Happy Birthday, U. S. Marines

This is a repost from last year.  Happy Birthday, US Marines!

The Marine Corps was created on November 10, 1775, in Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by a resolution of the Continental Congress. In 1834 the marines became part of the Department of the Navy.

The globe and anchor signify worldwide service and sea traditions. The spread eagle represents the nation itself. The motto, Semper Fidelis, or Always Faithful, is clenched in the beak of the bird.

To all you current, inactive and retired Marines,

His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mathew 25-21.

Happy 238th Birthday, United States Marines

I wasn’t a Marine, I was an Airman, a member of the United States Air Force. Our service doesn’t have the history of the Marines, nor the traditions. That does not mean we don’t honor the Marines for their fidelity to the nation.

Happy 238th Birthday, Marines.


The Weekend Syndrome

It must be a written Washington rule that announcements that are embarrassing to the government or federal institutions must only be released after the end of business on Friday. In this particular case, the news was publicized on Saturday.

EGA-1aThe charges against Capt. James V. Clement, USMC, for Dereliction of Duty, has been “suddenly” dropped. The Captain, and others, were charged in the infamous Taliban urination video case.

What at first appeared to be a case against the Captain and his men, changed into one of “unlawful command interference.” A pretrial hearing was scheduled and Captain Clement’s defense attorney was about to call Marine Commandant, General. James F. Amos, to submit and explain his comments in e-mails to subordinates and the prosecution concerning Captain Clement and the charges.

Defense attorneys for Capt. James V. Clement had won a judge’s order, over objections from Marine prosecutors, for two staff attorneys to testify in open court about how senior commanders interfered in the case to get a guilty verdict.

The attorneys also were seeking to question Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant, and wanted access to his private emails. — The Washington Times.

Instead of complying with the order, the convening authority, Lt. Gen. Kenneth J. Glueck, who heads Marine Corps Combat Development Command in Quantico, Va., filed a brief withdrawing the charges.

John Dowd, Capt. Clement’s principal defense counsel, accused the commandant of engineering the largest case of unlawful command influence in the Corps’ history.

“The withdrawal of the charges was another act of cowardice by the commandant, his counsel and the Judge Advocate Division of [Marine Corps headquarters] to cover up the worst case of unlawful command influence in the history of the Marine Corps, which was beginning next Wednesday to be uncovered in a hearing before the chief judge … on several motions to compel discovery,” Mr. Dowd said Saturday.

The defense attorney said he wanted to see email traffic among the commandant, his counsel and his legal division.

“That email traffic would have revealed that [the commandant] and his lawyers had engaged in a secret, corrupt effort to rig and control the investigations and dispositions of the so-called desecration cases until Capt. Clement refused to submit to a corrupt process [of being] charged with crimes he did not commit,” Mr. Dowd said.

Capt. Clement’s defense counsel obtained a sworn statement from Lt. Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser who, as convening authority, was overseeing all cases in the urination incident. The general told of a one-on-one meeting in 2012 with Gen. Amos in which the commandant said he wanted Marine defendants “crushed” via courts-martial. — The Washington Times.

Dropping the charges, however, does not end the story. Captain Clements defense attorneys have filed charges against General Amos with the Pentagon Inspector General.

Citing that conversation, Capt. Clement’s attorneys accused the commandant of blatant unlawful command influence that denied their client a fair court-martial. 

They filed a motion to dismiss the charges, thus setting up a series of public pretrial hearings on Gen. Amos’ conduct scheduled to begin Wednesday.

Capt. Clement was charged with dereliction of duty for not properly supervising Marines who urinated on Taliban corpses. 

A video of the act went viral on YouTube last year, drawing harsh criticism from the White House. The captain denies any misconduct.

Maj. James Weirick, a staff attorney at Quantico who was to testify Wednesday, filed a complaint with the Pentagon inspector general over Gen. Amos’ actions. An investigation is underway. — The Washington Times.

Over the past few years, especially since the beginning of the Obama administration, the top layers of our military have been selected not for their ability to lead, fight and win wars, but to support the administration’s liberal political agenda. This trend has tainted the military. Company and Field-grade officers are leaving in droves taking with them a military heritage leading back to the formation of our country.

This is not an isolated case, it just became public and blew up in the Marine Commandant’s face. Instead of “crushing” Captain Clements, General Amos will now have to answer charges of his own misconduct.

In a just world, General Amos would immediately resign along with the others involved in his unlawful orders. But, it is not a just world and I expect General Amos to follow the lead of Obama, Holder and the examples of other followers of Obama’s corrupt administration.

General Amos future is still to be determined. He may, like so many others who blindly followed Obama, find himself thrown “under the bus.” Or, like Holder, Neapolitano and others, simply refuse to acknowledge his acts and to cooperate with the investigation. In the end, it damages the faith of the nation with its military leaders.

Captain Clement was not, however, exonerated. He will now undergo an administrative board of inquiry to determine if he committed any misconduct. That board could also determine whether Captain Clements will be retain in the Corps or “separated under less-than-honorable conditions.”

General Amos, if events go against him, will likely be allowed to retire with full benefits.

On the ground in Afghanistan

The kickoff of the big ground operation in Afghanistan is in the news now. Here’s a excerpt from one who is there and in a position to report truthfully.

Operation Moshtarak, the assault on the Marjah District in the Helmand Province started today. The press has been looking at it for months from various angles with stories stressing that secrecy has been lost, or that civilians will be killed, or with speculation on why the military is publicizing Operation Moshtarak in the first place. These stories all contain grains of truth but none of them is even close to telling the real story. Here it is: when the Marines crossed the line of departure today, the battle for Marjah had already been won.

The battle has started and despite the fact that there is still hard fighting ahead it is already over

The battle has started and despite the fact that there is still hard fighting ahead, it is, for all intents and purposes, already over. Photo by David Guttenfelder

That is not to say there will be no fighting – there will be – pockets of Taliban will need to be cleared out along with a ton of IED’s. Just as they did last summer in Now Zad the Marines spent months talking about what they were going do in Marjah while focusing their efforts at shaping the fight behind the scene. Like a master magician General Nicholson mesmerized the press with flashy hand movements to draw attention away from what was important. The press spent focused on the less important aspects of the coming fight. Just like a magic show the action occurred right in front of the press in plain view yet remained out of sight.

The magic show analogy is most appropriate for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (2nd MEB) because they have many balls up in the air which have to be managed. They are working under a NATO chain of command with allies who can add little to the fight and managing those relationships while a distraction and tedious is important. Their success has won them the dubious honor of hosting multiple junkets from our political masters, which is also tedious and boring, but important. They have the international press who need to be managed and hopefully used to advantage focusing on them like a laser beam. And they have the various other US Gov agencies to work with and that task takes time, personnel, and attention from senior commanders- commodities that are always in short supply. They have a lot of balls in the air simultaneously and like an expert juggler they are making it look easy.

You can read the rest of the post here.