(Gateway Pundit) – Last week I wrote an open letter to Rear Admiral Collin Green, the top Navy SEAL in response to his now famous “We have a problem” notice to SEAL leaders.
I didn’t hold back, and it opened the flood gates of people rallying behind my sentiment. My point was simple; shut up, let us kill bad guys and when we go into battle we ask that you have our back when overzealous lawyers and politicians want to play games.
Above: Rear Admiral Collin Green attacked the elite Navy SEALs this week following a series of high-profile incidents.
Active and former SEALs, friends and even several congressmen called me to thank me for writing the letter.
Many SEALs I knew who had previously enjoyed the smokescreen of not airing our laundry publicly changed their mind. If the commanders want to publicly shame their own men, then the men will fight back publicly too. But this is an issue that is long overdue to be addressed UP the flagpole and I’m not backing down on it, specifically the idea that we are too often unjustly prosecuted for baseless allegations.
The twitter mob of single digit follower accounts was alive with comments, some highly critical of the thought of “giving a pass” just because they were SEALs on issues like sexual assault and drugs. But many of those criticisms appeared to be from people that didn’t even read the whole letter. So before more performative outrage spews from the liberal activist who hate the military anyway, let me make somethings clear. In my last piece I specifically called out sexual assault and other illegal activity like drug use as intolerable and it should be prosecuted; when there is evidence, keyword “evidence”. However, there were many comments as if my sentiment was to the contrary.
The issue of sexual assault is serious, as a victim of it as a child I know. However, the issue with the current climate of accusations being treated as convictions is the real problem here. We saw this climate outside the military too with the confirmation hearings of Brett Kavanagh. Had that been a military hearing and Justice Kavanaugh had been a loyal soldier of 20 years with not a blemish on his record, the outcome would have been far different. Brett would have been immediately removed from duty, stripped of rank, fined much of his pay and most likely been forced out of the military despite ZERO evidence. This is how the military deals with this. And that was the point of my piece.
The other issue is combat. Commanders MUST stand behind their men! We are fighting an enemy that will chop your head off and put it on YouTube as propaganda. Yet military commands and council will take months to dissect and scrutinize whether or not you were “justified” when you have a split second to react lest you might go home in a box. If you train young men and women for war, train them to hate their enemy (and the military does do this), do not prosecute them for killing bad guys, or in Eddie’s case, taking a picture with a dead one. Our military is trained to kill bad guys and break stuff. You want to be diplomatic, send diplomats.
Above: Carl Higbie is a retired Navy SEAL. He served two tours of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom, reaching the rate of Special Warfare Operator, First Class.
I discuss this in great detail in my recent third book “Crisis of Culture”. The military justice system is a kangaroo court, there are almost no checks and balances and things that would be laughed out of civilian courtrooms are prosecuted to the fullest. Sure, the military provides you with a JAG attorney, usually a 25 year old green Lieutenant fresh out of law school who answers to and is under the same command as the prosecution. That same JAG still represents the Navy first and his client second. Combine that with the average salary in the military being less than $60K a year you could imagine the financial hesitance to seek private council. At which point the process becomes the punishment. A soldier’s only option is to plea out at the advice of their council and likely ruin your career before a shred of evidence is ever argued or even produced.
So how did we get here? What caused this divide? frankly, a string of commanders that are more concerned with the perception of a bunch of whiny liberal politicians and news commentators than they are with the fear we instill in our enemy. I want our enemy to think we are crazy tough cowboys. My platoon earned the name “White Devils” in Baghdad in 2007, the enemy feared us and you know what? Their fear saved lives on both sides because they didn’t want to fight us. But we had to earn it first and it was messy, but our commanders had our back.
I know this piece is blunt and crass but I want the American public to know how it feels to be on a battlefield, willing to die for the mission your commander sent to do and then to hear that same commander who was back in a bunker somewhere telling you that YOU have a problem after you endure the unspeakable. Try to imagine that feeling before you think a soldier should be prosecuted.
– Written by retired Navy SEAL and Iraqi Freedom veteran Carl Higbie