Justice for Warriors Caucus Urges Trump to Help Three Veterans Wrongfully Charged with War Crimes

In this Sept. 21, 2019, photo, released by the U.S. Army, a U.S. soldier oversees members of the Syrian Democratic Forces as they demolish a Kurdish fighters' fortification as part of the so-called "safe zone" near the Turkish border. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Goedl via AP)
U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Goedl via AP

“The only person who can fix this is the president,” said Army Sgt. Derrick Miller on Thursday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight, calling on President Donald Trump to clear three former members of the U.S. military: former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, former Army Green Beret Maj. Matt Golsteyn, and former Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Eddie Gallagher.

Miller, executive director of the Congressional Justice for Warriors Caucus and military adviser to Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), joined Breitbart News Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour and special guest host Sonnie Johnson following a report from Fox News’ Pete Hegseth regarding Trump’s intent to take “imminent” action on the aforementioned cases.

LISTEN:

According to CNN, Defense Secretary Mark Esper will advise Trump against dismissing or changing the sentences of military servicepersons accused of “war crimes.”

Lorance was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment — later reduced to 19 years — in 2015 following his murder conviction related to the deaths of two Afghan men in 2012. Army Times reported:

On July 2, 2012, Lorance, who had just taken over as a platoon leader, and his soldiers were on a foot patrol alongside Afghan soldiers when three men on a motorcycle approached the patrol, according to news reports and a website set up in Lorance’s defense.

Prosecutors said Lorance violated the military’s rules of engagement when he ordered his soldiers to shoot the men on the motorcycle. Two of the men were killed and the third ran away.

Lorance was convicted of two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. The jury found him not guilty of making a false official statement.

In 2018, Trump said he would review Lorance’s case.

In December 2018, Goldsteyn was charged with murder in the death of a Taliban bombmaker during a 2010 Afghanistan deployment. He pleaded not guilty, with his court-martial scheduled for December 2.

While interviewing with the CIA in pursuit of a post-military career, Goldsteyn admitted to killing a Taliban bombmaker. CIA interviewers relayed this information to Army investigators, who then charged him with murder.

In July, Gallagher was acquitted of six charges — including alleged murder of a wounded ISIS terrorist and shooting at civilians — when a jury in a San Diego-based military court found him not guilty. He was convicted, however, of one count of appearing in a photo with the terrorist’s corpse. “The jury reduced his rank from chief petty officer to petty officer 1st class, or from an E-7 to E-6,” reported the San Diego Union Tribune.

Gallagher’s family asked Trump to restore the retired Navy SEAL’s rank. “Restoring Eddie’s rank is a sign of true leadership and shows how much the president cares about the men and women fighting on the ground — and how wrong the bureaucratic brass of the Navy has been throughout this entire farce of a case,” they said in a statement to Fox News.

Miller described the rules of engagement for soldiers in combat as more restrictive than those for domestic law enforcement.

“Soldiers on the battlefield have less of an ability to defend themselves than police officers here in the United States,” determined Miller. “You would never tell a police officer he has to have a round fired at him before he can defend himself. It just can’t happen like that. And when you think about the fact that if the enemy fires a shot, that’s potentially one son or daughter — one other soldier — who is not coming home. And for us, as warriors, that is unacceptable.”

Miller continued, “We live or die — we fight for the person next to us and for our people back home — and to work under those conditions is unreasonable. It’s unthinkable, and the president, thank God, has stepped up and said that he is going to fight for us just like we fought for our country.”

Judge advocate (JAG) officers abusing their power in wrongfully prosecuting military servicepersons “essentially [become] a tool of the Taliban,” assessed Miller, in that they take highly-trained special operations [soldiers] “off the battlefield by falling prey to propaganda.”

“We need the president to step in, because the military has obviously done a disservice to us as warfighters, people who they put in harm’s way, and they’ve taken steps to violate our rights by not giving us proper and fair trials,” Miller said. “The only person who can make a difference is President Trump.”

“We’ve let people out of Guantanamo. We heard less push-back for detainees and insurgents being let go out of Guantanamo than [for] our soldiers who went forward to defend our Constitution and our freedom and are being unjustly confined,” Miller added. “Hopefully — fingers crossed — the president will take steps to disapprove the findings of guilt or commute the sentences of some of our other warriors.”

Miller continued, “We need the American people to call the White House switchboard. Let them know that we support the president taking action t correct this broken military justice system.  The White House switchboard number is 202-456-1414. Please call in and let them know that you support the president supporting us as warfighters.”

Gohmert joined fellow congressman Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) in calling on the president to “come to the aid [of] American heroes” in a column titled, “War Crimes Charges Against 3 Military Combat Veterans Should Be Thrown out by Trump.”

Breitbart News Tonight broadcasts live on SiriusXM Patriot channel 125 weeknights from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern or 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific.

Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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