Donald Trump pardoned a demoted Navy former SEAL of his war crimes and reinstated his honorable SEAL status. The president has a fondness for strongmen such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un, and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Now, he has added his pardoned “tough guy” Edward Gallagher to the swamp. What do the former military leaders think of this? The issue remains red hot.
Former Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus served in the President Barack Obama administration. In a CNN interview with John Berman, Mabus took Gallagher down. He condemned Trump for telling Americans to “celebrate convicted war criminals.”
The former secretary of the Navy said that Gallagher was “trashing his chain of command” when he appeared on Fox News. The serving military do not run to the media to complain. Mabus said that which makes America exceptional was not its tanks and missiles. No, it was our nation’s “moral authority.” Then, he warned Trump that the only thing that truly sets the United States apart from our enemies was “the rule of law.” POTUS has run a lawless White House, so apparently, he could not understand the criticism except to react and become defensive.
Mabur told Berman that Trump pardoning Gallagher set up a terrible message to the entire military. Then, the president fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer via the Secretary of Defense, who was simply doing his job:
‘I think the impact is huge, because if people know that there’s not going to be any accountability or that you’ll be held accountable only if you don’t have the right contacts or only if your politics are right… you just can’t diminish that impact because the military depends on the chain of command. The military depends on good order and discipline. The military depends on doing what’s right, following the law. ‘
Mabus continued, saying that Trump’s circumventing the military proces “disrespects everybody in uniform.” The president had dishonored every member of the service:
‘It shows that he does not care for the tens of thousands of Americans who have gone into combat, protecting this country, who have done so honorably, who have done so without breaking any laws. And to do this, to say that you can commit war crimes and get away with it, to say it doesn’t matter what you do, fundamentally misunderstands and fundamentally disrespects everybody in uniform.’
In the resignation letter Trump requested, Spencer wrote, according to The Washington Post that he could not do that which “violates the sacred oath I took…to support and defend that Constitution of the United States:”
‘Unfortunately, it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline. I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.’
Watch the full interview on CNN below:
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