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Trump's Pardons Epitomize Corruption, Theft, and Murder

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Although the lamest of lame ducks, Donald Trump still possesses the enormous power we entrusted him with four years ago.

One of the most awesome (and monarchical) powers the Constitution entrusts to the president is the ability to grant "reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States" to just about anyone.

Trump is wasting no time exercising this authority, issuing half the 90 pardons he bestowed his entire term in just the last week.

While past presidents have pardoned controversial figures before, Trump is not disappointing low expectations by granting clemency to loyal sycophants, financial con artists like himself, and murderers.

Four of those murderers the president just allowed to walk free were responsible for a cold-blooded massacre on civilians tantamount to the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war.

Nicholas Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard are four former mercenaries for the military contractor Blackwater, founded by Trump supporter Erik Prince, brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

All four were sentenced to prison for the 2007 attack in Iraqi's Nisour Square that killed 14 and wounded 17.

The youngest victim was nine-year-old Ali Kinani, who was simply traveling in a car with his father to pick up family for a visit.

On their way home, Ali's father, Mohammed Hafedh Abdulrazzaq Kinani, the driver, recalls a traffic jam he assumed was just another U.S. military checkpoint, a common sight.

He reported to The Intercept journalist Jeremy Scahill back in 2010:

"One of the guards gestured toward us with his hands. This gesture means 'stop.' So we stopped. I and all the cars in front and behind me stopped. We followed their orders.

"At that point, I didn't even know they were Blackwater. I didn't know it was a security company. I thought it was some sort of American Army unit, or maybe a military police unit. In any case, we followed their orders."

But a man in the vehicle next to them exclaimed, "I think someone was shot in the car in front of you!"

Scahill explained:

"It was then Mohammed watched in horror as Blackwater gunners, for no apparent reason, blew up a white Kia sedan in front of his eyes. Inside, Mohammed would later learn, were a young Iraqi medical student and his mother."

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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