President Obama used the last days of his administration to commute the sentence of convicted traitor Bradley Manning. President Trump should use the first days of his administration to pardon the Leavenworth 10 and all other U.S. troops and personnel prosecuted or imprisoned for fighting wars for America.
Democrats and their media allies cheered Obama granting Manning clemency, and they are well on their way to canonizing the traitor since he is also a sexual deviant. Meanwhile, the Leavenworth 10 and other troops rot in prisons.
It probably took less than a year (perhaps longer) from when Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda attacked the United States on Sep. 11, 2001 for America to lose its anger and resolve over what happened. And once that occurred, the war against Islamic terrorists turned into a nation-building effort and an effort to win the hearts and minds of our enemies.
This change in mission meant that the American government began trying to win favor with its “partners” in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. This attempt translated to American civilian and military leaders favoring their enemies over their own troops and national security personnel.
And so during the past 15 years of directionless war, the U.S. began prosecuting and even imprisoning American warfighters for killing enemies and other actions taken on the battlefield. This is disgrace enough. But when you combine it with the fact that during this same time America has been releasing enemies from Guantanamo Bay, you realize that it is something far beyond disgrace.
Both the Bush and Obama administrations should have pardoned the Leavenworth 10 and other warfighters like them years ago. In fact, both the Bush and Obama administrations are guilty of prosecuting them and imprisoning them in the first place. The Trump administration has the opportunity to rectify these wrongs.
Presidents are often (and rightfully) criticized for issuing executive orders and otherwise abusing executive power. But one of the constitutionally sound powers a president has is the power of the pardon. Trump can free the Leavenworth 10 and exonerate other wrongfully prosecuted troops and personnel quickly and with no effort. Obama freed a traitor. Trump should free those who fought the wars their country ordered them to fight.