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Westlake Legal Group > fox-news/us/military (Page 12)

US B-52 nuclear bomber crash in Greenland 51 years ago has ill Danes seeking compensation

A U.S. military B-52 nuclear bomber crash in Greenland 51 years ago still resonates with three Danish citizens who were involved in the cleanup.

The Air Force B-52 Stratofortress with four hydrogen bombs on board crashed Jan. 21, 1968, 7 miles from Thule Air Base, where the Danes were working for a military contractor from Denmark. They each now have cancer and blame their illnesses on exposure to weapons-grade plutonium scattered by the crash.

Since 2010 the three men have been pursuing benefits through a U.S. government workers’ compensation program that covers foreigners who worked at a military base and were injured or disabled on the job.

US B-52 BOMBERS LAND IN QATAR OVER UNSPECIFIED IRAN THREAT

“It is important to emphasize that the workers’ compensation that has been requested is entirely based on our belief that the particular health challenges many of us have been suffering is fair and reasonable because of what we did at the time,” Jeffrey Carswell, one of the Danes, told Fox News by email from his home in Denmark.

Now 76, Carswell has undergone numerous operations since being diagnosed with stomach cancer in 1984. Doctors have removed part of his stomach and esophagus.

Westlake Legal Group b52-crash-2-getty US B-52 nuclear bomber crash in Greenland 51 years ago has ill Danes seeking compensation Robert Gearty fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 86bdabc0-3c08-56e7-8393-029792ad5cf2

The U.S. Air Force begins cleanup operations at Camp Hunziker after the crash of a B-52 bomber near Thule, Greenland, late in January. The plane was carrying four unarmed hydrogen bombs when it crashed.  (Getty)

The other two Danes, Ben Hansen, 80, and Heinz Eriksen, 74, had large tumors removed after each was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Hansen was diagnosed with his cancer in 2002; Eriksen in 2005.

Their lawyer, Ian Anderson of New York, told Fox News his clients are entitled to the benefits they are seeking.

“These are not money-grubbers, these are ordinary people,” Anderson said. “Here you have workers who volunteered to work in a dangerous situation, helping to clean up radiation for the benefit of Greenlanders and for the benefit of the American and Danish governments.”

The B-52 disintegrated when it struck the sea ice and the bombs burned but never detonated. The B-52 was in the air when an electrical fire broke out and spread.

Westlake Legal Group B52-Crash-1-USAF US B-52 nuclear bomber crash in Greenland 51 years ago has ill Danes seeking compensation Robert Gearty fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 86bdabc0-3c08-56e7-8393-029792ad5cf2

Cleanup crew searches for radioactive debris after the crash of a B-52 nuclear bomber near Thule Air Base in Greenland. (U.S. Air Force)

The pilot and five crew members ejected and were rescued. Co-pilot Capt. Leonard Svitenko was killed, bailing out through a chute.

Carswell recalled he was in Thule’s NCO Club when the plane crashed.

“The massive building shook as if an earthquake had hit,” he said. His job the next day was to arrange for Svitenko’s body to be repatriated to the U.S.

Hundreds of U.S. military personnel and Danish workers participated in the cleanup, working long shifts in the bitter cold and perpetual darkness to gather aircraft debris and remove contaminated ice and snow. Greenland was a Danish province in 1968. The cleanup lasted nine months.

PLUTONIUM HAS BEEN LEAKING INTO PACIFIC FROM US COLD WAR NUKE TEST SITE FOR YEARS

Carswell said radiation detection devices and protective face masks and suits were never issued to them and their levels of radiation exposure were never known.

He worked at Thule as a shipping clerk and claimed he was exposed to plutonium in the hangar where loading operations were staged. Hansen was a carpenter and claimed he was exposed in building shelters at the crash site. Eriksen was a firefighter and claimed he was exposed standing by as tanks for the contaminated snow and ice were being welded together.

Carswell also claimed he was exposed to plutonium when he drank alcoholic beverages at the NCO Club. The ice cubes came from the fjord where the crash occurred.

“The employer kept no records of its workers’ exposure and the Danish government refused to allow access to its records, which would have helped our doctors devise appropriate treatment protocols,” he said.

Carswell said it was only 11 years ago that he became aware that what they were exposed to at Thule was “extremely dangerous.”

Westlake Legal Group B52-Crash-2-USAF US B-52 nuclear bomber crash in Greenland 51 years ago has ill Danes seeking compensation Robert Gearty fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 86bdabc0-3c08-56e7-8393-029792ad5cf2

A B-52 crew member is helped to safety after ejecting from aircraft that crashed in Greenland on Jan. 21, 1968.  (U.S. Air Force )

Carswell’s fight for compensation for him and other Danish clean-up workers has been a decades-long effort.

