Updated: Feb 7
As Chairman of the Board of Directors for United American Patriots (UAP), I write in response to the Daily Mail's August 11, 2019, article.
In the article, the Daily Mail errantly reports that UAP was a party to legal strategy and decision-making related to US Navy Chief Eddie Gallagher's case. Such decisions are made solely by the attorney-client team, of which UAP has no part and no say. In this situation, the decisions were made by and between former defense counsel, Colby Vokey & Phil Stackhouse, and Chief Gallagher, not UAP.
It is important to note, UAP does not provide the actual legal defense; has no attorneys on staff; does not engage in the practice of law; and has no input or control, whatsoever, over what legal tactics attorneys who represent UAP funded Warriors develop or execute.
With regard to a Warrior’s legal defense, UAP's role is to raise awareness and to provide funding. In Chief Gallagher’s case, UAP provided $77,000 (this was over 100% of what was actually raised for Chief Gallagher by UAP) toward Chief Gallagher’s legal defense and intended to provide more until the Gallagher family instructed UAP to stop in March 2018.
In any event, UAP considers Chief Gallagher not guilty findings a great victory for military justice. Moreover, that the CNO is taking a close look at the Navy JAG Corps is a solid development toward much needed reform.
Regarding the SEAL Fund's internal decisions vis-a-vis UAP, we are not privy to them, because the SEAL Fund’s directors and representatives declined repeated offers to dialogue.
We do not challenge the SEAL Fund’s public statement regarding UAP's prior Form 990s. This is not a surprise as it is something noted by UAP's previous Board of Directors and was the reason for the Board’s decision to identify our new CEO, LtCol David Gurfein, USMCR (Ret.). He was brought on board to rectify the situation, and has.
The new CEO quickly recognized that UAP's fundraising partner was keeping a disproportionate amount of funds raised rather than passing those donations along to UAP for application to programs related to UAP's Mission:
UAP provides awareness to the President, Congress, and Citizens; Funds legal representation; and Supports reintegration for US Warriors wrongfully accused & unjustly convicted of “war crimes” to preserve the “Presumption of Innocence” and protect against Unlawful Command Influence, prosecutor misconduct, and investigator abuse
When LtCol Gurfein joined UAP just over a year ago, he took immediate steps to identify, quantify, and address the problems which were negatively impacting UAP’s efficiency and effectiveness. This ultimately led to UAP entering into a new relationship with a more ethical fundraising partner, Meyer Partners.
While it is still too early to accurately identify the percentage of funds going to support our programs, based upon the newly established contract with Meyer Partners, we anticipate significantly higher percentages being applied than before. Moreover, and it is significant to note, 98% of all money donated directly through our website (www.UAP.org) goes directly to supporting our Warriors.
Although the CEO is paid a comparatively modest salary given his Harvard MBA, Executive Leadership experience, and Marine Corps combat credentials, none of the other Board of Directors, nor any of the Board of Advisors, receives any compensation for their participation on either Board.
The Navy SEAL fund's glib and irresponsible comment that UAP seeks to keep military personnel "locked up ... to maximize fundraising" is unfounded and peculiar, especially considering the success observed just this past week.
UAP funded the legal defense which led to the dismissal of the wrongful charges made against the four Navy SEALs of SEAL Team 2 (Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Daniel V. D’Ambrosio Jr., two Special Operator Chief Petty Officers — Xavier Silva and David N. Swarts, and their former commanding officer, Navy SEAL Lt. Jason L. Webb), and for whom Colby Vokey was their lead attorney.
We also find it concerning that the Daily Mail chose to report the SEAL Fund's comment about UAP without providing UAP an opportunity to address such allegations.
Such a comment is clearly exposed as false when reviewing all the other Warriors for whom UAP has provided, or is presently providing, legal defense funding and who are well prepared for their pending Court-Martial, have been freed from confinement, or have had their charges dropped.
We welcome the Daily Mail following up with some of these Warriors, to include:
MAJ Matt Golsteyn, US Army Special Forces
Lt. Jacob Portier, US Navy, SEAL
1LT Michael Behenna, US Army
GySgt Tim Hogan, US Marine Corps, MARSOC
SSgt. Trey Fagan, US Marine Corps, MARSOC
SSG Frank Wuterich, US Army
SGT Larry Hutchins, US Army
SGT Derrick Miller, US Army
SGT Michael Williams. US Army
CPL Jonny Serna, US Army
SPC Michael Wagnon, US Army
Moreover, UAP has taken on a number of very challenging cases after the Warrior’s trials were completed and where the Warriors received life sentences or decades of confinement, to ensure our Warriors have their Rights preserved.
While post-conviction appellate and habeas corpus cases are, by their very nature, lengthy, these incarcerated Warriors which UAP is presently supporting, of which there are presently only four, recognize UAP is doing everything possible to fight for their Rights.
At this time, UAP continues to fight to ensure “the US Constitution is not absent without leave” during any military justice investigation, trial, or appeal so our Warriors are afforded all of the Rights they swear to support and defend, especially while going in harm’s way on our behalf.
We are also looking forward to continuing our support for the “Rights For Warriors” Congressional Caucus, of which SGT Derrick Miller is presently the lead Congressional Staffer.
SGT Miller's involvement on Capitol Hill is significant because, Mr. Colby Vokey, just this past May, was able to secure SGT Miller’s release from prison at Ft Leavenworth after SGT Miller served just 8-year of a wrongful accusation, unjust conviction, and inappropriate sentence of life in prison for SGT Miller's actions in combat - actions which not only saved his own life but ultimately, his actions saved the lives of others in his unit.
Despite the unsubstantiated allegations made against UAP, we will continue to support and defend the Rights of those who support and defend our Rights – our Nation’s Warriors.
LtCol, USMC (Ret.)
Chairman of the Board
United American Patriots