(TMU) — During an interview for the podcast Zero Blog Thirty, Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter of Alpine, California, bragged about how many civilians he murdered while serving with the U.S. military in Fallujah. The congressman did not show remorse when describing how women and children were likely killed by his artillery fire.
“I was an artillery officer, and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah, killed probably hundreds of civilians. Probably killed women and children if there were any left in the city when we invaded. So, do I get judged too?” Hunter said, according to CNN.
The admission came during a discussion about Navy SEAL Edward R. Gallagher who is currently on trial for numerous war crimes, which include shooting and killing civilians.
In reference to one of Gallagher’s alleged victims, Hunter said, “I frankly don’t care if he was killed, I just don’t care.”
“Even if everything that the prosecutors say is true in this case, then, you know, Eddie Gallagher should still be given a break, I think,” Hunter added.
Hunter’s comments indicate that the crimes Gallagher stands accused of were likely not an isolated incident. Hunter described these actions as commonplace on the battlefield.
The interview has sparked outrage online and provoked accusations that Hunter himself was also guilty of war crimes himself. He went on to openly admit that he violated the rules of war while he was overseas, and implied that the U.S. military is somehow “above” the Geneva conventions.
“Well, either way, it’s taking the knife to somebody who’s already wounded, which does go against our rules of war, or it’s desecrating the corpse, which also goes against it. I just feel like we’re above that, that’s all,” Hunter said.
Gallagher’s prosecution has become somewhat of a pet issue for Hunter, who has been actively campaigning in defense of the disgraced Navy Seal. Last month, the congressman wrote an opinion piece for USA Today, where he urged President Donald Trump to give Gallagher clemency.
In a previous town hall, Hunter told the audience that he took photos with the people he killed overseas, just as Gallagher is accused of doing. “He did one bad thing, that I am guilty of too, taking a picture with a body and saying something stupid and then texting that,” Hunter admitted.
California congressman Duncan Hunter admits to taking a photo with a dead enemy during his time as a Marine. He made the admission while defending Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, charged with war crimes.
Posted by Stella Inger Escobedo on Tuesday, May 28, 2019
In response to the controversy, Hunter’s office released the following statement:
“Congressman Hunter was simply trying to make a point in the Gallagher case is that almost everyone has a camera now on the battlefield. A lot of pictures are taken, some have pictures with the enemy involved, some do not. The larger context here is that the case against Gallagher is weak and the Navy prosecution has conducted itself shamefully throughout the process.”
Hunter and his wife Margaret are currently facing legal trouble from a 2017 indictment where the couple was accused of embezzling roughly $250,000 in campaign contributions into their personal accounts. They have both pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to appear again in court on July 29.
Hunter was re-elected in November despite the highly publicized corruption charges against him.
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