In 1988, he joined the Association of Irradiated Thule Workers to lobby the Danish government for compensation, resulting in a $14 million payout to 1,500 people. He also petitioned the European Parliament for access to Denmark’s radiation records.

U.S. military veterans who worked at Thule have also sought compensation for their radiation-related illnesses in a lawsuit against the U.S. government that was thrown out of court after it was filed, Anderson said.

WEAPONS-GRADE PLUTONIUM WAS SECRETLY SHIPPED FROM SOUTH CAROLINA TO NEVADA, DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY SAYS

“The military veterans were blocked from suing the U.S. for illnesses by the ‘Freres’ doctrine, barring claims for injuries on ‘active service,’” he said. Court records show the case was dismissed in 1995.

After submitting their workers’ compensation claims to the U.S. Labor Department, an administrative law judge was assigned the case. After holding hearings, she denied them benefits, saying they failed to prove their cancers was caused by their exposure to plutonium radiation.

Westlake Legal Group B52-Stratofortress-bomber-Getty US B-52 nuclear bomber crash in Greenland 51 years ago has ill Danes seeking compensation Robert Gearty fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 86bdabc0-3c08-56e7-8393-029792ad5cf2

The B-52A Stratofortress was a long-range heavy bomber used extensively by the United States military for a period of a year. (Getty)

“For me to conclude that the claimants’ health conditions were due to any plutonium radiation exposure at Thule, I would have to discount the opinions of highly-credentialed physicians and ignore a multitude of medical and epidemiological studies,” the judge, Adele Odegard, wrote in 2017 in a 164-page decision that was upheld by the Labor Department’s Benefits Review Board. The board ruled in December.

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Anderson has now taken the case to the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.

The defendants in the case were E. Pihl & Sons in Denmark and, over Anderson’s objections, the Labor Department’s Office of Workers’ Compensation Program.

The firm Carswell, Hansen and Eriksen worked for at Thule no longer exists. E. Pihl is a subsidiary that has declared bankruptcy. Those circumstances made the Labor Department liable for any benefits if the decision had gone the other way.

The claimants’ face an uphill battle in federal court, E. Pihl attorney Sarah Biser of New York said.

“I think that the medical and scientific evidence against the three claimants is absolutely overwhelming and I don’t think the claimants have any path whatsoever to prevail on any issue,” Biser said

Carswell said he was not ready to concede.

“Clearly we hope to finally receive the fair treatment that we, for many years, have been waiting for in recognition of having unknowingly put our lives at risk,” he told Fox News. “We have been waiting far too long for this and accepting that we are all getting old.”

Westlake Legal Group b52-crash-1-Getty US B-52 nuclear bomber crash in Greenland 51 years ago has ill Danes seeking compensation Robert Gearty fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 86bdabc0-3c08-56e7-8393-029792ad5cf2   Westlake Legal Group b52-crash-1-Getty US B-52 nuclear bomber crash in Greenland 51 years ago has ill Danes seeking compensation Robert Gearty fox-news/us/military fox news fnc/us fnc article 86bdabc0-3c08-56e7-8393-029792ad5cf2

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Jim DeFelice: On D-Day’s 75th anniversary, learning about the sacrifice is more crucial than ever

Westlake Legal Group 0f0edf07-GettyDDay1944 Jim DeFelice: On D-Day's 75th anniversary, learning about the sacrifice is more crucial than ever Jim DeFelice fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c10f218f-c5bf-50bc-af13-45bb0decd623 article

Seventy-five years ago this June 6, over 150,000 men ran through the waves at Normandy, France, braving artillery, mortar shells, mines, and machine guns in the biggest seaborne invasion of all time. D-Day has come to be remembered as the 20th century’s iconic battle, and with good reason. The operation was the largest if not the bloodiest of the war, itself the largest and certainly the bloodiest of the century, and perhaps our entire existence.

But that was 75 years ago, ancient history for many of us. Ask a high school student today about D-Day, and at best you’ll get a sentence or two related to the war: VE Day, VJ Day. unless they are a current internet meme or perhaps part of a video game, you’re unlikely to get more than a blank stare.

This is not necessarily their fault. Even in high school, history classes spend scant time on either of the world wars and in many cases, the lessons convey only shallow clichés and worthless, if well-meaning, bromides.

