President Donald Trump’s plan to pardon United States war criminals has caused pushback from some, as The Inquisitr previously reported. But others have been supportive of his ideas, and the New York Post reports that California Congressman Duncan Hunter has gone so far as to admit to snapping a picture with a dead enemy combatant during his time as a marine.
Hunter made the comment at a town hall Saturday in his San Diego-area district. It was a reference to Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher of the Navy SEALs, one of the accused war criminals that Trump might pardon. Gallagher allegedly took a photo of himself beside an enemy corpse with a knife in one hand and the deceased’s head in the other.
During the town hall, Hunter said that he too has posed next to a dead enemy in a photo, although he admits he didn’t text it — as Gallagher is accused of doing. He added that “a lot of us have done the exact same thing,” speaking of U.S. service members in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The California representative also blasted the military justice system as “corrupt,” and said that the lawyers and bureaucrats that run it are determined to pursue “war fighters.”
California Rep. Duncan Hunter is defending a Navy SEAL charged with war crimes, saying he also posed for a photo next to a dead enemy when he was a Marine. https://t.co/PGylYeUi7j— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) May 27, 2019
As The Inquisitr reported, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) released a public statement Friday suggesting that Trump’s potential pardons of war crimes could qualify as war crimes themselves. The organization typically conducts its work through private communication between parties involved in war. Not only that, it doesn’t normally comment on specific situations or release public statements, which makes its recent move curious — even if the statement doesn’t mention Trump by name.
In addition to Gallagher, the controversial pardons that Trump is considering include Nicholas A. Slatten, a former Blackwater security guard contractor convicted of shooting dozens of unarmed Iraqis in 2007, Maj. Mathew L. Golsteyn, who allegedly murdered an unarmed Afghan in 2010, and a group of Marine snipers that were charged with urinating on Taliban fighter corpses.
Just Security’s Gabor Rona reported that the ICRC’s move to “weigh in on such a hot button issue suggests how serious a threat such action by President Trump would be to the system of international law.”
“Customary law is unequivocal that … governments must investigate war crimes allegedly committed by their nationals or armed forces, or on their territory, and if appropriate, prosecute suspects,” the ICRC statement concludes.
“With regard to amnesty, the objective should not be to enable war criminals, or those thought to have seriously violated the laws of war, to evade punishment for their actions.”