In a blistering op-ed for the Washington Post, former U.S. Navy Secretary Richard Spencer is highly critical of the way President Donald Trump has handled military policy — especially when it comes to the case of U.S. Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.
“The case of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who was charged with multiple war crimes before being convicted of a single lesser charge earlier this year, was troubling enough before things became even more troubling over the past few weeks,” Spencer asserts.
Gallagher, Spencer notes, was “formally charged with more than a dozen criminal acts, including premeditated murder, which occurred during his eighth deployment overseas.” And by interfering in the matter, Spencer stresses, Trump showed a lack of understanding of how the United States military works.
“President Trump involved himself in the case almost from the start,” Spencer points out. “Before the trial began in March, I received two calls from the president asking me to lift Gallagher’s confinement in a Navy brig; I pushed back twice.”
Spencer (who was fired) wraps up his op-ed by emphasizing that when Trump doesn’t allow military justice to play out naturally, he sends a troubling messaging to the United States’ allies around the world.
“The public should know that we have extensive screening procedures in place to assess the health and wellbeing of our forces, but we must keep fine-tuning those procedures to prevent a case such as this one from happening again.” Spencer stresses. “More importantly, Americans need to know that 99.9 percent of our uniformed members always have, always are and always will make the right decision. Our allies need to know that we remain a force for good, and to please bear with us as we move through this moment in time.”