Marine Raider ‘betrayed’ Green Beret, lied with SEALs to cover up his hazing death, prosecutors say - Lebanon news - أخبار لبنان
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Marine Raider ‘betrayed’ Green Beret, lied with SEALs to cover up his hazing death, prosecutors say

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. — Prosecutors in the murder trial of a Marine Raider charged along with three others in the death of an Army Green Beret told the jury that the Marine betrayed his comrade, helped kill him during a planned hazing incident, and then tried to cover up the incident by lying to…

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Marine Raider ‘betrayed’ Green Beret, lied with SEALs to cover up his hazing death, prosecutors say

NAVAL STATION NORFOLK, Va. — Prosecutors in the murder trial of a Marine Raider charged along with three others in the death of an Army Green Beret told the jury that the Marine betrayed his comrade, helped kill him during a planned hazing incident, and then tried to cover up the incident by lying to investigators. Gunnery Sgt. Mario A. Madera-Rodriguez faces charges of conspiracy, assault, obstruction of justice, burglary, false official statements, involuntary manslaughter and felony murder in the June 4, 2017, strangulation death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar in Bamako, Mali. play_circle_filled Three fellow co-defendants, another Marine Raider and two Navy SEALs, have already pled guilty to their part in the death and have been sentenced. Madera-Rodriguez is the only one of the four to go to trial. He has pleaded not guilty. If convicted of murder, he faces a possible sentence of life without parole. Marine Capt. Jason Samuel, a prosecuting attorney, laid out a blow-by-blow timeline of events the night and early morning hours before Melgar’s death in his bedroom of the Army-Navy residence he shared with Navy SEALs and fellow soldiers on deployment to the African nation. “Their plan was to haze him that night, to humiliate him, but they killed him,” Samuel told the jury. Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar was found dead of strangulation on June 4, 2017, in housing he shared with three other special operations forces personnel in Bamako, Mali. (Army) Sign up for the Army Times Daily News Roundup Don’t miss the top Army stories, delivered each afternoon (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Army Times Daily News Roundup. The defense team’s opening statements were held in a session closed to the public because their statements contained classified information, officials said. The four men involved in Melgar’s death immediately tried to cover up the crime, Samuel said, repeatedly lying to officials. But Jennifer Brown, a female friend of Madera-Rodriguez who was with the men the night before Melgar died, later told investigators what they had planned. Navy SEAL Chief Special Warfare Officer Adam C. Matthews came to Bamako, Mali, shortly before the events that led to Melgar’s death. Soon after arriving, Matthews met with Chief SWO Tony E. DeDolph and other members of the special operations team for a contingency planning support mission. But DeDolph told Matthews that he and others had problems with Melgar and wanted to put him in line by hazing him. In interviews, those who’d talked with Melgar revealed the staff sergeant was fed up with “juvenile behavior” by DeDolph and other special operators. He said he was anxious to finish his deployment and return home. Samuel told the jury that on the night of June 3, Melgar was driving to a party at the French Embassy in Bamako. DeDolph, Madera-Rodriguez and fellow Marine Raider Staff Sgt. Kevn Maxwell were following him in another vehicle, but they became separated. The trio thought that he’d deliberately ditched them and saw it as a sign of disrespect. They then diverted to a local bar called the “Appaloosa.” While drinking, DeDolph came up with the idea to teach Melgar a “lesson” by hazing him, Samuel said. They contacted the two Malian guards at the Army-Navy house, telling them they needed to be ready to help pull a “joke” on Melgar. Over the next few hours, they hatched a detailed plan. Madera-Rodriguez would bust open Melgar’s door with a sledgehammer. They’d all rush in on the sleeping Melgar, and Maxwell would pull back the mosquito netting around his bed. Then, DeDolph, a former professional in mixed martial arts, would pounce on Melgar and put him in a chokehold. Matthews would then jump in, helping duct tape Melgar, the prosecutor said. They needed him restrained so that they could remove his clothing and bring in one of the Malian guards in his underwear with a belt around his neck like a leash. They then planned to take compromising photos and videos of Melgar with the Malian man. Madera-Rodriguez’ other task was to put on music for the event. “He broke into that room and provided the soundtrack to Staff Sgt. Melgar’s strangulation,” Samuel said. The group dubbed the event “Operation Tossed Salad,” a name for a sex act. The quartet and the Malian man, lined up outside Melgar’s door and broke through with the sledgehammer, according to court testimony. Suddenly awakened, Melgar fought back, but DeDolph put him in the chokehold facedown on the bed as the others began to restrain and duct tape him, Samuel said. As they struggled, Melgar stopped breathing. The men stopped and began attempts to resuscitate him. They even tried a field expedient tracheotomy. But when that failed, they took him to a nearby medical clinic where he was later pronounced dead. Almost immediately, the two SEALs told the Marines they would deal with the incident and not mention them, Samuel said. They made up a story that DeDolph had been practicing hand-to-hand combat drills with Melgar, who stopped breathing. They later said they thought Melgar had been drinking and that might have contributed to his death, according to prosecutors. But witnesses later told investigators that Melgar didn’t drink alcohol. A week after Melgar’s death, Madera-Rodriguez and Maxwell accompanied Army investigators to the crime scene as security. Madera-Rodriguez even walked them through the fake story of a wrestling match gone wrong between DeDolph and Melgar. But investigators found duct tape under Melgar’s bed with his blood on it. They also had talked with Brown, who had been at the Appaloosa bar with the men the night they talked about their plan. Cell phone records and text messages showed that Madera-Rodriguez and the others had gone from the Appaloosa bar to a restaurant, then stopped at a Marine house to pick up duct tape and the sledgehammer at about 4 a.m. before heading to the Army-Navy house. The men broke into Melgar’s room and committed the attack between 5:25 a.m. and 5:35 a.m., Samuel said. The timing matters because whether it happened at night or during the day may have bearing on some aspects of the burglary charge. Samuel told jurors an expert would testify, explaining why it was nighttime when this occurred. Subsequent interviews by military investigators uncovered what had happened, which resulted in the charges the men faced in their respective courts martial. The trial began Monday with jury selection, which lasted until late Thursday. An all-male jury of eight members, four enlisted and four commissioned officers, four Marines and four sailors were selected. Madera-Rodriguez chose to have a jury trial for his general court-martial. The members must have a rank equal to or greater than the defendant’s. The highest ranking member is an O-5, Navy commander. The lowest ranking member is an E-8, Navy senior chief petty officer. In January, DeDolph pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison, reduction to E-1, forfeiture of pay and a dishonorable discharge. Maxwell pleaded guilty in June 2019 to negligent homicide, conspiracy to commit assault, hazing, obstruction of justice and making false official statements. He received four years of confinement, reduction in rank to E-1 and a bad conduct discharge. In May 2019, Matthews pleaded guilty to the conspiracy and related charges. He was given one year of confinement, reduction to petty officer second class and a bad conduct discharge. All three are expected to testify as prosecution witnesses as part of their plea agreements in the trial of Madera-Rodriguez.

