In the Sunday New York Times, November 24, 2019, front page article: “Top Navy Leaders Standing Ground Over Seal’s Case,” ( examines the court-martial of a Navy Seal acquitted of shooting civilians, murdering a captive Islamic State fighter with a hunting knife, but convicted of posing with a dead Islamic fighter. Trump has indicated he will pardon Chief Gallagher. The Secretary of the Navy and Admiral who leads the Seals have threatened to resign.

Have to say, as a decorated combat platoon leader, with Bronze Star with V device from Vietnam, Trump would be wise to follow his military commanders in this area. Keeping the lid on frustrated soldiers who have lost friends in combat is a full-time job in the field when fighting non-traditional war. Pardoning is sanctioning murder and never a good idea as it crosses the line of civilization and alienates the population the U.S. is trying to contain. Disciplinary action in the military is an exercise in redundancy of proof and paperwork. Just an Article 15 by a company commander required numerous separate signatures in Germany in 1968 and a drop in the bucket for full court-martial. Combat troops in the field need to have the heavy hand of justice hanging over them to retain civilization and keep focused on pacifying the community when combating a insurgency or face alienation defeating the purpose. All chief Gallagher is losing is his seal metal, not his head.