In The News

Rockets land in Iraq’s Camp Taji, home to US military personnel

The Iraqi military says three rockets have hit an installation north of Baghdad used by Iraqi troops and where American trainers are also present. There was no immediate word on casualties.

The late Monday attack on Camp Taji, about 27 kilometers (17 miles) north of Baghdad, is the second on a military post housing U.S. personnel. An attack on an air base, also housing U.S. trainers, north of Baghdad on Saturday caused a small fire.

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US releases photos to bolster claim Iran attacked tankers as 1,000 additional troops to be sent to Middle East

In an effort to bolster its public case against Iran, the Pentagon on Monday released new photos that officials said show that members of Tehran’s Revolutionary Guard were responsible for attacks last week on two oil tankers near the Persian Gulf.

The images, many taken from a Navy helicopter, show what the Pentagon said were Iranian forces removing an unexploded mine from the side of the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous oil tanker in the Gulf of Oman.

Officials last week said the move appeared to be an attempt to remove forensic evidence from the scene of the attack. But it’s not clear if examination of the mine would have made it definitively clear that the device was planted by the IRGC.

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Trial Set to Begin for Navy SEAL in Islamic State Prisoner’s Killing

The trial of a decorated Navy SEAL charged with killing an Islamic State prisoner in his care is set to begin Monday following months of turmoil in one of the Navy’s most prominent war crimes cases.

The court-martial of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, which begins with jury selection, has included the removal of the lead prosecutor for tracking the defense team’s emails and suggestions by President Donald Trump that he may pardon the defendant.

Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder in the killing of the prisoner in his care and attempted murder in the shootings of two civilians in Iraq in 2017 in separate incidents. Gallagher says disgruntled platoon mates fabricated the allegations because they didn’t like his tough leadership.

His lawyers asked the Navy judge to dismiss the case because they say investigators and prosecutors withheld evidence that could help the defense and violated his rights to a fair trial by embedding tracking software in emails sent to them.

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Bill Clinton speaks at funeral for CDT Christopher Morgan

The West Point cadet killed in a horrific training accident was laid to rest over the weekend in a service attended by more than a thousand mourners, including former President Clinton.

Slain cadet Christopher Morgan’s dad was once a member of Clinton’s security detail.

The funeral service was held Saturday at the US Military Academy for Morgan, who was killed earlier this month when the armored personnel transport he and 21 others were riding in flipped and fell several feet down a steep embankment.

Morgan, a 22-year-old West Orange, NJ, native, was “an exemplary classmate and teammate” who was “tremendously proud to be a cadet,” said Maj. Gen. Steve Gilland, West Point’s Commandant of Cadets.

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Man arrested in ’87 cold case slaying of Fort Carson soldier

A suburban Denver man has been arrested in the unsolved slaying of a soldier in Colorado 32 years ago after DNA evidence was used to create an image of what a suspect might look like, authorities said Friday.

Civilian and Army investigators arrested Michael Whyte of Thornton in the 1987 strangulation death of Darlene Krashoc, 20, a soldier stationed at Fort Carson outside Colorado Springs.

Whyte, 58, was arrested at his home Thursday on suspicion of first-degree murder. Online jail records did not indicate whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Krashoc’s body was found behind a Colorado Springs restaurant on March 17, 1987. Investigators said she had gone to a nightclub the previous evening with other soldiers from her unit, a maintenance company.

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Court allows a class-action lawsuit against VA for the first time

A federal court for the first time will allow a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Veterans Affairs to move ahead, a move that legal experts said opens the doors for a host of similar cases against the bureaucracy.

The decision, which could affect thousands of veterans, came late last week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Last August, the same court for the first time ruled that class-action lawsuits would be allowed against VA in “appropriate cases,” but no such claims met court standards until now.

This case — Godsey v. Wilkie — sought relief for veterans facing waits of more than two months for the department to certify their disability benefits appeals claims. The case was originally filed in 2017 on behalf of four veterans facing lengthy delays, but lawyers argued it should be broadened to include an entire class of individuals waiting for their benefits.

