President Bone Spurs Doesn’t Fucking Get It About the Military and Never Fucking Will

This has my blood boiling:

President Donald Trump has requested paperwork allowing him to move forward quickly with pardons for accused US war criminals, The New York Times reported Saturday.

The pardons from a President who on the campaign trail expressed support for “tougher” tactics than waterboarding and going after the families of terrorists could come “on or around Memorial Day,” two US officials told the Times.

One military official told the Times that the White House made its request to the Justice Department on Friday, and that while pardon files typically take months to assemble, the Justice Department had stressed the files needed to be completed before the coming Memorial Day weekend.

The Times said those who could potentially receive clemency include a Navy SEAL who is facing trial for shooting unarmed civilians and murdering a wounded person, along with a range of others accused or convicted of shooting or killing unarmed civilians.

First things first, the fact that he is doing this on Memorial Day should be your first clue the giant orange talking anus has no idea what the fuck he is doing. Memorial Day is to honor our war dead. Those who died in service to our nation. It’s also the day where our jingoistic citizenry run around telling everyone inappropriately “Thank you for your service” and we try to not look disgusted and say “Thank you, but I’m not fucking dead, just on the inside.” Regardless, this would be inappropriate on Veteran’s Day, too, but less so than on Memorial Day.

Second, pardoning war criminals doesn’t honor our troops regardless what fucking day of the year it is done. It’s a spit in the face of every man and woman who served honorably in the military. It’s saying “hey- you’re all murderers anyway.” It’s fucking disgusting.

Third, those convicted of war crimes by the military are most assuredly guilty. It’s about as easy to convict soldiers of these things as it is to convict a cop of manslaughter. Those convicted are the most egregious cases imaginable. I mean jesus tapdancing christ, in the My Lai massacre, 500 unarmed civilians were murdered, gang raped, and had their corpses mutilated, and approximately ONE person, Lt. Calley, a platoon leader which is the lowest unit level in existence, was convicted. And then he was even pardoned had his sentence commuted.

This is a god damned disgrace. You want to do something to honor soldiers on Memorial Day, dollhands? Just shut the fuck up and go away for the weekend.






121 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I feel as you do, but I’m not a veteran and veterans overwhelming supported Trump, so I’m going to stay out of it.

  2. 2

    @Baud: Do they even now?
    T admin has made it difficult for active duty military to file for citizenship. It has happened under the noses of Gen Kelly and Gen Mattis. The rate of rejection of citizenship applicants is higher for military applicants than civilians.
    USCIS closed down all its base offices. Its never been about the illegal immigrants for the bigots, just like its never been just about abortion for the fundies

  3. 3

    People have installed a Hitler wannabe in the WH, what else did you expect?

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I haven’t checked recently. I would love to hear that that’s changed.

  5. 5
    Sasha says:

    @Baud: You’re an American citizen, presumably, so I think you do get to weigh in. I am a veteran and I am so horrified, I cannot put it into words.

  6. 6
    Haroldo says:

    This is a bid for a future All-American Waffen SS.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    @Sasha:

    I can weigh in on the horribleness of the pardon. On the insult to the military, I’m not sure what my weight my opinion carries.

  8. 8
    Arclite says:

    In watching the second episode of Chernobyl last night, I saw the part where if the molten uranium slag had hit the water that had pooled under the reactor, there would have been a second explosion in the 2-4MT range, vaporizing the other reactors and spreading nuclear material all over Ukraine and Europe. I’m curious how mixing the slag with the water facilitates supercriticality and creates a nuclear explosion?

    Perhaps Cheryl or someone else could explain? Thanks!

  9. 9

    John, I agree. It is a spit in the face to all of us, but particularly to those who served honorably.

    Trump has said a number of times that he is in favor of war crimes, though. Asked targeters why not shoot even when civilians are present. Argued that we should aim for families of those he considers wrongdoers. Complained that the military’s hands are tied with too many regulations.

    He doesn’t understand that a consensus on war crimes protects our military, both physically and in conscience. Plus the rest of us who don’t want to be that kind of nation.

  10. 10

    @Arclite: Those numbers sound high to me. The explosion would have been a steam explosion, which would have been bad. I doubt that the neutronics would have had much to do with it.

    Oddly, I have seen little to nothing on my Twitter feed on this, and I follow a number of nuclear engineers and physicists.

  11. 11
    Mary G says:

    Just another step in his plan to be the new Hitler. I hate this timeline so much.

  12. 12
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    If this guy REALLY wants to honor veterans, he can resign. Right fucking now.

  13. 13
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Baud: “Veterans overwhelmingly supported Trump”.

    Please show your work.

  14. 14
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    FWIW, Calley was not parfoned. His sentence was effectively commuted to time served, but the conviction remained in place.

