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Trump's interest in apologizing to Eddie Gallagher and other troops accused of war crimes explained



Referring to Fox News, President Donald Trump is predominantly considering commemorating Memorial Day by forgiving several US troops accused of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The New York Times reported last Saturday that the Trump administration made rapid requests "For paperwork was necessary to issue a series of excuses, including troops accused of killing unarmed citizens and detainees. Trump could still change and decide against the suffering – Former military officers have come out saying it would be an inappropriate move – but the White Huss's requests suggest that Trump is seriously considering following the pair. [OnMondaytheDailyBeastreportedthatTrump'sinterestinpardonsispartlyaresultof"amonth-longlobbyingcampaign"byIraq'swarveteranPeteHegsetha Fox & Friends weekend co-host who doubles as an informal adviser to the president.

Hegseth responded to Daily Beast's report by tweeting it with hashtags asking for a pardon for Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL leader awaiting assassination on to accuse, he shot unarmed civilians and piled up a defenseless teenager while deployed to help Iraqi forces fight ISIS in 201

7; Mathew Golsteyn, a Silver Star recipient (honor was later removed), who admitted to killing a Taliban bomber in Afghanistan in February 2010 and is scheduled to be tried for banned murder; and Clint Lorance, who earns a 19-year sentence as a result of his conviction of murder charges arising from the shooting of three Afghan men in July 2012.

Times reports that Trump, in addition to these men, is contemplating attending a former Blackwater security contractor found guilty of shooting Iraqis, and a group of naval corpses accused of desecrating the bodies of Taliban warriors.

Hegseth has not only lobbied Trump privately; He has also repeatedly appealed to Trump to apologize to the accused war criminals at Fox & Friends often show live tweets by the president.

"These are men who entered the most dangerous places on earth with a job of defending us and making hard calls in a moment's notice," Hegseth said on Sunday. "They are not war criminals – they are warriors. … This must be a unifying problem, but the Left is going to attack him for this and says:" He releases war criminals, he loosens the rules of engagement, our men and women are willpower kills civilians "- that's all garbage, but they'll attack him no matter what." "These are the good guys. These are the warlords," Hegseth added.

But it is not the "left" that has accused the troops concerned of war crimes – that is the military legal system. While Trump seems to see the pairing as a gift to the military, it is actually the military that has decided to prosecute Gallagher and Golstein. Pardons, in short, would interfere in the prosecution of the military, which is a very unusual thing for the president to do.

"Lack of evidence of innocence or injustice the wholesale gift of US service members accused of war crimes signals our troops and allies that we do not take the law of armed conflict seriously," warns Martin Dempsey, who served as President Barack Obama's senior military advisor tweeted Wednesday. "Bad message. Bad precedent. Abdication of moral responsibility. Risk to us."

"The president has the right to forgive the one he wants, but it is not always wise to do so."

Trump has already gone where no former president dared to go with military suffering. Earlier this month, he proclaimed Michael Behenna, a former first lieutenant in the army, sentenced in 2009 and imprisoned to kill an Iraqi operative during an interrogation. CNN reports that Behanna's apology marked the first to a doomed killer in modern American history.

Gallagher and Golsteyn are both charged with murder. As the New York Times detailed last month, Gallagher's navy warned SEALs of higher recordings of his behavior in Iraq – behavior that ultimately resulted in him being charged in September with pre-mediated murder, attempted murder and others crimes that could land him in prison for the rest of his life:

Stabber killing a defenseless teenage prisoner. Picking a schoolgirl and an old man from a sniper cheese. Naming spraying of rocket and machine gun neighborhood fires.

Navy SEAL commands from Team 7's Alpha Platoon said they had seen their highly-styled platoon commander committing shocking actions in Iraq. And they had said several times. But their frustration grew as months passed, and they saw no sign of official action.

Tired of being brushed, seven members of the platoon called a private meeting with their troop commander in March 2018 at Naval Base Coronado near San Diego. According to a confidential Navy Criminal Investigation Report obtained by The New York Times, they gave him the bloody details and asked for a formal investigation.

Politico adds that the allegations against Gallagher include bags with the body of the teenager he allegedly killed. His attempts have begun at the beginning of the month.