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CADET PASSES FOLLOWING INJURY IN TRAINING ACCIDENT

– June 7, 2019 USMA release

Cadet Christopher J. Morgan, Class of 2020

WEST POINT, N.Y. – Cadet Christopher J. Morgan, Class of 2020, died due to injuries sustained from a military vehicle accident in the U.S. Military Academy’s training area.

“Cadet Morgan was a valued member of the Corps of Cadets and will be missed by all. The entire community is ensuring that our cadets are being cared for physically, emotionally, and spiritually,” said Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, 60th Superintendent, U. S. Military Academy. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the Morgan family.”

Morgan, 22, of West Orange, New Jersey, passed away at the scene of the accident. He was a Law and Legal Studies major, and a recruited athlete who was a standout member of the Army Wrestling Team.

“We are devastated by the news of Chris’ passing. He was a talented, hardworking, and determined athlete who loved his sport,” said Army West Point Wrestling Coach Kevin Ward. “Chris had an infectious personality with a smile big enough to fill any room, and a heart big enough to love everyone around him. He made everyone around him better and he will be greatly missed.”

The Corps of Cadets will hold a vigil to honor Morgan tonight. A memorial ceremony for the West Point community and private funeral service will be held at the academy next week.

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Applicable links:

TAPS VIGILS

ORIGINS OF TAPS

D-Day 75th Anniversary: Trump, Macron And Other Leaders Mark A Historic Day

“They won back this ground for civilization,” President Trump said of the Allied troops who took part in the massive D-Day invasion 75 years ago today. Trump stood on a stage near Omaha Beach in northern France, alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and other world leaders who thanked U.S. veterans and their allies for preserving liberty.

The commemoration in Normandy, France, marks the 75th anniversary of the massive amphibious invasion, in which more than 150,000 U.S., British and Canadian troops forced their way onto France’s shores to bring the fight to Adolf Hitler. They were supported by nearly 7,000 naval vessels and more than 11,000 aircraft in one of the most important operations of World War II

More than 160 World War II veterans sat in rows on a red-carpeted stage during the ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France. They included dozens of men who landed on the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944.

“You are the pride of our nation, you are the glory of the republic, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Trump told the veterans.

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Cadet dead, 22 hurt after cargo truck overturns at West Point

WEST POINT, New York — A 5-ton cargo truck overturned in West Point Thursday morning, killing one cadet and injuring 22 others.

The Light Medium Tactical Vehicle (LMTV) overturned where Route 293 connects with the Camp Natural Bridge training site around 6:45 a.m.

20 cadets and two active-duty soldiers were injured and taken to three different area hospitals.

There is no word yet on the extent of their injuries.

Route 293 was closed for a short time, but has since reopened.

Governor Cuomo released a statement saying,

“My heart breaks for all those involved in the tragic training accident at West Point this morning. These courageous cadets and soldiers represent the best of New York State and our country, and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their bravery in choosing to serve our country and protect our freedoms. This incident is made all the more heart wrenching as we commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day today, a day where we remember those who gave their lives for our country.

“I am grateful to the first responders who are on the scene right now and am directing the State Office of Emergency Management to provide any resources necessary to assist.

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Judge allows racist FB page as evidence in fatal stabbing of newly commissioned 2nd lieutenant

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Racist memes on a cellphone and a racist Facebook page can be used as evidence in the trial of a white man charged with murder and a hate crime in a black student’s fatal stabbing on the University of Maryland’s campus, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Sean Urbanski’s attorneys argued it would deprive their client of a fair trial if jurors were to see evidence that the 24-year-old liked a Facebook page called “Alt-Reich: Nation” and had at least six photographs of racist memes on his phone.

Prince George’s County prosecutors said the racist content found on Urbanski’s cellphone point to a motive for the killing, indicating he stabbed Bowie State University student Richard Collins III because he was black.

“These photographs show that the defendant has a bias against black people,” said deputy state’s attorney Jason Abbott. “These photos show violence against black people.”

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