In May, President Donald Trump pardoned former U.S. Army Lieutenant Michael Behenna, who was convicted of stripping naked, torturing and then executing an unarmed Iraqi man in 2008. We now hear that Trump is considering pardoning other war criminals as some kind of grotesque Memorial Day celebration. While Trump may think such actions honor the sacrifices of our veterans, they actually do a disservice to all law-abiding U.S. soldiers, endanger military members currently serving in hostile environments around the world and send a morally indefensible message to Americans and non-Americans alike. These contemplated pardons represent a degradation — not a celebration — of Memorial Day.
These contemplated pardons represent a degradation — not a celebration — of Memorial Day.
Let’s look at some of the men the president is reportedly thinking about pardoning. Navy Seal Edward Gallagher is scheduled to be tried at court-martial in June. He is charged with multiple counts of murder, obstruction of justice and bringing “discredit upon the armed forces.”