Golsteyn is accused of killing an unarmed Taliban bomber after two marines in his unit were killed by booby-trapped explosives. Golsteyn admits to killing the bomber, but recently the Washington Post reported that defense officials "misrepresent my fighting as" murder. ""

Nora Bensahel, a visiting professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, focusing on US defense policy, told Vox that Trump's interest in rejecting accused war criminals before having themselves had their day in the military court – like that is the case with Gallagher and Golsteyn – is particularly problematic.

"The president has the right to forgive the one he wants, but it is not always wise to do so," Bensahel said. "I find it very much that these excuses can be given before attempting to determine guilt or innocence before the military judiciary goes through its process."

Even Gallagher's lawyer Timothy Parlatore stated in an interview with the New York Times that he is not enthusiastic about the time of Trump's interest in apologizing for his client just before his attempt.

"We want the opportunity to free my client," parlatore said. "At the same time there is always the risk of going to court. My primary goal is to bring Chief Gallagher home to his family. For this purpose, Chief Gallagher would like to invite any kind of involvement of the president."

Trump responds to Fox News [19659024] Fox News has encouraged pardon for service members accused of crimes and Trump seems to be listening.

On March 30, one day after the South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman appeared on Fox & Friends and raised concerns about the conditions of Gallagher's retrial detention, trump tweeted that "[i] honored his former service to our country," Gallagher "will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while awaiting his day in court. "He tags Fox & Friends & # 39; Twitter account in the tweet.

People in Trump's orbit also seem sympathetic. CNN reported Friday that a Trump organization lawyer, Marc Mukasey, joined Gallagher's legal team in recent months.

Golsteyn's story was also sympathetically covered by Fox & Friends last December. In response to this segment, trump tweeted that "[a] t many wishes," he "will undergo" murder charges against Golsteyn. He tags both Fox & Friends and Hegseth in that tweet.

Trump's two-armed human rights activists. Patricia Gossman, senior researcher for Afghanistan at Human Rights Watch, told the New York Times at the time that "Major Golsteyn admitted what appears to be a brief execution – a very serious crime in international law, and it is crucial that the investigation goes … There have been far too many cases of suspect killings in US Special Forces units in Afghanistan, where the results of investigations are never known and no one is prosecuted. "

Former and current military officials believes that this is also a bad idea, the Los Angeles Times reports and adds that Trump – as has been the case with other ailments – has not consulted the relevant senior officials:

senior officers have not spoken publicly about the possibility that Trump could apologize for war criminals, but many are privately owned, according to one currently serving at the Pentagon.

"I think many of us would see it the same way – it's just terrible," he said.

Trump is not the only president to be criticized for his approach to crimes allegedly committed by the national security community – for example, Barack Obama was not interested in prosecuting those involved in the CIA torture program – but Trump has a long story of Actively appealing actions that would count as war crimes. During the campaign, he threatened to "bomb the shit" out of countries, promised during a debate to "bring a hell of a lot worse than the water board" and agreed to kill the families of suspected terrorists in the fight against ISIS. He has already pardoned Behenna.

But the release of the couple before the people accused of murder, their day in the military court has taken Trump's rejection of law and order to a new level.

Under Fox News segments that Trump probably looks at, Hegseth has made a case that Gallagher and Golsteyn fought for the country and just did what was needed in a battle zone. But Bensahel, defense policy experts from Johns Hopkins, said she didn't think this argument stopped.

"To say that people are to be forgiven just because they served in difficult situations undermines the entire military system, undermines the views of the United States as a moral nation, and undermines how the United States is considered to use its own rule of law," she said.

In the end, she argued that the United States should be a nation of laws – both at home and in combat zones. "If people do not believe that they should be kept to any standard of their behavior and laws are optional, the effectiveness of how the US forces operate is undermining. In addition to the broader political implications, there is a real danger here, how military units work if these pardons happen, especially before the system has had a chance to continue. There is a great risk of ordering and disciplining units. "However, Trump is also an opportunity to show that he is standing with the troops – although most of their peers will not stand with someone accused of atrocities.


The news goes fast. To keep you updated, follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter, and read more of Vox Policy and Policy Coverage .


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