The prosecution of Special Operations Chief Edward (Eddie) Gallagher, the 39-year-old Navy SEAL who has been in the news for much longer than he should have been, is settled today. The long-tried verdict was “Not guilty” of all but one minor charge.
One year after returning from his eight overseas deployment to Iraq, Gallagher was arrested on Sep. 11 (an ironic date) and was held in the Miramar Brig.
Gallagher was accused of firing on civilians, obstruction of justice, and possession of controlled substances as well as posing with a dead ISIS fighter and murder of that ISIS prisoner.
These charges were introduced at an Article 32 hearing, the standard procedure for the military justice system.
The execution was said to have occurred after the Iraqi Army wounded the fighter during an air strike. They then turned the ISIS fighter over to U.S. SEAL team 7 for medical assistance. Gallagher has been accused of executing the ISIS fighter by stabbing him in the neck with a hunting-type knife.
After the execution, prosecutors claim that Gallagher posed with the body of the ISIS fighter in violation of U.S. military regulations. He was also accused of conducting a re-enlistment ceremony next to the corpse.
The prosecution accused Gallagher of firing on noncombatants and placing civilians in danger. He was also accused of wrongly firing on noncombatants at least once during his deployment to Iraq in 2017.
The drug charges stemmed from accusations Gallagher consumed, without prescription, the opioid tramadol hydrochloride, multiple times during his deployment. He was also accused of using the performance-enhancing steroid Sustanon-250, a testosterone injection, while in San Diego in June 2018.
Tramadol is commonly prescribed on deployment. It is just a step up from Motrin (internally called ranger candy). It is not a powerful opioid at all, in my opinion.
Gallagher also allegedly urged members of his SEAL platoon to refrain from discussing his actions in Iraq with investigators. The charges, centered on complaints of his team, were characterized by the defense as a way to get back at a leader his team did not like and wanted to retaliate against for his tough style of leadership and repeatedly placing them in dangerous situations, something for which SEALs are superiorly trained and stellar.
This is the official tally of charges:
|Article 118||Found Not Guilty of Premeditated Murder|
|Article 128||Found Not Guilty of Aggravated Assault with a Dangerous Weapon x2 on non-combatants|
|Article 134||Found Not Guilty of Firearm, discharging-willfully, under such circumstances as to endanger human life at non-combatants|
|Article 134||Found Not Guilty of Obstructing Justice x3|
|Article 134||Found Guilty of Wrongfully pose for an unofficial picture with a human casualty|
|Article 134||Found Not Guilty of Wrongfully complete reenlistment ceremony next to a human casualty|
|Article 134||Found Not Guilty of Wrongfully Operate a drone over a human casualty|
|Article 112a||Found Not Guilty of Wrongful Use of a Controlled Substance – Tramadol Hydrochloride|
|Article 112a||Found Not Guilty of Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance – Sustanon-250|
In the end, Edward Gallagher was only found guilty of posing with the dead ISIS fighter. He can face a maximum of four months confinement, something he has already served. This charge does not allow for a dishonorable discharge. In the end, Edward ( Eddie) Gallagher’s order by the very government he has dedicated his life to is over.
Eddie Gallagher is an American hero. The treatment of this warrior, one who served 19 years in the service of his country, is a stain and illustrates how our country treats service members that it puts in impossible positions. This is the country eating it’s own young. And it is disgraceful.