Which War Criminal Will Trump Pardon Next? Duncan Hunter Thinks It Should Be This Asshole


Donald Trump issued a full pardon earlier this week to Michael Behenna. A military court convicted the former Army lieutenant in 2009 for killing an Iraqi prisoner. Behenna claimed he shot Ali Mansur Mohamed, who was naked at the time, in self-defense. Who's up next for a pardon of dubious merit? The leading contender might be (alleged) psychopath Edward Gallagher. The Navy SEAL is accused of multiple war crimes in Iraq, including stabbing a teenage prisoner to death, firing rockets at random neighborhoods, and picking off a little girl and an old man from a sniper's perch like Amon Goth. No one's perfect, and Rep. Duncan Hunter feels real sorry for the guy. The California Republican is proactively asking Trump for a pardon in the event a conscious jury convicts Gallagher.

Hunter claims he "doesn't trust the Navy to give [Gallagher] a fair trial," which is an odd thing for a congressman to say. But Hunter himself is an odd congressman. He was indicted last year for conspiracy, fraud, and campaign finance violations. Hunter still won re-election thanks to a shamelessly racist campaign against his Democratic opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar. They're set for a rematch in 2020 and Hunter has already sunk low enough to call California native Campa-Najjar a "national security threat."

We think the true "threat" is Gallagher, whom Trump recently transferred to "staycation" confinement at the Navy Medical Center in San Diego pending trial. Hunter believes there's "no case" against Gallagher. Spouting some Trump-flavored rhetoric, he stated without evidence that the military justice system is "absolutely broken" and "rigged." He's probably never seen A Few Good Men, or maybe he has and just thinks Jack Nicholson's character got a bum rap.

Here's where things get weird(er): Hunter contends that combat footage exonerates Gallagher of one of the charges against him. "One" is not "all," and the other charges include killing children and old people. Hunter needs some remedial assistance with the definition of "exonerate." But then, so does half the country.

Hunter screened the helmet camera footage to a group of lawmakers on Wednesday. It reportedly shows Gallagher rendering aid to the teenager he stabbed. See, it was all a misunderstanding -- although Gallagher later posed with the prisoner's corpse during his reenlistment ceremony, which is psychotic. It's also not a war crime, according to the judge presiding over Gallagher's case. If you posed for your driver's license photo with the dead teen you ran over in the parking lot and the judge said it was no big thing, you'd probably think your case was in good shape. You wouldn't need the help of a corrupt congressman.

SEALs rarely testify against each other, but horrified members of Gallagher's unit are prepared to reveal under oath that he confessed to killing four women and "bragged" about "10 to 20 people a day or 150 to 200 people on deployment." We're not sure if Gallagher will attempt Arnold Schwarzenegger's "but they were all bad" defense.

Gallagher's lawyers claim that these turncoat SEALS are all haters who concocted all of this to rid themselves of a "demanding platoon leader." They just can't hack it in the big boy Navy or tolerate the occasional murder of random people for sport.

Republicans have argued that Barack Obama slapped the taste out of democracy's mouth when he commuted the sentence of Chelsea Manning. But that wasn't a pardon. Manning didn't kill anyone, and she still served serious jail time. Behenna wasn't even in prison anymore when Trump pardoned him. He was released on parole in 2014. Meanwhile, Hunter wants us to believe Gallagher is an innocent "war hero" falsely accused. This isn't about clemency. It's about wiping the slate clean for a homicidal maniac.

[NPR / Navy Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work. His co-adaptation of "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins is playing NOW at Pioneer Square's Cafe Nordo. All Wonketters welcome.

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.

Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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