After our articles here about the heroic actions of Lt Commander Timothy White in Chattanooga, and the possibility that the Navy will charge him for using an unauthorized weapon, we were flooded with emails from people who were either starting a petition to demand he not be charged or had a petition already created.
Yes, here in the United States of America, we have all the freedom we want to petition government for redress of grievances and make a complaint to, or seek the assistance of, our government, without fear of punishment or reprisals.
Or do we? I wonder…
In January, we published this story after the appeal for clemency for 1LT Clint Lorance was denied. Just to refresh your memory, Lorance was found guilty of two counts of second-degree murder in 2013 for ordering soldiers in his unit to open fire on three men on a motorcycle who suddenly came toward the troops. The Army said the men were not enemy combatants, and Lorance was charged with violating the rules of engagement.
However, as Fox News reported in December of last year, new evidence obtained by the family’s lawyer indicates the men who were shot may actually have had ties to terrorism – and Lorance’s mother thinks the Army deliberately withheld that information.
Consequently, supporters of Clint Lorance created a petition on the White House website which required 100,000 signatures by February 1st. In fact, the petition received 124,966 signatures.
But so what? On July 28th, the government sent out this response in an email to all those who had signed the petition, basically saying tough beans and PUNT.
The President takes his constitutional power to grant clemency very seriously, (yes, just like he takes ALL his constitutional powers seriously) and recommendations from the Department of Justice are carefully considered before decisions are made. The White House does not comment, however, on individual pardon applications.
And you’re SOL folks, because requests for executive clemency for federal offenses should be directed to the Pardon Attorney, who will then conduct a review and investigation, and prepare the Department’s recommendation to the President.
So is there any point in preparing a petition for Lt. Commander Timothy White? I highly doubt it.
Because here’s my real worry. Sign those petitions, and all you’re doing is giving more email addresses to add to the administration’s enemy list.
[Note: This article was written by Michele Hickford, Editor-in-Chief]