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Do You Want Trump to Pardon the Green Beret Charged With Murder?

Should Trump Pardon a Green Beret Suspected of Killing a Taliban Bomb-Maker?

by Countable | Updated on 12.18.18

 What’s the story?

  • Last week brought news that Green Beret Maj. Mathew Golsteyn had been charged with murdering a suspected Taliban bomb-maker in U.S. custody in 2010. On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted that he’d review the case himself.  

What did Golsetyn allegedly do?

  • Military investigators say Golsteyn defied orders to release the suspected bomb maker, and instead led him off base, executed him, and buried his body is a shallow grave.

What are both sides saying?

  • Military legal experts are questioning whether Trump may be exerting “unlawful command influence"—a doctrine requiring the chain of command to detach itself from any military legal proceeding.
  • But retired Army Brig. Gen. Anthony J. Tata wrote in an opinion piece on Fox News that “Trump is perfectly within his legal authority” to float a pardon.
“Citizens and soldiers are innocent until proven guilty. It would be the height of irony to deny a combat veteran the constitutional rights that he so bravely fought for.”
  • Elliot Ackerman, a former Marine, and recipient of the Silver Star, wrote in the New York Times that “even a war hero is not above the law.”
“You are never allowed to summarily execute prisoners. Very few rules in war are black and white. But this one is.”

What do you think?

Should Trump pardon Maj. Mathew Golsteyn? Take action above and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.

—Josh Herman


Countable

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