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Navy prosecutors are weighing perjury charges against their own witness for claiming he, not Gallagher, murdered an ISIS prisoner
Navy prosecutors are considering perjury charges for a prosecution witness who confessed to killing the prisoner of war Navy SEAL Chief Edward "Eddie" Gallagher is accused of murdering in shocking testimony last week, the Associated Press reported late Wednesday.
Gallagher has been charged with stabbing a captured teenage militant to death in Iraq in 2017, among other offenses. Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, who had testimonial immunity, told the court last Thursday that although Gallagher stabbed the prisoner, it was he that ended the boy's life.
Scott testified that he asphyxiated the prisoner by plugging his breathing tube. The prosecution immediately accused him of lying, impugning its own witness.
"The prosecution got surprised. Something didn't go right, and they got surprised by this witness," retired Maj. Gen. John Altenburg, who has been involved in at least a thousand military trials, told Business Insider. "Normally, you do not impugn your own witness. But, the word 'normally' went out the window when this guy surprised them."
Scott put the prosecution in an undoubtedly tight spot.
"Usually, when your own witness starts double dealing you, you're just screwed," Gary Solis, a former Marine Corps prosecutor and military judge, told BI. He previously explained that it is "foolish" for the prosecution to impugn its own witness, but in a case like this, there simply are not a lot of better alternatives.
"You've got to go after him. You put him on, and now he's saying XYZ when you were expecting ABC. You've got to try to explain that to the jury."
Navy prosecutors have decided to push forward with murder charges against Gallagher in spite of Scott's testimony. "The credibility of a witness is for the jury to decide," a Navy spokesman speaking on behalf of the prosecution told reporters.
That may not be the end of this fight.
Capt. Donald King, the Navy legal adviser to the commander overseeing the trial, notified Scott's lawyer that the witness' testimony contradicted "previous official statements — thus exposing him to prosecution," the AP reported, adding that Navy officials stressed that Scott's immunity was on the condition that he provide truthful testimony.
The Navy made clear to the AP that no decisions have yet been made.
This is a gamble for the Navy, but then all jury trials are.
"They're taking a chance, no question about it," Solis said. "There's evidence in play that directly contradicts their case, and unfortunately that evidence was given by a prosecution witness. Their hope, their belief, or maybe just their wild guess is that the jury will see it their way."
Read more from Business Insider:
- Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher is on trial for allegedly murdering a prisoner of war. Another SEAL just confessed to the killing in bombshell testimony
- Prosecutors are still going after Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher for murder even though someone else just confessed to the crime
- A Marine testified that Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher didn't stab a prisoner of war to death
- This U.S. Army soldier just shot the military's first-ever perfect score in a service rifle competition
- A trans college student lost his ROTC scholarship. Caitlyn Jenner stepped in to help
A Minnesota Army National Guard UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter with three Guardsmen aboard crashed south of St. Cloud on Thursday, said National Guard spokeswoman Army Master Sgt. Blair Heusdens.
At this time, the National Guard is not releasing any information about the status of the three people aboard the helicopter, Heusdens told Task & Purpose on Thursday.
The Pentagon's latest attempt to twist itself in knots to deny that it is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East has a big caveat.
Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said there are no plans to send that many troops to the region "at this time."
Farah's statement does not rule out the possibility that the Defense Department could initially announce a smaller deployment to the region and subsequently announce that more troops are headed downrange.
The Navy could deploy a second carrier to the Middle East if Trump orders an Iran surge, top admiral says
The Navy could send a second aircraft carrier to the Middle East if President Donald Trump orders a surge of forces to the region, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday said on Thursday.
Gordon Lubold and Nancy Youssef of the Wall Street Journal first reported the United States is considering sending up to 14,000 troops to the Middle East to deter Iran from attacking U.S. forces and regional allies. The surge forces could include several ships.
I didn't think a movie about World War I would, or even could, remind me of Afghanistan.
Somehow 1917 did, and that's probably the highest praise I can give Sam Mendes' newest war drama: It took a century-old conflict and made it relatable.
An internal investigation spurred by a nude photo scandal shows just how deep sexism runs in the Marine Corps
"I will still have to work harder to get the perception away from peers and seniors that women can't do the job."
Some years ago, a 20-year-old female Marine, a military police officer, was working at a guard shack screening service members and civilians before they entered the base. As a lance corporal, she was new to the job and the duty station, her first in the Marine Corps.
At some point during her shift, a male sergeant on duty drove up. Get in the car, he said, the platoon sergeant needs to see you. She opened the door and got in, believing she was headed to see the enlisted supervisor of her platoon.
Instead, the sergeant drove her to a dark, wooded area on base. It was deserted, no other Marines were around. "Hey, I want a blowjob," the sergeant told her.
"What am I supposed, what do you do as a lance corporal?" she would later recall. "I'm 20 years old ... I'm new at this. You're the only leadership I've ever known, and this is what happens."
She looked at him, then got out of the car and walked away. The sergeant drove up next to her and tried to play it off as a prank. "I'm just fucking with you," he said. "It's not a big deal."
It was one story among hundreds of others shared by Marines for a study initiated in July 2017 by the Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL). Finalized in March 2018, the center's report was quietly published to its website in September 2019 with little fanfare.
The culture of the Marine Corps is ripe for analysis. A 2015 Rand Corporation study found that women felt far more isolated among men in the Corps, while the Pentagon's Office of People Analytics noted in 2018 that female Marines rated hostility toward them as "significantly higher" than their male counterparts.
But the center's report, Marines' Perspectives on Various Aspects of Marine Corps Organizational Culture, offers a proverbial wakeup call to leaders, particularly when paired alongside previous studies, since it was commissioned by the Marine Corps itself in the wake of a nude photo sharing scandal that rocked the service in 2017.
The scandal, researchers found, was merely a symptom of a much larger problem.