- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 19, 2019

The process used by President Trump to approve military pardons for three military officers accused of war crimes is “particularly troubling,” a United Nations human rights spokesperson said Tuesday.

Mr. Trump on Friday granted full pardons for Army First Lt. Clint Lorance and Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn, and ordered the reversal of a demotion of Navy SEAL Edward R. Gallagher to the rank he held before he was tried and found not guilty of most of the charges against him.

“In the present cases, no circumstances have been advanced to suggest anything other than simply voiding an otherwise proper process,” Rupert Colville, spokesman for the UN Human Rights Commissioner, told reporters in Geneva.

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Mr. Colville told reporters that the pardon specifically for Maj. Golsteyn is “particularly troubling as it cuts short the regular judicial process,” and that not launching an investigation and ultimate prosecution for war crimes violates international law.

Maj. Golsteyn had been facing trial for a charge of killing of a suspected Taliban bombmaker in connection with one of the largest battles of the Afghanistan war, the White House said as they announced the pardons.

The White House said Maj. Golsteyn “was compelled to release him, however, due in part to deficiencies within the fledgling Afghan detention system. Golsteyn has said he later shot the terrorist because he was certain that the terrorist’s bombmaking activities would continue to threaten American troops and their Afghan partners, including Afghan civilians who had helped identify him.”

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