Letters for July 3, 2019

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The Macon County News letters page is a public forum open to a wide variety of  opinions. Letters are neither accepted nor rejected on the basis of the opinions expressed. Writers are asked to refrain from personal attacks against individuals or businesses. Letters are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of the publisher, editor or staff of The Macon County News. Email letters to maconcountynews@ gmail.com.

Combat vet’s message: If you send us, back us 

Captain Roger Hill – Guest Editorial

Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher is a highly decorated veteran and war hero who has led our military’s special operators in the most extreme of modern-day combat. Navy prosecutors have stacked a number of charges against Eddie to include the murder of an ISIS fighter, attempted murder for allegedly shooting an old man and a child, and other crimes tied to what military prosecutors said was an ongoing attempt to obstruct justice. If you are like me, you probably have little concern for the enemy fighter that was “murdered” and believe that whoever did the “murdering” deserves a round of applause – end of story. 

This “most egregious” charge brought forth by the prosecution is an oxymoron unto itself. “Premeditated murder of an ISIS fighter” Let that sink in, I mean come on, really? How is it even possible to charge a Navy SEAL with the murder of an ISIS fighter, and in a combat zone? And as I understand it, that fighter was the lone survivor out of dozens that were killed when the U.S. dropped a bomb on an ISIS compound. Were the other fighters left in the compound murdered as well? If no one is denying that the man killed was an ISIS fighter, then the sooner he was killed, that is once U.S. forces were able to glean intelligence from him, the better. I think it is worth noting that this “special” group of Navy prosecutors/investigators has likely never seen combat themselves but for the video games they play on the weekends which ironically, are modeled after men like Eddie. 

Like Eddie, I faced going to prison for doing my job as an infantry commander in Afghanistan. My book “Dog Company, A True Story of American Soldiers Abandoned By Their High Command” (2018, Foreword by Sean Hannity) details the costs to our troops when our government allows political correctness onto the frontlines of battle. I believe we are seeing the same tragic scenario play out with Eddie and the SEAL community. And based on my personal experience, it is likely that several of the charges brought against Eddie were fabricated by investigators. Our military even trains their investigators to assume/imply guilt and use what is known as the “Reid technique” to purposely deceive their fellow service members. We’ve already seen this unethical behavior at play in this case. While in custody, the investigators spied on Gallagher to steal his cell phone passcode so that they could unlock his cell phones without his consent. It is well known in legal circles that this particular breed of prosecutor/investigator is incentivized to find, sensationalize, and win cases to build names for themselves, regardless of the cost. 

Rather than presuming innocence until proven otherwise, the Navy locked Chief Gallagher up for the better part of a year while they investigated him, unnecessarily placing him and his family under extreme duress and scrutiny for the sake of specter. That is until they went to trial and Gallagher’s own teammate, who was granted immunity as a witness for the prosecution, testified that he himself ended the life of the ISIS fighter in question, thus clearing Gallagher of the premeditated murder charges. I am encouraged to see that the wet napkin of political correctness hasn’t completely enveloped all echelons of the Navy’s rank structure. My hat’s off to the team medic who stepped up and ensured that some semblance of justice was administered at the most appropriate level. That is of course, at the team level, and by the men who knew, saw, and walked a mile in Eddie’s boots. Please know that by testifying as he did, Petty Officer Scott has very likely ended his own career. He’s as much a hero as anyone I have known or read about. 

A couple of questions/observations:

Question: Why was our mil/govt so quick to humiliate and scapegoat an American war hero like Chief Gallagher and for so long? And why is there such a vacuum of leadership at the upper echelons of the military in dealing with such issues? 

Answer: Cowardice in the ranks, both in our government and in the higher echelons of the military, period. 

Question: Is our mil/govt going to bring charges against past presidents and other senior officials for the all but indiscriminate drone strikes that killed, I’m sorry, correction, “murdered” thousands of innocent civilians since the war’s start? 

Answer: No, next question. Move along, there’s nothing to see here. 

Question: Who is going to pay for the protection detail that is needed to keep the Gallagher family safe now that many of their identities have been publicly disclosed and who in our government will work to ensure an equal/greater amount of publicity is generated to restore Chief Gallagher’s and his family’s name? Will the mil/govt compensate the Gallagher family for their troubles? 

Answer: No one. No. The Gallagher family is SOL. 

If we are going to send our men and women in uniform to these God forsaken never-ending conflicts of which no one in our government (or senior military) can articulate a purpose or end state, then how can that same mil/govt Monday morning quarterback the failures they set in motion and continue to perpetuate without consequences to themselves? 

For every Eddie Gallagher (or Clint Lorance, Derrick Miller, John Hatley, Michael Behenna, the men of Dog Company, etc.) the mil/govt persecutes, there should be hundreds of mil/govt leaders pulled in alongside him. In my eyes, those leaders are just as, if not more culpable, for the alleged mishaps/collateral in war, especially in this war. If the decision maker isn’t going to be held accountable, then nor should the service member. 

