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War crimes court-martial starts for SEALs; Navy’s top attorney accused of unlawful command influence | The San Diego Union-Tribune

War crimes court-martial starts for SEALs; Navy’s top attorney accused of unlawful command influence | The San Diego Union-Tribune

  • The court-martial trial of three SEALs accused of committing war crimes began with a flurry of motions Monday morning inside the courtroom of Naval Base San Diego.
  • Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Daniel V. Dambrosio Jr. and two Special Operator Chief Petty Officers — Xavier Silva and David N. Swarts — stand accused of abusing unknown male prisoners at Village Stability Platform Kalach in the Chora District of Afghanistan’s Uruzgan Province on May 31, 2012.
  • A trial for their commander, Navy Lt. Jason L. Webb, waits in the wings.

The Navy’s top attorney might have scuttled a war crimes case against three SEALs by unlawfully meddling behind the scenes to bring charges against them.

After a flurry of Monday motions in the courtroom of Navy Cmdr. Arthur Gaston, the military judge ruled that Vice Adm. James Crawford III — the Navy’s judge advocate general — appears to have exerted unlawful command influence in a case first brought to light by a 2015 story in The New York Times.

Source: War crimes court-martial starts for SEALs; Navy’s top attorney accused of unlawful command influence | The San Diego Union-Tribune