    When I was at OCS in 1988, my company was the successor unit to the one that Calley came through. As part of our law of land warfare class, we went out to Andersonville prison camp. That long day discussing the responsibility of soldiers in general and officers in particular to not overstep the bounds stuck with me to this day. About 10-15 years ago, there was a squad from a battalion in the 82d that raped and, IIRC, killed some women in an Iraqi village. It made the papers, etc. Ine of the things I noticed about it was that the battalion commander was a guy who had been in my platoon at OSC, Word of what had happened apparently traveled quickly up the chain of command and LTC Kunk ordered an immediate investigation, reported it to higher ups, and basically did everything that he was supposed to do. Again, basing this on my recollection, the ringleaders were convicted and received fairly harsh sentences while some of the others got off lightly. The guy I knew, though, his career was over. He would finish out his 20 and retire, but there would be no further promotions or prestige assignments. He did the right thing when called upon even though he knew what it would do to his career.

    Calley was working at a jewelry store off of Exit 3 in Columbus, GA, when I was there. He should have burned for what he did and Colin Powell should have as well for being a part of the cover up.

  15. 15
    Sasha says:

    @Baud: Fair enough, I guess. But it’s worth remembering that your tax dollars fund the military and they act in your name. I am a veteran and my husband is a retiree and we have always rejected the idea that civilians should defer to military members on these issues.

  16. 16
    Kent says:

    @Baud: Do veterans overwhemingly support Trump? Or is do rural white males who happen to be veterans heavily support Trump? The black and Hispanic vets I happen to know are not big Trump supporters. Neither are the black women vets I know.

    It is pretty damn easy to be a reporter and walk into a VFW hall in rural KY or rural TN and find near universal support for Trump. But then you are not surveying veterans, you are surveying older southern rural white male veterans which is not the same thing at all.

  17. 17
    Matt McIrvin says:

    Right now, he could just order the military to kill all of us, anyone who opposes him, with promises of pardons in hand. And he might do that.

  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Did Mattis have any authority to keep those offices open if USCIS under (and I assume with the at least tacit approval of) Kelly decided to close them?

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Sasha says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: It enrages me that Colin Powell always seems to get a pass for his whitewash of the My Lai massacre. It is almost never mentioned and I bet 99% of Americans don’t know about his role in the cover-up.

  21. 21

    @Omnes Omnibus: I have no idea of the administrative minutia. This happened when Kelly was in the WH IIRC.

    ETA: Mattis was secDef when the troops were used as election props at the border before 2018 midterms.

  22. 22

    Of course Trump doesn’t understand the military, avoidance of military service is a Trump family tradition.

  23. 23
    Kent says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Exactly. According to that poll he has 44% approval rate in the active military which is barely better than his approval rate in the general public. Athough active military is not the same as veterans. The veteran population is HEAVILY weighted towards old, white, and male people simply because the military was so much larger in the past and much more white and male. Something like 16 million Americans served in WW-II and over 9 million Americans were on active duty during the course of the Vietnam war compared to about 1.3 million active duty military today worldwide including the National Guard. So compared to active duty military, any poll of veterans is going to be heavily tilted old, white, and male, which is Trumps base.

  24. 24
    Arclite says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Isn’t water a moderator in US nuclear reactors? So could throwing the 2800 kg of molten uranium and plutonium into a swimming pool cause the fuel to go super-critical? Found this YouTube clip explaining what might happen, but it was short on the specifics.

  25. 25
    trnc says:

    Argued that we should aim for families of those he considers wrongdoers.

    Tell him that’s why we’re going after jr (even though that’s justified and non lethal.

  26. 26
    dmsilev says:

    Waiting, inevitably, for Lindsey “former JAG” Graham to defend Trump’s actions.

  27. 27
    debbie says:

    @Baud:

    I think they’re divided, like the rest of us.

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Blue mouser says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I think the thought was that when the core hit the 20 million liters of water in the bubbler pools the blast would take out the other reactors and the combined effect would be in the 2-4 megaton range. According to history .co.uk website that’s close to the reported estimate from nuclear physicist Vassili Nesterenko. I need to go back to that section of the audiobook Midnight in Chernobyl to see if that was the estimate for the potential blast. I wonder if experts like yourself are avoiding the series because it is a dramatization and the creator Craig Masin used some artistic license to tell the story, like there wasn’t loads of black smoke coming from the reactor in the days following the explosion but some white smoke and the Emily Watson character is a stand In for the many dedicated nuclear scientists who were working with the government to deal with the problem etc. I understand it could be very irritating if the story is not exactly factually correct. I think though, from what I’ve seen in the very few sites where people are discussing the show, it is sparking a lot of interest in what happened and people are going out and seeking sources like books about what happened. I am a GOT fan but the larger themes of power and corruption and the aftermath of a catastrophes on the general public which fans love to ascribe to the show are, so far, illustrated far better and far more poignantly and realistically ( I know it’s because it is reality) in this show. Sorry to post off topic comment on this thread about an important issue. I was just so so thrilled to hear your thoughts on this subject

  30. 30
    Brachiator says:

    President Donald Trump has requested paperwork allowing him to move forward quickly with pardons for accused US war criminals, The New York Times reported Saturday.

