Good on ya, Mr President.
President Donald Trump issued a full pardon Monday to former Army First Lieutenant Michael Behenna, who served five years in prison after being convicted of murdering a suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist.
In May 2008, Behenna was questioning Ali Mansur Mohamed, a suspected terrorist who had allegedly been involved in an IED attack that killed two U.S. soldiers. The interrogation ended when Behenna fired two rounds into the terrorist — which the 1st Lt. claimed was in self-defense after Mansur lunged for his pistol.
A military court convicted Behenna of unpremeditated murder in a combat zone in 2009. The prosecution said Behenna was not acting in self-defense, but in retaliation for the deaths of his fellow soldiers, and killed Mansur while returning him to his hometown.
Fine with me if that’s what happened, I don’t give a shit either way. A dead Muslim terrorist is a dead Muslim terrorist, and I’m all for that. Now do this one:
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) on Wednesday is planning to show interested members of Congress a video from a Navy SEAL’s helmet camera that he believes will help exonerate Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher on war crime charges he faces when his trial begins later this month.
“When other members of Congress see the video as he has seen it, that it’s going to shed light on the situation as a whole and the case that the Navy is presenting against Chief Gallagher,” Michael Harrison, a spokesman for Hunter, told Breitbart News on Sunday.
“When Congressman Hunter saw the video, his first response was that it exonerates Chief Gallagher. But his second was that as many members of Congress that can see this need to be able to see this,” he added.
Gallagher, 39, is accused of stabbing a wounded teenage Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) fighter to death during his most recent deployment to Iraq from 2017 to 2018, during the final major battle against ISIS in Mosul.
However, according to Gallagher’s wife Andrea Gallagher and his brother Sean Gallagher, the video shows that Gallagher gave medical aid to the wounded teenager, who admitted to being an ISIS fighter before he died.
Andrea and Sean have not seen the video themselves, since it is under protective order, but Parlatore has described its contents in court. According to his description in court, the roughly two-minute video shows the wounded male teenager being dragged off the hood of a humvee by Iraqi partner forces.
Chief Gallagher then is heard asking an Iraqi general about the fighter, “Is this ISIS?” The general affirms he is, and Gallagher says, “OK, I got him.” Gallagher then clears the crowd, gets out his medical kit, assesses the fighter’s wounds, and begins cutting the fighter’s pant leg to treat his most severe wounds.
“The video is 100 percent exculpatory,” Andrea said in an interview with Breitbart News on Friday.
Once again: I do not give a damp squishy fart about the means used by US soldiers to remove the enemy from this mortal coil and enroll him in the Choir Invisible. As far as I’m concerned, every ISIS or al Qaeda scumbag that assumes room temperature at the hands of one of ours is cause for applause, not prosecution, regardless of method employed. I wouldn’t dream of requiring our boys to provide the enemy with the slightest aid or comfort—a humane gesture Chief Gallagher unexpectedly found himself harrassed over—although I certainly do respect his decency and compassion.
The battlefield imposes ethics all its own, incomprehensible and sometimes even bizarre to those without experience of the scorching, all-consuming crucible of combat. Far be it from any cake-eating civilian like me to armchair-quarterback the Chief from the quiet comfort of a peaceful, secure home. That goes quintuple—at least—for pus-nutted Congresscritters looking to gain some notoriety via second-guessing men whose boots they are unfit to lick. Sans compelling evidence of real atrocity, we should all just sit the fuck down, shut the fuck up, and let these men get the fuck on with the job we sent them into harm’s way to do.
It’s a damnable disgrace how overlawyered our soldiers now are, with every goddamned REMF JAGoff and his sister’s cat’s grandmother peering over the shoulders of the warriors actually bearing the load in these far-flung hellholes, under ROEs that reduce American fighting men to easy targets, providing far more protection to the enemy than to our own.
Who knows, maybe Trump could grant a preemptive pardon to every ground-pounder and Marine upon graduation from boot camp, then start letting them carry loaded weapons on patrol. After that, allowing the men at the pointy end to plan those patrols without JAGoff and/or Congressional interference, with an eye towards aggressively seeking the enemy, denying him all refuge and resource, pursuing and harrying him to the very ends of the Earth, and then burying him in it.
I know, I know. Crazy talk. But still.