D-DAY VETERANS REVISIT NORMANDY, RECALL HORROR AND TRIUMPH

Twenty, 30 or 40 years ago, this was not necessarily a big deal. There were plenty of people around who not only knew about the war, but had lived through it, fighting in Europe or Asia, sacrificing on the home front.

Find them — in your family, in a nursing home. Make the connection while it’s still possible. The future depends on it.

Those people are rapidly disappearing. The very youngest soldier on D-Day today is in his 90s. Having just done a book on the battle, I can tell you from personal experience there are not many survivors left. Perhaps a handful of men can still bear witness to the first wave at Omaha Beach; most will be gone by the 76th anniversary.

We won’t really know how much we’ve missed.

Fortunately, many stories of D-Day and the war have been recorded, directly from veterans in interviews and memoirs. We have countless photos and souvenirs. These tell us, and future generations, much about war.

But even the best and most vivid lack the truly emotional connection that comes from shaking the hand of a man who was there, after he tells you how cold the water was, or hugging him when he recounts how the soldier next to him died.

For all our technology and its ability to revive memory and conjure emotion, we have not yet found a way to replace the impact of another human one-on-one. Even the most vivid imagination cannot quite recreate the full color of experience without the presence of the man or woman who first lived it.

Not that we shouldn’t try, and not that we shouldn’t avail ourselves of technology to learn all that we can. But still privileged with the presence of the men and women who survived World War II, it behooves us all to seek them out and hear their stories.

They are called the Greatest Generation. They are also the Silent Generation, in that many of the soldiers who fought in the war never thought of themselves as heroes, much less bragged about their exploits.

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While we can learn a great deal from such modesty, silence now does not help us. Their memories help us reach back to the past. The struggles they made it through inspire us to persevere through our own. The more vivid the tale, the deeper the inspiration.

Find them — in your family, in a nursing home. Make the connection while it’s still possible. The future depends on it.

Westlake Legal Group 0f0edf07-GettyDDay1944 Jim DeFelice: On D-Day's 75th anniversary, learning about the sacrifice is more crucial than ever Jim DeFelice fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c10f218f-c5bf-50bc-af13-45bb0decd623 article   Westlake Legal Group 0f0edf07-GettyDDay1944 Jim DeFelice: On D-Day's 75th anniversary, learning about the sacrifice is more crucial than ever Jim DeFelice fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc c10f218f-c5bf-50bc-af13-45bb0decd623 article

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Newt Gingrich: Remembering the heroes of D-Day

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-3f099a9055f44721ba210a01f66a2d4b Newt Gingrich: Remembering the heroes of D-Day Newt Gingrich fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc b2813b52-7f2d-5b26-a24e-64eadab30f10 article

Seventy-five years ago this week, on June 6, 1944, 156,000 Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France.

It was D-Day, a bloody day that marked a significant turning point of World War II, when Allied Forces began to beat back the depraved tyranny of Adolf Hitler and his Nazis in Western Europe. D-Day would prove decisive to the Allied victory, although it came at great cost. According to the U.S. National D-Day Memorial Foundation, 4,413 Allied troops gave their lives to take the beaches, including 2,499 Americans.

I decided to focus on D-Day – and specifically the historic radio address by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt the evening of the invasion – in this week’s episode of my Newt’s World podcast.

VIRGINIA TOWN REMEMBERS THE HIGH PRICE PAID ON D-DAY

D-Day took years of planning, by the Americans, British, and Canadians (in coordination with Soviets). The top-secret invasion was called “Operation Overlord” and was led by future president Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as the Supreme Allied Commander.

It was among the most brutal, challenging, unforgiving military maneuvers in World War II. Allied Forces had to be shipped up to the beach in incredibly rough surf. Before they could even fight the Nazis who were holding the beach, Allied troops had to fight the tide and waves, as they waded – under fire and carrying all their equipment – to the shore.

When they got there, they were on the lowest ground of the battlefield. They faced a fully fortified bank that they had to charge and climb to take the beach. In addition to constant gunfire, they had to avoid barricades, mines, and all manner of threats.

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If you have never been to the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, it is well worth visiting to get a sense of the sacrifice these soldiers made to protect freedom in Europe.

I hope you will take a moment this week to listen to the episode and remember the bravery, courage, and faith of the Allied soldiers who dared to take this beach and defeat tyranny and evil.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY NEWT GINGRICH

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-3f099a9055f44721ba210a01f66a2d4b Newt Gingrich: Remembering the heroes of D-Day Newt Gingrich fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc b2813b52-7f2d-5b26-a24e-64eadab30f10 article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-3f099a9055f44721ba210a01f66a2d4b Newt Gingrich: Remembering the heroes of D-Day Newt Gingrich fox-news/us/military/veterans fox-news/us/military fox-news/topic/world-war-two fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc b2813b52-7f2d-5b26-a24e-64eadab30f10 article

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Trump tweets in support of LGBT people to mark Pride Month

President Donald Trump is tweeting in support of LGBT people to mark LGBT Pride Month. His tweets come one week after his administration moved to revoke newly won health care discrimination protections for transgender people.

