U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper demanded the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, one week after President Trump overruled military leaders and cleared three U.S. servicemembers accused or convicted of war crimes.
The men included Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, who has been accused of multiple war crimes, including shooting two Iraqi civilians and fatally stabbing a captive teenager in the neck.
Gallagher was convicted of posing with the teenage corpse but was acquitted on premeditated murder. Trump criticized the Navy on Thursday for moving toward holding a review hearing to decide if Gallagher should be ousted.
The New York Times reported Navy Secretary Spencer then threatened to resign after Trump’s backlash but there are also reports that Spencer attempted to reach a backroom deal with Trump that would have allowed Gallagher to keep his Trident Pin.
In a statement on Sunday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he was “deeply troubled by this conduct.” We speak with Daniel Ellsberg, one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers.
In 1971, he was a high-level defense analyst when he leaked a top-secret report on U.S. involvement in Vietnam to The New York Times and other publications that came to be known as the Pentagon Papers and played a key role in ending the Vietnam War.
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