“Tell the truth, don’t lie or embellish,” one member told the others in a group text in 2017, when they first reportedly tried to report the chief. “That way, he can’t say that we slandered him in any way.”
Video obtained by The New York Times shows members of SEAL Team 7 criticizing their former platoon chief Edward Gallagher, who was accused of murdering a teenage ISIS member. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin joined CBSN with the latest details.
Gallagher’s war crimes case gained national attention after President Donald Trump controversially intervened on his behalf, ignoring Pentagon leaders who had told the President such a move could damage the integrity of the military judicial system.
„The guy is freaking evil,“ Special Operator First Class Craig Miller said of Gallagher during his interview with Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents, the Times reported.“
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Asked whether the chief had a bias against Middle Eastern people, Special Operator Scott replied, “I think he just wants to kill anybody he can.”
Some of the SEALs said they came to believe that the chief was purposefully exposing them to enemy fire to bait ISIS fighters into revealing their positions. They said the chief thought that casualties in the platoon would increase his chances for a Silver Star.
President Trump involved himself in the case almost from the start. Before the trial began, in March, I received two calls from the president asking me to lift Gallagher’s confinement in a Navy brig; I pushed back twice, because the presiding judge, acting on information about the accused’s conduct, had decided that confinement was important. Eventually, the president ordered me to have him transferred to the equivalent of an enlisted barracks. I came to believe that Trump’s interest in the case stemmed partly from the way the defendant’s lawyers and others had worked to keep it front and center in the media.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Monday that President Trump gave him a direct order to allow a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes to retire without losing his SEAL status.
Esper told reporters at the Pentagon that Trump’s verbal order was the reason Esper announced Sunday that Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher would be allowed to retire with his trident pin, retaining his status as a SEAL.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Sunday asked for the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer over his handling of a controversial war crimes case.
Esper told The Washington Post in a statement Sunday that he was „deeply troubled“ by reports that Spencer had reached out to White House officials promising that an accused Navy SEAL would be allowed to retire as a SEAL despite his conviction for posing with the corpse of a slain enemy combatant.
At his trial in August 2013, nine members of his platoon testified against him. Lorance never testified in the court hearings, though he did take responsibility for his men’s actions. Three men on a motorcycle were speeding towards the platoon and ignoring commands to stop. His soldiers testified that the platoon was walking through a field of grapes on patrol when a motorcycle was spotted approximately 600 feet away, and that the motorcycle could not have reached the platoon’s position in the grape field.
But according to documents seen by NBC, Major Golsteyn told army investigators that he and his fellow soldiers were doing house-to-house searches when they found bomb-making materials they suspected were used in the attack on the Marines.
The soldiers took a local man who they believed was responsible for the materials into custody and brought him to the army base, from where he was later released.
It is unclear if this was because there was insufficient evidence to detain him. Military documents state that Major Golsteyn and another soldier returned the man to his home but instead of releasing him the major fatally shot the man and buried his body, NBC reported.
The documents seen by the news organisation do not include Major Golsteyn’s explanation for killing the man but refer to the incident as an „assassination“.
A captured young fighter of the Islamic State (also known as ISIL, ISIS, and Daesh) was being treated by a medic. According to two SEAL witnesses, Gallagher said over the radio „he’s mine“ and walked up to the medic and prisoner, and without saying a word killed the prisoner by stabbing him repeatedly with his hunting knife. Gallagher and his commanding officer, Lieutenant Jake Portier, then posed for photos of them standing over the body with some other nearby SEALs. Gallagher then text messaged a fellow SEAL a picture of the dead captive with the explanation „Good story behind this, got him with my hunting knife.”
Another accusation was that Gallagher’s sniper work during his 2017 deployment became indiscriminate, reckless, and bloodthirsty. He allegedly fired his rifle far more frequently than other snipers; according to testimony, the other snipers in the platoon did not consider him a good sniper, and he took „random shots“ into buildings. Other snipers said they witnessed Gallagher taking at least two militarily pointless shots, shooting and killing an unarmed old man in a white robe as well as a young girl walking with other girls. Gallagher allegedly boasted about the large number of people he had killed, claiming he averaged three kills a day over 80 days, including four women. Gallagher also was reportedly known for indiscriminately spraying neighborhoods with rockets and machine gun fire with no known enemy force in the region.
A charge of obstruction of justice was brought against Gallagher for alleged witness intimidation. According to the claim, Gallagher allegedly threatened to kill fellow SEALs if they reported his actions.
All three also had been favorites among conservatives who see them as heroes who should not have been prosecuted. Trump, when the White House was considering intervening in Golsteyn’s case, commented at the time, ‚We train our boys to be killing machines, then prosecute them when they kill‘!
(25. Dezember 1992)
Mr. Weinberger was scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 5 on charges that he lied to Congress about his knowledge of the arms sales to Iran and efforts by other countries to help underwrite the Nicaraguan rebels, a case that was expected to focus on Mr. Weinberger’s private notes that contain references to Mr. Bush’s endorsement of the secret shipments to Iran.
Barr, who is scheduled to go before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday for his confirmation hearings, ran the Justice Department once before, under President George H.W. Bush.
Back then, the all-consuming, years-long scandal was called Iran-Contra. On Dec. 24, 1992, it ended when Bush pardoned six people who had been caught up in it.
„The Constitution is quite clear on the powers of the president and sometimes the president has to make a very difficult call,“ Bush said then. „That’s what I’ve done.“
Sie massenhaft zu entschuldigen, riskiert jedoch die militärische Disziplin, da es dann noch weniger Grund für die Soldaten gibt, die Regeln zu befolgen, wenn sie denken, dass sie nach der Tat begnadigt werden.
These are cases treated as controversial among some Republicans, who believe the troops were punished for “doing their jobs.” Pardoning them en masse, however, will risk military discipline, since there’s even less reason for troops to follow the rules if they figure they’ll get pardoned after the fact.
The U.S. President Donald Trump pardoned a former soldier convicted by a military court for murdering an unarmed Iraqi man.
“WikiLeaks has published information deeply embarrassing to the deep state,“ Stone said. „We know for example that the CIA knows how to execute the hack of a computer system and leave fingerprints pointing to a third party in the hack.“