That move was the latest in a series of actions by the Trump administration that aim to reverse gains by LGBTQ Americans in areas including the military, housing and education.

In his tweets Friday, Trump says he wants to “recognize the outstanding contributions LGBT people have made to our great Nation.”

The president says other nations “punish, imprison or even execute individuals on the basis of sexual orientation.” He says the U.S. has a “global campaign to decriminalize homosexuality.”

Advocates for LGBT people say the Trump administration has been undermining nondiscrimination protections.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-b9b7c8f8d69b451894f3896afeb4dbf3 Trump tweets in support of LGBT people to mark Pride Month Washington fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc de5c6472-23e5-5ba4-ac64-476409a02b70 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-b9b7c8f8d69b451894f3896afeb4dbf3 Trump tweets in support of LGBT people to mark Pride Month Washington fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc de5c6472-23e5-5ba4-ac64-476409a02b70 Associated Press article

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Trump, Defense boss Shanahan both deny link to USS John S. McCain ‘out of sight’ directive

A mystery continues to surround a reported U.S. military email that called for the USS John S. McCain to be “out of sight” during President Trump’s recent visit to U.S. troops stationed in Japan, where the ship was docked.

On Wednesday, both President Trump and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan denied any knowledge of the order, which led to the ship’s name first being covered with a tarp and then being obscured by a paint barge prior to Trump’s visit over Memorial Day weekend.

“I was not informed about anything having to do with the Navy Ship USS John S. McCain during my recent visit to Japan,” President Trump wrote on Twitter late Wednesday. “Nevertheless, @FLOTUS and I loved being with our great Military Men and Women – what a spectacular job they do!”

USS JOHN S MCCAIN LEAVES DRY DOCK MORE THAN YEAR AFTER FATAL COLLISION

A spokesman for Secretary Shanahan later issued the following statement: “Secretary Shanahan was not aware of the directive to move the USS John S McCain nor was he aware of the concern precipitating the directive.”

“Secretary Shanahan was not aware of the directive to move the USS John S McCain nor was he aware of the concern precipitating the directive.”

— Statement from office of Patrick Shanahan, acting secretary of defense

That statement appeared to contradict a Wall Street Journal story, which cited an unnamed U.S. official as saying that Shanahan was “aware of the concern about the presence of the USS John McCain in Japan and approved measures to ensure it didn’t interfere with the president’s visit.”

The existence of the email – sent by an unnamed U.S. Indo-Pacific Command official to U.S. Navy and Air Force officials – was first reported by the Journal. The newspaper’s story claimed that orders referring to the USS John S. McCain originated from “the White House,” but named no specific official.

The ship is named for the father and grandfather of the late U.S. Sen. John S. McCain III, with whom President Trump had feuded prior to the Arizona Republican’s death from cancer last year at age 81.

The emergence of the Journal story apparently infuriated Meghan McCain, daughter of the late senator and a co-host of ABC’s “The View” – who, like her late father, is a frequent Trump critic.

MEGHAN MCCAIN DISMISSES ‘VIEW’ CONVERSATION: ‘I’M NOT CHANGING YOUR MINDS THIS MORNING’

In a tweet Wednesday that preceded the president’s message, Meghan McCain appeared to insinuate that the order to obscure the ship’s name had come from the president.

Meghan McCain retweeted the Journal story, adding the following comment: “Trump is a child who will always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dads [sic] incredible life. There is a lot of criticism of how much I speak about my dad, but nine months since he passed, Trump won’t let him RIP. So I have to stand up for him. It makes my grief unbearable.”

Since McCain’s death, the late senator’s 34-year-old daughter has been quick to defend his legacy. Just two days earlier, Meghan McCain aimed her ire at Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., a candidate for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Klobuchar recently claimed that the late senator “kept reciting to me names of dictators” during President Trump’s inaugural address in 2017, suggesting that the elder McCain dreaded the thought of a Trump presidency.

Westlake Legal Group trump-mccains Trump, Defense boss Shanahan both deny link to USS John S. McCain ‘out of sight’ directive fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/meghan-mccain fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ef6c67f4-ad3c-541d-bf1b-9c36db3f5e36 Dom Calicchio article

President Trump has feuded with both Sen. John McCain, who died last year, and with his daughter Meghan McCain.

