In yet another instance of President Trump actively working to undermine whatever moral authority the United States has left, it was recently revealed that he is considering extending pardons to several American service members and defense contractors, including some accused of heinous war crimes.
One individual, in particular, turns the stomach. Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher is accused of murdering a prisoner of war and killing Iraqi civilians, including a young girl and elderly man. The man is a disgrace to the military and belongs behind bars, but Trump thinks perhaps the credibly accused murderer should walk free.
Now, the man who oversaw the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden, retired Navy Admiral and former Navy SEAL William McRaven, has decided to weigh in on the possible pardons. According to Business Insider, McRaven said that the president “needs to be very careful” about pardoning service members who might have committed war crimes.
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“I think the president needs to be very careful at this point. Obviously, the president can pardon whoever he thinks it’s appropriate to pardon. But as you know, Bret, the way it works in the military is you have to be careful as a senior commander about unduly influencing the process before the investigation has been adjudicated,” the former admiral said during an interview with Bret Baier on Fox News.
McRaven went on to share further concerns about how a premature move to pardon could affect other levels of the chain of command.
“A senior officer is not allowed to imply how he thinks the investigation should come out. That is called unduly influencing the investigation. So by the president signaling that he wants to or might pardon any individual, I’m concerned that that unduly influences the commanders below him,” said McRaven.
At the very least, McRaven believes, President Trump should wait until the courts have made their decisions.
“Now, once the trial is over and the president has an opportunity to read all the evidence and make a decision, obviously he’s well within his rights to pardon whoever he thinks it’s appropriate to do so,” he continued.
The entire idea to pardon war criminals is a transparent ploy on the part of Trump to appear to be a tough military guy who supports the troops no matter what. The same man who dodged the draft multiple times is desperate to convince his Republican base that he is, in fact, a patriotic pro-military man. The irony in this case is that much of the military clearly disagrees with these pardons.