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Defense top line ‘will probably go up’: Key Dems see GOP boost as path to a deal

WASHINGTON ― Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed says the defense top line “will probably go up” to win Republican support on the path to a budget deal for fiscal 2022 ― and some other key Democrats on defense matters are grudgingly saying the same. The comments came days after Reed’s panel unveiled plans…

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Defense top line ‘will probably go up’: Key Dems see GOP boost as path to a deal

WASHINGTON ― Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jack Reed says the defense top line “will probably go up” to win Republican support on the path to a budget deal for fiscal 2022 ― and some other key Democrats on defense matters are grudgingly saying the same. The comments came days after Reed’s panel unveiled plans for a $740 billion defense authorization bill, which includes billions of dollars more in equipment purchases than President Joe Biden’s $716 billion Pentagon request, surprising outside observers. Reed, who is a senior appropriator, predicted that an added $25 billion eventually “will be part of the [Senate] approps bill.” “People are looking ahead at the final budget resolution, and the Republicans have made it clear that they’re not satisfied with the defense number and they would require more,” said Reed, D-R.I.. “What we’re presenting is what the Pentagon sent over and what they feel is necessary to do their mission.” On July 14, an FY22 defense appropriations bill that tracks with Biden’s budget advanced out of the House Appropriations Committee, but with weak support. Republicans on the panel, unified in opposition because of the top line, didn’t commit any votes to it ― and Democratic leaders have since held it back from the floor amid dissent from progressives. On July 22, the evenly divided SASC held a strong bipartisan vote, 23-3, to advance its $740 billion version of the annual National Defense Authorization Act. The panel had voted 25-1 to adopt the $25 billion increase as an amendment from the panel’s top Republican, Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma. Republican lawmakers in the House and Senate have lobbied against Biden’s figure for weeks, saying it would be insufficient to counter threats like a growing Chinese military and terrorist groups worldwide. In the narrowly divided House and the 50-50 Senate, Democrats will likely need Republicans to pass defense measures. Asked last week, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., acknowledged it’s likely that his panel’s version of the National Defense Authorization Act will end up exceeding Biden’s top line. A progressive but also a pragmatist, Smith told Defense News he doesn’t agree with the increase but is open to the idea as a means of advancing the bill. “The people who want to spend more than the Biden number have built a lot of support, and yes, I think that [$25 billion increase] is a potential bipartisan pathway,” Smith said. “I don’t support it, I don’t think that’s where we should go, but at the end of the day, I have one vote.” Sign up for our Early Bird Brief Get the defense industry’s most comprehensive news and information straight to your inbox Subscribe Enter a valid email address (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Thanks for signing up! × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. “The reality is, as we’ve seen with the defense appropriations bill, we do not have the votes to pass it with just Democrats, and that’s the worst kept secret in the building,” he added. “And it is very important to pass a defense bill; it has a lot of important policies that we’re trying to get done.” Along similar lines, the Senate Democrat in charge of funding the Pentagon, Sen. Jon Tester, said the way to avoid a budgetary impasse with Republicans ― and a stopgap continuing resolution at the Oct. 1 fiscal deadline ― is to agree to a plus-up. Like Reed, he foresees the Senate Appropriations Committee eventually mirroring SASC. “Hopefully what that’s going to do is allow us to get a defense bill through the process ― and by the way, there’s plenty of reasons, plenty of threats ― but get it through the process so we don’t end up with a CR,” said Tester, a centrist from Montana. Tester would like to begin work on the defense spending bill soon and have it over the finish line by mid-September, but the process is stuck. Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., has for months been calling for bipartisan, bicameral talks with the White House to establish top lines before his panel starts its work. Last week, Senate Appropriations Committee Vice Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., called the SASC NDAA “a positive step,” but he stopped short of abandoning his months-old demand that any increases to nondefense discretionary spending be matched on the defense side. Compared with this fiscal year, Biden’s proposal would hike the nondefense budget up 16 percent and nudge the defense budget up 1.6 percent. “I thought that was a good sign for some of us who believe national security is very, very important,” Shelby said of the SASC NDAA. “Sometimes, and we all know it’s not what you want, it’s what you can get ― and that is a positive step. Would we like more? We would, but so does every agency.” Meanwhile, some key Democrats want to stick to Biden’s top line. Tester’s counterpart in the House, who shepherded a bill that matched Biden’s number, told Congressional Quarterly last week that she was not a fan of the heftier, SASC-approved defense budget. “The Senate can do what it chooses to do. So far I haven’t seen much action or anything ever come out of the Senate,” said Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn. “I support the number that I marked up to.” But even at the lower figure, the support of the House’s progressive bloc cannot be won. Progressives remain concerned over nuclear spending, the Pentagon’s lack of a complete audit and most of all the ever-increasing top line, according to Congressional Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal. “Chairwoman McCollum has done an amazing job. She has crafted a much better bill than ever before, but as you know, the critical issue for progressives has been the top-line number,” Jayapal, D-Calif., told Defense News. “It does not help that the Senate Democrats added $25 billion to the [administration’s] number. Because we feel like it’s, no matter what the number is, it has to go up.” Progressive Democrats may get the most headlines, but there’s another influential group who tends to agree with Republicans on the top line: The so-called national security Democrats, made up of former military or intelligence officers, most of whom have flipped red districts blue and should be facing tough re-election fights in 2022. One of them, House Armed Services Committee Vice Chair Elaine Luria has been outspoken that Biden’s proposed defense budget “does not meet the level” the military needs to keep pace with China. Luria, whose Virginia district includes the world’s largest naval base, is a 20-year naval veteran and nuclear-trained surface warfare officer. “We should match what the Senate has done, and I would clearly like to see 3-5 percent real growth,” she said of the top line during the HASC Readiness Subcommittee markup last Thursday. I will continue working to ensure our Armed Forces have the resources they need to outpace our near-peer adversaries in the Pacific. The House Defense Budget should match the $25 billion increase that the Senate approved on a bipartisan basis. pic.twitter.com/1wrP5KEdFB— Rep. Elaine Luria (@RepElaineLuria) July 29, 2021 On the Senate side, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, who’s running again in 2022 after reclaiming an Illinois Senate seat for Democrats in 2016, had a similar message. A combat-wounded Army helicopter pilot, Duckworth chairs the Senate Airland Subcommittee. “I think it’ll make it through,” Duckworth said of the $25 billion boost, noting that Congress routinely added to the defense top line while Donald Trump was president. “Why are people surprised when this is what we have always done?” she said. “And frankly, with the tempo that our military has been going through, they need this extra money so that they can maintain their readiness.” Amid the Democratic fractures, House Republicans are “totally united” against Biden’s defense top line, according to Rep. Ken Calvert, the top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee’s defense subpanel. To him, it’s inevitable that a final budget deal matches SASC’s hike to $740 billion. “At the end of the process, that number will be the number for defense appropriations,” Calvert told reporters at the Capitol last week. Smith, who long predicted an internal fight over the top line, argued a better course for Democrats than rejecting national security measures wholesale, as some progressives do. He said Democrats should take part in drafting them to make sure they hew to Democratic values. “I can say: ‘Look, you’re right, there’s some things we got to improve.’ But if it’s just a bright line in the sand, you’re just not voting, ‘we just don’t want to have any responsibility for that?’ That’s not a good message coming from the Democratic Party,” Smith said. If a top-line boost is unavoidable, it looks like the next fight will be about how to spend it. Smith was skeptical of SASC’s plus-up for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, among other longstanding programs ― and that’s on brand for him. With an eye on Russia and China, Smith has for months been calling for forward-leaning investments in information warfare, survivable platforms, command-and-control systems, cyberwarfare, and satellite technologies. “I’m not going to choose just killing the defense bill over being forced into a negotiation about how much money to spend, right? Let me say, where we spend that money matters,” Smith said. “I wasn’t overwhelmingly impressed by what I’ve read about where the Senate chose to spend the money. Just buying more platforms because you’ve got the money? How does that fit into the National Security Strategy?” Leo Shane III in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

