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ACLU Calls Trump Pardon of Soldier 'Endorsement' of War Crimes

ACLU Calls Trump Pardon of Soldier 'Endorsement' of War Crimes

By    |   Tuesday, 07 May 2019 02:34 PM

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday lashed out at President Donald Trump’s pardon of a soldier convicted of murdering an Iraqi prisoner in 2009 — calling it an endorsement of war crimes.

Former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years, but the Army Clemency and Parole Board reduced the term to 15 years and paroled Behenna five years into his sentence, in 2014, Military Times noted.

“This pardon is a presidential endorsement of a murder that violated the military’s own code of justice,” Hina Shamsi, the ACLU’s national security project director, said in a statement, The Hill reported.

"The military appeals court found Behenna disobeyed orders, became the aggressor against his prisoner, and had no justification for killing a naked, unarmed Iraqi man in the desert, away from an actual battlefield. Trump, as commander-in-chief, and top military leaders should prevent war crimes, not endorse or excuse them," Shamsi added.

During his trial, Behenna acknowledged he was ordered to escort the prisoner back home, but instead took the prisoner to a railroad culvert, stripped him and questioned him at gunpoint about a roadside bomb that killed two members of Behenna’s platoon, Military Times reported.

Behenna said the man moved toward him during the interrogation and he shot him, fearing he was trying to take Behenna’s weapon.

The White House cited “broad support” for Behenna’s pardon from the military, Oklahoma elected officials and the public, the military news outlet reported.

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The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday lashed out at President Donald Trump’s pardon of a soldier convicted of murdering an Iraqi prisoner in 2009 — calling it an endorsement of war crimes.
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2019-34-07
Tuesday, 07 May 2019 02:34 PM
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