According to Think Progress, President Donald Trump will likely issue pardons on Memorial Day to members of the U.S. military who have been accused or convicted of committing war crimes. Among those expecting to be excused from punishment is a Blackwater contractor who killed more than a dozen unarmed people in Iraq.
Former Blackwater security guard Nicholas Slatten was recently convicted for killing 14 unarmed Iraqis twelve years ago. When news of the allegations surfaced, the international community lambasted the U.S.’s use of private military contractors.
Trump’s pardons are planned for Memorial Day weekend. Though the process of filing pardon paperwork typically takes months, the administration reportedly requested that the military service pardons be expedited.
Trump is also expected to pardon Edward Gallagher, the Chief of the Navy SEAL’s Special Operations whose trial for shooting unarmed Iraqi civilians is scheduled for the upcoming weeks. Allegations against Gallagher include stabbing a teenage captive, shooting and killing a young girl and an old man with a sniper rifle, and recklessly shooting random neighborhoods during his deployment in Iraq.
When Navy SEAL commandos reported Gallagher’s crimes to their troop commander last March, their superior threatened their jobs.
Earlier this year, Trump praised Gallagher on Twitter.
“In honor of his past service to our Country, Navy Seal #EddieGallagher will soon be moved to less restrictive confinement while he awaits his day in court. Process should move quickly!” the president tweeted.