President Donald Trump on Tuesday pardoned Blackwater employees (from left) Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough. | AP Photos
President Donald Trump sprung four Blackwater contractors convicted of a massacre, continuing his dishonorable record of pardoning war criminals. President Donald Trump added 20 pardons and commutations to his previous 45 on Tuesday, most of which pertained to his impeachment saga. But four names were largely an afterthought to those connected to Trump’s corruption: Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard and Nick Staton.
These are the four Blackwater contractors who were convicted in the massacre of 14 Iraqis, including 2 children, in Baghdad’s Nisour Square in 2007. Liberty got life; the other three defendants got 30 years each. Nisour Square has been called the Mai Lai Massacre of Iraq, referring to the infamous 1968 slaughter of 347 Vietnamese civilians by a U.S. Army unit gone berserk.
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But Trump sprung them all from prison, continuing his dishonorable record of pardoning war criminals. Last year he pardoned Army First Lt. Clint Lorance, serving 19 years for killing 2 Iraqi civilians in 2012. He spared Army Major Matt Golsteyn from even standing trial for his alleged killing in 2010 of a suspected Taliban bomb maker simply because he thought he would rejoin the Taliban after being released for lack of evidence.
“America First” to Trump means a “Get Out of Jail Free” card to war criminals. That, and not those connected to Trump’s corruption, should be the lead story regarding Trump’s pardon frenzy.
Walt Zlotow, Glen Ellyn
Can we sink any further?
A crime family boss (President Donald Trump) is using his pardon powers to free fellow grifters and convicted criminals. Can this country sink any lower? Perhaps we’ll find out on Jan. 6 when the Electoral College results, confirming the election of Biden and Harris, come before Congress for a vote.
Mary F. Warren, Wheaton
Drug use is still a crime
If Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx gets her way and expunges the records of thousands of marijuana dealers, as well as arrest records for harder drugs like heroin and cocaine, she will be opening the floodgates for more crime and death to ensue. Even though drug abuse may be considered a health issue, using drugs is still a crime.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater, Florida
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