Military impunity system? Pentagon maintains ‘great faith' in US justice after Trump pardons soldiers accused of war crimes
Added 11-17-19 09:37:02pm EST - “American soldiers are well trained to never commit war crimes, the Pentagon insists. When they sometimes do, the military always holds them accountable? and then the US president is free to pardon them to boost the morale.” - Rt.com
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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Rt.com: “Military impunity system? Pentagon maintains ‘great faith’ in US justice after Trump pardons soldiers accused of war crimes”. Below is an excerpt from the article.
“I have great faith in the military justice system,” US Defense Secretary Mark Esper told reporters, carefully avoiding any direct mention of Trump’s controversial decision to pardon two Army soldiers charged for war crimes in Afghanistan, and reinstate the rank of a Navy Seal demoted over similar war crimes accusations.
Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines are trained from day one about the laws of armed conflict and how to conduct themselves during wartime.
“If they don’t, then the United States military will take action… to make sure that they are held accountable,” Esper claimed.
The US fiercely defends American soldiers’ immunity from any international or local law, and on Friday Trump demonstrated that even the Pentagon’s rather lenient internal probes and court martials aren’t much to worry about.
Trump intervened in the cases of three men. Former Army 1st Lieutenant Clint Lorance was convicted of second-degree murder in 2013 and sentenced to 19 years in the military prison, for ordering his platoon to open fire on two civilians in Afghanistan. The second pardon was granted to Army Major Mathew Golsteyn, who faced court-martial after admitting to killing a freed Afghan prisoner and disposing of the body in a burn pit. The third, Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who stabbed a wounded enemy fighter in the heck with a hunting knife and posed with the corpse, was reinstated in his rank.
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