    This is part of Trump’s re-election strategy. And part of his vision of what America is and should be. For Trump, a soldier is never captured. For Trump, no soldier or cop can ever commit a crime. America, under Trump, can do no wrong.

    Think of every president we have ever had. Think of every grave error they made. Trump will happily repeat these crimes and misdemeanors and embrace them as making America great again.

    It is clear that Trump has no moral compass. None at all. He appeals to the worst in his supporters. He is willing to flush the nation down a golden, Trump brand toilet.

    This shit may tickle his base. But it will rouse up the opposition to his misrule even more.

  31. 31
    Cameron says:

    @Sasha: And Hugh Thompson was ostracized for quite a while, IIRC.

  32. 32
    AThornton says:

    @AThornton:

    Basically because they are old white males aka “Prime Trump Demographic”

    https://news.gallup.com/poll/158729/men-women-veterans.aspx

  33. 33
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Blue mouser:

    t is a dramatization and the creator Craig Masin used some artistic license to tell the story, like there wasn’t loads of black smoke coming from the reactor in the days following the explosion but some white smoke and the Emily Watson character is a stand In for the many dedicated nuclear scientists who were working with the government to deal with the problem etc

    I too am watching, and am unclear how much is verbatim, paraphrase, pastiche, and/or dramatic recreation.

    I feel a show like that aught to have a circumscribed latitude to embellish, lest dramatic recreations pollute the truth.

  34. 34
    joel hanes says:

    You want to do something to honor soldiers on Memorial Day, dollhands? Just shut the fuck up and

    commit seppuku.

    ex-SP4 Joel Hanes, US Army

  35. 35

    @Arclite: Water is indeed a moderator. It would be vaporized because of the temperatures involved. An explosive nuclear reaction requires precise timing, though. So what I’m envisioning is a mixture of steam and particulate reactor material, happening over a period of seconds to minutes. A mess and probably a steam blast, but I have my doubts about the nuclear explosion. Would like to hear from a nuclear engineer or two on that, though.

  36. 36
    Brachiator says:

    @Kent:

    Do veterans overwhemingly support Trump? Or is do rural white males who happen to be veterans heavily support Trump?

    In Trump’s mind, and in that of many of his supporters, the military is all white and all male.

  37. 37
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I am not here to prop up Mattis as a good guy. I was just questioning whether he could be blamed for that one specific action.

  38. 38
    HinTN says:

    1) I take back my inappropriate characterization of yourself upstairs.
    2)

    the lowest unit level in existence

    Squad

    “That is all.”

  39. 39
    SenyorDave says:

    @joel hanes: Wasn’t committing seppuku essentially an honorable thing for a samurai warrior to do? If that is the case, no chance of Trump going that route. I picture Trump choking to death on a piece of pizza from a chain place that served cardboard-crust pizza that he used a knife and fork on (maybe Godfather’s Pizza since that is Herman Cain’s old outfit) .

  40. 40
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @HinTN: Well, I think he meant “lowest unit level in existence led by an officer”, which would be platoon.

  41. 41

    @Blue mouser: I’ve been explicit: I am not watching the Chernobyl series because I don’t care to see acute radiation sickness dramatized. As far as I’ve been able to see, it’s technically reasonable, but yes, it would be annoying (not to say irresponsible) if it were not.

    And I’ll say something that I avoided in responding to Arclite: I have seen Russian scientists exaggerate such things in the past, which is why I would like to hear from others on the possibility of the water causing a nuclear explosion.

    The coverup is something that people should understand, and I’m glad it’s being addressed in this series. It was what convinced Gorbachev to try to open up the Soviet system with perestroika and glasnost. When the task force I was on was trying to understand what was happening, it was clear that the information was being tightly controlled. Given how the Soviet system worked, we weren’t surprised, but dismayed that it continued that way for such a catastrophe.

  42. 42
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @HinTN: Gun crew, but actually fire direction center is smaller. @Villago Delenda Est: Still fire direction center.

