Testimony reveals Navy SEAL Team 6 member blasted judge in Gallagher trial and threatened to burn down courtroom

news

Navy SEALs in Mosul

(Photo: CNN/screenshot)

NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — Testimony in the military trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher earlier this week revealed that an active-duty member of SEAL Team 6 had disparaged the judge overseeing the trial and said many of his colleagues in the elite unit did not care about killing civilians.


While under cross examination on Wednesday morning, former Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Dylan Dille was questioned at length about a private WhatsApp group chat he and his fellow SEALs used to pass along information within their unit as well as news about the Gallagher case.

In the thread named "The Sewing Circle," the SEALs — who were apparently concerned with war crimes allegedly committed by Gallagher — tried to distinguish themselves as their own "Brotherhood" in contrast to what supporters of Gallagher have called the "Real Brotherhood."

In his testimony, Dille said "there's a clear line in the sand" between both camps of current and former SEALs on what is acceptable behavior in combat.

"It ain't over until we're sitting on a front porch with six shooters and the 'Real Brotherhood' comes knocking," Dille wrote in one text message. "I look forward to laying down some lead again on that occasion."

Defense attorney Tim Parlatore then asked, "Who is the "Real Brotherhood?"

"People who are okay with war crimes," Dille said. He went on to describe them as an "angry mob" of the entire conservative media and former SEALs. Dille and other SEAL witnesses have said in testimony that they have received online threats.

Parlatore then brought up text messages in the thread sent by SO1 Dalton Tolbert, who was a sniper for SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon during their 2017 Iraq deployment. Gallagher has been accused of murdering a wounded ISIS fighter and using his sniper rifle to indiscriminately fire on noncombatants.

Did [Tolbert] say he "worked with a bunch of people who don't care about killing civilians?" Parlatore asked.

Dille said yes.

"Where does he work?" Parlatore continued.

Dille, clearly uncomfortable before responding, then said, "Development Group."

Naval Special Warfare Development Group is the name of the classified unit of SEALs commonly referred to as SEAL Team 6.

At that point, the judge, Capt. Aaron Rugh, shuffled members of the jury and Dille out of the courtroom and had a private discussion with Parlatore and the prosecutor.

Once court resumed with the jury present, Parlatore then asked whether Tolbert had ever said in text messages that he "was going to burn this motherfucking court room to the ground," a reference to where the trial was taking place at Naval Base San Diego.

"Yes," Dille said.

Parlatore also said Tolbert had disparaged defense attorneys and the judge in text messages, though he did not go into specifics.

However, a screenshot of a text message thread obtained by Task & Purpose showed that Tolbert had referred to Rugh as "this shady ass judge."

According to a source familiar with the matter, Tolbert also wrote in the text message thread, "what a fucking joke. Somebody fire this pussy ass fucking judge. Who's fucking courtroom is this? Time to man the fuck up fags."

"If the motherfucking courthouse burned down, I did it," Tolbert wrote, according to the source. "Then they can go fuck themselves with the pussy footing bullshit."

In his testimony, Dille told Parlatore he took the supposed threat against the courtroom as a joke.

Tolbert is expected to testify on Friday.

Naval Special Warfare officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment by deadline.

Dustin A. Peters (Cape May County Sheriff's Office)

A former Marine arrested as he tried to enter the U.S. Coast Guard Training Center in Cape May with a modified AK-47 rifle, handgun, body armor and ammunition faces federal weapons charges, officials said Friday.

Read More
The United Launch Alliance's Delta IV rocket launches with a Wideband Global SATCOM WGS-10 satellite from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Complex 37 on March 15, 2019. The satellite brings enhanced communication capability for command and control of U.S. military forces on the battlefield. (U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Andrew Satran)

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

The US military's newest service, the Space Force, is only about a month old, having been signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 20.

Read More
(Cecil Field POW/MIA Memorial, Inc./Facebook)

Military veterans from throughout Northeast Florida came together Saturday morning to honor comrades in arms who were prisoners of war or missing in action, and remember their sacrifice.

Read More
The remains of Army Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin arrived back to Fort Bragg a week after he was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan. (U.S. Army)

After the plane landed, Pope Army Airfield was silent on Saturday.

A chaplain prayed and a family member sobbed.

Tarah McLaughlin's fingers traced her husband's flag-draped coffin before she pressed two fingers to her lips then pressed her fingers to the coffin.

The remains of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia, arrived back to Fort Bragg a week after he was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.

Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois, also was killed in the same incident.

Read More

The Space Force has a name tape now

popular

The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.

In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.

Read More