President Trump has made requests for the paperwork of four individuals, who have been accused or convicted of war crimes, for the purpose of pardoning them on Memorial Day.
One is for Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, a Navy Seal who is scheduled to stand trial at the end of May for shooting unarmed civilians – specifically, a young woman and an unarmed elderly man, as well as killing a 15-year-old captive with a knife while deployed to Iraq in 2017. Second is Major Mathew Golsteyn, an Army Green Beret convicted of killing an unarmed Afghan in 2010. Third, a group of Marine Corp snipers who urinated on the corpses of dead Taliban fighters. Fourth, a Blackwater contractor convicted of shooting dozens of unarmed Iraqis.
If the president follows through on these pardons, he will demonstrate a profound lack of understanding or appreciation for Memorial Day, the military justice system, and the law of armed combat. Rather than honor the military personnel who have and continue to serve our nation, his pardons will do a great disservice to them and to the country for which they have defended and sacrificed so much.