A former U.S. Marine who was caught urinating on the corpses of dead Taliban fighters got his conviction thrown out this week thanks to the unlawful actions of a retired general — who “severely and systematically” interfered with the case, a report says.
Staff Sgt. Joseph W. Chamblin had been reduced in rank for the infamous 2011 incident, sentenced to 30 days confinement and ordered to pay a $500 fine after he pleaded guilty to wrongful desecration, failure to properly supervise junior Marines and posing for photographs with battlefield casualties.
What he didn’t know at the time was that the Commandment of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos, was on an illegal crusade to “crush” Chamblin and others who participated in the sick stunt, according to The Washington Post.
Because of his alleged meddling, the ex-scout sniper got all of his charges dropped on Wednesday and his previous ruling overturned by the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals.
The panel’s decision came roughly five years after Chamblin’s initial trial for the July 2011 incident, in which he and several other Marines killed a trio of Taliban fighters and then urinated on their bodies while posing for pictures and video. The footage surfaced on YouTube in January 2012, sparking international outrage.
Chamblin later said that he didn’t felt sorry about what he did — claiming he would do it again if he had the chance.
“[If] anything, it was more of a psychological effect on the enemy because if an infidel touches the body, they’re not going to Mecca or paradise,” he told reporters at the time. “So, now these insurgents see what happens when you mess with us.”
Amos, who is now retired, reportedly took the urination case very seriously — saying he wanted everyone involved to be “crushed” in military court and discharged.
Podcast up! USMC Infantry Officer James….USMC DI gets 10 years in prison,Air Force race hoax, Louis CK whackin it! https://t.co/Lt3YLt6Jsw
— BK (@BKactual) November 11, 2017
Twin investigations are underway into an incident at the Naval Special Warfare training complex in Coronado that left one Navy SEAL candidate in a coma.
Authorities said that Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents and members of the Naval Special Warfare Center in Coronado are reviewing an Oct. 12 mishap that occurred during a study session for the land navigation course of the Basic Under Water Demolition/SEAL training program, or BUD/S.
As an incentive to correctly answer questions, two sailors reportedly agreed to slap whichever one got a response wrong. BUD/S candidates typically challenge each other to perform acts of physical exertion, such as push ups, because striking another student is forbidden.
One of the candidates reportedly reeled from a slap and fell to the floor, striking his head. He was rushed to Naval Medical Center San Diego, where surgeons placed him in a medically induced coma to help heal what SEAL spokesman Lt. Trevor Davids said was an unintentional injury.
WASHINGTON — People with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.
The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet last year’s goal of 69,000, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.
Expanding the waivers for mental health is possible in part because the Army now has access to more medical information about each potential recruit, Lt. Col. Randy Taylor, an Army spokesman, said in a statement. The Army issued the ban on waivers in 2009 amid an epidemic of suicides among troops.
“The decision was primarily due to the increased availability of medical records and other data which is now more readily available,” Taylor’s statement to USA TODAY said. “These records allow Army officials to better document applicant medical histories.”
While bipolar disorder can be kept under control with medication, self-mutilation — where people slashing their skin with sharp instruments — may signal deeper mental health issues, according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, which is published by the American Psychiatric Association.
If self-mutilation occurs in a military setting, Cameron Ritchie said, it could be disruptive for a unit. A soldier slashing his or her own skin could result in blood on the floor, the assumption of a suicide attempt and the potential need for medical evacuation from a war zone or other austere place.
The Army did not respond to a question of how many waivers, if any, have been issued since the policy was changed.
Data reported by USA TODAY in October show how the Army met its recruiting goals by accepting more marginally qualified recruits.
In fiscal year 2017, the active-duty Army recruited nearly 69,000 soldiers, and only 1.9% belonged to what is known as Category Four. That refers to troops who score in the lowest category on military aptitude tests. In 2016, 0.6% of Army recruits came from Category Four. The Pentagon mandates that the services accept no more than 4% of recruiting classes from Category Four. In addition, waivers for marijuana use, illegal while in uniform, jumped from 191 in 2016 to 506 in 2017. Eight states have legalized recreational use of marijuana.
Thank god for screenshots. pic.twitter.com/VbIo5BivFA
— Vasilis Chronopoulos (@billxronopoulos) November 12, 2017
John H. Cushman, a retired Army lieutenant general who received multiple battlefield commendations for heroism during the Vietnam War and who later sought to bring a more flexible intellectual approach to military planning, died Nov. 8 at a military retirement facility in Washington. He was 96.
The cause was a stroke, said his son John H. Cushman Jr., a former reporter in the Washington bureau of the New York Times.
Gen. Cushman grew up in a military family — his father was an Army brigadier general — and graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., on D-Day, June 6, 1944.
He first served in the Army Corps of Engineers before requesting a transfer to the infantry in the 1950s. He served three tours of duty in Vietnam, first as a military adviser and later in command positions with the 101st Airborne Division.
