Was Trump wrong to intervene in war crimes cases?
CNN: Trump ignores Pentagon advice and intervenes in military war crimes cases
Trump was advised by Pentagon to stay out of war crimes cases, but he pardoned two service members and restored the rank of a third. The reason why Pentagon was wary of the President intervening is that “it would damaged the integrity of the military justice system” and also endanger the trust of our allies in the US troops.
On the other hand, the White House claims that being the Commander-in-chief, the President is also a part of the military justice system.
Military officials believe that Trump’s involvement is undermining their authority, and the WH statement did not acknowledge these concerns. They tried to dissuade Trump but to no avail.
One of the accused was found guilty of a second-degree murder (ordering his men to fire on three unarmed Afghani men on a motorcycle), and another was found guilty of posing for a photo with casualty and also charged with the murder of an Afghan man.
Fox News: Rep. Waltz supports Trump intervening in war crimes cases: ‘They deserve the benefit of the doubt’
US military men and women deserve the benefit of the doubt. One of the accused (Lorance) never received a free trial, and he made a mistake in combat, because his predecessor was killed a couple of days before by armed men on a motorcycle. It is difficult when military men have to make snap decisions. Convicting people of crimes in these “grey area” situations would amount to risk-aversion. Therefore, the President had a right to intervene.
It is correct that the President in the Commander-in-Chief, but it also correct that he does not share the military culture of Pentagon, which is extremely important for them. It is also true that our reputation all over the world has been put in danger because our military men can get away with murders (we do not accept the jurisdiction of any supra-national judicial body), so it does not look good when those who are convicted are later on pardoned. However, these two cases are the first time the President has used his power to pardon military men, so we cannot really say that he is overusing his presidential powers. If he does it again…we can discuss the danger, but for now, it is limited to these two cases.
Rep. Waltz is correctly saying that these “grey area” situations exist, but he is missing the point here. The point is that it should be decided by the President, but IN AGREEMENT with Pentagon.