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Gillibrand: UCMJ changes needed to ensure fairness for all troops

“Unbiased prosecutors will now decide” – Senator talks justice changes | Military Times Reports “A commander who knows both the accuser and the victim can not remove bias from decision-making,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said on the floor of the Senate recently. Gillibrand, who has been a champion of changes to how major crimes are handled…

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Gillibrand: UCMJ changes needed to ensure fairness for all troops

“Unbiased prosecutors will now decide” – Senator talks justice changes | Military Times Reports “A commander who knows both the accuser and the victim can not remove bias from decision-making,” Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said on the floor of the Senate recently. Gillibrand, who has been a champion of changes to how major crimes are handled in the military justice system, including sexual assault, spoke to military times about the alterations as they make their way through congress this summer. For the last eight years, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has been arguing the military justice system is in need of massive overhaul to better address sexual assault and harassment cases. Next year, those changes may finally be put in place. Last month, during debate over the annual defense authorization bill, Senate Armed Services Committee members adopted Gillibrand’s proposal to remove serious crimes from the traditional military chain of command. House Armed Services Committee members are expected to follow suit when they mark up their draft of the bill next month. It’s potentially a massive change in how many military crimes are handled, one that goes against Pentagon recommendations that only sexual misconduct crimes be handled by independent military prosecutors. But Gillibrand, D-N.Y., argues it is long overdue and precisely what is needed to restore faith in military justice officials and other leaders. Military Times sat down with her last week to talk about the potential impact of the changes and the work still ahead. (Portions of this interview were edited for length and clarity) MT: If I’m an average soldier or sailor, why should I care about these military justice changes? Sign up for the Early Bird Brief Get the military’s most comprehensive news and information every morning (please select a country)United StatesUnited KingdomAfghanistanAlbaniaAlgeriaAmerican SamoaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBoliviaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of TheCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’ivoireCroatiaCubaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuamGuatemalaGuineaGuinea-bissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMarshall IslandsMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMicronesia, Federated States ofMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNetherlands AntillesNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorthern Mariana IslandsNorwayOmanPakistanPalauPalestinian Territory, OccupiedPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalPuerto RicoQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRwandaSaint HelenaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and The GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbia and MontenegroSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and The South Sandwich IslandsSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwan, Province of ChinaTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-lesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUnited States Minor Outlying IslandsUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuelaViet NamVirgin Islands, BritishVirgin Islands, U.S.Wallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabwe Subscribe × By giving us your email, you are opting in to the Early Bird Brief. Gillibrand: These are reforms that honor the service of our men and women. The men and women of our military sacrifice so much, they deserve a military justice system that’s worthy of that sacrifice: one that’s fair, one that’s highly professionalized, and one that takes serious crime seriously. And I think this is a bill that helps the whole process. Whether you’re a plaintiff or a defendant, any serious crime is now going to be taken seriously with no bias. So instead of having the system where the commander decides which cases go to trial, trained military unbiased prosecutors outside the chain of command will now decide which serious crime should go to trial. That independence, that professionalized review, will strengthen our military justice system and make it a fair and better process for everyone. MT: You’ve talked a lot about just just how sweeping these changes are. But you’ve also said in the past that you don’t see this as a real upheaval to the justice system, you think this can be done in a relatively short time frame. Gillibrand: So today, we reserve the ability to make a decision on general courts martial to very senior commanders level, O-6 and above. There’s about 200 that currently make those decisions for all the military. So what our bill does is when the military police complete an investigation of a serious crime, instead of that case file going to the commander’s [judge advocate general], it’s going to go to a senior JAG outside of the chain of command to make a decision about whether or not there’s enough evidence to proceed to trial. If that trained, independent military prosecutor decides there’s not enough evidence, then the case file goes right back to the commander and the commander’s personal JAG who would normally handle the case. So it’s a very small change. We have more than enough senior lawyers, about the same number as we have of O-6 commanders and above who have the convening authority. So we have the same number of staff that are needed, the same seniority, they just are independent of the chain of command of the victim and the accused. MT: Do you worry at all that DoD may try and drag its feet on this change? Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has said that he’d like to see just the sexual misconduct crimes taken out, not all serious crimes. Gillibrand: Well, if they read the bill for what it is, and actually understand the change, it’s very simple. Which lawyer’s desk does the case file go to first? That’s all it is. And this independent military prosecutor will make a judgment. And if he chooses not to take this case to trial, it goes right back to the commander. So it changes very little. Second, yes, they may drag their feet. And to limit it just to sex crimes means that only one type of plaintiff and only one type of defendant is getting this professionalized, independent, unbiased review. If you’re going to reform the military justice system, why wouldn’t you reform it for all serious crimes? Why wouldn’t you reform it for all plaintiffs and all defendants in cases that are very complex? And if you only care about fixing this scourge of sexual assault, you also want the bright line at serious crimes because a lot of serious crimes that are often related, that have in a first blush review might not realize that they’re related … We’ve seen cases of fraud, where because the perpetrator is trying to dominate and control the victim, that one of the tools they use is financial. He may steal her money, steal her credit card, close out a bank account just to create more dominance. Because sexual assault and these these crimes are crimes of predation. They’re predators. And they’re usually crimes of dominance. It’s not about an affair or romance, it’s typically about control. And so we know in the domestic violence setting, all these tools are used. And so a service member may report that her bank accounts have been closed or her money’s been stolen. If that commander doesn’t understand the dynamics of sexual violence or domestic abuse, he may never investigate that case further, and just decide on a very small punishment to say “stop stealing money, this is absurd.” They’re not understanding that this is the tip of the iceberg for domestic violence or sexual assault case. MT: Portions of this that remind me of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” debate, where there was a lot of concern about making a change … and then within a few years, it was really accepted. Do you see this as the same? Gillibrand: I do. And the reason why I believe that is because it’s what happened with our allies. This change of a bright line and serious crimes was made in the United Kingdom over a decade ago. It was made in Israel over 40 years ago. Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, almost every country that we are allied with has made this change. And we ask those countries, how did it go? Did you see a diminution in command control? Did you see a diminution in good order discipline? Every single one of them said no. And so we know this change, all it does is professionalize the system and make it stronger. And we believe that one change will help to end the scourge of of sexual assault in the military, and harassment. MT: I know a lot of this is technical changes. But there is obviously an emotional component for the victims that you’ve gotten to talk to, the folks who have been wronged by the system. What are you hearing from them? Gillibrand: They feel grateful that Congress is finally listening to them. This bill was written eight years ago, with the voices of survivors and veterans. This is something that is multigenerational and uniformly supported by our veterans advocacy groups and our sexual assault survivor groups, because they know that through professionalization, and through independence, that their chances at justice are higher. Unfortunately, over the last eight years, nothing has gotten better. The rate of sexual assault [in the military] still estimated at 20,000 [cases annually]. The rate of people coming forward, unfortunately, is declining. And the rate of conviction is declining over the last few years, and so it’s problematic. We need, again, a professionalized system where the review is not based on the whims or views or anecdotal view of any one commander. They’re based on evidence. And that’s all a survivor or defendant could ask for, an evidence based review. It’s the fairest system and I think it will help to convict more sexual predators, which will mean a message is sent that this crime actually isn’t tolerated and that you will be convicted. Every time you take out a predator, who often are recidivists, you’re going to tell other potential predators that this crime is not tolerated.