But Meghan McCain said she and her family would prefer if the late senator’s name not be invoked at all during the 2020 election season.

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“On behalf of the entire McCain family, [Amy Klobuchar], please be respectful to all of us and leave my father’s legacy and memory out of presidential politics,” the late senator’s daughter wrote.

Ultimately, the Journal reported, the tarp that covered the name of the USS John S. McCain was removed Saturday and the paint barge that obscured the name was removed as well – both ahead of Trump’s visit, Cmdr. Clayton Doss, a spokesman for the Navy’s Seventh Fleet, told the newspaper.

President Trump spoke to the Japan-based U.S. troops Tuesday while aboard the USS Wasp, which was docked at the same naval base as the USS John S. McCain.

Westlake Legal Group trump-mccains Trump, Defense boss Shanahan both deny link to USS John S. McCain ‘out of sight’ directive fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/meghan-mccain fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ef6c67f4-ad3c-541d-bf1b-9c36db3f5e36 Dom Calicchio article   Westlake Legal Group trump-mccains Trump, Defense boss Shanahan both deny link to USS John S. McCain ‘out of sight’ directive fox-news/us/military/navy fox-news/us/military fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/meghan-mccain fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/politics fnc ef6c67f4-ad3c-541d-bf1b-9c36db3f5e36 Dom Calicchio article

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Trump to visit South Korea in June for talks on North

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Trump to visit South Korea in June for talks on North Washington fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 2098f886-1ba4-5949-bba2-b832518c7291

President Donald Trump will travel to South Korea in June for talks on the North Korean nuclear program, three months after a failed summit with North Korea’s leader in Vietnam.

The White House says Trump will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in conjunction with his trip to Japan for the G-20 summit.

The White House says they “will continue their close coordination on efforts to achieve the final, fully verified denuclearization” of North Korea. Trump and Moon will also discuss issues of importance to their two nations.

Trump’s efforts to bring about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula have stalled since he abruptly pulled out of the March summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The North has since restarted some missile testing.

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Global worries flare over whether US sliding toward Iran war

International worries that the Trump administration is sliding toward war with Iran flared into the open Tuesday amid skepticism about its claims that the Islamic Republic poses a growing threat to the U.S. and its allies in the Persian Gulf and beyond .

The U.S. military rebutted doubts expressed by a British general about such a threat. President Donald Trump denied a report that the administration has updated plans to send more than 100,000 troops to counter Iran if necessary. But Trump then stirred the controversy further by saying: “Would I do that? Absolutely.”

The general’s remarks exposed international skepticism over the American military build-up in the Middle East, a legacy of the 2003 invasion of Iraq that was predicated on false intelligence. U.S. officials have not publicly provided any evidence to back up claims of an increased Iranian threat amid other signs of allied unease.

As tensions in the region started to surge, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said his nation was worried about the risk of accidental conflict “with an escalation that is unintended really on either side.” Then on Tuesday, Spain temporarily pulled one of its frigates from the U.S.-led combat fleet heading toward the Strait of Hormuz. That was followed by the unusual public challenge to the Trump administration by the general.

“No, there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” said Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, a senior officer in the U.S.-backed coalition fighting the Islamic State group. Ghika, speaking in a video conference from coalition headquarters in Baghdad, told reporters at the Pentagon that the coalition monitors the presence of Iranian-backed forces “along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in.”

But he added, “There are a substantial number of militia groups in Iraq and Syria, and we don’t see any increased threat from any of them at this stage.”

Late in the day, in a rare public rebuttal of an allied military officer, U.S. Central Command said Ghika’s remarks “run counter to the identified credible threats” from Iranian-backed forces in the Mideast. In a written statement, Central Command said the coalition in Baghdad has increased the alert level for all service members in Iraq and Syria.

“As a result, (the coalition) is now at a high level of alert as we continue to closely monitor credible and possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq,” the statement said.

At the White House, Trump, who has repeatedly argued for avoiding long-term conflicts in the Mideast, discounted a New York Times report that the U.S. has updated plans that could send up to 120,000 troops to counter Iran if it attacked American forces.

“Would I do that? Absolutely,” he told reporters. “But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we’re not going to have to plan for that. If we did that, we’d send a hell of a lot more troops than that.”

Reinforcing Trump’s denial, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at a joint news conference in Sochi with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, “We fundamentally do not seek war with Iran.”

