fighter. Not Eddie Gallagher. And when I spoke with Mister Predatory later. He said it would have been better. Had the navy. Investigators asked this gentleman how the Isis fighter died. So it was yes. In fact back shortly after Gallagher was acquitted. The navy launched an entire review of the Judge Advocate General Corps and Naval Criminal Investigative Gate of service to find what the problems are because this is not the only case the navy has lost. They tried bringing charges against the commander of one of the ships involved in a collision and once again they the case fell apart largely because the navy's top admiral kept making statements that that the defense we're claiming we're instructions to the jury to convict this commander. So the the entire Navy justice system as a whole is deeply flawed. God I want to play a piece of sound that speaks to that. This is from one of the other military members who's been involved in one of these cases Army First Lieutenant Clint Lawrence. He actually served six years in prison before. President trump. Pardon him last week. He had been sentenced to nineteen years for second degree murder for ordering his troops to open fire on three men and Afghanistan. Stand in two thousand twelve. Those three men were not armed. Clinton ranch the army first. Lieutenant gave an interview to Fox News where he said he got a call a phone call from president trump himself. President trump is somebody that see something that's wrong and fixes it and doesn't care who it who is it hurts. And that's that's what I learned when I was talking to him on the phone and he he said something along the lines of he's like this is going to make a lot of people. You know irritated at me. But I don't care and to to tell you the truth. I mean small towns across America all those people that I just told you I love and we all love. They love that. That's what they want in their commander in chief. That's what I wanted to manage if somebody that will see something that's broken and fix it and Jeff and Bradley like issued a weigh in on this because on one hand we have you seen Jeff we hear from this this person that yes there are there are cases says where there have been flaws and prosecution. How do we then integrate that? With the larger issue of whether Donald Trump interceding here undermines military justice makes people feel that. We're saying our military can get away with warcrimes Bradley Strasser. Can you feel that when I yeah absolutely so getting into the details of all the different cases here that president trump pardoned on I think is actually the mistaken. They can misses the bigger picture of course as some of the caller said before the break does he have the legal right as commander-in-chief to do this of course the question is should he and what kind of damage that does to the sacred trust to so the civil military relationship in this country and I think it does quite a bit of damage. I mean people have to really be thinking here about. What does this say to those honorable soldiers and sailors who are willing to speak up and and had the moral courage to Challenge and bring these cases to trial in the court. Marshals more broadly than that it really challenges the ideal again that the military is a profession of arms arms the we trust to hold themselves accountable according to their own legal system of the UCS. J I mean think about something Mr Polidori has been going around saying he says that Admiral Oh calling. Greens recent attempt to start a process to possibly remove gallagher's trident. That's the symbol device that seals where to signify their part of the community. He said this was designed to humiliate gallagher. Well that's nonsense vindictive at all rather what we have. Is You have commanders. Great commanders leaders like Admiral Green. WHO's trying to bring good order and discipline and accountability and ethics is to his units to his command? And this is what we trust our military leaders to do and instead you have president trump intervening interfering in that it. Frankly is It's it's just an incredibly dishonorable action against the trust that we put in our military to hold themselves accountable in this way think also how this impacts our allies and their relationship with us our allies who we go to were with fight alongside with our NATO partners and all allies across the world who have signed onto the Geneva Conventions and international mandatory in law. We trust one another and the international community to hold our military as to account and when war crimes in these things do happen in war that we will self regulate within the profession of arms. President trump is now cost all that into question and I can't imagine the kind of impact have relationships with our allies who we go to war with and not to mention the least of which the impact this will have in the psychology of all of our soldiers think give a think of a soldier on the ground and a very tough situation maybe in the horrors of war. Maybe they've had a friend WHO's died. Maybe they're flooded with understandable human emotions of anger revenge things things like that and they have to make a really difficult decision in war. Well thankfully we have. We have tremendous training and leadership which will hold them accountable and and make sure they make the right decision after seeing this maybe now they may think well I can