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How World War II led to the invention of super glue

Ah, super glue — the greatest-of-all-time fast-acting adhesive for all of your stuck-together needs. Chances are, you have a tube of this in that kitchen drawer, you know, the one with all the takeout menus, rubber bands and random keys to who knows what doors (you should probably clean that out by the way), because…

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How World War II led to the invention of super glue

Ah, super glue — the greatest-of-all-time fast-acting adhesive for all of your stuck-together needs. Chances are, you have a tube of this in that kitchen drawer, you know, the one with all the takeout menus, rubber bands and random keys to who knows what doors (you should probably clean that out by the way), because it’s an undeniable necessity. But before it occupied space in our junk drawers, and our hearts, it was accidentally developed for the U.S. military. Too sticky for Army weapons In 1942, companies across the country were looking to support the war effort, including the Eastman Kodak Company. One if its inventors, Dr. Harry Wesley Coover, accidentally created a new compound while attempting to make clear plastic gun sights for Allied soldiers. The compound, cyanoacrylate, was incredibly durable but way too sticky to use. (Imagine getting Krazy Glue anywhere near your eye. No thanks!) So Coover and his team abandoned the substance, not wanting to get stuck, literally or figuratively, on it. Over a decade later, Coover, who would become known as “Mr. Super Glue,” rediscovered the adhesive compound while researching heat-resistant polymers for jet canopies. Cyanoacrylate adhesives required no heat or pressure to stick items together and hold them permanently. Thus, in 1956, the patent for “Alcohol-Catalyzed Cyanoacrylate Adhesive Compositions/Superglue” was born. How’s that for a name? Coover and the Eastman team took the patent and repackaged it for commercial sale as “Eastman 910″ – which was later changed to “Super Glue.” This name stuck and still is used for a number of similarly adhesive products today. 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A savior for soldiers in sticky situations Even though the glue was discovered during World War II, military doctors during the Vietnam War capitalized on the product’s adhesive properties to save lives. Many soldiers suffered injuries off-base, often bleeding out before getting proper care. Thanks to Coover’s invention, medics were able to spray super glue directly on skin to stop bleeding until the patient could make it to a hospital for treatment. “This was very powerful. That’s something I’m very proud of – the number of lives that were saved,” Coover said in an interview with the Kingsport Times-News. At this time, the chemical was not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration because it had the potential to cause skin irritation. A derivative from the same chemical (2-octyl-cyanoacrylate) was approved in 1998 and functioned as a liquid bandage. Marketed under the names Dermabond and Traumaseal, these products pose less danger of irritation and bacterial infection and are available for civilian use. So the next time you break your mom’s favorite vase and need to glue it back together, give thanks to Mr. Super Glue for finding something that was too sticky for the Army to use.

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