Former Afghan president condemns Trump's pardons in war-crimes cases

Former Afghan president condemns Trump's pardons in war-crimes cases
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Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Monday condemned President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocrats ask if they have reason to worry about UK result Trump scramble to rack up accomplishments gives conservatives heartburn Seven years after Sandy Hook, the politics of guns has changed MORE's pardon of two American service members involved in cases of war crimes.

Karzai wrote that Trump's decision on Friday to pardon two service members, one of whom was convicted of killing an unarmed Afghan civilian, demonstrated "complete disregard for the life and dignity of Afghans."

"I most vehemently condemn US President @realDonaldTrump’s decision pardoning US soldiers convicted of war crimes in Afghanistan," he tweeted.

Karzai, the first leader of Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban-controlled government in 2001, left power in 2014 after 10 years as the country's president. In his role, Karzai worked closely with both the Bush administration and later the Obama administration on anti-terror missions and U.S. troop level discussions.

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Trump granted two pardons Friday to Army Maj. Mathew Golsteyn and Army Lt. Clint Lorance, with White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamWhite House on Greta Thunberg: Trump, first lady communicate differently Democrats approve two articles of impeachment against Trump in Judiciary vote White House vows to appeal ruling blocking use of military funds for border wall MORE explaining that the decision was tied to military morale.

“For more than 200 years, presidents have used their authority to offer second chances to deserving individuals, including those in uniform who have served our country," Grisham said.

“These actions are in keeping with this long history. As the president has stated, ‘When our soldiers have to fight for our country, I want to give them the confidence to fight,’ ” she continued.

Lorance was convicted in 2013 of second-degree murder after ordering his men to fire on three unarmed Afghan civilians, while Golsteyn was facing charges of first-degree murder — to which he had pleaded not guilty — after the death of an unarmed Afghan man in 2010.