Trump, Fox Weep For Real Victim: The Navy SEAL Locked Up For Murdering Children
Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL platoon leader and human garbage, is accused of committing a number of horrific crimes while in Iraq. This includes (allegedly) stabbing a teenage prisoner to death, firing rockets at random neighborhoods, and picking off a little girl and an old man from a sniper's perch. The last one is eerily familiar.
SEALs under his command were rightly repulsed and spoke out, attempting to blow the whistle on him right and left, but months passed without any official action. It was as if they'd reported Gallagher for re-heating fish in the office microwave. Seven platoon members raised their concerns in a private meeting with their troop commander last year. They provided "bloody details," according to the
New York Times, but rather than launch a formal investigation, the troop commander and his senior aide, both buddies of Gallagher, threatened their careers. No one liked a snitch, even if the "snitchee" was a remorseless killer. They were also warned that investigating Gallagher could take down other SEALs, raising the scary prospect that Gallagher wasn't the only psychotic in the bunch.
But this was the part of the movie where the brave SEALs risk everything and force the matter beyond the influence of Gallagher's cronies. They had to threaten to go to the top of Navy command and even to that dread enemy of the people, the media -- but in September, Gallagher was finally arrested on more than a dozen charges, including murder and attempted murder. He denies all charges because he is in denial.
How did Gallagher get away with this for so long? The confidential Navy report reveals a "disturbing [...] subculture within the SEALs" that prizes aggression and protects some of the worst offenders. They are basically more bad-ass cops. Gallagher thrived in this environment. He was singled out for praise in formal evaluations. Months before his arrest, he was awarded a Bronze star for valor. There was nothing valorous about Gallagher's actions in Iraq.
On the morning of May 4, 2017, Iraqi troops brought in an Islamic State fighter who had been wounded in the leg in battle, SEALs told investigators, and Chief Gallagher responded over the radio with words to the effect of "he's mine." The SEALs estimated that the captive was about 15 years old. A video clip shows the youth struggling to speak, but SEAL medics told investigators that his wounds had not appeared life-threatening.
A medic was treating the youth on the ground when Chief Gallagher walked up without a word and stabbed the wounded teenager several times in the neck and once in the chest with his hunting knife, killing him, two SEAL witnesses said.
If you're at all tempted to dismiss Gallagher's atrocities as just the unfortunate part of fighting terrorism, we should point out that investigators claim Gallagher "showed little regard" for the safety of his own, all-American team members. Their job was to advise Iraqi forces and provide more advanced assistance as necessary. Gallagher preferred to just blow stuff up and set things on fire like a common Joker. He also reportedly tried to run over a Navy police officer at a traffic light.
And Gallagher's treatment of Iraqi civilians should appall decent people. He bragged about the number of people he killed, like any homicidal maniac. This included women, children, and old men.
Two SEAL snipers told investigators that one day, from his sniper nest, Chief Gallagher shot a girl in a flower-print hijab who was walking with other girls on the riverbank. One of those snipers said he watched through his scope as she dropped, clutching her stomach, and the other girls dragged her away.
Another day, two other snipers said, the chief shot an unarmed man in a white robe with a wispy white beard. They said the man fell, a red blotch spreading on his back.
Gallagher should rightly rot in prison for the remainder of his life, but shockingly, not shockingly, prominent Republicans have defended him, including whatever is passing for our president right now. The Navy had confined Gallagher to the brig because he was trying to intimidate witnesses. Gallagher's brother, Sean, told Fox News that Gallagher was just "venting in text messages to his friends." He also said strange things about nails.
SEAN GALLAGHER: A SEAL is a shiny, golden nail where if you take them down it makes you look good.
In our experience, removing nails, regardless of their color, just leaves unsightly holes in your wall. We're unsure where Gallagher's brother is going with this metaphor. Does he know a lot of nail collectors?
Congressional Republicans signed a letter last month requesting the Navy free Gallagher pending trial. None of the 40 members who did this likely fear a potential Willie Horton albatross around their political necks. Donald Trump, who probably has a soft spot for witness tampering, announced on Twitter that Gallagher would be moved to "less restrictive confinement" at the Navy Medical Center in San Diego. This was in honor of his past service to our country. Presumably, not all of it was murdery.
Conservatives have voluntarily donated $375,000 to Gallagher's defense through a website you'll never find a link for on Wonkette. They are also selling "Free Eddie" T-shirts. Gallagher stabbed a frightened teenager in the chest. We hope those T-shirts are still comfortable in hell.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He recently fled Seattle, where he did theatre work for Book-It Rep and Cafe Nordo.