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theodore M I R A L D I mpa ... editor, publisher, writer. katherine molé mfa ... art director
Monday, November 18, 2019
Obama Granted Clemency To TERRORISTS & TRAITORS, But We’re Supposed to Be Angry at Trump's Pardons
(U.S. Army via AP, File) MATT MARGOLIS
Last week, President Trump granted full pardons for Army First Lt. Clint Lorance and Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, who’d been accused of war crimes. Lorance had served six years of a 19-year sentence, and Golsteyn was facing trial for killing an alleged Taliban bombmaker. Navy SEAL Edward R. Gallagher, who was found not guilty of war crimes, but still had his rank reduced, was granted clemency and restoration of rank.
American soldiers join the military knowing they can be sent away from their families for long periods of time into unsafe conditions with the possibility they might never come back—or come back severely injured. For Trump to give various members of our military a second chance is infinitely less outrageous than acts of clemency made by his predecessor.
Barack Obama commuted the sentence of Bradley Manning (you may also know him as Chelsea), who leaked hundreds of thousands of sensitive documents to WikiLeaks. A traitor in every sense, in 2013 Manning was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in prison. But, Bradley Manning became a hero of the political left for declaring himself to be transgender, and Obama made his controversial commutation days before leaving office.
Obama also commuted the sentence of convicted terrorist Oscar Lopez Rivera. Lopez Rivera was a leader of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña (FALN), a Puerto Rican terrorist group responsible for 130 attacks in the United States, and at least six deaths. An unrepentant Lopez-Rivera was serving a 70-year sentence when Obama set him free.
While Obama may have granted clemency to plenty who deserved it, granting clemency to an unrepentant terrorist was nonsensical. Doing the same for a traitor responsible for the biggest national security breach in history sends the worst possible message. I think it’s clear that Trump has shown far better judgment so far than his predecessor.