Disgraced Ex-Navy Seal Outs SEALs Who Testified Against Him
Retired Chief Special Operator Edward Gallagher, the Navy SEAL whose war crimes trial made international news, shared a video on social media that outed the SEALs who testified against him, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Gallagher referred to some members of his former platoon as “cowards” and highlighted names, photos and -- for those still on active duty -- their duty status and current units, something former SEALs say places those men in jeopardy.
Gallagher was accused of several war crimes by some of his subordinates, including that he shot civilians and stabbed a wounded ISIS fighter in the neck, killing him, while in Iraq in 2017. He was acquitted of most charges, but was convicted of posing for a photo with an ISIS fighter’s corpse. The jury reduced his rank.
President Trump intervened in the case several times and ultimately restored the SEAL’s rank post-conviction.
David Shaw, a former petty officer 1st class, said Gallagher’s decision to publicize information that’s normally kept quiet for operation security was questionable.
“Attempting to call attention to (those SEALs’) status in the way it’s been done does not serve the mission or the interests of the Navy,” Shaw said. “To attempt to out (their) status raises questions about the decision to do so.”
Shaw also defended his former teammates and their decision to testify against their chief: “Each and every one of the guys who came forward were performers of the highest caliber and people of the highest reputations within the platoon. (One) was selected to serve at the most premier institution at Naval Special Warfare and that tells you everything you need to know about his performance and speaks volumes about his character.”
The three-minute video posted to Gallagher’s Facebook page and Instagram account appears to be a trailer for an unspecified future project.
“For my entire adult life, I’ve had the honor and privilege of fighting for this country and your freedom,” Gallagher says in the beginning of the video. “Even though I went to trial and exposed all the lies that were said about me by certain cowards in my platoon and found not guilty, there are those to this day who refuse to accept that fact.”
Navy Capt. Tamara Lawrence, a spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Command in San Diego, said in a statement that the Navy does not identify active-duty SEALs as a practice.
“As a matter of policy we do not identify our special operators,” Lawrence said in an email. “We don’t identify them by name, or by any other manner, due to the nature of their work, for the protection of their teammates and their families, and to protect on-going and future missions.”