US Army investigation expected to reveal why low-flying military helicopters were used in response to DC protests
Myanmar's ousted leader appears in court after bloodiest day since coup
Aung San Suu Kyi's court appearance came after a weekend of the deadliest violence that Myanmar has seen since the army seized power on Feb. 1. Police and security forces confronted peaceful demonstrations in several locations across Myanmar on Sunday and fired live rounds into the crowds, killing at least 18 people and wounding over 30 others, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which cited "credible information" that it had received. Tear gas and stun grenades were also reportedly used in various locations.
A long awaited Army fact-finding investigation is expected to shed new light on why military helicopters were, a move that fueled criticism over the broader federal response to unrest in the nation's capital and contributed to scrutiny that "informed" the service's preparations ahead of the January 6 attack months later, CNN has learned.
The report, which is expected to be released by the Army on Wednesday, will address the internal confusion that led to the flights being authorized without a clear understanding of what was happening at the time, two defense officials told CNN.
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The democratic island is one of the flashpoints where the simmering U.S.-China confrontation could escalate into open conflict.It seems all that now stands between China and the regime's desire to drag Taiwan under its direct control is the strength of America's hand, which Beijing may soon force Washington to show. Taiwan and U.S. allies in Asia hope America isn't bluffing.
It is not expected to deal with any punishments, the officials added. Instead, a key area of focus will be that existing regulations and procedures did not anticipate the type of unrest that occurred. One official told CNN that the regulations governing National Guard support during civil incidents are now likely to be updated.
The commanding general of the DC National Guard Major General William Walker was not a focus of this report, the officials said.
Criticism over the way the military and civilian law enforcement handled the summertime protests overall also played a significant role during discussions about using Guard troops in the days before pro-Trump rioters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, according to an extensive Defense Department timeline and report reviewed by CNN.
‘January 6 changed everything’: Will Capitol riots mark a return to fortress policing?
As social justice protesters call for smaller police footprints, the Capitol riot has led police to double down on military-like security.Around the local courthouse, a large outer perimeter and a more restrictive inner core now serves as the centerpiece of an elaborate effort to secure the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, accused in the murder of George Floyd.
CNN has previously reported that defense officials were already sensitive to the backlash they received after the incident at Lafayette Square but the timeline offers new details about how the National Guard's role in responding to protests over the summer was a factor in the Army's preparations ahead of January 6.
At the time, top military leaders, including Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley and then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, were heavily criticized for joining former President Donald Trump as he made his now infamous stroll to St. John's Church shortly after protesters were forcefully cleared from Lafayette Square near the White House.
Milley in particular, was heavily scrutinized for appearing alongside Trump that day in his battle fatigues and faced a flurry of questions about Trump's pledge to deploy the military to enforce order inside the US if needed.
Myanmar accelerates toward a civil war of 'unprecedented scale'
Anti-coup demonstrators are abandoning peaceful protest for armed resistance as the deposed civilian government appeals to ethnic rebels to join the fight. The United Nations warns of a 'bloodbath.'The student, who lives in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city, will soon embark on a treacherous journey snaking past military checkpoints close to the border with Thailand. Her hope of studying in Europe has been set aside so she can train in guerrilla warfare alongside ethnic insurgents, including her fellow majority Buddhist Bamars, who are determined to resist Myanmar’s military junta, which seized power in a February coup.
The timeline and report reviewed by CNN reveals that criticism continued to weigh on defense officials in the months that followed as Army preparations for January 6 "were informed by the considerable scrutiny received after the federal response to protests over the summer."
As a result of the June civil disturbances, the Pentagon was adamant that "troops should be used only as a last resort in direct law enforcement roles; police should wear distinct uniform colors during protests when the military is present, and the military must be careful about lending out equipment to civilian law enforcement that is labeled 'military'," according to the memo.
Because of the controversial response to June unrest, the Pentagon then determined that any requests for use of the DC National Guard required "thorough scrutiny" from both the secretary of defense and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.
The report noted that there were particular restrictions ahead of time imposed by Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy on the use of Walker's National Guard quick reaction forces at the Capitol "because of concerns" with how the DC National Guard used helicopters, including medical evacuation helicopters" at those low altitudes during the earlier June disturbances. McCarthy issued a memo before January 6 telling Walker that he would not authorize use of a quick reaction force ahead of time without knowing how it would be used.
The timeline memo says Walker "expressed no concerns" about the restrictions at the time, although.
The timeline documents state several times that Pentagon and Army leaders on January 6 received "panicked" and "frantic" calls for assistance from the guard but that initially it was not clear what exactly was happening and where quick response guard forces were needed at the Capitol Hill complex. The memo reiterates what has been said publicly for weeks which is that the Pentagon did not deny any request for help on that day but was struggling to get a full picture of events.
The document, largely prepared by the Army to describe its actions from December 31 to January 6, has not been publicly released. The Defense Department Inspector General is still conducting a full review of the January 6 violence.
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The U.S. Navy and Marine Corps have quietly kicked out white supremacists, offering them administrative discharges that leave no public record.The documents, obtained via a public-records request by the open-government advocacy group American Oversight, detail 13 major investigations into white supremacist activity in the Navy and Marine Corps over more than 20 years. They show a pattern in which military leaders chose to deal with personnel involved in extremism by dismissing them in ways that would not attract public attention.