Representative Duncan Hunter (R-CA)—who ran one of the most Islamophobic campaigns for office since Donald Trump—just can’t stay out of the news.
This time—according to prosecutors—he used campaign funds to pay for extramarital affairs with lobbyists and congressional staffers.1
It’s clear that Rep. Hunter is a deeply immoral character on many, many levels. But there’s one big thing that he still hasn’t been held accountable for: a few weeks ago, Hunter admitted on a podcast interview that he and his unit "killed probably hundreds of civilians" in Iraq.2 He’s also admitted to posing for pictures with the dead bodies of combatants—a violation of the U.S. code of military conduct.3
After hearing this, I called for Rep. Hunter to be investigated and censured by the House for his self-admission of potential war crimes. With these new revelations, we have a chance to make sure he doesn’t get to fade from the news cycle.
While Duncan Hunter is already being investigated for misuse of campaign funds and facing allegations of sexual assault,4 there hasn’t been any formal action taken regarding his admission of participating in the killing of “hundreds of civilians” and posing with corpses as if they were hunting trophies.
Besides the moral imperative that Hunter be held accountable for this abhorrent behavior, here’s why it’s even more important that Congress take action now:
Since Trump took office, he’s been encouraging and abetting abuses—including war crimes—by law enforcement and the military.5
From his calls for increased police abuse to his pardoning of soldiers convicted of war crimes, Trump is sending a clear message to the military and law enforcement: extrajudicial violence and war crimes are acceptable, if not outright encouraged.
We can’t allow war crimes—like the ones Rep. Hunter has more or less admitted to—to become normalized. Join the petition to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy calling for the House to investigate and censure Rep. Hunter for his conduct in Iraq.
Given his history of anti-Muslim bigotry, it’s not a stretch to imagine that, if Rep. Hunter did participate in the atrocities he’s admitted to, his indiscriminate killing of civilians was driven by Islamophobia—seeing the lives of Muslims as unimportant.
The U.S. military already has a growing problem with Islamophobia—and if Congress doesn’t take action against Duncan Hunter, it could get even worse.
We’ve seen it in the recent invitation of professional Islamophobe Raymond Ibrahim to speak at the US Army War College (though they backed down after thousands of MPower Change members spoke up against it).6
We see it in the drum up to war with Iran, where Trump officials dog whistle by always making sure to refer to the country as the “Islamic Republic” of Iran in order to justify the march to yet another disastrous war.
We see it in the growing ranks of white nationalists and neo-Nazis in the military.7
And if we allow known Islamophobes like Rep. Hunter to get away with shrugging off an admission of killing hundreds of Muslim civilians, it’ll send a message that this type of behavior can continue without any consequences.
In partnership with:
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive communications from MPower Change and CAIR-California. You will be able to unsubscribe from communications you receive from us by following the directions included in each such communication.
1. “Rep. Duncan Hunter used campaign funds for affairs, prosecutors say,” CNN, 25 Jun 2019
2. "Republican Congressman shrugs off war crimes, says he probably killed hundreds of civilians," ThinkProgress, 2 Jun 2019
3. "California Congressman defends war crimes suspect," Politico, 26 May 2019
4. "Ex-GOP House staffer Rory Riley-Topping: Duncan Hunter groped me in 2014," Daily BEast, 26 June 2019
5."Trump may be preparing pardons for servicemen accused of war crimes," New York Times, 18 May 19
6. "U.S. Army War College: Drop Islamophobe Raymond Ibrahim from your lecture series," MPower Change, 1 June 2019
7. "Exclusive: 7 U.S. Military Members identified as part of white nationalist group," Huffington Post, 17 March 2019