Lowlife Criminal President Trump Pardons Lowlife War Criminals
Donald Trump has a soft spot for criminals, and he apparently likes vicious psychopaths most of all. He used his vast presidential powers of corruption Friday to clear three armed services members who'd been convicted or accused of war crimes. The evidence of wrongdoing against all three men was far more compelling than whatever convinced Trump of the Central Park Five's guilt.
The president pardoned Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn, whom the Army charged in December with the premeditated murder of an Afghan man. Golsteyn confessed to the 2010 shooting. He thought the man might be a terrorist bomb maker and might kill other people if he didn't kill him first. Trump didn't bother to wait for Golsteyn to stand trial, because he doesn't believe God created white men to sit around in a courtroom dealing with juries. He whined last month on Twitter that "we train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!" That's why we almost feel sorry for John Malkovich's character from In the Line of Fire, but it has crap all to do with real life and actual military engagement.
Trump also reversed the demotion of Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher. This asshole was already found not guilty in July of the first degree murder of an ISIS prisoner and the attempted murder of civilians. Members of his own unit testified that Gallagher fired rockets randomly into civilian neighborhoods in Afghanistan, murdered an old man and a little girl with sniper fire, and stabbed a teenage detainee to death. This was pretty damning, but the defense appealed to the generation gap.
Prosecutors held [Gallagher's accusers] up as courageous whistle-blowers who broke the SEAL code of silence to stop a rogue chief who was on a track to higher leadership positions. The defense painted the accusers as scared and entitled millennials who could not meet their chief's high expectations, and fabricated war-crimes allegations to take him down.
OK, boomer, but Gallagher was convicted of posing for photos with the teenage prisoner's dead body. He admitted to this, and while ghoulish, it unfortunately lacked the "pizzazz" of confessing to ordering a "code red." He barely received a slap on the wrist. The commander in chief did congratulate him for legal victory, as if Gallagher had won the reality competition show "Who Wants To Get Away With War Crimes?"
Gallagher was busted down from Chief Petty Officer to Special Warfare Operator First Class. Trump stepped in to reverse this Reading Gaol-like punishment. The Navy responded to the president's actions with epic shade: They acknowledged the pay grade change but still referred to Gallagher by his demoted rank.
Trump's final travesty of justice for the week (that we know of) was the full pardon of Clint Lorance. The former Army lieutenant was serving 19 years in Fort Leavenworth for the murder of two civilians. Nine members of his platoon testified against him and no one testified in his defense. Lorance became a tragic hero for conservatives, but actual soldiers resented his actions.
"[Lorance] looks like the all-American sweetheart when you meet him," [Staff Sgt. Daniel] Williams said in an interview. "But he was just so aggressive. One of the first things he said to us was, we are going to go in Gestapo-style with night raids, pull people out of houses, make them afraid of us."
Lorance squandered his time as a free man with an appearance this morning on "Fox & Friends." He took aim at the honorable military leaders who opposed Trump's grotesque pardons.
LORANCE: I think folks that start putting stars on their collar, anybody that's got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion, they are no longer a soldier. They are a politician. And so I think they lose some of their values. And they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates when they do what they did to me, which was, you know, throw me under the bus.
Lorance did have some kind words to share for one special politician with no values. Co-host Ainsley Earhardt helped Lorance send Donald Trump a "long distance dedication."
Exclusive: Clint Lorance gives first interview since pardon by Trump www.youtube.com
EARHARDT: The timing is perfect because next week is Thanksgiving. The president is watching. What do you want to say to him?
WAR CRIMINAL: I love you, sir. You're awesome. I'll say this, Mr. President. I wish you had a better team around you. You need more people watching your back. I think you don't have a lot of that. That is absolutely unfortunate. That infuriates me to no end. The American people elected you. If you're working in the White House or if you're working for the United States government, and you don't agree with something the president does, then go home.
PETE HEGSETH: Well said.
Lorance was in prison during the 2016 election, but it's a safe bet that Trump has his vote for 2020. As the impeachment hearings continue, a cornered and desperate Trump could start pardoning an army of Luca Brasi mob enforcers, all loyal to him. God help us all.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle.