Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher embraces his wife, Andrea Gallagher, after leaving a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego, Thursday, May 30, 2019, in San Diego. The decorated Navy SEAL facing a murder trial in the death of an Islamic State prisoner was freed Thursday from custody after a military judge cited interference by prosecutors. (AP Photo/Julie Watson)
Yesterday, a court-martial panel at Naval Base San Diego found Navy Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher not guilty of all but one charge in a seven-count indictment that included premeditated murder. He was convicted of disobeying a lawful general regulation by posing with the corpse of an ISIS fighter in a photo.
This is one of those cases that never should have been brought based on the evidence. It further demonstrated that the institutional Navy had decided that it needed Gallagher’s scalp hanging on its lodgepole to remind the warriors in the field that it is actually the fat-assed, bespectacled, gender-questioning types (NTTAWWT) who call the shots in today’s Navy.
The nitwits and boobs who comprise the NCIS (the real one, not the bullsh** television show) seemingly slanted statements to show criminality. The lead NCIS investigator was accused of shaping and coaching testimony of the people he interviewed. The prosecutor in the case used a type of malware to monitor the communications of Gallagher’s attorney and was dismissed. There was no body and no autopsy. Apparently, there was actual film of the incident that cleared Gallagher but the case was pressed anyway. The government’s lead witness, a Navy Corpsman…or Corpseman, if you speak Obama…testifying under a grant of immunity…said that he, himself, killed the ISIS fighter. The Navy’s own expert testified that he didn’t have a clue as to what killed the fighter because there was no body. A witness said Gallagher didn’t kill the prisoner.
All in all, the Navy pulled out all the stops to convict Gallagher. When President Trump broached the idea of pardoning him, a platoon of tame, stump-broke veterans appeared to convict Gallagher as a callous murderer and claim that his pardon would turn our armed forces into marauders who, to quote some famous dipwad, “raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.”
In the end, he was convicted of something that should never have been taken to a court-martial, to begin with.
Gallagher faces up to four months confinement but he’s served over that amount of time in pre-trial confinement because the Navy tried to make him out to be some guy who was threatening witnesses (note he was acquitted of that charge). So, after sentencing, Gallagher walks. Gallagher was within just a few months of retirement when he was charged. He’s probably fully eligible now. The question is whether the Navy cuts its losses and lets him go or digs in and tries to give him a discharge under other than honorable conditions. He could also end up being discharged as an E=1 because if the court-martial panel imposes confinement at hard labor, an automatic reduction to the lowest enlisted grade goes along with it even if the punishment doesn’t specify the reduction in rank.
There are other guys either in prison or currently on parole who were railroaded just as certainly as the Navy tried to railroad Chief Gallagher. President Trump should, at a minimum, appoint a fact-finding commission to look at those convictions if not outright pardon them.