During his second tour in 1967 and 1968, Gen. Cushman, then a colonel, took part in some of the fiercest fighting of the war. After North Vietnamese launched the Tet Offensive in January 1968, Gen. Cushman often oversaw field maneuvers from the air, sitting in the jump seat of an unarmed command helicopter.
He sometimes surprised his troops by flying through heavy fire to assist at the front lines. He received the Air Medal after one mission, the Bronze Star Medal after another and the Distinguished Flying Cross after a third. His citations noted that at times he airlifted soldiers to front lines and helped transport the dead and wounded.
— BK (@BKactual) November 11, 2017
At the start of his Air Force career, Devin P. Kelley was picked for a demanding and selective intelligence analyst school. He walked into his first Monday of class with a crisp blue uniform, shined shoes, and for perhaps the first time in years, with hope. It didn’t last.
Two years later, he found himself on the run in a bleak El Paso bus station at midnight trying to catch the first Greyhound back home after failing out of school, being charged with assault and escaping from a psychiatric hospital…
…For Mr. Kelley, who last Sunday opened fire on a rural Texas church killing 26 people, the Air Force could have been a turning point — a source of discipline and direction that he had not embraced in a troubled childhood. But military records and interviews with fellow airmen show that despite repeated chances, his career fell apart under the weight of his depression and rage, at a time when his mind was churning with half-laid plans to kill his superiors.
After only a few months in the service, Mr. Kelley slid back into a long decline that left a wreckage of broken relationships, criminal convictions and eventually bloodshed.
“The Air Force tried to give him chances but he was just problem after problem after problem,” said Jessika Edwards, a former Air Force staff sergeant who worked with Mr. Kelley in 2011, near the end of his career.
“He was a dude on the edge,” Ms. Edwards added, noting that he would appear at informal squadron social functions in all black and a black trench coat. “This is not just in hindsight. He scared me at the time.”
Even after he left the military, he contacted her on Facebook with disturbing posts about his obsession with Dylann S. Roof, the Charleston, S.C., mass murderer, and his target practices using dogs ordered online.
Ms. Edwards said the military had tried counseling and tough love, but nothing seemed to work. When punished for poor performance, Mr. Kelley would cry, scream and shake with rage, vowing to kill his superiors, she recalled. His temper was so unsettling that she warned others in the squadron to go easy on him or he was likely to come back and “shoot up the place.”
Not you, rookie. pic.twitter.com/5lEPmyrmyh
— COP VIDEOS (@Copvids911) November 11, 2017
They were once seen as a bizarre fetish, but it seems that sex dolls are now so widely in demand that they could be going into mass production.
Samantha, an eerily realistic sex bot, is currently on sale in London, but could soon be available for the masses.
The robot’s designer claims that he is looking to mass produce the head for Samantha in Wales in a bid to keep up with growing demands.
Silicon Samantha is an AI bot with dark brown hair, piercing green eyes and a fully functional vagina, including a G-spot, according to its inventors, Mr Arran Squire and Dr Sergi Santos.
Samantha, who speaks in an American accent, is capable of imitating an orgasm when touched in the right way,
It is covered in sensors that respond to human touch and can switch between “family” and “sexy” mode.
Sensors cover the doll’s hips, shoulders, vagina and mouth.
The robot says sexual phrases such as “I’m on for you all the time,” “nice and gentle” and “now then, what’s next?”.
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — After almost 20 years of evaluating approaches to fitness, the Army will introduce a new, combat skill-centered fitness test in 2020…
“The Army has been talking about doing this for a long time, but with an end date in mind, we know this is for sure coming up,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Micheal Sutterfield, of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria.
Grading is likely to go through many changes before 2020, but Sutterfield said that enough progress has been made that soldiers can safely begin planning for this type of test…
…It consists of the following six events, encompassing a variety of muscle movements:
• Deadlift — A weighted bar is lifted off the ground. The more weight lifted, the higher the score.
• Standing power throw — The soldier lifts a weighted ball off the ground throws it behind them. The score is measured by distance thrown.
• T-pushup — A push up, except the arms are extended to make a “T” shape at the bottom of the movement.
• Leg tuck — The soldier hangs from a bar and bring the knees up to the midsection.
• Spring/drag/carry — The soldier simulates sprinting into combat, then drags and carries another soldier out of the area.
• Two-mile run — This is the same, but expected to be more difficult after completing the earlier events.
Over the last decade, while film producer Harvey Weinstein was combing Hollywood for talent, self-proclaimed filmmaker Matt Hickey was scouring Seattle’s Capitol Hill for the next adult film star. Or so he said in his online ads.
A journalist and photographer, Hickey didn’t have film credits like “Pulp Fiction” or “Shakespeare in Love” in his resume, like Weinstein. But he did have a similar sales pitch: the power to make someone a star.
His studio of sorts was his modest Seattle apartment, and his staff consisted of himself and a female recruiter who, prosecutors say, was actually Hickey himself, posing as a woman named Deja Stwalley — the name of a grade school classmate who was unaware of the charade.
