This is one of the stranger stories to come out in a while, but fortunately it sounds like one situation which could be quickly and cleanly pencil whipped into the dustbin by our new Attorney General. Out in California there is a 74-year-old United States Army veteran who is set to go on trial next month. His crime? “Posting” two small American flags on the fence of a veterans facility there. If you really feel like having something to spit nails about today, read on. (Judicial Review)
Will Jeff Sessions’ Department of Justice (DOJ) continue wasting taxpayer dollars to criminally prosecute a 74-year-old U.S. Army veteran for posting two American Flags in a southern California Veterans Administration facility? The absurd case was initiated under President Obama, but is set to go to trial in federal court next month under new DOJ leadership. The military veteran faces up to six months in jail for the ghastly offense of affixing Old Glory at a site honoring those who served their country. Judicial Watch reached out to Sessions’ office but has not heard back from the new Attorney General after various attempts via telephone and electronic mail with the DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs.
Here’s some background; U.S. Army veteran Robert Rosebrock posted a pair of four-by-six-inch American Flags on the outside fence of a VA facility in West Los Angeles on Memorial Day in 2016. The fence is part of the “Great Lawn Gate” and marks the entrance to the Los Angeles National Veterans Park. The public facility is part of a larger, 388-acre parcel that includes the Veterans Home of West Los Angeles.
Are you serious? Is this really a conversation that we’re having in 2017? Rosebrock and many other of our nation’s warriors are bothered by what’s been going on at the Los Angeles National Veterans Park. The large chunk of land in question was deeded to the public in the 1800s by a private citizen with the specific requirement that it be used for the benefit of America’s veterans. There are indeed a couple of veterans facilities there, but the elected officials of California have seen fit to also make use of the land for a number of decidedly non-veteran oriented purposes. These include a baseball stadium, a laundry, a dog park, and set storage for 20th Century Fox. These are clearly not additions which are in keeping with the wishes of the benefactor who provided the land.
The fact that the veterans show up and express their “outrage” by affixing American flags and POW flags to the fence should actually be a badge of honor. Compare that to the angry crowds of anti-Trump protesters who desecrate public buildings, block roadways and attack people. We should be throwing Mr. Rosebrock a parade, not throwing him in jail. And jail is precisely what could be the result when he goes to trial.
This is a fixable situation. If word comes down from on high this matter should be easily dropped from the docket. Even if there is some out of control, liberal judge involved who wants to insist on prosecuting this veteran, in a worst-case scenario someone could simply ask President Trump to issue his first official pardon. The trial is in federal court because the “crime” took place on federal property, so he could do that, right? One look at the details of the story would likely make it precisely the sort of situation that the new president would absolutely love to jump into with both feet. So let’s get this done.