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Clint Lorance, the convicted Army war criminal Trump released early, says he can't get a job at Walmart
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former US Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, the officer who was convicted of murder for war crimes, said it was "impossible to find a job" at a Walmart or Target, despite being granted a full pardon by President Donald Trump.
Lorance was sentenced to 19 years in military prison after he was found guilty of second-degree murder by ordering his soldiers to shoot at three unarmed men on a motorcycle in Afghanistan in 2012. Two of the men were killed by machine gun fire and a third was wounded.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
My cell phone rang on a sweltering Baghdad summer night in 2006. My best friend and West Point classmate, Maj. Bill Taylor was on the other end.
"It's bad," he said. "We need to get these guys to an American military hospital, ASAP."
"These guys" were captured suspected al-Qaeda insurgents, and Bill, one lone American soldier, was now the only thing standing between them and several hundred Iraqi soldiers bent on tearing them apart.
Former Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, whom President Donald Trump recently pardoned of his 2013 murder conviction, claims he was nothing more than a pawn whom generals sacrificed for political expediency.
The infantry officer had been sentenced to 19 years in prison for ordering his soldiers to open fire on three unarmed Afghan men in 2012. Two of the men were killed.
During a Monday interview on Fox & Friends, Lorance accused his superiors of betraying him.
"A service member who knows that their commanders love them will go to the gates of hell for their country and knock them down," Lorance said. "I think that's extremely important. Anybody who is not part of the senior Pentagon brass will tell you the same thing."
"I think folks that start putting stars on their collar — anybody that has got to be confirmed by the Senate for a promotion — they are no longer a soldier, they are a politician," he continued. "And so I think they lose some of their values — and they certainly lose a lot of their respect from their subordinates — when they do what they did to me, which was throw me under the bus."
BANGKOK (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper expressed confidence on Sunday in the U.S. military justice system's ability to hold troops to account, two days after President Donald Trump pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan.
Trump also restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq.
Asked how he would reassure countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq in the wake of the pardons, Esper said: "We have a very effective military justice system."
"I have great faith in the military justice system," Esper told reporters during a trip to Bangkok, in his first remarks about the issue since Trump issued the pardons.
Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher has been released from pretrial custody ahead of his court-martial on charges for allegedly killing a wounded ISIS fighter and other offenses.
Navy Capt. Aaron Rugh, the military judge in the case, decided to release Gallagher at the end of a hearing on Thursday, said Navy Region Southwest spokesman Brian O'Rourke. Gallagher's trial is expected to begin in about two weeks.
The victory for Gallagher comes as President Donald Trump is reportedly considering pardons for the SEAL along with Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn and three former Marine Scout Snipers who urinated on Taliban corpses.
Retired U.S. Navy Adm. William McRaven, a former Navy SEAL who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid in 2011, warned that President Donald Trump "needs to be very careful" about a presidential pardon for several military veterans accused of war crimes.
"I think the president needs to be very careful at this point," McRaven said in a Fox News interview on Tuesday. "Obviously the president can pardon [whomever] he thinks is appropriate to pardon."
"But the way it works in the military, you have to be careful as a senior commander about unduly influencing the process before the investigation has been adjudicated," McRaven added.