Just think of what our military would be like if the Chief Gallaghers of our great nation stopped raising their right hands to “support and defend.” What does this trend mean for our readiness, and long term? I think we all know the answer. This is killing our military’s morale and readiness. 

As a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, my request/message is simple. If you send us, then please back us, and force those we elect to do the same. And by the way, Eddie’s case is far from over; nor is Clint’s, Derrick’s, John’s, Michael’s, and the list goes on. Please follow their cases and others like them. 

Mueller can hold his own under cross-examination

For the last several weeks I have been writing members of the U.S. House and Senate, singling out Republicans especially (but also writing Democrats and Independents), encouraging House members to begin the process of impeaching President Trump and Senate members to try the President, find him guilty and remove him from office.

After writing some 40-50 senators and representatives during May and June, I have received only one reply (as of June 30), that from our own Congressman, Mark Meadows, (Republican, 11th District).

Congressman Meadows thanked me for contacting him of my concerns regarding President Trump’s policies and the impeachment criteria, and he further assured me my opinion was heard. Using very few words, Congressman Meadows convinced me that he has a full and clear understanding of the impeachment process.

One line in his letter, however, does concern me greatly.   He stated, “I am committed to working on your behalf to hold the President accountable and maintain the Constitutional balance of power between Congress and the President.”   Of this I am not entirely convinced, allow me to tell you why.

As has ben widely reported throughout the nation (including The Week Magazine, July 5) House Democrats persuaded Robert Mueller to testify in a public session of Congress. The former special counsel agreed to appear on July 17 in back-to-back hearings before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees.

While Mueller will be asked about Russian interference and a letter he sent Attorney General William Barr about Barr’s mischaracterization of the report, it is believed he is unlikely to address directly whether he thinks there is sufficient evidence to charge President Trump with obstruction of justice.

Enter, stage far right, Representative Mark Meadows (R/NC), and still Chair (so far as I know) of the Freedom Caucus.  Republicans too, have questions for Mueller, particularly about alleged bias among his investigators. “Mueller has not been subject to cross-examination,” Meadows said, “He will be now.”

It appears more than clear to me that Congressman Meadows is far less concerned with holding the president accountable and maintaining a balance of power than he is protecting the president by investigating the investigators.

However, the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees are in the capable hands of Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D/10th/NY) and Adam Schiff (D/28th/CA), and Robert Mueller has proven himself more than capable of holding his own in any situation.

So unless President Trump finds a way to derail the hearings on the 17th of July, Robert Mueller’s testimonies may prove more than Trump bargained for. In any case, my trust and confidence is on the Marine.

  David Snell – Franklin, N.C.

Great men meet extraordinary challenges

Admiral Halsey said, “there are no great men, only the extraordinary challenges they are forced to meet.” During WWII he was one of my heroes.  And now President Trump has become one of my heroes and stands for what we’ve worked so hard to preserve.  Freedom and liberty to choose whatever station in life we are willing to work for and to freely speak our beliefs without fear or censorship. 

For the first time we have the Socialists and Communists working hard to take over our country and converting what we all used to know as the Democratic Party.  The real Democrats are fading fast.

Not since the Civil War when the Republicans fought and died to free the slaves have we seen such hatred spewing from the Dems.  

Standing up to this is an un-bribable non-politician who has brought no nonsense simple basic logic and reason to the forefront and that man is Donald J. Trump, an American hero of today.

In return the Dems have stirred up racial hatred, lied to Black Americans and Latinos, to the point people have to be careful about wearing the MAGA hat lest they get beaten up, spit on or insulted in public.  It’s gotten so bad Sarah Sanders has to have a police escort to eat at a restaurant.  

The Dems have stirred up the lowest of the low and appealed to the worst of human instincts of jealousy and envy.

In return the Dems, mostly now recognized as Socialists, have promised a land of Sugar Plums and Fairies with government jobs for everyone and free everything.

The Bernie Sanders ideology, and probably AOC as well, is what can be referred to as an “administrative government” and this is when an unaccountable, unelected, bureaucracy makes laws instead of elected politicians.  One must wonder whether bureaucrats or politicians take in more bribes from lobbyists? In short, they run the country and you just obey. Government by administration by people who at least think they are smarter than you.  After all, could five million bureaucrats possibly be wrong about how you should run your life?

Politics was always about electing someone to represent us but now it’s just about gaining power and none of them keep promises.

In fact President Trump quickly broke the rules by keeping his promises and this has infuriated both parties. 

California Governor Newsome and several Leftist recently reported the Republican Party is dead and buried.  They might be right if only because of the garbage piled on them. 

Heck, the easiest way we can become a dictatorship is to get rid of the opposition and the Dems are working hard to get rid of the Republicans.

Now the Left is criticizing President Trump for not sucker punching President Xi or Putin and one must assume Hillary would have done so.  Keep in mind a president does not investigate problems such as hacking into our elections because that is up to the CIA and FBI.

In the meantime, our president is fighting for us and is a hero.

Bob Wilson – Franklin, N.C.

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