The Navy has been denying reports that charges may be filed against Lt. Commander Timothy White, who returned fire against Chattanooga jihadi Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez with a weapon he was not supposed to have. However, several sources insist such charges have been seriously considered, including one of the contenders for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, Jim Webb, who formerly served as secretary of the Navy.
Navy charging LCDR Tim White w/ a crime for trying to defend our sailors & Marines in #Chattanooga? He deserves a medal, not an indictment.
— Jim Webb (@JimWebbUSA) August 2, 2015
Webb insisted that his office “confirmed with a defense official that the Navy was seriously considering charging LCDR Timothy White” before posting his tweet. Webb said the charge would be “illegally discharging a firearm on federal property”–in other words, violating the “gun-free zone” that did absolutely nothing to thwart the Abdulazeez rampage.
Former Republican Congressman and military veteran Allen West has heard the same from his own sources, and said he was in the process of communicating with Lt. Commander White personally. West had strong words for the Navy brass:
What kind of freaking idiots are in charge of our Armed Forces–pardon me, our “unArmed Forces”? What would they prefer that Abdulazeez had been able to kill all the Marines and Sailors at the Naval Support Reserve Center? Let me draw an interesting contrast: Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus is more concerned about lifting the ban on transgendered Sailors. Mabus has a problem in that for the first time since 2007 the US Navy will not have a Carrier Battle Group operating in the Persian Gulf. But this knucklehead has no problem with the Navy seeking to destroy the career of a Sailor, a commander of an installation, returning fire against an Islamic jihadist attack. I do not care if it was his personal weapon, he deserves a medal for facing the enemy.
Folks, this has become the Obama military that will not implement policies for our men and women in uniform to be protected — but will punish them if they do protect themselves. What ever happened to the Navy of John Paul Jones, Farragut, Halsey, and Nimitz? What has happened in our America where we believe that our men and women in uniform — especially the commanders — are just targets for these damn Islamic jihadists?
The confused muddle of denials emanating from the Pentagon makes it painfully clear Webb and West are correct. Charges have not been filed yet, and a formal investigation has not been launched, but clearly, they are under serious consideration. The denials simply point out that no one has been charged yet.
For example, the Navy’s initial Facebook response was, “Stories of Navy personnel being charged with an offense are not true. There is still a long way to go in reviewing the facts of this tragic incident, but at this time we can confirm no service member has been charged with an offense.”
By Sunday, Fox News had the word of a Navy official that charges against Lt. Commander White could not be “completely ruled out.” Every other official response involves repeating the Facebook post that states “there is still a long way to go in reviewing the facts,” usually word-for-word.
A “senior defense official” also told Fox News that it was “extremely unlikely” White would face charges … but then the same official offered these thoughts on the investigation that still has such a long way to go: “Even if remote, is there a chance [White] contributed to the chaos and got people killed? Hurt police efforts? We are exploring that.”