Gallagher Not Guilty & the Liberal Media Spin Begins

Gallagher Not Guilty & the Liberal Media Spin Begins

Gallagher Not Guilty & the Liberal Media Spin Begins

Edward Gallagher stepped up and promised to serve this country. He swore to protect it from its enemies. Along the way, he undertook some of the most rigorous training in the military and earned the privilege, the honor of becoming a Navy SEAL. His career came to a screeching halt when he was accused of killing a 17-year-old Islamic State (IS) prisoner. After more than nine months in custody, his court-martial came to an end yesterday. Chief Gallagher was found not guilty of murder. But that’s not the end of his legal troubles and it most definitely is not the end of the media’s attempt to spin the story to fit its own narrative.

The facts, as alleged by the prosecution are simple. Gallagher pulled his knife and stabbed the teenaged prisoner multiple times, killing him. Afterwards, Gallagher posed with the body and read his re-enlistment oath. Not exactly what one hopes from one of the elite of our military.

When his alleged actions came to light, Gallagher was charged with seven criminal counts:

[P]remeditated murder, willfully discharging a firearm to endanger human life, retaliation against members of his platoon for reporting his alleged actions, obstruction of justice and the attempted murders of two noncombatants . . . [and] posing for a photo with a casualty.

The key prosecution witness, Navy medic, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, supposedly told military investigators that he saw Gallagher kill the teen. He did not attempt to stop the Chief. But, after being given immunity, Scott testified that he–not Gallagher–killed the prisoner. Yes, he still alleged Gallagher stabbed the IS soldier, but said it was his action in blocking the prisoner’s breathing tube that was the cause of death.

In fact, he testified that he felt the prisoner would have lived had he not taken steps to prevent the prisoner from breathing.

Admittedly, Scott wasn’t the only member of Gallagher’s team to testify for the prosecution.

Nearly a dozen members of Gallagher’s platoon testified against him, revealing that nearly all the platoon members posed for photos with the dead prisoner and witnessed Gallagher read his reenlistment oath near the body, actions prosecutors said proved that Gallagher was  ‘proud’ of his actions.

Gallagher’s defense counsel claimed those witnesses were younger SEALS “who are out to get their much more experienced chief.”

In the end, Gallagher was found not guilty on all counts save one: posing for a photo with a casualty. This charge, the least serious of those levied against Gallagher, carries a maximum sentence of four months in prison. Even though Gallagher has yet to be sentenced, unless the court finds some long-forgotten codicil to the Code of Military Justice and sentencing guidelines, Gallagher won’t seen the inside of prison again. He’s already served more time than he can be sentenced to.

But that hasn’t stopped the media from reacting–and you guessed it–negatively to the verdict.

White House reporter, Tara McKelvey, had this to say:

In the San Diego courtroom, I watched the seven men on the jury, knowing that six of them had served in combat. The fact that most of them had gone through battle meant they were more likely to be sympathetic to the accused, a veteran of eight deployments.

Being judged by his peers meant they were going to be more sympathetic to him. The implied “but” is that it also meant they would be less likely to be able to put aside their feelings, their “sympathy” to render a fair verdict.

McKelvey goes on to note the jury found only enough evidence to convict him of posing with the body. According to her, this reflects an understanding that combat can cause people to act in ways they normally wouldn’t. But–and you knew there had to be a but–she also notes there will be others who disagree with the verdict. To insure her readers will question the verdict, she closes by saying the case will be one studied by the military in the years to come.

But McKelvey isn’t the only media mouthpiece to have her say. ABC News, in its coverage of the story, spent little time discussing the verdict. Instead, it rehashed the testimony against Gallagher. It not only went into how Scott changed his story, framing it in a way to make it sound like Scott admitted he basically did so to keep Gallagher from going to prison (and he may have, but we don’t have the video of the man’s testimony and can only judge by what’s been reported and by whom).

Then, to make sure its viewers didn’t forget the “proper” spin on the story, ABC closed its coverage with this text message the prosecution entered into evidence from Gallagher to the rest of his platoon:

I thought everyone would be cool, next time I will do it so no one sees,” Gallagher wrote to his platoon, once they allegedly turned on him. “Ready to kill the mother —— who tells on me and I’ve got s— on all of you to bring you down.”

