Charged with war crimes and stuck in the brig, a Navy SEAL vows to fight on

| October 21, 2018

gallagherSpecial Operations Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher, a highly decorated Navy SEAL, is fighting murder charges tied to the death of an Islamic State operative in Iraq. He says he’s innocent and will battle authorities to clear his name. (photos provided)

Charged earlier this month with multiple war crimes in connection with the 2017 stabbing death of a detainee in Iraq, Special Operations Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher vows to fight for his freedom.

The 19-year Navy veteran has hired two high-powered criminal defense attorneys who specialize in military law — Colby Vokey of Dallas and Phillip Stackhouse of San Diego — and he’s exploring a civil rights lawsuit against Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents for alleged misconduct linked to his Sept. 11 arrest and detention in San Diego’s Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar.

An Article 32 hearing with a special military judge sent from Florida will begin to sift through the evidence against Gallagher on Nov. 14 in San Diego, according to Stackhouse.

The judge will then recommend which charges should be forwarded or withdrawn by an admiral who could convene a general court-martial. Gallagher has been accused of murder, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice and professional misconduct.

“While the burden is very, very low to send the charges to court, Chief Gallagher will, like he has on every combat deployment, fight. Fight to clear his name, fight for justice, and fight to expose the lies that are being made against him,” said Stackhouse in a written statement emailed to Navy Times.

Multiple criminal defense attorneys, senior military commanders in the Navy and several special warfare units told Navy Times that the ongoing war crimes probe isn’t focused solely on Gallagher but includes more than a dozen SEALs who also deployed between 2017 and early 2018 near what then was Islamic State-held Mosul, Iraq.

NCIS agents are not only probing a number of serious allegations involving the death of the detainee, but also images that allegedly depict SEALs posing with the body. They’re also exploring concerns about how Naval Special Warfare Group 1 officers and senior enlisted leaders handled the initial reports about war crimes and the internal investigation that followed in their wake, they say.

But the central question in Gallagher’s case is whether he and other SEALs rendered first aid to the wounded Islamic State fighter or if they executed him.

Because the military judge has sealed most evidence in the case and has placed a gag order on all parties, Stackhouse said he can’t address specific allegations or delve into most details of the NCIS probe.

“But what we’ve learned in our independent investigation into these allegations is that a crime simply didn’t happen,” he said.

Gallagher’s spouse, Andrea, states:

“These allegations are malicious and shameless, and I do know that my husband didn’t do what’s alleged, and I’ll stand by him and I do know he can be exonerated of those prices. His household, pals, SEALs and former Marines and his scout sniper colleagues all stand beside Eddie. Eddie is a hero, and we’re patiently awaiting the restoration of his good identify and repute.”

NIS lost credibility with their mishandling of the investigation of the turret disaster onboard USS Iowa. Is this another NIS witch hunt?

The entire article may be found in The Navy Times

Category: Legal, Terror War

22 Comments
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The Other Whitey

I thought punishing servicemen for killing the enemy went out of style when Obama left office.

Slow Joe

Can you imagine how many officers got promoted and thrived in the Obama era?

They are not going to let this go. We have to get rid of every single one of them.

Billy

Yeah… not allowed to kill them when in your custody. Ya know, like the natzis did at Malmedy?

2/17 Air Cav

“We are sending you to war. Be nice.”

NHSparky

Ed,

NIS/NCIS has screwed up a LOT of shit since the Iowa explosion. Gibbs and all the rest of them are highly fictionalized and simply don’t exist.

Jay

Had a buddy get on with them after he left service. Left after about 3 years because its a complete cluster fuck.

Stacy0311

Got to deal with those tools back when it still NIS (early 90s).

“I’d like to speak to a lawyer.”
“You’re not under arrest or being charged with anything.”
“Then I’d like to leave.”
“We need you to answer some questions first.”

Played that game for 3 days.
While being detained but not arrested.
And being escorted to the chow hall in handcuffs.
And not allowed to contact family or anyone else.
Finally when they failed to get anyone in the platoon to snitch (because there was no crime to snitch about) we were released.

