Several confidential military interviews with the Navy SEALs who accused Chief Edward Gallagher of war crimes were released to the public. Members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon described their platoon leader, retired Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher as “toxic” and “evil,” according to video recordings of the interviews. Navy SEAL Special Operations Cheif Edward Gallagher was found not guilty of murder and attempted murder by a military jury in San Diego.
Gallagher was accused of fatally stabbing a young wounded ISIS fighter, posing for a picture with the corpse and shooting two civilians from a sniper’s perch in Iraq in 2017. He was found guilty of the charge involving the photo with the corpse. Seven SEALS testified that Gallagher abruptly stabbed the boy just after he was treated by a medic without saying a word to any of them.
“The guy is freaking evil,” Special Operator First Class Craig Miller said of Gallagher during his interview with Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents. “You could tell he was perfectly O.K. with killing anybody that was moving,” Special Operator First Class Corey Scott said of his former platoon leader, the newspaper reported. “The guy was toxic,” Special Operator First Class Joshua Vriens told investigators, the report said.
In the videos, the platoon members accuse Gallagher of shooting at a 12-year-old, refer to Gallagher as a “psychopath,” and tell of rumors that Gallagher had targeted civilians and bragged about having killed women. “I think he just wants to kill anybody he can,” one said while another said “We can’t let this continue.” The testimony paints a chilling pattern of violence executed by their platoon chief.
In July, Gallagher was found not guilty by a military jury for the stabbing. He was, however, demoted after the jury convicted him of posing for a photo with the ISIS fighter’s corpse. The Navy Board also considered stripping Gallagher of his status as a Navy SEAL. But last month, President Trump intervened and restored Gallagher’s rank.
“They wanted to take his pin away and I said, ‘No, you’re not going to take it away,'” he said at the time. “These are tough people, and we’re going to protect our warfighters.” That move angered many in the Navy, including former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who was ousted after requesting the president not get involved in Gallagher’s case. “I don’t think he really understands the full definition of a warfighter. A warfighter is a profession of arms, and a profession of arms has standards that they have to be held to and they hold themselves to,” Spencer said.