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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
Army study recommends more sleep for recruits at basic, which drill sergeants will absolutely not disregard or anything
(Reuters Health) - Soldiers who experience sleep problems during basic combat training may be more likely to struggle with psychological distress, attention difficulties, and anger issues during their entry into the military, a recent study suggests.
"These results show that it would probably be useful to check in with new soldiers over time because sleep problems can be a signal that a soldier is encountering difficulties," said Amanda Adrian, lead author of the study and a research psychologist at the Center for Military Psychiatry and Neuroscience at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland.
"Addressing sleep problems early on should help set soldiers up for success as they transition into their next unit of assignment," she said by email.
Thousands of U.S. service members who've been sent to operate along the Mexico border will receive a military award reserved for troops who "encounter no foreign armed opposition or imminent hostile action."
The Pentagon has authorized troops who have deployed to the border to assist U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) since last April to receive the Armed Forces Service Medal. Details about the decision were included in a Marine Corps administrative message in response to authorization from the Defense Department.
There is no end date for the award since the operation remains ongoing.
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
It all began with a medical check.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
The US military now has to ask the Iraqis for permission before giving close air support to troops in combat
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.