do whatever I want because the president will come in and pardon me. It's the this is really disgraceful. Turn of events for our civil military relationship much much broader than the details and the specifics of the complexities of any one of the cases. Let's go to a caller from Atlanta. Georgia this is wes. West Point in your thoughts about the war crimes. Case of Edward Gallagher the navy seal. Hi I'm I served to ask what they call doc in the Marine Corps In Vietnam Dr One of the things I'm an EMT in the field in combat and one of the things I observed was our military was Respectful of human life while dealing with the issues in combat. I fear very much that now. A combination of Fox News and the president will completely destroy destroy that context and we will now enter into a situation in which all you have to do is go on Fox News. No no matter what crime you've committed and you're GONNA get pardoned. That's absurd and extremely dangerous to our democracy and most importantly to our military west. Thank you for that call. I WANNA take another caller from Georgia. This one from Savannah and this is Omar Omar. Welcome to on point your thoughts about this war crime situation Lisa. How This this is I'll try and be concise. This is just a another example of a trump crashing through the guardrail of our our military and constitutionality. He's constantly saying that he loves the military. Well he started started out his campaign saying he knew more than all the generals disparage confidently a gold star. He ridiculed McCain even after he died and is referred to Mattis as the most overrated general in history and. Oh he's he's just A megalomaniac that is signed to control all aspects of government where past past presidents have respected the guardrail so to speak. And that's my Omar. Thank you for that and Jeff Showgirl task and purpose. I something you want to put to you which is in the letter yesterday yesterday. That the former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer wrote acknowledging that he had been fired. He wrote this in part he said the rule of law is what sets us apart from our adversaries. Good order. Indiscipline is what has enabled our victory against foreign tyranny. Time and again. Unfortunately it has become apparent that in this respect I no longer share the same understanding with commander-in-chief who appointed me and regards to the key principle of good order and discipline. I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the secret oath I took. I'm interested in that. Because because we heard Edward Gallagher's lawyer Timothy Tori talk about lawful versus unlawful orders. If this is a lawful order that trump has made but some people still consider it morally reprehensible do they truly have no choice in the military to be fired or resign. There's nothing they can do from within well before I answer that I'd like to say I'm not quite sure how to take secretary. Spencer's remarks ARCS. Because SECTOR ASPIRIN The Washington Post reported that Secretary Spencer had told President Trump that even though gallagher would go through this process process he would still keep his trident. So I'm still not quite sure how he wasn't able to comply with that. But when I've talked to senior commanders commanders. They've said that often that they can't resign because if their troops can't resign they can't so many times commanders. Commanders and senior positions will keep going even though they they feel the president no longer listen to them but officers are taught that if they are given a lawful order that they do not feel they can execute. They should resign and In this case that's what the secretary is is citing and it also sounds a lot like what former defense secretary James Mattis wrote in his resignation. Letter that he felt he could no longer serve the president. Let's go to a caller from Tampa Florida. This is Tom Tom. Welcome to on point and your thoughts as you listened to all of this sure. Thanks for taking taking my call For Seventeen and a half years I was in the army Retired as a major My son is Chief Warrant Officer Place Helicopters to the army now A couple of quick comments first of all. I'm astounded at all these people that are calling in on calls in saying that they were in the military and that they're appalled and all this Kinda China stuff that the commander in chief of the military as leader civilian Leader Civilian leadership of the military has done this. This is not the case at all. This guy was acquitted He was you know I heard a guy. Call him a murderer earlier on your show That he acquitted a murderer he. He was acquitted of all of those crimes. The crime was found guilty of was posing with a dead insurgent or terrorist Taking a picture with him. And I'm GonNa GonNa tell you that and it doesn't make it right. I'm just saying that that this happens all the time the problem I have with it is this is that we are now placing our our young soldiers in harm's way and requiring them to think like lawyers before they pull the trigger before they're in a situation where they realize they've got to make some decisions and that's not what they're there for their war fighters they were there to basically clean the battlefield gleaned that shaft of all of all of the negative stuff that's happening all the stuff that's coming their direction. Their job is to put that down. I am astounded. That