  43. 43
    Blue mouser says:

    @MobiusKlein: in the podcast after the show Craig Marlin actually discusses what is factual and where he employs artistic license, like yes people stood on the bridge that night and that Emily Watson’s character is an amalgam of the many scientists working to fix the catastrophic problem. I agree that one should tread very carefully when depicting actual events. That is why I got the audiobook and have been looking for discussion threads. I don’t think the general events have been dramatically polluted as of yet. I would love to find sources that discuss it and if you could point me to some that say it has totally misrepresented what happened I would like to be able to read that discussion and learn more. What I like is that people are going beyond the show to find out what happened. I wish they had more episodes to flesh out what happened and the tremendous effort it took to contain the accident.

  44. 44
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: True, but then again artillery is weird.

  45. 45
    HinTN says:

    Raven is old, white, male, and served. He don’t support dump. I’m old, white, male, and didn’t serve (protested the hell out of the war). I don’t support dump.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    HinTN says:

    @dmsilev: Gag me with a spoon.

  48. 48
    HinTN says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I accept that parsing.

  49. 49
    eemom says:

    Gives him too much credit to say he “doesn’t get it about the military,” because it implies he might have TRIED to “get it.”

    To state the blindingly obvious, he doesn’t get that, or anything else, because he doesn’t care about anything that isn’t him.

  50. 50
    Wapiti says:

    @Baud: I read into one of those “veterans support Trump” polls. Basically, they define as a veteran anyone who served in the Armed Forces. So the age groups of the draft era, when a whole lot of guys (mostly) served 2-3 years, are heavily represented. So the average guy in the 68-86 year-old cohort supports Trump; yeah, we knew that.

  51. 51
    HinTN says:

    @eemom: THIS

  52. 52

    @Omnes Omnibus: He was SecDef, he could have advocated for the immigrant soldiers who wanted to become citizens. I love how these supposed tough guys are never to blame for all these horrible decisions implemented during their tenure by their own fucking departments.
    Troops were deployed to the southern border during and before 2018 elections to put barbed wire, tent cities built on bases to house migrant children during his tenure. And he resigns with his reputation intact. These men are above the law. They can do anything and get away with it.

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: They’ve floated the trial balloon of the President invoking the Insurrection Act as part of his response to his declared national emergency of illegal immigration.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-leaves-open-possibility-of-invoking-insurrection-act-to-remove-migrants/2019/05/17/6b49c2c4-7892-11e9-bd25-c989555e7766_story.html?utm_term=.02232008271a

    By John Wagner May 17
    A White House spokesman left often the possibility Friday that President Trump would invoke an arcane law that would allow him to deploy the military to remove illegal immigrants, as Trump warned migrants on Twitter that they could be leaving the country soon.

    Asked during a television appearance whether Trump is considering using the Insurrection Act, spokesman Hogan Gidley said the president is “going to do everything within his authority to protect the American people” and has “lots of tools at his disposal.”

    “We haven’t used them all, and we’re looking at ways to protect the American people,” Gidley said during an appearance on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”

    I expect that Gen. Dunford and the rest of the Joint Chiefs will not go along with this, but, of course, they serve at the pleasure of the President and can be replaced. And if only 1/2 a dozen Republican governors go along by mobilizing their National Guard in support of the President should he make such an order, we’re going to have a real problem. Even as the courts rule against the invocation, and I expect they will, if the President and his people (Stephen Miller, etc) move quickly enough, given that AG Barr has already delineated an understanding of executive power that is both unconstitutional and anti-constitutional, if he can get some Republican governors to mobilize their National Guard and give them to him, he can blow off whatever the courts tell him.

    And if you’re wondering just what he could do once the Insurrection Act is invoked, here you go:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/01/presidential-emergency-powers/576418/

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/05/can-trump-use-insurrection-act-stop-immigration/589690/

  54. 54
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Blue mouser: I don’t have a source for specific problems, just know that it’s not clear from watching how much should be taken as gospel.

    There were a few oddities about timing of detection in Sweden that did not align exactly I think was my first Hmm moment.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He did not. They are not his offices, it is not his funding, and the personnel staffing those officers are not DOD or Service civilians.

  56. 56
    joel hanes says:

    @HinTN:

    I’m old, white, male, protested the hell out of the war … and then spent three years in the Army when I became one of the last people drafted, because duty is the flip side of rights. Gave ’em an extra year in exchange for a promise that my first duty station would be in Europe.

    I haven’t supported a Republican for any office since 1968, and despise Trump and his supporters.

  57. 57
    joel hanes says:

    @Blue mouser:

    Nym a reference to Zelazny ?

    Or a cat ?

    Or both ?

  58. 58
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    He was SecDef, he could have advocated for the immigrant soldiers who wanted to become citizens. I love how these supposed tough guys are never to blame for all these horrible decisions implemented during their tenure by their own fucking departments.

