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EXCLUSIVE: Navy SEAL Accused Of Stabbing Wounded ISIS Fighter To Death Has A Court Date
A Navy SEAL accused of using a knife to execute a wounded ISIS fighter in 2017 will face an Article 32 hearing next month, one of his attorneys told Task & Purpose.
Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher is accused of killing an ISIS fighter in Mosul after the SEALs treated the wounded man for his injuries, said Phillip Stackhouse, a civilian attorney who represents him. Neither the charges or the SEAL's name and rank have been previously reported.
“There are members of his unit that are making the allegation that he pulled out a knife and stabbed him in the neck and body,” Stackhouse told Task & Purpose on Friday.
Stackhouse contends the ISIS fighter actually died of combat wounds, but he declined to describe those wounds or what might have caused them.
Gallagher currently faces charges of premeditated murder and aggravated assaults – the latter for allegedly shooting people in Iraq, Stackhouse said.
“They say they’re non-combatants; we say that he shot combatants,” Stackhouse said.
The Navy SEAL has been held at the Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego since Sept. 11, when he was taken into custody while being treated for traumatic brain injuries at the Camp Pendleton Intrepid Spirit Center, according to Stackhouse.
Gallagher’s hearing is slated for Nov. 14 in San Diego. Under military law, this preliminary hearing determines whether there is enough evidence to send the case on to court-martial.
Neither Stackhouse nor Naval Special Warfare Command would provide Task & Purpose with Gallagher’s charge sheet. Stackhouse said the commander of Naval Special Warfare Group 1 has issued a protective order that potentially prevents the document from being released to the public.
Gallagher joined the Navy in 1999 and initially served as a corpsman from 2000 until 2004, when he joined the special warfare community, his official biography says. His awards include two Bronze Stars with “V” device for valor; three Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medals, including one with combat “V;” Army Commendation Medal; two Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medals; Combat Action Ribbon; Presidential Unit Citation; Meritorious Unit Commendation; Good Conduct Medal; National Defense Service Medal; and the Sea Service Deployment Ribbon.
A spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Command declined to comment on the specifics of the case.
“A service member currently assigned to a Naval Special Warfare unit is under investigation by NCIS for professional misconduct while deployed to Iraq in 2017,” Cmdr. Tamara Lawrence said in an email. “We take all allegations of misconduct seriously and will cooperate fully with investigative authorities.
“All members of Naval Special Warfare are required to comply with the Laws of Armed Conflict and U.S. law and regulations in the conduct of military operations.”
Gallagher’s wife Andrea told Task & Purpose that her husband was first detained in June when more than 20 Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents raided their house and traumatized their two sons by pulling them “Into the street in their underwear at gunpoint.”
She condemned authorities for arresting her husband while he was at the Camp Pendleton Intrepid Spirit Center pending his retirement date next year.
“My husband was receiving holistic care and treatment from a program we waited a year to get into and was ripped out without warning – shackled like a common criminal, and held in solitary confinement for 72 hours. He has now been in jail for nearly six weeks of pretrial confinement,” Andrea Gallagher said on Friday.
Calling the allegations against her husband “malicious and shameless,” she vowed to stand by him until he is proven to be innocent.
“His family, friends, and SEALs, former Marine and Scout Sniper colleagues all stand beside Eddie,” Andrea Gallagher said. “Eddie is a hero and we are patiently awaiting the restoration of his good name and reputation.”
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
And no one knows that better than military service members and we have the pictures to prove it.
Radio transmissions to the U.S. Coast Guard are usually calls for help from boaters, but one captain got on the radio recently just to say thanks to the men and women who are currently working without pay.
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump traveled to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Saturday to receive the remains of four Americans killed in a suicide bombing in northern Syria.
Trump, locked in a battle with congressional Democrats that has led to a nearly month-long partial government shutdown, announced his trip via a pre-dawn tweet, saying he was going "to be with the families of 4 very special people who lost their lives in service to our Country!"
Trump told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House prior to departure that he planned to meet the families, a duty which he said "might be the toughest thing I have to do as president."
He was greeted by military staff at Dover Air Force Base after a short flight from Joint Base Andrews, but did not speak to reporters before entering his motorcade.
Flanked by military officials, Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan filed up a ramp leading onto a military transport aircraft, where a prayer was given to honor the memory of Scott Wirtz, a civilian Department of Defense employee from St. Louis.
Trump filed down the plank and saluted while six service members clad in fatigues and white gloves carried an American flag-draped casket carrying Wirtz to a waiting gray van.
The Dover base is a traditional hub for returning the remains of American troops abroad.
The United States believes the attack that killed the Americans was the work of Islamic State militants.
Trump announced last month that he planned to speedily withdraw U.S. troops from Syria, but has since said it does not need to go quickly as he tries to ensure safety of Kurdish allies in northern Syria who are at risk of attack from neighboring Turkey.
Trump told reporters on Saturday that his Syria policy has made progress but that some work remained in destroying Islamic State targets. He defended his plans for a withdrawal.
"It's moving along very well, but when I took over it was a total mess. But you do have to ask yourself, we're killing ISIS for Russia, for Iran, for Syria, for Iraq, for a lot of other places. At some point you want to bring our people back home," he said.
In addition to Wirtz, those who died during the Wednesday attack in Manbij, Syria, were Army Chief Warrant Officer Jonathan Farmer, 37, of Boynton Beach, Florida, and Navy Chief Cryptologic Technician Shannon Kent, 35, identified as being from upstate New York, the Department of Defense said in a statement.
The Pentagon did not identify the fourth person killed, a contractor working for a private company. U.S. media identified her as Ghadir Taher, a 27-year-old employee of defense contractor Valiant Integrated Services.
(Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Writing by Steve Holland and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Leslie Adler)
This article originally appeared on Business Insider.
Former President George W. Bush is calling for an end to the partial government shutdown, which is about to hit the one-month mark and is currently the longest shutdown in US history.
In an appeal made on Instagram, the 43rd president called on "leaders on both sides to put politics aside, come together, and end this shutdown." The caption was posted with an image of him and former First Lady Laura Bush giving pizza to their Secret Service detail.