With his pardons of Blackwater contractors convicted of the manslaughter of Iraqi citizens, Donald Trump has taken his failed presidency to a new low level. There is only one way that he can partially redeem four years of abject failure and destructiveness: Pardon Julian Assange and Edward Snowden.
After all, what did Trump accomplish in the last four years?
He certainly did not fulfill his campaign promise to end America’s forever wars. With his upcoming ignominious departure from the White House, he has to acknowledge the obvious: The Pentagon’s and CIA’s forever wars in Afghanistan and Iraq continue, along with their forever wars in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and elsewhere.
Trump could have ordered the withdrawal of all U.S. troops from those countries the day he took office four years ago. He didn’t. Instead, he fell captive to the power of the Pentagon, surrounding himself with generals and other advocates of empire and foreign interventionism.
Moreover, Trump did his best to expand America’s forever wars, with his never-ceasing attempt to provoke Iran into initiating a war with the United States.
He also fell victim to the CIA’s demand not to release its long-secret records relating to the Kennedy assassination, embracing the CIA’s ludicrous view that “national security” would be jeopardized if Americans were to see those records.
While Trump has pardoned or granted clemency to a few victims of the federal war on drugs, he could have ordered a list of all non-violent drug offenders in the federal system on the day he took office. He could then have spent the last four years pardoning all of them. He didn’t.
Instead, he wasted his time with idiotic schemes such as a trade war with China and the partial construction of his beloved Berlin Wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which, he falsely promised, Mexico would pay for. His trade war sent American farmers into bankruptcy and welfare. And his partially built Berlin Wall cost American taxpayers millions of dollars through his use of a Pentagon slush fund that illegally was used to pay for his partial wall.
It’s also worth mentioning that Trump fell in love with a North Korean communist dictator, saluted a North Korean communist general, and failed to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons, which, he claimed, constituted a grave threat to U.S. “national security.”
With the support of his Republican cohorts, Trump has sent federal spending and debt through the roof, especially with their “stimulus” schemes. Even today, he is pleading with Congress to increase the amount of the latest federal “stimulus” dole, which will only increase the federal debt even more.
But Trump can still partially redeem a failed and destructive presidency. He can pardon Assange and Snowden, two men who U.S. national-security state officials are prosecuting and persecuting for telling the truth about the the U.S. national-security state and its evil and immoral actions.
In fact, the U.S. national-security state’s treatment of Assange and Snowden reveal perfectly what the conversion of the federal government to a national-security state did to America. Imagine: punishing people for telling the truth about the evil and immoral actions of the U.S. national-security state. What better evidence of how this institution has warped and perverted America’s values than that?
As he exits office, Trump can send those people in the national-security establishment a powerful message on behalf of the American people, a message that says: Telling the truth about the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA is not a crime in this country. What is criminal is what these people have done to Snowden and Assange for revealing the evil and immoral conduct of the U.S. national-security establishment.