Blackwater pardons reckless

President Donald Trump’s decision to recently pardon four former Blackwater contractors — Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough — was legal and within the power of the president, but it was also reckless and wrong. On Sept. 16, 2007, 17 Iraqi civilians — including 9- and 11-year-old boys — were killed and 14 of those killings were unjustified, according to an FBI investigation. In 2014, a U.S. federal jury found these four American men guilty.

Our president’s pardon jeopardizes the United States' future relationship with Iraq. Imagine if 17 of our citizens were massacred by foreign mercenaries and were later pardoned.

There would be outrage. The primary reason President Trump pardoned these four men is because Blackwater was founded by Erik Prince, the brother of President Trump's Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. This is a slap in the face to our justice department, FBI, the victims and their families and the people of Iraq.

Chuck Mueller

Traverse City

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