It is clear Gallagher was angry and felt betrayed by his platoon, or at least by certain members of the platoon. But does that make him a murderer? I wasn’t at the trial, so I don’t know. What I do know is the media, dissatisfied with the verdict, is now trying him in the press.

Something they have become very good (or is it bad?) at.

Gallagher has had his day in court. We, the general public, will never know everything that happened that day or that happened leading up to it. What we do know is that the seven members of the United States Marine Corps and Navy who made up the jury decided there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Gallagher on any charge save the least serious. Gallagher has spent nine months in custody. After being sentenced, chances are he will also face further administrative sanctions from the Navy. He will never be an active duty SEAL again. His face has been plastered all over the media around the world.

And yet the media continues to try to frame the news to fit its narrative and damn the verdict.

Welcome, Instapundit readers!

Feature photo credit: Navy Seal Insignia/

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  • GWB says:

    Being judged by his peers meant they were going to be more sympathetic to him.
    Well, that’s sort of the point to trial by a jury of your peers. (And that applies especially to the military, given its hierarchical nature.)

    And, you’re right that the media will continue to present this as Evil SEAL Killed People. They’re also right, however, that this is a bad situation all around, and – despite any amount of exceptional service preceding this – he deserves to lose his place as a SEAL and a Navy NCO. His words and actions gave credence to the allegations, and thereby sullied the reputation of his unit and service.

  • All members of Daesh should be killed. These are not soldiers restricted by Western rules of warfare, and their objectives and methods are sufficiently savage that there can be no place for them in the world, if we are to have civilization. Summary execution of captured Daesh (including women who volunteered to become jihadi brides) is appropriate, as a moral principle. I understand that executing someone merely suspected or accused is not appropriate — what if they are innocent? — and also that reticence is important to make certain one self doesn’t become a monster. But as a principle, Daesh should be exterminated.

    Re the crime of posing for photos with a dead enemy, I don’t understand… were someone’s rights violated? Was there a harm inflicted? I suppose the military has an interest in constraining behavior of members, for maintaining discipline and decorum and when members sign up they voluntarily place themselves under these rules, so fine.
    But I don’t follow the handwringing in the press, etc. over with being triumphant about defeated enemies.

    • GWB says:

      Was there a harm inflicted?
      Yes. The reputation of the USA and its military.
      It’s a violation of the Laws of War. Humiliation of the enemy – living or dead – is forbidden. And, yes, posing for selfies with enemy dead has been considered a violation for longer than the Geneva Convention has been around. (Since AOC brought it up – it was one of the crimes tried in the Boer War, I believe.)
      That is then written into our UCMJ.
      And, yes, it’s important.

      • Ken says:

        “Yes. The reputation of the USA and its military.”

        Ugh! You’re what aid and comfort to the enemy looks like. That we have rough and ready men to meet and kill these dogs on the battlefield is a source of pride for the US, but here you are, like a faggot, claiming these good men are a source of shame.

        “Humiliation of the enemy – living or dead – is forbidden.”

        Dumbass. Humiliation is why we kill them, to show them they are inferior in the most prejudicial fashion, so much so that they stop fighting.

        Only ignoramuses like you could invoke the Geneva Convention where it does not apply.

        • Getting a little aggressive Ken.
          We aren’t better than them because we kill them. We’re better than them because we follow an established ROE, and like it or not, the rules of war. They are savages who do not. They intentionally kill non-combatants, and hide in civilian populations. If we sink to their level, we have lost. Because winning by their tactics is no win at all.
          Releasing the tethers held by sheep in Congress isn’t the same as letting loose a rabid dog. Was justice served? I think so. Should he be convicted of an obvious violation of the UCMJ? Yes. He’s a leader. Leaders follow the rules. Even when they don’t like them. It’s sort of the way the Military operates. He can’t expect his subordinates to follow unpopular rules/regs if his example is to flaunt them.
          He was wrong to do it, and stupid for getting caught.
          Overall, justice was served.

