A former Marine argues that it’s no surprise Daniel Penny, the man who killed Jordan Neely on the New York City subway, served in the armed forces, or that his legal team is from a firm founded by former officers in the Army National Guard Judge Advocate General’s Corps:

Understanding the integral relation between the warriors at home and abroad is crucial to understanding the war. So is understanding how this war’s apologists are constantly flipping upside down hierarchies of race and capital, and moral universes altogether. Where the slightest aggressions of the dominated get sold as existential threats, and the regular, disproportionate death-dealing of status quo devotees is marketed as noble necessity.

After Neely’s killer turned himself into authorities, received a second degree manslaughter charge, and was released on bail, Florida governor Ron DeSantis tweeted:

We must defeat the Soros-Funded DAs, stop the Left’s pro-criminal agenda, and take back the streets of law abiding citizens. We stand with Good Samaritans like Daniel Penny. Let’s show this Marine . . . America’s got his back.

DeSantis encouraged his followers to contribute to the killer’s legal defense fund, an effort reminiscent of the right rallying behind Kyle Rittenhouse, who shot three men, killing two, during protests against the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Yet DeSantis himself is a former JAG officer credibly accused of complicity in suspicious deaths and abuse at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. So his rhetoric supporting Penny’s actions should also call to mind Trump’s pardons of arraigned war criminals like Eddie Gallagher and Mathew Golsteyn, or further back, chauvinist support for Lieutenant William Laws Calley after the My Lai massacre.

When you’re the eternal good guys, it’s remarkable all the bad things you can get away with doing. Here or anywhere. Plain-clothed or uniformed. The gap between the virtuous mythology and vicious actuality keeps expanding, just like your imperial birthright.