    My understanding is that he did so. He only can fall on his sword once, so the question is that knowing what we know about what he was able to prevent from happening, was this the issue to have done so? For you it might have been for personal reasons, but Mattis’s responsibilities as Secretary of Defense were not to deal with your personal pet issues. No matter how important they are. And in this case it is an important issue.

    Mattis is not Kelly. I know you don’t understand that, or if you understand it, you refuse to accept it.

  59. 59
    Wapiti says:

    Sorta related to the thread: the President’s pardon power should be sharply limited. In my gut, I could see the President having the power to commute sentences, but I think that a better approach for pardons would be the President recommending slates of pardons to the House of Representatives for approval. (Why not the Senate – the place of really rich white guys? Nah, let The People decide what is a miscarriage of justice.)

    Maybe Senator Professor Warren can bring this up.

  60. 60
    sukabi says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: think this pardon is his first official step to sanction the murdering of immigrants as they try and cross the border.

  61. 61
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Yes, he could have advocated for immigrant soldiers and, on the record before us, it looks like he did not. If you were to say that USCIS shut down these offices without any (public) pushback from Mattis, I won’t argue with you. And I agree with you that deploying troops to support Trumps immigration actions was wrong. As far as the rest, Colin Powell helped cover up a full-on war crime and finished his career as a respected foreign policy elder. Kissinger isn’t in jail.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Wapiti: The pardon power is one of the few things that a royal head of state had that was adopted wholesale by the US. If Congress was involved would the people who went to Canafa to avoid the draft ever been pardoned? It is done the way it is to take political pressures out of it for the most part. Also, previous presidents have generally accepted advice and counsel from professionals before issung pardons.

  63. 63

    @Omnes Omnibus: We are in agreement here.

  64. 64

    @Adam L Silverman: It is possible that your are right about Mattis and I am wrong. I just don’t trust anyone that chooses to work for this administration. Also IIRC, your opinion of Kelly was not always this negative.
    Putting additional hurdles in front of troops who have served this country and want to become citizens is not my pet issue, it doesn’t affect me personally in anyway. Its a matter of justice and basic fairness. And goes to the heart who deserves to be an American. YMMV.

  65. 65
    philbert says:

    Additional scary… in a recent tweet he mentioned ‘as we build up our removal forces’. Chilling indeed.

  66. 66
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    I just don’t trust anyone that chooses to work for this administration.

    What do you know—physicists and history majors can agree on things!

  67. 67
    Wapiti says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I think the pardon of the Viet Nam draft evaders was a good use of the power, and it would have been decades before the Congress would have been brave enough to do it. But I think that Presidents pardoning their donors, friends, and co-conspirators has got to stop; it goes right to the rule of law.

  68. 68
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    OK. (Well, NOT OK)
    Professional opinion, what happens (i.e. plausible scenarios covering most possibilities) if e.g.Trump orders the military, either the various National Guards or the US armed forces if the states involved don’t cooperate, to occupy and search/remove undesirables from sanctuary cities/states/counties, with not-entirely-veiled threats towards political opponents? (Covering the majority of the USA’s population.)

  69. 69
    John Cole says:

    @HinTN: there are no officers at the squad level. Least not in the army.

  70. 70
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    Shall we have Justin Amash add “Abuse of the Presidential Pardon Power” to his Reasons for Impeachment Twitter thread and retweet it to every chickenshit member of the House?

    Or should we all just head into a forest and scream until our ears bleed?

  71. 71
    Jeffro says:

    @Sasha: Thank you. We need to get rid of this “well I’m not a _____, so I won’t weigh in” stuff on all levels. If you’re an American citizen period, you get to weigh in. If you’re an American citizen of voting age, you get to weigh in and you MUST vote accordingly.

    No more punting. It’s a time for choosing, for speaking up, for standing up, now more than ever.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: My opinion of Kelly was based on a very, very close friend and colleague who has known and served with him for 30 years. I actually have met Mattis, though only once, and provided support to him when he was commanding CENTCOM. And as soon as my opinion of Kelly was clearly proven wrong, I admitted to it here very clearly.

    My understanding is that Mattis took the assignment for one reason and one reason only: to protect the DOD, the Services, and the uniformed and civilian men and women who work in them from the President. In this he was largely successful until a decision was made that would clearly increase the risk for personnel already in harm’s way. And that decision was one he could not countenance.

  73. 73
    Blue mouser says:

    @joel hanes: fritz leiber + favorite cat color!

  74. 74

    @Adam L Silverman: Fair enough! These last two and half years have been very upsetting. I also had a health crisis immediately after the election. We had just moved. It was super stressful. I value your cogent analysis of all things related to security.
    So thank you from the hectoring bully.

