Hunter Defends Alleged War Criminal: My Unit Probably Killed ‘Hundreds Of Civilians’

UNITED STATES - JANUARY 13: Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., is interviewed about his vaporizer pen in his Rayburn office, January 12, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Group

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) defended a U.S. soldier accused of war crimes again last week on the basis that Hunter’s unit in the military had killed “probably hundred of civilians” while touring in Iraq.

Hunter appeared on a military podcast called Zero Blog Thirty on Tuesday to discuss his stance on Eddie Gallagher, a Navy SEAL chief who allegedly slit a teen ISIS fighter’s throat and posed with the corpse. Gallagher is also accused of shooting civilians. President Donald Trump is apparently considering giving Gallagher a pardon.

“I frankly don’t care if he was killed,” Hunter said of the ISIS militant. “Even if everything the prosecutors say is true in this case, Eddie Gallagher should still be given a break, I think.”

One of the hosts asked, “So you’re saying that even if he did take a knife to the throat of this ISIS fighter, even though that goes against our rules—”

“Yeah,” said Hunter. “I think this guy was gonna die anyway.”

“I was an artillery officer and we fired hundreds of rounds into Fallujah,” the GOP congressman continued. “Killed probably hundreds of civilians, if not scores if not 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 made similarly eyebrow-raising defenses of Gallagher last week when the congressman admitted that he had taken pictures of dead enemy combatants and “saying something stupid” while he was in Iraq.

Hunter’s remarks on Gallagher begin at around the 32:00 time stamp.

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