Iraq combat veteran: Pardon of war criminals sends disturbing message to US military, world

”I led a platoon in Iraq. Trump is wrong to pardon war criminals.”

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President Trump is considering pardoning American military members convicted of war crimes. One of the requests for a pardon is reportedly for Navy SEALs Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, who is facing charges of shooting unarmed civilians and killing a wounded captive teenage fighter by stabbing him with a knife and then staging a re-enlistment ceremony over the dead teen’s body. On Thursday, a military judge in San Diego ordered Gallagher free from custody, citing prosecutorial misconduct in his murder trial for war crimes. The court has yet to rule on whether to remove prosecutors or to throw out the case entirely. One of the attorneys for Gallagher also represents the Trump Organization. Republican Congressmember Duncan Hunter, one of Gallagher’s most vocal supporters, recently admitted in a podcast to killing hundreds of civilians while serving in the U.S. military during his deployment to Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. This comes as Trump may also consider a pardon request for Blackwater contractor Nicholas Slatten, who was twice found guilty of first-degree murder in the deadly 2007 Nisoor Square massacre in Baghdad, which killed 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians. We speak with Waitman Wade Beorn, a combat veteran of Iraq and a Holocaust and genocide studies historian. In a May 9, 2019, opinion column in The Washington Post, headlined “”I led a platoon in Iraq. Trump is wrong to pardon war criminals.”

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