Rep. Duncan Hunter continues his defense of war crimes by claiming his unit 'killed probably hundreds of civilians'

Rep. Duncan Hunter continues his defense of war crimes by claiming his unit 'killed probably hundreds of civilians'
By House Creative Services - House Creative Services, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=79346171

Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, currently under indictment over his misappropriation of roughly a quarter million dollars in campaign funds, continues to go out on a limb in his party's new defense of American war criminals. First Hunter argued for a pardon of former Navy SEAL team leader Edward Gallagher, accused by his fellow soldiers of repeatedly targeting innocent civilians in Iraq, by dismissively telling a town hall that that he, too, was guilty of "taking a picture of [a] body and saying something stupid."


This admission of a plain breach of military rules by ex-Marine Hunter did not do much to discredit the more damning accusations against Gallagher, that he so consistently targeted innocent civilians with his sniper rifle that his fellow SEALs tampered with his weapon in order to throw off his aim. So Hunter is now back with a more on-point defense of the intentional targeting of civilians, arguing that why of course he did that too.

"I was an artillery officer, and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killed probably hundreds of civilians, if not scores, if not hundreds of civilians," Hunter said. "Probably killed women and children, if there were any left in the city when we invaded. So do I get judged, too?"

Though the US-led coalition's assault on rebel-held Fallujah was indeed noted for what some considered indifference to the city's remaining civilians, accidentally killing hidden civilians in an artillery fight against heavily armed opponents is, to most minds, substantively different from targeting individual children walking on riverbanks during non-combat periods and gunning them down in front of their friends or arbitrarily killing a wounded teen prisoner with a homemade knife.

Rep. Duncan Hunter, in declaring that "I frankly don't care" about the charges against Gallagher, "even if everything that the prosecutors say is true," professed to be indifferent to such distinctions.

Gallagher's alleged victim "might have been killed in a way that you don't personally agree with, because you say it's against the laws of war," Hunter said. "As opposed to artillery killing civilians, women and children, because it's kind of indiscriminate in a way. It's not a sniper weapon, right. Which is worse?"

Rep. Duncan Hunter may be the perfect distillation of what the Republican base had long been attempting to move towards, in their push to place ever more radical, ever less moral lard-brained sociopaths into the ranks of House Republicans. A defender of war crimes, a petty grifter of campaign funds and a man whose every political argument boils down to an insistence that each of his listeners dumb themselves down to his halfhearted level, you'd be hard pressed to find someone more truly representative of what the party has become. Maybe Roy Moore, down in Alabama.

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