Living in Society

Memorial Day 2019

Flags at Oakland Cemetery

The president is said to be considering pardons for convicted war criminals as we go into the Memorial Day weekend.

Jamelle Bouie names some of the criminals under consideration in a New York Times article.

Last year, a federal jury in Washington convicted Nicholas Slatten, a former security contractor, of first-degree murder for his role in killing one of 14 Iraqi civilians who died in 2007 in a shooting that also injured more than a dozen others. Matthew Golsteyn, an Army Green Beret, was charged late last year with the murder of an unarmed Afghan man during a 2010 deployment. Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL who served in Iraq, was reported to authorities by his own men, who witnessed him “stabbing a defenseless teenage captive to death,” “picking off a school-age girl and an old man from a sniper’s roost” and “indiscriminately spraying neighborhoods with rockets and machine-gun fire.”

It is the president’s prerogative to grant pardons. What does it say about our country that he picked these men?

It says nothing positive on a day set aside to recognize those who gave their lives for our country.