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Former Army lawyer rips Trump’s scheme to pardon war criminals: ‘This makes me sick’

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Former U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Glenn Kirschner on Saturday ripped President Donald Trump after The New York Times reported President Donald Trump was considering pardoning war criminals.

“As a former career prosecutor, including 6 years as an Army JAG, this makes me sick,” he said.

“Please bear with me as this will take a minute: Our military criminal justice system protects the rights of soldiers accused of crimes as well as, if not better then, many civilian systems,” he noted.

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“It’s rarely an easy decision to prosecute a soldier, particularly for crimes committed during a time of war or otherwise in a hostile environment. But we expect, indeed demand, that our soldiers not commit murder/war crimes/atrocities while in military service,” he explained.

“Indeed, the need to maintain good order and a cohesive fighting force requires that soldiers act in a law-abiding way even under the most difficult circumstances,” he continued. “Military commanders & prosecutors often agonize over decisions whether to charge a soldier with a criminal offese (sic).”

“This is, in part, because we recognize the sacrifices soldiers make for their country, putting their lives on the line to protect our people and our freedoms,” he said. “But when a decision ultimately is made to court-martial a soldier, the system takes great pains to insure (sic) that soldiers receive excellent legal representation & fair trials.”

“Enormous time/effort goes into investigations, prosecutions and, in the event of conviction, appeals. I know this first hand, having handled as an Army prosecutor (in both the trial courts and appellate courts) cases including murder during Operation Just Cause, espionage during Operation Desert Storm, death penalty litigation & many others,” he explained.

“Today I saw this NYT’s article that Trump is ginning up pardons of soldiers who criminally killed others, intending to use it as some sort of twisted Memorial Day celebration,” he noted. “Among the pardons reportedly being contemplated are cases involving the Blackwater security firm. Please bear with me for a moment while I relate some basic public facts about the Blackwater case. The defendants were US civilians (veterans) who were being paid to perform security services in Iraq. Multiple Blackwater employees opened fire on innocent Iraqis in what was a massacre in broad daylight. They killed 14 unarmed Iraqi citizens and injured 17 others in front of dozens of witnesses

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“Some of the testifying witnesses were the defendants own Blackwater teammates,” Kirschner said. “Many of the fellow Blackwater members testified about how the defendants were in the wrong – they did not even attempt to defend their teammates, rather they described their teammates’ use of deadly force as being wholly unjustified and without provocation. Evidence at trial included how one defendant, Nicholas Slatten, called Iraqis ‘animals’ and ‘less then human.’ According to Slatten, Iraqi lives were worth ‘nothing.’”

“My former office, the DC US Attorney’s Office, prosecuted the case, obtained convictions and brought justice to the surviving victims & the families of the dead (I didn’t work on the case),” he continued. “I saw the enormous time, energy and resources that went into that prosecution It was important that the perpetrators of those horrific offenses were brought to justice. Now Trump, in a twisted, grotesque “celebration” of Memorial Day, wants to pardon these and other murderers?”

“What message is he really trying to send to the military?” Kirschner noted.

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Fox News commentator slammed for mocking Joe Biden’s decision to wear a mask

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On Monday, during his observance of Memorial Day, former Vice President Joe Biden donned a face mask in accordance with CDC guidelines — a contrast with President Donald Trump, who has frequently refused to wear a mask even in some places that require them.

But Fox News senior analyst Brit Hume went out of his way to mock how Biden looked wearing it.

This might help explain why Trump doesn’t like to wear a mask in public. Biden today. pic.twitter.com/9l1gw1ljBE

— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 25, 2020

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GOP Leader un-endorses Republican candidate for ‘hateful rhetoric’ on social media

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On Monday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) announced he was revoking his endorsement of Ted Howze, the Republican candidate for California's 10th Congressional District, per Politico.

“In light of Mr. Howze’s disappointing comments, Leader McCarthy has withdrawn his endorsement," said McCarthy spokesperson Drew Florio. "As the Leader has previously stated, hateful rhetoric has no place within the Republican Party."

Howze's support within the Republican Party leadership has collapsed after a series of racist Facebook posts were unconvered, in which he called Black voters "political slaves," compared young immigrants to pedophiles, and said Muslims are incapable of being good American citizens.

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2020 Election

Florida seniors are ‘highly susceptible’ to coronavirus — which could hurt Trump’s reelection chances

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On Monday, The Washington Post examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older voters' politics, and in particular how it is hurting President Donald Trump with the critical demographic in Florida — a state that is almost mandatory for the president to win for a second term.

"While Democrats have worried about Biden’s struggles to excite younger voters, older voters who are upset with the president are poised to be potentially more influential in November, especially in swing states whose populations skew their way, like Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin," reported Jenna Johnson and Lori Rozsa. "In Florida, more than 20 percent of those who voted in the 2016 election were over age 65, according to exit polls. In 2016, Trump won the Florida senior vote by a 17-point margin over Clinton, according to exit polls. The state ranks as one Trump must almost certainly win to insure his victory, while Biden has other paths to the White House."

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