After Donald Trump's apparent plans to issue Memorial Day pardons to several United States military servicemen — including a private security contractor — for their convictions on charges of committing horrifying war crimes, as Inquisitr reported, one former military prosecutor who has also served as a federal prosecutor said that Trump's reported intention to pardon the men "makes me sick."
Trump's plans were reported Saturday by The New York Times, which said that among those who can expect pardons from Trump is 35-year-old Nicholas Slatten, who is not actually a member of the U.S. military, but a private mercenary who in 2007 was employed in Iraq by the Blackwater security firm when he opened fire on a group of unarmed civilians.
Slatten and other Blackwater contractors fired into the crowd in a busy Baghdad public square reportedly without any provocation, killing at least 14 people. In December of 2018, after two previous trials, Slatten was convicted of first degree murder in a federal court, The Guardian reported.
Among the others reportedly on Trump's pardon list are Mathew L. Golsteyn, an Army Green Beret accused of murdering an unarmed Afghan civilian, and Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL special operations chief who is set to face trial later this year over accusations that he stabbed an Iraqi prisoner of war to death, as well as killed unarmed civilians in Afghanistan, according to The New York Post.On Saturday, former Army Judge Advocate General Glenn Kirschner took to his Twitter account to condemn Trump over the reported upcoming pardons, declaring, "This makes me sick."
Kirschner goes on to explain that military authorities are generally reluctant to prosecute soldiers for acts committed in wartime, and as he continued in his Twitter posts, "enormous time/effort goes into investigations, prosecutions and, in the event of conviction, appeals."
The reported pardon of the Blackwater contractor especially outraged Kirschner, as Raw Story reported. The former prosecutor noted that other Blackwater contractors were among the most compelling witnesses against Slatten and other contractors charged in the Baghdad Nisour Square massacre, testifying that their fellow Blackwater guards' use of deadly force was "wholly unjustified and without provocation."
Slatten was heard to describe Iraqi civilians as "animals," and "less than human," whose lives were "worth nothing," Kirschner recounted.
Blackwater was founded and run by Erik Prince, who was been a major supporter of Trump's 2016 election bid. Prince's sister, Betsy DeVos, was named U.S. Education Secretary by Trump. And Prince himself admitted taking part in a secret meeting at Trump Tower in August of 2016, with representatives of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, where plans to interfere in the election in Trump's favor were laid out, as The Intercept reported.