Jan 4, 2021
Just as other presidents have done in their final days, Donald Trump has been busy handing out pardons. He has pardoned some of his cronies, henchmen, gangsters and the father of his son‑in‑law. Trump also pardoned four murderers.
During the war in Iraq, the U.S. government hired private security companies like Blackwater to supplement the U.S. military. In 2007, four of these Blackwater mercenaries went on a rampage. Using machine guns and grenade launchers, they slaughtered 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including two children. In 2014, seven years later, these murderers finally faced some small measure of justice. They were convicted of charges ranging between first degree murder and manslaughter and sent to prison. Now Trump has pardoned them for their vicious murders.
Maybe Trump pardoned them because the founder of Blackwater, Erik Prince, is an ally of Trump and because Prince is also the brother of Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.
And maybe Trump is just continuing the U.S. policy toward Iraq. In 2003, the U.S. government invaded Iraq on the pretense of “weapons of mass destruction,” which never existed. Under several presidents of both parties, the U.S. has continued that war in Iraq. It is estimated that a half million Iraqis have died in that war, as well as over 4,500 U.S. troops. Many tens of thousands of the Iraqis killed have been unarmed civilians. By freeing these four murderers, Trump is just continuing the horror the U.S. government has inflicted on the Iraqi people.