When we found out what was alleged (massive drug ring-using and dealing) AND we found out who reported it, he fell down the stairs. Repeatedly

Spending 3 days dealing with asshats in their off the rack Sears-Roebuck suits and excessive Old Spice surely counts as a war crime. Probably contributed to my PTSD.

jim h

sounds like the naval services’ attempts at “the andys” from hot fuzz.

Jay Huyck

There is a reason the NCIS is commonly referred to as “The Admirals Gestapo”.

5th/77th FA

SMH…We spend millions of USD to train, equip, transport, and support our Warriors going up against an enemy that has absolutely no morals or concerns about “civilized” warfare. If they have a weapon in hand, kill them all, or as stated way back yonder, terminate with extreme prejudice. And yeah, Gibbs, Pride and that whole Hollywood crowd, exists only in the mind of a screen writer. Most of the CID and OSI types I had to interact with in the early 70s were real Keystone Kops. A lot had a bad habit of planting or manufacturing evidence. Don’t know all the details, but it don’t seem to pass the smell test.

Obama's brain

Heavens what kind of men pose with the bodies of dead enemies. I bet they wear white after Labor Day. We can’t accept the cut of their jib in polite society.

Lewis Ray Rains

Only one question. Shit slides down hill, so, who was supposed to be in charge of the ” incident”?????? Some “higher-ups” must be trying to cover there own ass’s!!!!

HMC Ret

I would fight ‘fair’ when they did, if there is such a thing. There isn’t, I hope. s/

NHSparky

Was it Jocko Willink who said something like, “If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics SUCK.”

FatCircles0311

A war crime against ISIS.

YGTBSM!

FuzeVT

So. . . the government is upset our Navy SEALS killed some of the guys we told them to go kill? I’m not seeing the problem. To get rid of some ISIS shit-head we have to sacrifice a 19 year SEAL? To hell with that. These people they were sent there to kill are literally some of the worst people on the planet. Even if he was “executed”, I think the response should be “job well done!” not accusations.

Stephen F. McCartney, M.D.

Good job Senior Chief. Regardless of the circumstances it was good to send this terrorist to Allah world and the 72 virgins he inherits. Last word I heard was that they were 72 angry Catholic nuns who died of old age.
CAPT Bones USN (ret)

Boomer Sooner

I see that no one on here apparently thinks much of NCIS, an agency charged with investigating crimes, including war crimes that servicemen do commit. You may not like the fact that there are violations of the UCMJ, but there are and evidence exists that this SEAL violated a number of articles. I’m not suggesting that he is guilty, I believe in the justice system and innocent until proven guilty. However, I cannot abide by the snarkiness in which the author of this article treats NCIS simply because he doesn’t agree with the charges. Of course the defense attorney is going to say outlandish things, that’s his job, but to believe them is ridiculous. Perhaps folks missed the search warrant signed by a federal judge (not a military one). Federal judges usually don’t sign warrants without PC. “search warrant, obtained through a federal magistrate in San Diego” The SEAL’s commander also must think there is something to it since he’s decided to keep him in PTC. A service member is provided an IRO hearing to determine PC for the continued incarceration, and an independent fact-finder is brought in for the review so a third party also found PC. “There is no bail program in the military justice system. Senior commanders can place service members in pretrial confinement if they believe enough evidence exists to sustain a criminal charge and the suspect could be considered a flight risk or a danger to himself or others.” To say, or imply, this is… Read more »

OWB

Aww, shucks.

Your point seems to be “My opinion is more valuable than your opinion.” Or, “What I believe is more likely valid than what you believe.”

Just because you say so doesn’t make it fact. It really is that simple.

Meanwhile, you are welcome to believe whatever you want to believe based upon whatever criteria you want to use. Just like the rest of us.

2/17 Air Cav

“To say, or imply, this is a witch hunt is inane. I don’t believe Jonn would have allowed such nonsense.” First, yes, he would have and he did, and he relied on commenters such as yourself to provide the rebuttal. Second, I have no comment on the investigation, but my take is, nonetheless, similar to yours. Third, since you’re done visiting here, I guess I’m just writing to myself.

JTB

Man…Hearing some strange things about this case on the radio today…It was implied that he was being set up by members of his own team…