Opinion

Rights Trump Wrongs

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Posted: Nov 19, 2019 12:01 AM
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Rights Trump Wrongs

Source: AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Friday was a historic day for those who support and defend our rights and who volunteer to go in harm's way on our behalf - Our Nation's Warriors.

Each of the hundreds of thousands of people associated with United American Patriots, regardless of political leaning, is elated President Trump righted the wrongs faced by 1LT Clint Lorance, MAJ Matt Golsteyn, and Chief Eddie Gallagher.   

In each of these cases and many others, there is clear evidence of unlawful command influence, prosecutor misconduct, and improper investigative actions. 

Those media pundits, politicians, and even military general officers who sound off in disagreement, spouting moral platitudes about how President Trump's actions send a "bad signal," will undermine the military justice system, or negatively impact good order and discipline within the Armed Forces, are simply highlighting their own level of ignorance regarding each of these cases.  

Our service members take an oath that states: “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Among other things, our Constitution specifically serves to protect the rights of every individual American citizen.

Whether it be free speech, protection from unwarranted searches and seizures, due process, impartial and fair trials, or excessive punishment, the Constitution is the defining document that separates American citizens from the rest of the world. It’s the founding accord that has produced the greatest country on the face of the Earth. Many have served and some have died protecting it and the associated lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of hundreds of millions both at home and abroad.

The implicit presumption made by our service members, while performing heroic, selfless, and, at times, near-miraculous acts of valor to uphold their oath to our Constitution, is that they themselves will be afforded its benefits.

Unfortunately, all too often, that is not the case.

We at United American Patriots review far too many cases where Warrior's Rights have been violated and honorable servicemembers face wrongful accusations of "war crimes" which lead to unjust convictions.

Whether motivated by politics, self-preservation, or personal promotion, confessions by the accused are coerced; enemy combatants lawfully killed by our Warriors are labeled as "unarmed civilians;" forensic experts with exonerating forensic evidence are dismissed and silenced; witnesses are intimidated and manipulated; attorney-client privilege is violated; exculpatory evidence is withheld from juries; known enemy combatants are used testifying against our Heroes - some enemy combatants have even been flown in to America, given an opportunity to testify, and then taken to Sea World prior to being flown back home and set free in Afghanistan (yes this really happened). 

What is worse, senior military leaders make false and inappropriate statements publicly and to Members of Congress to protect their careers and the perception of the institutions they represent as opposed to upholding the Constitution and defending the individual rights of our Warriors.

Putting on display American values, such as due process, the presumption of innocence, and the rights of the accused should be the concern of our military commanders and their civilian leaders, not incarcerating our Warriors to prove political correctness or appease false allegations by foreign leaders. Military service members do not just defend the Constitution and swear to support it, they live it and their actions prove it.

The Founding Fathers granted the President of the United States the “power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses…” Since President George Washington, tens of thousands of pardons have been granted.

The actions by President Trump to grant full pardons to 1LT Clint Lorance and MAJ Matt Golsteyn and restore the rank to Chief Gallagher is a clear warning to any commanders who consider siding with political correctness, self-preservation, or personal promotion over the wellbeing of our Warriors, it will no longer be tolerated.  

The "presumption of innocence" will be maintained and the Rights of our Warriors will be preserved - that is what fosters and reinforces good order and discipline amongst warfighters.  

I respectfully welcome any opportunity to discuss or debate the specifics of each of the above-mentioned cases, or any other case with which United American Patriots is involved, face-to-face with any media pundit, politician, general officer, etc.

I will acknowledge, after reviewing all the details associated with each of these warrior's cases, it is possible a few may still be convinced these Warriors are guilty of some wrongdoing. 

However, no one will be able to deny each had their Rights violated. 

We celebrate President Trump's decisions on behalf of 1LT Lorance, MAJ Goldsteyn, and Chief Gallagher and will continue to fight so that all those who continue to defend our rights, or who have in the past, know we will defend their rights… especially when they engage in combat against those who strive to strip each of us of all our rights.

Our Warrior’s Rights trump any wrongdoing.

Semper Fi,

David "Bull" Gurfein

LtCol, USMCR (Ret.)

CEO, United American Patriots