  75. 75
    Jeffro says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Previous presidents have generally accepted advice and counsel from professionals before issuing pardons

    True. And yet I think I see the problem here…when the president* is someone without shame, without any moral compass whatsoever, without any allegiance to the country (or anything other than him/herself), this is what can happen. So I guess the question becomes one of “How do we prevent a corrupt president from rewarding his allies and punishing his enemies, to say nothing of exonerating those whose crimes clearly are beyond the pale, with pardons?”

    I don’t think we can do it. It will require a constitutional amendment in any case, and the only ones I can see that would do the job are:
    – make pardons subject to a vote by at least one house of Congress…and if the vote fails, the president forfeits the office. HIS/HER office. It has to be that important to him/her and that justified.
    – make it impossible to actually pardon anyone, but keep the possibility of commuting sentences.

    As with so many things, trumpov’s utter corruption and shamelessness is forcing us to consider what we need to codify what in every other administration would just be an accepted norm of behavior. A minimum standard for holding office. Dems would do well to point that out while banging on his GOP enablers 24/7/365

  76. 76
    Bill Arnold says:

    @philbert:
    He also recorded a video (posted on twitter) on AF1, where told Bill de Blasio “you’d be better off if you get back to New York City and did your job for the little time you have left.” (My transcript of the sentence; interestingly when I first heard it, it was unclear if it was “we have left” or “you have left”. Sounded more like “we” to me.)

    .@BilldeBlasio is the worst Mayor in the history of New York City – he won’t last long! pic.twitter.com/NyYntsX573— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 16, 2019

    de Blasio has 2.5 years left as mayor of NYC. (4 year term, elected Nov 2017). One could interpret that as a threat to avoid NYS prosecution by declaring martial law in NYC. :-), or :-(.

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: I expect that Gen. Dunford and the other Service Chiefs will not go along with this use of the military. The Chief of the National Guard Bureau is involved with the Joint Chiefs, even though the service members he oversees are part of the specific services. I do not know what he will do, but I suspect there will be pressure brought to bear by Gen. Dunford for a united front. Of course the President can simply relieve all of these general officers/flag officers and replace them with those who are willing to do his bidding. Though I’m not sure there are really any general officers/flag officers that would be willing to be used this way, I’m sure he’ll be able to find some and, if necessary, promote them. Of course, the fallout from this will be breaking the senior leadership of the All Volunteer Force, but I don’t think the President either cares or thinks about such things.

    The larger issue, as I’ve indicated, is whether he can get Gregg Abbot or Brian Kemp or Matt Bevin or the governors of SC, MO, AL, MS, AZ, UT, NE, IA, WY, ND, SD to allow their states’ National Guard to be mobilized by the President and put to use carrying out whatever it is he orders. And if he can do that, then, as I indicated, we’ve got a really, really big problem.

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @schrodingers_cat: No worries and no problems on this end. I know this stuff really bothers you, just as it bothers all of us, and, I hope, all of good conscience. And I hope you’re doing much better health wise.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: As mayor of New York, with the resources from the NYPD, de Blasio has something like the 3rd largest intelligence service in the world and one of the largest paramilitary forces under his control. And given that no matter how bad a governor I think Cuomo is, the NY National Guard would be made available to prevent any attempted takeover of NY City by the President.

  80. 80
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Adam L Silverman: In Massachusetts we could find out what our nice Republican Charlie Baker is really made of. I don’t have high hopes. Whatever happens would be happening almost in my backyard.

  81. 81
    mrmoshpotato says:

    You want to do something to honor soldiers on Memorial Day, dollhands?

    He could also fuck off to a warzone and punch the Taliban or Daesh in the face because Cadet Bonespurs The Trump Trash is tremendous bigly at everything.

  82. 82
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Sure, but listen to that video and tell me what he’s trying to say. :-) It’s very odd. (I have a couple of other interpretations that are … weirder. :-)

  83. 83
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Matt McIrvin: You’ve got a Democratic majority legislature, as is the case in Maryland. I expect any attempt to go along with such an order would be met with legislative pushback.

  84. 84
    James E Powell says:

    @Baud:

    I feel as you do, but I’m not a veteran and veterans overwhelming supported Trump, so I’m going to stay out of it.

    Yeah, me too. But I will always wonder why.

  85. 85
    gene108 says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    What were Mattis’s options? Resign? Tell the military to ignore a Presidential order?

    I am just at a loss about what his options were to openly defy Trump.

    No country is set up to have its top leader actively undermine institutions, which Trump is doing, specifically by keeping them understaffed, so even small decisions run through him and not the Cabinet Secretary or Under Secretary or Assistant Under Secretary.

    I don’t what Mattis was hoping to accomplish being in the Trump Administration, but as Kay said early on, the first set of Trump hires would be his best and as they leave the replacements will be worse. And so far she hasn’t been wrong.