  • Jim says:

    ”Re the crime of posing for photos with a dead enemy, I don’t understand… were someone’s rights violated? Was there a harm inflicted?”

    It’s as though soldiers are to go into battle, but their opponents may not be identified when dead as though they didn’t exist. I’ve just read a book about Bloody Ridge [Edson’s Ridge] on Guadalcanal near Henderson Field. There is a photo in the book taken after the battle of many hundreds of dead Jap troops lying massed along the Ridge. The huge number of bodies shown lying on the Ridge help me understand the Banzai charges used by the Japs in the early stages of the Pacific War and how brave were the Allied [mostly US] troops as they faced such mass attacks as they fought through the chains of Jap held islands on their way to Japan. Photos of dead opposition fighters might help others understand what US and other troops still face in battle.

    • GWB says:

      That is NOT what he did. He didn’t take a pic of the dead jihadi, he posed with him. Very different than documentation of what happened on the battlefield.

      • Scott says:

        I understand what you’re saying GWB, and as far as members of an opposing military I’d agree 100%, but when it comes to scum like Deash, Taliban, etc, I view it as no different than a picture of a soldier and a rat they just killed..

  • Ken says:

    “Gallagher pulled his knife and stabbed the teenaged prisoner multiple times, killing him. Afterwards, Gallagher posed with the body and read his re-enlistment oath. Not exactly what one hopes from one of the elite of our military.”

    This is exactly what I hope of ALL our military, not just the elite. These animals need to be put down like dogs and the US military should do just that. These are exactly the type of rough and ready men who keep you safe at night. Your pearl clutching virtue signalling is gross and as corrosive as democrats’ spin.

  • Damion Blackthorn says:

    Kill so many of the enemy, that they finally refuse to fight. Destroy their will. Destroy their ability to wage war against us. Break them. Destroy them. That’s what our Military does and should continue to do.

    Those in the media would only do that to conservatives who oppose their liberal agenda, not the enemies of this Country. That’s why people hate the media. Because they hate us. Simple.

  • John Reece says:

    I’m only going to get upset about the alleged crime if the prisoner wasn’t really ISIS.

  • mac says:

    Gallagher was doing his job. A damned tough and relatively thankless one, I might add, against a merciless enemy who burns their captives alives and takes sex slaves wherever they can. I think this verdict is too harsh. Gallagher should not only not have been punished, this matter should never have come to the attention of his chain of command. These men are at war fighting for us; they shouldn’t have to be watching their backs as closely as they watch for the enemy.

    Because of this case, we’re going to lose a highly trained man that cost a lot of resources to produce. That is a loss for our side, and directly attributable to our own foolishness in composing our ROEs. The mainstream media in the West is generally composed of traitors and cowards who lie as easily as they breathe.

    • Miles says:

      mac; From all reports, Gallagher was getting ready to retire anyway (“20 & Out”)
      The bright side to this is that was his last deployment and for the short time he’ll remain on active duty, he won’t deploy again.
      I know of men in SOF who were killed on their last scheduled deployment before retiring.
      Robert Horrigan for one.

  • Richard Aubrey says:

    Like to know the story about his kids hauled out of their home at gunpoint in the underwear.

  • Richard Aubrey says:

    Like to know the story about his kids being hauled out of their home at gunpoint in their underwear.

  • Pete says:

    IIRC the medc claimed he killed the terrorist to save him from the tender mercies of the Iraqis, who had too often seen firsthand what the terrorists did to civilians.

  • Charles N. Steele says:

    I’m not an attorney, but I understand that historically laws of warfare apply to war among uniformed combatants that mutually accept them. I do not believe Geneva Convention protections apply to enemy combatants in plainclothes. To get my point, note in the Declaration the reference to George III unleashing merciless Indian savages who, like Daesh, knew no laws of warfare. They are fought and treated differently.

    At the end of WWII most German and Japanese POWs were released back into their societies (assuming they weren’t Soviet prisoners). It would be madness to do same with Daesh. These are not equivalent — including in law, I think.

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