Pardons, Military Discipline and the Burden on Our Troops
[Townhall] To the extent the pardons irritate the elite, good. This preemptively makes them something we should support, though that presumption is rebuttable. Real war crimes must be punished.
To the extent that these pardons send a message that it is okay to violate military rules and the laws of war, it is less clear. Here’s the thing: we have a hyper-partisan political culture and the military brass is not immune, as we have seen in Congress lately. Its conduct in some of these cases has been utterly shameful.
For example, in the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, the JAGs literally used malware to spy on the defense team. Think about that. The JAGs literally used malware to spy on the defense team. Judge Schlichter ‐ me in a hypothetical, not my mom in reality, since she was a judge ‐ would have dismissed the entire case and referred the lawyers for prosecution themselves. It’s craziness. And it’s corrupt. A corrupt prosecution cannot stand ‐ let’s put Adam Schiff aside for a moment ‐ even if the accused is guilty of offing some ISIS punk.
Seen it in Itifada I: for these people in IDF - Arabs are the victims to be protected from evil Zionist oppressors like yours truly.
But, of course, the Navy JAGs’ prime witness got on the stand testified that he, not Gallagher, offed the ISIS punk. As a lawyer, this would have been kind of embarrassing. It was the ultimate Perry Mason moment, if Perry Mason was an idiot.
So, Gallagher had to be entirely exonerated because of prosecutorial misconduct, and since the military justice system did not have the integrity to enforce the standards ‐ for shame ‐ then it was right for the president to do so.
...Military discipline matters. But so does backing your guys’ play when they make tough, ugly calls.
Major Matt Golsteyn, an ex-Green Beret, was accused of killing an Afghan bomb maker. It was not in a firefight. He apparently sought the guy out and shot him. If they guy was a bomb maker, Golsteyn probably saved the limbs and lives of many Americans (and Afghans). But you are not allowed to freelance hits on the enemy, which itself seems odd since it is a war.
... I led soldiers. I know the importance of discipline. I also know history and human nature. We can’t put our troops out into a hostile fire zone where the enemy has no rules but can hide in plain sight behind ours, killing at will but being immunized from being killed by regulations, and not expect that status quo to grow untenable.
Similarly, Army First Lieutenant Clint Lorance was pardoned after doing six years of a 19-year stretch for having his troops shoot an alleged Taliban dirtbag outside the rules of engagement. Members of his own platoon testified against him, while the testimony of local Afghans was, shall we say, controversial. Even if he did it, was two decades in stir right? Or was six appropriate? Or maybe just a discharge? Or should he have got a medal?
IMO, these pardons are messages:
(a) True, they've violated the rules - but these were stupid (as well as immoral) rules.
(b) A message to military brass - loyalty is a two way street. Don't cover your ass by sending soldiers out with orders that cannot be obeyed.
(c) A message to JAG-holes - remember who the enemy are. It is NOT our own soldiers (seen it in Intifada I).
(d) And the main message is to the ragheads. The rules have changed. Learn to behave or perish.
Posted by: g(r)omgoru 2019-11-21