  86. 86
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @joel hanes: Where were you stationed over in Europe?

  87. 87
    JoyceH says:

    I know I am better known here for talking about my books and my dog, but in case I’ve never mentioned it, I’m retired Navy. And I’m so far from being part of Trump’s base that it’s not even in the same multi-verse. That creature has never done a single thing in his entire misbegotten, malformed, sorry excuse for a life that I could ever approve of. As for this latest brain fart of “genius”, it is, like everything else about him, horrific.

  88. 88
    trollhattan says:

    @HinTN:
    When the kid and I went to a Hillary rally there were guys–I’d say Vietnam to 1st Gulf War era–wearing “Veterans against Trump” t-shirts. Really appreciated their presence and won’t presume to opine on how much the represent the veteran cohort overall. I know with certainty they weren’t there being used as props because they were queued up in the really long line along with the rest of us. Trump would have had their pro-Trump counterparts whisked inside and placed behind him on the stage. With flags, lots of flags.

  89. 89
    Ruckus says:

    I’m a vet, as I’ve said on here many times. I agree with @Sasha: if you are a citizen you get a say. Being a vet still only gets you a vote if you are a citizen. There are no tests, no anything other than the VA for vets. Because it is part of our country, part of your country. And I consider the VA to be part of my pay, because the extremely shitty wages that I got paid to make sure the navigation system of a multi million dollar ship worked so it’s weapons could be delivered accurately if necessary were exactly that. And no one shot at me. Those in a combat zone got additional pay, so their pay was slightly less shitty. But they got shot at and were far more likely to be disfigured or dead than I was. They get free medical care, I don’t.
    Other than that, I’m a citizen, and I pay taxes.
    But pardoning war criminals, that’s just fucking beyond the pale. We trust people to do the right thing, and they often don’t. And if they are military they seldom pay any price, like JC says like cops. It is harder to always make rational decisions under fire so mistakes get made and the burden of proof is high. Probably higher than it should be. But it burns me to think how many people tried to do it right, tried not to do the wrong thing, hell even tried not to go to the unnecessary war of my generation, and now shit for brains wants to pardon a military war criminal or two?
    FUCK THIS SHIT.
    That is all.

  90. 90
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Jeffro: I’ve mentioned it before: Newt Gingrich, who is chummy with Trump, has publicly floated the idea of the President sending out troops with pardons in hand together with their orders, giving them advance permission to commit war crimes. My impression is that current US legal precedent does not support this use of the pardon power, but precedents are falling a lot these days.

  91. 91
    Chris says:

    My grandfather was in the Green Berets. Three tours in Southeast Asia. And Dad still remembers watching the news with him back in the U.S. when the My Lai story broke, how enraged he was by it, and how when Dad said something about how maybe they were just following orders, Grandpa simply replied that orders like that should never be followed.

    He also briefly met Nixon when the guy was touring the troops, and found the guy repellent. It’s not hard to imagine how he’d feel about Trump, let alone Trump pardoning war criminals.

  92. 92
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And given that no matter how bad a governor I think Cuomo is, the NY National Guard would be made available to prevent any attempted takeover of NY City by the President.

    Wouldn’t this be constitutional crisis number 32. Wouldn’t Trump ultimately have power over the national guard as Commander in Chief?

  93. 93
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: He’s very odd. Remember, everything with him is dominance politics because he’s both a bully and a major coward. So he tries to get over on everyone immediately, because if he doesn’t, he’s already lost. According to his understanding of the world.

    It may also be a veiled threat to weaponize whatever is in David Pecker’s safe against de Blasio.

  94. 94
  95. 95
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I wouldn’t trust the police to be loyal to de Blasio over Trump.

  96. 96
    mrmoshpotato says:

    @Brachiator: We’re only at 32 Constitutional crisises with this Soviet shitpile mobster conman?

  97. 97
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Matt McIrvin: de Blasio controls their paychecks.

  98. 98
    raven says:

    Chicken shit motherfucker.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: The National Guard are authorized under both Title 10 and Title 32. Governors can fight against allowing their Guardsmen being Federalized. And governors appoint the leadership of their state’s National Guard.

  100. 100
    rikyrah says:

    My father and all my maternal uncles served and put their lives on the line for a country that, on its books, deemed them legally second class citizens. Despite this, African Americans have always served in higher percentages than our numbers in this country.
    The man is rotten. He understands nothing of the military.
    This entire process discussed above makes me sick.😠

  101. 101
    Ruckus says:

    @rikyrah:
    It is easy to say that shit for brains understands nothing and leaving it there.
    He doesn’t understand government.
    He doesn’t understand legislation.
    He doesn’t understand the military.
    He doesn’t understand world politics.
    He doesn’t understand business.
    He doesn’t understand humanity.
    He doesn’t understand citizenship.
    He doesn’t understand the truth.
    He is amoral.
    He is shit for brains.
    He is scum.
    He is an asshole deluxe.

