President Donald Trump’s reported plan to pardon multiple U.S. military service members convicted of or accused of war crimes isn’t going over well with some senior military officials.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the president’s potential mass pardon of war criminals “has brought a flood of opposition from current and former high-ranking officers, who say it would encourage misconduct by showing that violations of laws prohibiting attacks on civilians and prisoners of war will be treated with leniency.”
Although no current military officials went on the record to slam the president’s plans, one official now serving of the Pentagon tells the LA Times that many officials are “privately outraged” by what they’re hearing.
“I think a lot of us would see it in the same way — that it’s just awful,” the official said.
Ret. Army Gen. Martin Dempsey this week took to Twitter to condemn the idea of pardoning war criminals, which he said would undermine the military justice system.
“Absent evidence of innocence or injustice, the wholesale pardon of U.S. service members accused of war crimes signals our troops and allies that we don’t take the law of armed conflict seriously,” he wrote. “Bad message. Bad precedent. Abdication of moral responsibility. Risk to us.”
At this point, it is unclear if the objections of senior military officer will persuade Trump to not pardon war criminals.