While I’m sure many people were expecting this to happen, there’s still quite a bit of justifiable controversy over the President’s decision yesterday to issue pardons to two members of the American military and restore the rank of a third who was previously convicted of a war crime. Trump’s reputation as a strong advocate for our military is well known, but some of the details behind the actions of two of these troops are beyond disturbing. (NPR)
President Trump has issued pardons for two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan and restored the rank of a Navy SEAL who was acquitted of murder in Iraq…
The officers include 1st Lt. Clint Lorance who has served six years of a 19-year sentence on two charges of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice after ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed men in Afghanistan, killing two of them. He had been convicted in 2013.
The other pardoned officer is Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, a West Point graduate, who was awaiting trial for allegedly murdering a suspected Afghan bombmaker in 2010. The trial was scheduled for next year.
The third service member, the one who had his rank restored, was Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL. I’ve written about Gallagher before, specifically when his trial ended with all but one of the charges against him being dropped. In this case, the President probably isn’t too far out of line in restoring his rank.