A Trump administration official said a recent small meeting of national security officials was not focused on a military response to Iran, but instead concentrated on a range of other policy options, including diplomacy and economic sanctions. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

Lavrov said Pompeo told him that a potential deployment of 120,000 U.S. troops to the Mideast was only a “rumor.” Lavrov said the international community needs to focus on diplomacy with Iran, including on the potentially explosive issue of Iran’s nuclear program, which is constrained by a U.S.-brokered deal in 2015 that Trump has abandoned.

U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook told reporters traveling with Pompeo in Brussels that the secretary of state shared intelligence on Iran with allies since “Europe shares our concerns about stability in the Gulf and the Middle East.” What the Europeans do not share, however, is Washington’s more aggressive approach to Iran.

“We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side but ends with some kind of conflict,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told reporters in Brussels.

“What we need is a period of calm to make sure that everyone understands what the other side is thinking,” Hunt said.

Last week, U.S. officials said they had detected signs of Iranian preparations for potential attacks on U.S. forces and interests in the Mideast, but Washington has not spelled out that threat.

The U.S. has about 5,000 troops in Iraq and about 2,000 in Syria as part of the coalition campaign to defeat the Islamic State group there. It also has long had a variety of air and naval forces stationed in Bahrain, Qatar and elsewhere in the Gulf, partly to support military operations against IS and partly as a counter to Iranian influence.

Gen. Ghika’s comments came amid dramatically heightened tensions in the Middle East. The U.S. in recent days has ordered the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group to the Gulf region, plus four B-52 bombers. It also is moving a Patriot air-defense missile battery to an undisclosed country in the area. As of Tuesday, the Lincoln and its strike group had passed through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait in the Red Sea, but officials would not disclose their exact location.

Tensions rose another notch with reports Sunday that four commercial vessels anchored off the United Arab Emirates had been damaged by sabotage.

A U.S. military team was sent to the UAE to investigate, and one U.S. official said the initial assessment is that each ship has a 5- to 10-foot hole in it, near or just below the water line. The official, who was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the investigation, said the early interpretation is that the holes were caused by explosive charges.

The official on Tuesday acknowledged seeing some photographs of the damage to the ships, but those images have not been made public. The official also said that the team is continuing to conduct forensic testing on the ship damage and that U.S. leaders are still awaiting the final report. The team’s initial assessment is that the damage was done by Iranian or Iranian-backed proxies, but they are still going through the evidence and have not yet reached a final conclusion, the official said.

___

AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee and AP writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-9f316a6a9c9148d9a6604947e6705f8d Global worries flare over whether US sliding toward Iran war ROBERT BURNS and LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 4d497ec7-8512-52e1-920f-20ebaaf110fb   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-9f316a6a9c9148d9a6604947e6705f8d Global worries flare over whether US sliding toward Iran war ROBERT BURNS and LOLITA C. BALDOR fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 4d497ec7-8512-52e1-920f-20ebaaf110fb

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Ex-Sen. Lugar hailed as peacemaker ahead of Indiana funeral

Longtime U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar was hailed for being a peacemaker as a two-day tribute began Tuesday with a military honor guard leading his flag-draped casket into the Indiana Statehouse Rotunda.

A couple hundred people gathered with Lugar’s wife, Charlene, and other family members for the Statehouse ceremony after which he was to lie in repose for 24 hours ahead of his funeral on Wednesday.

Lugar was a leading Republican voice on foreign policy matters during his 36 years in the U.S. Senate, with his leading achievement being his work helping spur the dismantling of thousands of former Soviet nuclear weapons after the Cold War ended. Lugar, who was Indianapolis mayor for eight years before his first Senate election win in 1976, died April 28 at age 87.

“In his love and through his courage, Richard Lugar helped bring more peace to an increasingly dangerous world,” Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said. “He did so in every nuclear, chemical and biological weapon disarmed.”

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb and Hogsett placed wreaths with sashes reading “Indiana” and “Indianapolis” next to Lugar’s casket as public viewing began in the Statehouse.

Vice President Mike Pence will be traveling to his home state for Wednesday’s funeral.

Pence said in a Twitter post that Lugar was “an American statesman whose contributions to our nation are countless.” The former Indiana governor said he would deliver a eulogy for a “great man who inspired so many in public service — including me.”

Hogsett, a Democrat, extoled Lugar for his willingness to work across the partisan divide and alluded to the senator’s cerebral and soft-spoken nature.

“He fought hatred, he did not court it,” Hogsett said. “He calmed fear, he did not attempt to use it. He extinguished violence, he did not countenance it.”

