Monday, November 18, 2019


For the Commander-in-Chief to reach into the military system and provide a pardon, especially in a preemptive way before a trial and appeal process, is a mistake.  It will undermine our own standards, as junior enlisted personnel try to understand a pardon for doing something we constantly train to avoid.  It strengthens enemy propaganda, as they will correctly say that we do not hold ourselves accountable for our own standards.  It undercuts our relations with allies who have strong systems in place to prevent these kinds of actions.  And it spurs our enemies on to even more barbaric behavior as the battlefield descends into moral chaos on both sides of the line of combat.  This kind of pardon disrespects every single one of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who follow the strict standards of the Code of Conduct.  They do not abuse captives who have surrendered, use torture to interrogate, cause needless casualties to civilians through collateral damage or desecrate corpses.

-- Admiral James Stavridis (Ret.), 16th Supreme Allied Commander at NATO and Operating Executive at The Carlyle Group, Time Magazine, "I Commanded Several of the Servicemen Trump May Pardon.  Letting Them Off Will Undermine the Military", 22 May 2019

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