someone would say that Yeah when you get out of the military going Fox News and the president of the United States is GonNa is GonNa come to your rescue. This is not the case. This isn't what happened here again. What I saw the reason I got out the reason I tried to keep my son from going in and he just wouldn't do it Wouldn't listen to me. Is that at this point. It appears as though most of the hierarchy of our military are becoming too to political it. It is one of these things where people are second guessing. What happens in the field all the time and and I can tell you I served with with other countries in environments where they still trust the guy on the ground? The people don't trust from our country or the the leadership. Tommy made a lot of points. Let me put this to Bradley Strasser who teaches the ethics of warfare Bradley Strasser. Could you respond to that. Yeah absolutely Sasha so well-respected well-respected callers Service I just have to strongly disagree. We are not trying to raise a bunch of warfighters where it's supposed to go out there and just clear the field rather we raise up honorable just where fighters and that's the proud moral and ethical tradition of the US military. And I think that trying to act if these are Eliezer somehow restricting time hands soldiers is is really again dishonoring the service service of the ninety nine point nine percent of men women who do serve honorably in this case look I. He mentioned convicted of murder. In fact one of the pardon cases it was the case Lieutenant Lieutenant Lorraine says Casey was convicted by trial of his peers. Other military members of them are and then the gallagher case the desecration of a Corpus. A big deal. It's a violation of international humanitarian law. And it is a war crime but look again. It's getting away from the real issue here. Think back to this. Most recent news about Admiral Green saying he wanted to start the process to look at possibly removing Edward Gallagher's tried and then this is the seals regulating themselves. And this isn't new. By the way a hundred and fifty four tried and seven pulled two thousand eleven. The idea is pretty simple. And it goes to the core of the trust between the civil authority in the military relationship. And that's that we trust the military to be a self regulating profession in other words. Let seals decide who gets to be a seal but president trump didn't allow that and wanted to intervene even on that most basic act of a commander whether that's the pardons with US actions about the Trident and so forth. This is exactly. I think why we see people like Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer. I should say former now resigning in protest. Let's get in one more caller. This is nick from Oklahoma City Oklahoma. Nick welcome to on point your thoughts. Hi thanks for taking my call I wanted to say that You know chief. Gallagher was not acting as chief when he's taking a picture with dead body not acting as a seal that time humble silent services what Cheese need to act in and he was not doing that he can have. It pulled it anytime. He doesn't uphold The actual tried any and smearing the names and the profession of all special operators. Nick thank you for that. I think your line is breaking up but I think thank you got your final point and thank you for that Dutt Jeff. SHOGO would finish for us. I'm wondering is there going to be continuing. Fallout or do we just move on the Navy secretary resigns or is fired. A new secretary comes in what what are the lasting consequences. Possibly every time. I think the story is over. It finds a way to continue. I thought it would be over today. But secretary expert brief briefed reporters and said that Yes the president had in fact ordered him to Make sure that she cowger kept his pin. So I fully expect that there will be continued fallout in ramifications of this. I have no idea what comes next. perhaps Some of the service members who received clemency will ask that the awards will be restored. And then there's a new fight over that and by the way we heard a caller earlier saying this was a political move by Donald Trump and some people have speculated that he thought it would enhance his standing with the military did that or divert attention away from the pavement inquiry. Any thoughts on the motivation for him to do this beyond. Perhaps tatum motivation. which is let's give? Let's give our officers a second chance. I'll let your listeners decide for themselves on his motivation but it is true. President trump trump is Does have a lot of respect. Among the junior enlisted in the military. He is very popular. That's Jeff Shogo. He's a Pentagon reporter for task and purpose. which is military and veteran focused digital media company and Bradley Strasser a professor of Philosophy at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey California he he teaches the ethics of warfare to Navy Seals and other special forces soldiers? He's also an author of of At least two blocks Bradley very very much for coming on the show and Jeff Shogo to you too to thank you listeners. You can continue to comment and find more information about Jeff's reporting and more information at our website on point radio DOT ORG. Thank you very much for staying with us. This hour also follow us on twitter and facebook at on point radio. I'm Sasha Pfeiffer this is on point.