In an op-ed published over at Just Security this Monday, retired US Marine Col. David Lapan accused President Trump of “damaging our military” with his recent interventions in military justice cases involving US servicemembers convicted of war crimes.
This Friday, Trump cleared three service members who had been accused of or convicted of war crimes, directly refuting military leaders who sought to bring them to justice. As The New York Times points out, all three servicemembers have been praised by conservative lawmakers and commentators who have portrayed them as heroes unfairly maligned for actions taken during the complicated process of war.
According to Lapan, pardoning or “commuting the sentences of those convicted of war crimes, or halting judicial proceedings before they are completed, rightfully raises questions as to our continued respect for, and adherence to” the Law of War (or Armed Conflict).
“If the United States can no longer claim to use its own military and civilian courts to adjudicate allegations of war crimes — or other serious offenses — committed by U.S. servicemembers serving in other countries, those governments will likely seek to detain, try and imprison our men and women through their own criminal justice and penal systems,” Lapan writes. “Significantly elevating the risk of such an outcome could have a devastating impact on our military and relations with foreign partners.”
“While the president’s past and present intervention in war crimes cases poses the most serious threat to the military he professes to love and support,” Lapan continued, “there is a litany of actions he has taken that can collectively hurt the military as an institution as well as those who serve in uniform, and their families. Despite the president’s repeated boasts about how well he treats and supports the military, many of his actions and directives risk causing short- and long-term harm.”
Lapan then went on to list a “litany of actions Trump has taken that can collectively hurt the military as an institution,” including, his “public disparagement of military leaders,” and taking “personal credit for military actions.”
“The military must deal with the “fog of war” in combat,” Lapan wrote in closing. “It shouldn’t have to decipher unclear or confusing directives from the president at home. Unity of command and clarity are essential components of military leadership.”
Read his full-oped piece here.
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Speaking with host Willie Geist, Wilson also brought up accusations os political corruption against Bondi who dropped a Florida state lawsuit against Trump before he became president after a PAC associated with her received a substantial political donation.
"This is also one of the great master fantasies of the Trump campaign, make Hunter Biden a major issue in the 2020 election and Pam Bondi played to one audience. and that was Fox and Trump that's all they cared about," he explained. "That's all they were trying to accomplish, and, look, she goes way back with Donald Trump; left office under a cloud when she left the office of attorney general in Florida, because she had taken basically a $25,000 bribe from Donald Trump about Trump University and drop the lawsuit in Florida."
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At the start of the segment, co-host Brian Kilmeade admitted that leaked revelations about Bolton's upcoming book had changed the game and that it was impossible to imagine the president being acquitted without any witnesses being called.
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The "Morning Joe" host mocked the hours-long parade of attorneys -- including Alan Dershowitz, Ken Starr and Pam Bondi -- offering specious legal arguments to defend the president at his Senate impeachment trial.
"You had a confederacy of dunces defending him in impeachment," Scarborough said. "Their arguments were absolutely stunning."
The defense team painted Rudy Giuliani as a minor player in the Ukraine scheme, although multiple witnesses have described him as the hub of the operation, and Starr, the lead investigator in Bill Clinton's impeachment, bemoaned the "age of impeachment."