Dear Editor,

Does it hurt the country when a president protects and exonerates U.S. military war criminals?

I believe it does. From a military standpoint, it seriously undermines military law and respect for law, military command, military discipline and the military image developed over the years.

The military has been governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice giving all military a set of binding laws they are required to follow and legal procedures to follow. Trump has decided to ignore this and vacate any military court finding or summary finding he chooses, hence he is the law if he chooses to be. This sounds like Putin or any other autocrat to me.

It undermines military discipline by undercutting the idea of ‘chain of command’ necessary for discipline in battle. It also promotes the atrocities we have reacted to in the past by celebrating war criminals for their actions in conflicts. Those of us that hold life sacred should be trying to preserve it when possible, respecting the body when life is gone. Trump’s decision of approving Gallager’s actions for which he was found guilty in military court seems to me to encourage the barbarism of ISIS.

War criminal activity was not the image of our military in the past and should not be now.


Gilbert Engel