To the editor: As the son of a now deceased veteran who fought in World War II and helped liberate concentration camps, I take personal offense at the kind of thinking expressed by President Trump last year that probably led him to pardon four Blackwater private military contractors: “We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill!”
We don’t tell any Americans to kill. We put them in harm’s way in order to preserve, protect and defend this country and the ideals upon which it is founded.
These Blackwater contractors’ cold-blooded killing of civilians in Baghdad during the Iraq war in no way furthers these ideals. Instead, it is reminiscent of the blatant disregard for human life that enabled the concentration camps my father liberated.
By his actions, Trump shows as much ignorance about the purpose of military action as he does for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alan Schuchman, Culver City
To the editor: I would like to see Trump go to Baghdad and explain to the relatives of those innocent civilians shot and killed why he pardoned the four convicted Blackwater guards who did the shooting.
In particular, he should speak to the parents of 9-year-old Ali Kinani, who was killed by the guards with a bullet that split open his head. Try telling them why he pardoned these convicted killers.
These four guards belong behind bars for as long as their sentences dictate. As an honorably discharged veteran, I am ashamed of the atrocities committed by the four guards and Trump’s equally shameful behavior.
Hugo Pastore, Lomita
To the editor: Perhaps Trump’s generosity with pardons should extend to those who are dead or at the end of their lives, but still in our minds.
How about pardons for the Zodiac Killer, the Night Stalker, the entire Manson family and the Boston Strangler? And, in the spirit of international goodwill, why not show some consideration to Jack the Ripper?
Regardless of whatever else 2021 may bring, Jan. 20 will make my entire year.
Homer Alba, Glendale
To the editor: With a quick slap of the back of his hand, the president told every decent American what his opinion of justice is.
For those who blindly support him, there is absolution. Even the loyal opposition and disagreeing party members face his wrath.
If America doesn’t recognize the face of authoritarianism, it has turned a blind eye to the Constitution, democracy and basic decency. God help us all should this become the norm.
Arthur D. Kraus, Venice
To the editor: Trump pardons his partners in crime. Why not?
He doesn’t care that thousands of Americans are dying each day of COVID-19. He doesn’t care that the economy is on the brink of depression. He doesn’t care that the Russians hacked our country’s most sensitive data.
Trump’s only interest now is to remain in power by any means possible.
While he blow-torches the COVID-19 relief bill to dominate the headlines, he is probably also trying to figure out how many more golf games he can fit in while still on the federal dole.
Jared Sloan, Los Angeles
This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.