- The Washington Times - Monday, June 3, 2019

In an interview last week, Rep. Duncan Hunter said he killed “hundreds of civilians” while serving in the Iraq war in 2004, seemingly as a defense for a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes.

“I was an artillery officer, and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killed probably hundreds of civilians, if not scores, if not hundreds of civilians. Probably killed women and children, if there were any left in the city when we invaded. So do I get judged, too,” the California Republican said on the “Zero Blog Thirty” podcast produced by BarstoolSports.com.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Eddie Gallagher, the SEAL whom Mr. Hunter was defending, is facing a court martial under various charges of war crimes, including the stabbing of an Iraqi teenager. Mr. Gallagher garnered national attention after the New York Times reported Mr. Trump wanted to pardon him before his war crimes trial in May.

He added Chief Gallagher’s victim “might have been killed in a way that you don’t personally agree with because you say it’s against the laws of war.”

“As opposed to artillery killing civilians, women and children, because it’s kind of indiscriminate in a way. It’s not a sniper weapon, right? Which is worse,” he said.

“I frankly don’t care if [the teenage ISIS fighter] was killed, I just don’t care, Mr. Hunter said, adding that “even if everything that the prosecutors say is true in this case, then, you know, Eddie Gallagher should still be given a break, I think.”

Seven members of Chief Gallagher’s SEAL team turned him in in the killing of a prisoner suspected of being an al-Qaeda terrorist. He admits killing the man but claims it was in self-defense after the prisoner grabbed his gun.

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