Ret. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling on CNN: Trump Soldier Pardons Would Be ‘Extremely’ Immoral


Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, a national security for CNN, appeared on the network Monday to lambaste President Donald Trump over reports he’s preparing to pardon several US military members accused of war crimes.

Hertling appeared on CNN after writing an op-ed noting that while Trump’s pardons would be legal, “they are also immoral and anathema to military discipline, unit cohesion, and our forces’ professionalism.”

On air, Hertling called the potential pardons “extremely” immoral.

And what I’m saying is because this is more than just the execution of a criminal act. We’re talking about the violation of the laws of land warfare, the disobedience of legal orders, the ignoring of ethical and professional standards that are upheld by the military.” Hertling argued. “It would create unbelievable discontent within the ranks,” he said.

Hertling continued that Trump, as the commander in chief of the armed forces, is “undercutting the rules and regulations that contribute to good order and discipline in the military.”

“And that to me is an anathema and it’s immoral because these acts are not the acts of patriots. We train soldiers and military personnel before they go to war — in fact, from the very first day they enter basic training, they’re trained on these kind of rules that contribute to good order and discipline — but they’re also trained to ensure that dignified and unified and trustworthy units don’t turn into mobs using gang violence. As soon as you do that, as a commander of forces, and I had to relieve some commanders in combat, because I thought they were going over the edge in some of these areas, if you lose control of your forces, you no longer are a military force, you’re just a mob.”

Hertling added there would be an “unbelievable blowback from the vast majority of veterans” if Trump went through with the pardons.

Watch above, via CNN.

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Aidan McLaughlin is the Editor of Mediaite. Send tips via email: Ask for Signal. Follow him on Twitter: @aidnmclaughlin