  102. 102
    trollhattan says:

    @Matt McIrvin:
    No idea whether the police like De Blasio or not but I do know New Yorkers hate Trump’s vile, rotted guts and so big Bill carries the day by default.

  103. 103
    noncarborundum says:

    @trollhattan: Let’s say they’re not his biggest fans: Report: Hundreds of NYPD cops turn backs to de Blasio at funeral

  104. 104
    trollhattan says:

    @noncarborundum:
    Lovely.

    Are they all from Staten Island?

  105. 105
    Ruckus says:

    @raven:
    Saw your comic link about 4 pipers. What I read of it, little difference. Just like the pics you linked, far more similarities than differences. Basically little difference to living aboard for decades. It started to change after the DDG I was on was built. I was stationed on an LPD, the Juneau, launched in 1966 for around a month before my discharge. That was physically better to live on.

  106. 106
    joel hanes says:

    @@Blue mouser: joel hanes:

    Lieber

    Of course. I am shamed; I meant Lieber but my damned balky neurons gave me Zelazny.
    I’ll buy you a tankard next time we’re both in The Silver Eel.

  107. 107
    Blue mouser says:

    @joel hanes: if you throw in one for Fluffner my buddy, it’s a deal

  108. 108
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Sasha: I followed the MyLai stuff pretty closely and don’t remember Powell being mentioned. But then Powell wasn’t a ‘name’ then.

    I learned of Powell’s role in the cover-up in the extensive discussions of his UN testimony. Some people started examining his history more closely then.

  109. 109
    Mike in NC says:

    Fat Bastard will happily lavish medals on anybody willing to butcher unarmed Muslims.

  110. 110
    Bonnie says:

    And, don’t forget Memorial Day weekend is the weekend where every movie channel in the world runs nothing but war movies.

  111. 111
    patrick II says:

    I don’t think any right named in the constitution is an absolute right. We have the freedom of speech, but we can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater. The president has the right to pardon, but none has ever pardoned himself, let alone pardon himself and his fellow conspirators for such serious crimes. I am not a lawyer or a judge, but to place someone totally above any ability to control him with law is contradictory to the very principles of the constitution, and for me that would override basic principles of our founding and overrule any individually named right in the constitution. Not lightly, not without extreme justification, but our constitution should be able to protect itself as necessary for the protection of its citizens.

  112. 112
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @patrick II: Article II, Section 2: The President…shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

  113. 113
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Arclite: This is total HORSESHIT. There is NO FUCKING WAY a MT-range explosion could have been produced by U/Pu slag dropping into water. NO FUCKING WAY. Those alleged “Soviet experts” deserve nothing more (& nothing less) than a hearty Yob’ tvoyu mat’!

  114. 114
    joel hanes says:

    @mrmoshpotato:

    Where were you stationed

    Furth, just northwest of Nurnberg and a bit southest of Erlangen.
    William O’Darby Kaserne, in an eight-inch howitzer battalion.
    Spent four to six months every year field-training in beautiful Grafenwohr.

  115. 115
    Matt says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    The guy I knew, though, his career was over. He would finish out his 20 and retire, but there would be no further promotions or prestige assignments.

    And that right there is the real problem. We’ve got an armed forces infested with the worst sort of criminals: the ones that manage the coverup.

  116. 116
    moops says:

    This has nothing to do with honoring veterans. This is about Trump vice signalling. Praising and rewarding the people in the military that commit war crimes and hate crimes and openly engage in terrorism.

  117. 117
    central texas says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    No clue how they estimated the megatons, but recalling that Mt. St. Helens was, simply, just water and really hot melted rocks, it seems to me that taking out the proximate reactors would be within reason, depending on the degree to which the steam was confined as the pressure builds.

  118. 118
    dww44 says:

    @moops: Yep.

  119. 119
    central texas says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    Remember Mt. St. Helens? All that was just water and really hot rocks. From “howthingswork.com”:
    “In all, Mount St. Helens released 24 megatons of thermal energy, 7 of which was a direct result of the blast.”
    The melting point of U235 is round 2,000F. If the combination of melted core and water is confined, the release would be explosive. If the original explosion damaged the associated reactors, it could be a chain. There is no need for a bomb-like nuclear reaction. Steam is very, very powerful. I’ve no idea how the megatonage was estimated or if it is correct, but to discount the possibilities is unrealistic, too.

  120. 120
    Sloegin says:

    Trump has an ulterior goal here. He wants to corrupt the military just as much as everything else he’s touched.

  121. 121

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