Some of the women who answered his online ads told authorities they were sexually attacked after arriving for a “screen test.” In all, Seattle police interviewed six women who alleged they were forced to have sex with Hickey, though some said they couldn’t recall details of the encounter because they were drugged or plied with alcohol.
Hickey, 41, is now charged with four counts of rape and — after a year in custody — could be tried as soon as this month.
— Women's Health (@WomensHealthMag) November 9, 2017
A former Army recruiter stationed in San Antonio, Texas, was sentenced to 17 years in a federal prison on Nov. 2 for his role in funneling dozens of assault rifles to representatives from the Gulf Cartel, one of Mexico’s oldest drug trafficking syndicates, NBC News reports.
Sgt. Julian Prezas, 37, pleaded guilty in December to charges of attempting to export defense articles to Mexico and lying on federal firearms forms.
Prezas was arrested in September 2015 after selling a cache of guns that included 13 AR-15 assault rifles and 50 to 60 AK-47s to a federal informant that previous April, according to court records.
According to the federal indictment filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Texas in January 2016, the firearms trafficked by Prezas included a dozen N-PAP M70 rifles, a dozen PAP M92 PV pistols; four HG pistols manufactured by Serbian arms company Zavasta; four Anderson AR-15 lower receivers; and a dozen Del-Ton DTI-15 rifles.
Former Trump bodyguard Keith Schiller testifies Russian official offered to "send five women" to Trump's hotel room in Moscow.@KenDilanianNBC breaks down with that's significant w/ @NicolleDWallace pic.twitter.com/PRpL66cNoK
— Deadline White House (@DeadlineWH) November 9, 2017
RALEIGH, N.C. — A Marine Corps drill instructor was sentenced on Friday to 10 years in prison for choking, punching or otherwise tormenting recruits, especially three Muslims — one of whom ultimately killed himself by leaping down a stairwell.
A military jury handed out the punishment to Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Felix one day after convicting him of abusing more than a dozen trainees at the Marine boot camp at Parris Island, S.C.
Among other things, he taunted the Muslims as “terrorists” or “ISIS” and ordered two of them to climb into an industrial clothes dryer, spinning one of them around in the scorching machine until he renounced his faith, the jury decided.
Sergeant Felix, 34, a veteran of the Iraq War, was also ordered to forfeit all pay, demoted to private and given a dishonorable discharge.
Sergeant Felix was a central figure in what was found to be a group of abusive drill instructors at Parris Island. After the March 2016 suicide at the base, a hazing investigation led to charges against him, five other drill instructors and the training battalion’s commanding officer. Eleven others faced lesser discipline.
George Takei took to Twitter on Saturday to deny groping a male model, and Richard Dreyfuss said he never exposed himself to a female writer helping him with a TV script. https://t.co/k9TvafC2FK pic.twitter.com/OyVpHEUI6f
— ABC News (@ABC) November 12, 2017
An air traffic controller at a North Carolina airport was arrested after he was found to be in possession of a homemade explosive device, police said.
Paul George Dandan, 30, was arrested Friday, a week after police received a 911 call about a person with a bomb and went to his house in Charlotte, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. A bomb squad sent to the house later confirmed that the device was a homemade pipe bomb, police said.
The investigation led police to another man, Derrick Fells, 39, who they say created the device. Fells told police that he had planned to use the bomb against a neighbor with whom he had a feud, but he changed his mind and gave it to Dandan, an air traffic controller at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
Police did not say how Dandan and Fells knew each other, nor did they say why Fells gave the device to Dandan or why Dandan accepted it. It also is unclear what plans, if any, Dandan had for the bomb, or if the airport was targeted. A spokesman for the police department did not respond to follow-up questions from The Washington Post.
Police have arrested an Edgewater man accused of running into a house naked and trying on women’s clothes.
“There’s a naked guy that ran in my house!” the homeowner screamed during a 911 call.
New Smyrna Beach police officers, including Chief Mike Coffin, were on the scene shortly before 10 a.m. Tuesday and detained the suspect, Joseph Vaglica, according to an arrest report.
Police said Vaglica, 40, entered the home on Turnbull Bay Road through the garage door and then ran throughout the kitchen acting “irrational.”
He wound up in the homeowner’s bedroom where he grabbed clothing and placed it on his body, the report stated.
The occupant of the house, a woman, was frightened and ran out of the house to alert her stepson next door that a naked stranger had burglarized her, police said.
“I was in my garage,” the stepson said when he got on the phone with the emergency operator. “I heard a car speeding backwards into our long driveway. He stopped, jumped out of the car butt naked.”
Vaglica eventually ran over to the stepson’s home and started banging on a window, at which time the son grabbed a pistol and stood guard in case Vaglica came inside, the report stated.
“He’s definitely drugged out for sure,” the male caller said to the 911 operator.
Vaglica remained outside and started rolling around on the grass until law enforcement officers arrived, police said.
Vaglica’s criminal record includes numerous misdemeanor arrests, including one in 2016 for disorderly intoxication, records show.