Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Veterans For Peace members and supporters march in a Veterans Day Parade in Boson on November 11, 2014. (Photo: Tim Pierce/Veterans for Peace/Flickr/cc)

Veterans for Peace activists march in Boston's 2014 Veterans Day parade. (Photo: Tim Pierce/Veterans for Peace/Flickr/cc) 

Condemning Trump's Pardons for Blackwater Murderers—and Illegal, Unjust, Unending War

"We call on President Trump to pardon real heroes like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden."

Gerry Condon

President Trump's pardon of convicted mass murderers adds insult to injury for the people of Iraq, who lost hundreds of thousands of their loved ones as a result of the unjust and illegal U.S. war and occupation. Pardoning war criminals also adds insult to injury for the U.S. veterans who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who carry the trauma of having witnessed atrocities against innocent civilians.  

"Soldiers have the right and the responsibility to refuse illegal orders to kill innocent civilians or to participate in illegal and unnecessary wars." 

There are "rules of engagement" that soldiers are supposed to follow to avoid committing war crimes. But these rules are frequently disregarded when soldiers are asked to fight unwinnable wars against entire populations. Young soldiers with lethal weapons are overcome by fear, vengeance, racism, and hatred, and they know that there will be no price to pay for murder.   

When of a few mercenaries—"soldiers of fortune"—were finally held accountable for their unforgivable crimes in Iraq, they are now pardoned by the president, who is Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. military. This sends the wrong message and must be rejected. Soldiers have the right and the responsibility to refuse illegal orders to kill innocent civilians or to participate in illegal and unnecessary wars. 

Veterans For Peace continues to call for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops and mercenaries from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and all of the Middle East and Africa. We call on President Trump to pardon real heroes like Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden, and much-loved political prisoners like Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal. Such pardons would help to heal the wounds of war.  President Trump's pardons do just the opposite. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Gerry Condon

Gerry Condon

Gerry Condon is a Vietnam-era veteran and former president of Veterans For Peace.

'Sorely Disappointed' by Court Ruling, Pipeline Foes Demand Biden 'Act Immediately to Stop Line 3'

"Every day President Biden refuses to stop the Line 3 pipeline is a slap in the face to environmental justice communities and a renewed breaking of his promises on climate and Indigenous rights."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


300+ Progressive Groups Urge Corporations to Ditch ALEC for Pushing Voter Suppression Bills

"If corporations really believe in protecting our democracy and the right to vote, they must end their affiliation with ALEC," said one advocate.

Kenny Stancil, staff writer ·


Reality Winner's Release From Federal Prison Met With Calls for Full Pardon for the NSA Whistleblower

Winner will serve the rest of her five-year sentence under the supervision of a halfway house.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


Analysis Highlights Biden Proposal to End $84 Billion Gift to Big Oil Buried in Trump Tax Scam

"We can stop this insane corporate welfare and use it to pay for a renewable energy future."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·


Intent on Appeasing Manchin, US Blocks G7 Progress on Phasing Out Coal

"Once again Joe Manchin is casting a heavy shadow."

Julia Conley, staff writer ·