Welcome home, heroes? Baby-rescuing marine investigated for appearing at Trump rally, dead grunt’s family lectured on face masks

​A US Marine who saved a baby at Kabul airport is under investigation for appearing on stage with Donald Trump, while a DC reporter found time to tattletale on a dead marine’s family for going unmasked. A hero’s return indeed.

Lance Cpl. Hunter Clark was one of nearly 6,000 troops sent to Kabul in August to oversee the US’ chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. Clark stood out among his fellow jarheads, however, when he was seen on camera lifting a baby to safety over the razor-wire fence surrounding the city’s airport, where the baby later received medical treatment.

Marine Corps spokesman Maj. James Stenger called Clark’s snap decision to rescue the infant “a true example of the professionalism of the Marines,” and Clark was lauded by former President Donald Trump, who invited the lance corporal on stage at one of his campaign-style ‘Save America’ rallies in Georgia last week.

Clark appeared in plain clothes and spoke briefly on how rescuing the child was “one of the greatest things I’ve ever done in my entire life,” before shaking hands with Trump and departing. However, he’s now under investigation by his superiors for his few seconds in the spotlight.

“The 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) has initiated a command investigation regarding LCpl Hunter Clark’s attendance at the event last weekend to determine if any [Pentagon] policies were violated,” Capt. Kelton J Cochran, a spokesman for Clark’s unit, stated on Thursday.

Pentagon policy forbids active-duty troops from “speak[ing] before a partisan political gathering, including any gathering that promotes a partisan political party, candidate, or cause,” but whether Clark violated this policy is difficult to predict. While Trump’s rallies are partisan affairs and feature scathing critiques of the Biden administration and liberal culture, the former president is not currently seeking office, and Clark did not promote any candidates or causes while on stage.

Conservatives and Trump supporters immediately accused Clark’s superiors of running a politically-motivated “witch hunt” against him.

Clark’s investigation may well be procedural and swiftly resolved. However, he is not the only member of the US military facing what increasingly looks like ideological punishment. After the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill in January, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a stand-down order so commanding officers could investigate supposed ‘extremism” within the military’s ranks. With ‘extremism’ broadly defined by the Biden administration at the time as fueling the Capitol riot, the order was seen by conservatives as an initial effort to purge the ranks of Trump supporters.

As the investigation against Clark was announced, the family of Marine Sgt. Nicole Gee, who was killed by a suicide bomber outside Kabul airport last month (and was also pictured cradling an Afghan infant), toured the House of Representatives. Some of the group went without face masks despite their wearing being mandatory in federal buildings, and were called out on this by Politico reporter Heather Caygle.

When furious commenters suggested that Gee’s family should get a pass, Caygle doubled down, arguing that the family’s sacrifice shouldn’t “exempt them from wearing a mask.”

While the military investigates one of its own, whom many would consider a hero, and partisan reporters hector the families of the fallen, two men who have escaped punishment are Austin and General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Despite failing to predict the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, overseeing a tactically flawed withdrawal, admitting to being “unable” to assess an enemy’s will to fight, and in Milley’s case consorting with Chinese military leadership behind his own commander-in-chief’s back, both men still have their jobs and the “complete confidence” of President Joe Biden.

Marine Lieutenant Colonel Stuart Scheller, who publicly called for “accountability” from Austin and Milley and their ilk after the Afghan withdrawal, however, remains behind bars.  

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Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, September 28, 2021.
Resigning over Afghanistan is too ‘political’ for Gen. Milley, who worked just fine with CIA, NSA & Democrats to resist Trump

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