Trump’s plan to celebrate Memorial Day by pardoning war criminals

So many executive orders, so much twitter. What to do? Well, discuss it here for one...

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Trump’s plan to celebrate Memorial Day by pardoning war criminals

#1 Post by TrueTexan » Mon May 20, 2019 10:43 am

Nowhere is Donald Trump’s imperial instinct more obvious than when it comes to the pardon power. This makes sense. The pardon power is a relic of the English monarchy, which most of the founders didn’t think was necessary and didn’t originally include in the Constitution. With some famous exceptions, pardons have mostly been used to show mercy. In recent years presidents have been parsimonious in handing them out, always following the rules set forth by the Department of Justice pardon office.

But the presidential pardon is a plenary power — meaning it is absolute, with no review and no limitation — which someone obviously explained to Trump early on. So he has not bothered with any guidelines or rules and has handed out pardons whenever it pleases him, mostly to friends and right-wing cause célèbre criminals. Like a mob boss he’s used the pardon power as an enticement to prevent testimony against him, often in public (but as we’ve seen in the Mueller report, in private as well.)

But pardoning war criminals takes this imperial overreach to a new level. Early this month Trumpe pardoned a former Army lieutenant named Michael Behenna, who was convicted of the unpremeditated killing of an al-Qaida member in Iraq. Behenna’s unit had lost two members from a roadside bomb and suspected the victim of being involved. They could find no evidence, and Behenna was charged with escorting the man back to his village. Instead, he stopped on the way, stripped the man naked, “interrogated” him and then executed him. He claimed self-defense but the court found him guilty and he was sentenced to 25 years in prison, later reduced to 15. He was paroled in 2014.

Behenna’s family cleverly got themselves on “Fox & Friends” to pitch for a pardon, and Trump obviously saw it. When that pardon was granted, Fox News reported that the president was also “taking a broad look at veterans jailed for battlefield crimes and considering granting more of them similar relief.”

This must be one of those personal obsessions of Trump’s, like designing his border wall (black, with sharp spikes) or tending to the details of the Independence Day celebration he’s planning to turn into a campaign rally this year. The New York Times reported on Saturday that he has asked for the paperwork to pardon several more military convicts — on Memorial Day.

That’s right, Trump plans to pardon war criminals on the national day of mourning for the war dead. The Times reports:

One request is for Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of the Navy SEALs, who is scheduled to stand trial in the coming weeks on charges of shooting unarmed civilians and killing an enemy captive with a knife while deployed in Iraq. The others are believed to include the case of a former Blackwater security contractor recently found guilty in the deadly 2007 shooting of dozens of unarmed Iraqis; the case of Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn, the Army Green Beret accused of killing an unarmed Afghan in 2010; and the case of a group of Marine Corps snipers charged with urinating on the corpses of dead Taliban fighters.

Gallagher and Goldsteyn have also been championed by “Fox & Friends” host Pete Hegseth, whom Trump was once rumored to have considered to run the VA. Trump tweeted last March that he was moving Gallagher to less restrictive confinement “in honor of his service to the country.” Apparently, he doesn’t find Gallagher’s accusers — fellow Navy Seals — to be honorable, despite the fact that they came forward at great risk to their careers to stop this murderous lunatic, who in one case was witnessed stabbing a wounded 15-year-old to death, texting photos of his kill and then holding a mock re-enlistment ceremony with the corpse. That’s just for starters. This earlier story in the Times goes into grisly detail; it’s not only an indictment of this madman, it’s an indictment of the system that protected him for so long.

Trump has previously called Golsteyn, who admitted to the summary execution of an unarmed Afghan, a “U.S. military hero” after seeing him on “Fox & Friends” as well. The Marine snipers, who were court-martialed for urinating on Taliban soldiers, were represented by former Trump attorney John Dowd and the former Blackwater contractor, Nick Slatten, is connected to Trump crony Erik Prince (the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos).

People who have been paying attention undoubtedly knew that these would be crimes for which Trump would be thrilled to issue a pardon. After all, he ran as a big fan of torture and war crimes in the 2016 campaign.

Trump repeatedly proclaimed that he loved waterboarding, and promised to do “a lot more than that” as president. He insisted that torture works, adding that “if it doesn’t work they deserve itanyway for what they do to us.” He hinted broadly that he would even consider beheading, because his entire “strategy” to combat ISIS was to be even more brutal than they were.
https://www.rawstory.com/2019/05/trump- ... kes-sense/

It would be justice to see him standing at the gallows pole awaiting the final punishment for Crimes Against Humanity and the Peace of Nations with no chance of a pardon.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
The illegal we do immediately; the unconstitutional takes a little longer-Kissinger
Reasoning will never make a Man correct an ill Opinion, which by Reasoning he never acquired.-Swift

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Re: Trump’s plan to celebrate Memorial Day by pardoning war criminals

#2 Post by Mason » Mon May 20, 2019 11:31 am

Having never served, that POS has no understanding how important it is to Court Marshall the guys who go psycho and flout rules of engagement. Disgusting.
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Re: Trump’s plan to celebrate Memorial Day by pardoning war criminals

#3 Post by highdesert » Mon May 20, 2019 12:05 pm

The pardon power is a relic of the English monarchy...
From centuries past when monarchs were seen as the Fountain of Mercy, but that was a long time ago. Pardons are still given by the UK Sovereign, but it's done in the monarch's name only and strictly controlled by law. It's granted when a conviction is determined to be "unsafe" by UK courts in effect a miscarriage of justice. US states have more control over their governors pardon and commutation powers than the federal government has over a president. Reagan abused it, Clinton abused it and now Trump, we need statute law and perhaps a pardon and commutation board to review each case.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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Re: Trump’s plan to celebrate Memorial Day by pardoning war criminals

#4 Post by highdesert » Wed May 22, 2019 10:40 am

Current and former military officers urged the White House not to pardon service members and security contractors implicated in war crimes, warning that forgiving their offenses would send a dangerous signal to U.S. troops and potential adversaries. Aides to President Trump have been examining high-profile war crimes cases from Iraq and Afghanistan, preparing paperwork so Trump could issue pardons during Memorial Day commemorations next week, according to two senior U.S. officials.

But the possibility that Trump could issue pardons has brought a flood of opposition from current and former high-ranking officers, who say it would encourage misconduct by showing that violations of laws prohibiting attacks on civilians and prisoners of war will be treated with leniency. “Absent evidence of innocence or injustice, the wholesale pardon of U.S. service members accused of war crimes signals our troops and allies that we don’t take the law of armed conflict seriously,” retired Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a tweet Tuesday. He added: “Bad message. Bad precedent. Abdication of moral responsibility. Risk to us.”
Several officials said Trump is not believed to have consulted his senior military advisors about issuing pardons. The possibility of military pardons was first reported by the New York Times. Senior officers have not spoken out publicly about the possibility Trump could pardon accused war criminals, but many are privately outraged, according to one currently serving at the Pentagon.

“I think a lot of us would see it in the same way — that it’s just awful,” he said.
The possibility of that reaction inside the military could cause Trump not to go ahead with the pardons. But Trump has ignored top military officers before, and Pentagon officials who once served to check his impulses, including former Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, are no longer serving in the administration.
https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na- ... story.html
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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