Lugar was a reliable conservative vote in the Senate, but he worked closely with Democratic Georgia Sen. Sam Nunn in the early 1990s to launch the program under which the U.S. paid to dismantle and secure weapons in the former Soviet states. The Nunn-Lugar program led to about 7,600 Soviet nuclear warheads being deactivated and the destruction of more than 900 intercontinental ballistic missiles by the time Lugar left office in 2013, according to U.S. military figures.

Lugar worked with Barack Obama after the future Democratic president entered the Senate in 2005, taking Obama with him to Russia, Ukraine and Azerbaijan to visit weapon dismantlement sites. Lugar’s cooperation with Obama, however, became a political handicap as his Senate career ended with a 2012 Republican primary loss to a tea party favorite.

Obama awarded Lugar the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, soon after he left the Senate in 2013. Obama praised Lugar after his death as exhibiting “the truth that common courtesy can speak across cultures.”

“In Dick, I saw someone who wasn’t a Republican or Democrat first, but a problem-solver — an example of the impact a public servant can make by eschewing partisan divisiveness to instead focus on common ground,” Obama said.

Indiana’s governor on Tuesday credited Lugar with a long life of service to his state and country.

“As we gather to say goodbye, it’s our job to carry that torch that this mighty man lived,” Holcomb said.

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-cd5027ca86c44157b2e9d144381c7661 Ex-Sen. Lugar hailed as peacemaker ahead of Indiana funeral TOM DAVIES fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc d2f82d6a-c992-5229-ba28-5fd033d17dc8 Associated Press article   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-cd5027ca86c44157b2e9d144381c7661 Ex-Sen. Lugar hailed as peacemaker ahead of Indiana funeral TOM DAVIES fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc d2f82d6a-c992-5229-ba28-5fd033d17dc8 Associated Press article

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President Macron meets with hostages from West African militant camp, pays tribute to heroes killed in rescue mission

Three hostages who escaped a West African military camp arrived in Paris today, making their second appearance since the ordeal and receiving a welcome from French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron expressed condolences for the two French Special Forces officers who died saving four hostages from the Burkina Faso militant camp during a rescue operation.

Two of the hostages present in France Saturday were identified as Frenchmen Laurent Lassimouillas and Patrick Picque, while the third was an unidentified South Korean woman. The fourth hostage, an American woman, was not identified, and was flown back to the United States without speaking to Macron, according to The Daily Mail.

2 DECORATED FRENCH SOLDIERS KILLED IN RESCUE MISSION THAT SAVED AMERICAN, OTHER HOSTAGES IN AFRICA

Macron spoke to the hostages as they got off the plane at the Villacoublay Air Base southwest of Paris, making note of the sacrifice made by the Special Forces officers.

“All our thoughts go to the families of the soldiers and to the soldiers who lost their lives to free us from this hell,” Lassimouillas said. “We wanted to present our condolences right away to those families because we feel ambivalent about everything that happened to us.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-1d66492e9bd14a3583f6a544c9c2f961 President Macron meets with hostages from West African militant camp, pays tribute to heroes killed in rescue mission fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us fox-news/person/emmanuel-macron fox news fnc/politics fnc David Aaro article 335b0d8f-6dff-5a01-adf3-80461c2bbd70

This photo provided Friday May 10, 2019 by the French army shows navy soldiers Cédric de Pierrepont, left, and Alain Bertoncello. Two French soldiers have been killed in a military operation in the West African nation of Burkina Faso that freed four people from the U.S., France and South Korea who were kidnapped in neighboring Benin. (French Army)

The soldiers were identified as petty officers Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello. A Facebook post by the French Navy added that both men received numerous awards throughout their military careers.

SURFER KILLED BY SHARK OFF COAST OF FRANCE’S REUNION ISLAND: OFFICIALS

Lassimouillas and Picque, both music teachers, had disappeared in Pendjari National Park in Benin on May 1. The Frenchmen spoke about the death of the Beninese park guide, who was killed when they were taken from the safari and transported to the military camp. They expressed regret over what happened and French officials say their captors were ‘terrorists’ who planned to transport them to an Al Qaeda affiliate in Mali.

Westlake Legal Group burkina-faso President Macron meets with hostages from West African militant camp, pays tribute to heroes killed in rescue mission fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us fox-news/person/emmanuel-macron fox news fnc/politics fnc David Aaro article 335b0d8f-6dff-5a01-adf3-80461c2bbd70

The raid that saved the hostages happened Thursday night in the Western African nation of Burkina Faso, France says. (Google Maps)

The U.S. State Department warns Americans to “reconsider travel” to Burkina Faso as “terrorist groups continue plotting attacks and kidnappings … and may conduct attacks anywhere.”

Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-1d66492e9bd14a3583f6a544c9c2f961 President Macron meets with hostages from West African militant camp, pays tribute to heroes killed in rescue mission fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us fox-news/person/emmanuel-macron fox news fnc/politics fnc David Aaro article 335b0d8f-6dff-5a01-adf3-80461c2bbd70   Westlake Legal Group ContentBroker_contentid-1d66492e9bd14a3583f6a544c9c2f961 President Macron meets with hostages from West African militant camp, pays tribute to heroes killed in rescue mission fox-news/world fox-news/us/military fox-news/us fox-news/person/emmanuel-macron fox news fnc/politics fnc David Aaro article 335b0d8f-6dff-5a01-adf3-80461c2bbd70

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Defense chief’s border visit will highlight Trump priority

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is making his second trip to the U.S.-Mexican border to highlight what President Donald Trump calls a national emergency, after freeing up $1.5 billion more in Pentagon money to support wall construction.

Shanahan was flying to the Texas border town of McAllen on Saturday with the acting chief of Homeland Security Department, Kevin McAleenan, for a trip that demonstrates Shanahan’s attention to border security, a top Trump priority, amid questions from some in Congress about whether the border mission is an appropriate and wise use of military resources.

As a prelude to the trip, the White House on Thursday announced that Trump intends to nominate Shanahan as defense secretary, ending months of speculation about Pentagon leadership. He has served in an interim capacity since Jan. 1, an unprecedented period of uncertainty at the helm of the Pentagon.

Shanahan has supported the use of active-duty troops, in addition to the National Guard, to bolster Customs and Border Protection efforts to handle surging numbers of Central American migrants seeking to cross the border. But recently he has hinted at impatience with the lack of a long-term strategy for ensuring border security, which is the responsibility of DHS.

In congressional testimony May 1, Shanahan said he and Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have been considering the question of how long the military will be needed at the border and how best it can support that need.

“The question he and I are trying to answer,” Shanahan said, “is, how long will we be at the border.” He added, “We really need to get back to our primary missions and continue to generate readiness” to undertake conventional military operations.

On May 3, Shanahan told reporters that the border crisis had developed more quickly than anyone had anticipated, putting extra pressure on DHS.

“I don’t think anybody thought it would be this bad, the situation would deteriorate like it has, and that distress would be as high on those front-line (DHS) employees,” he said.

This past week, Shanahan told Congress there are 4,364 military troops on the border, including active-duty and National Guard. They are erecting barriers, providing logistics and transportation service and other activities in support of CPB. The troops are prohibited from performing law enforcement duties.

Many Democrats, including Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, have questioned the use of active-duty troops on the border.

“The longer the Southwest border mission continues, the line of demarcation starts to blur in terms of where we’re drawing a line saying this is not a military responsibility, this is law enforcement, immigration, internal security responsibility,” Durbin said at a recent hearing.

On Friday, Shanahan announced he was transferring $1.5 billion from numerous defense projects, including $604 million originally intended for use in support of Afghan security forces, to a Pentagon counterdrug fund that will help finance construction of barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border. That is in addition to $1 billion the Pentagon transferred for wall construction in March.

The backdrop to Shanahan’s trip is his pending nomination. Shanahan has served as the acting secretary since Jan. 1, when Trump elevated him from deputy secretary to replace Jim Mattis, who resigned in December.

The White House has never explained why it took Trump so long to decide to nominate Shanahan, a former Boeing Co. executive. Trump himself has said he likes to keep Cabinet members in an acting status because gives him more flexibility, although it also frustrates the Senate’s efforts to exercise its constitutional role of providing advice and consent.

In March, the Defense Department’s inspector general investigated accusations that Shanahan had shown favoritism toward Boeing during his time as deputy defense secretary, while disparaging Boeing competitors. The investigation appeared to stall his nomination, but the internal watchdog wrapped up the inquiry in April and cleared Shanahan of any wrongdoing.

Westlake Legal Group 00075b3b-ContentBroker_contentid-8ca7e0b6225e44dfb82b3cc76ea33c78 Defense chief's border visit will highlight Trump priority ROBERT BURNS fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 52158a19-dddb-5287-b2f0-aa8d76deb5d3   Westlake Legal Group 00075b3b-ContentBroker_contentid-8ca7e0b6225e44dfb82b3cc76ea33c78 Defense chief's border visit will highlight Trump priority ROBERT BURNS fox-news/us/military fnc/us fnc Associated Press article 52158a19-dddb-5287-b2f0-aa8d76deb5d3

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