Eddie Gallagher, a mentally unstable and violent officer guilty of premeditated murder or war hero?
New details emerged Wednesday in the war crimes case against Navy Special Warfare Officer Eddie Gallagher painting a picture of a mentally unstable and murderous out of control officer during a 2017 deployment to Iraq.
Gallagher is accused of a series of charges including premeditated murder in early May 2017 when Gallagher allegedly stabbed to death a wounded teenage ISIS member who was being treated by U.S. medics. Gallagher is also accused of shooting at civilians with a sniper rifle.
The Navy Times obtained copies of a proffer sent last Wednesday to military officials from an unnamed officer in Gallagher’s chain of command who is willing to deliver damaging testimony against Gallagher in exchange for immunity. A proffer is a legal document that outlines what a witness is willing to testify to on a witness stand in exchange for immunity from related crimes the witness may have committed.
That proffer plus another proffer and search warrants obtained by Navy Times portray Gallagher as a bloodthirsty, reckless and out of control officer. The defense claims Gallagher is a victim of a smear job, sold out by his peers in exchange for career advancement and immunity from the law.
Last Wednesday’s proffer was submitted by a lieutenant who served as the Assistant Officer in Charge (AOIC) to Gallagher’s platoon. Among the details the AOIC is willing to testify to include that Gallagher proposed a rain in July 2017 that involved “shooting people under the bridge.”
The AOIC said he interjected with the plan because of flaws in the plan including a non-existent goal to achieve by the attack, the lack of reasons for gunning down the people under the bridge and the failure to include contingency options if they got pinned down on the riverbank, as Navy Times reported.
Interjecting and mitigating the risks of plans organized by Gallagher became a regular practice for the AOIC who said he became concerned troops’ lives were being unnecessarily risked.
The AOIC also recalled a conversation he had with Gallagher and a petty officer about why they joined the Navy. The officer and the AOIC said they joined because they loved their country and wanted to try living by the Seal ethos.
But Gallagher “said that he didn’t believe in any of that, and that he joined the military so he could get the chance to kill someone.”
In another similar incident, the AOIC said he would testify about a conversation with Gallagher where Gallagher wondered about how easy it would be to kill someone back home and if he could get away with it.
The proffer goes on to detail the AOIC’s unsuccessful efforts to alert authorities about Gallagher’s dangerous and risky behavior.
The Navy Times also received a copy of another proffer submitted by a troop chief to prosecutors in mid-January which directly accused Gallagher of killing the teenage ISIS prisoner of war (POW).
The troop chief recalled a conversation he had with a lead petty officer where the officer hesitantly told the troop chief about the incident where Gallagher stabbed the POW in the neck until he died. The officer told the troop chief that the platoon members “holding the detainee down jumped back in shock and surprise.”
The emotional officer added that Gallagher was “a psycopath” who should never have been in a position to lead.
Gallagher has also been accused of firing a sniper at an elderly man and four young girls from a tower in Mosul. The Navy Times also reported that Gallagher is alleged to have given “false target coordinates to engage a mosque,” though details of the incident were not provided. (The Navy Times said they were withholding names and information that could jeopardize tactical secrets or put men at risk.)
Also per the Navy Times, physical evidence that prosecutors introduced included videos apparently posted on YouTube, a helmet-camera video of the wounded fighter and SEALs in the Mosul house, footage of Gallagher’s re-enlistment ceremony done over the dead fighter and “deer kill” photographs of Gallagher, flashing a knife, and with several SEALs posing with the body.
Gallagher’s brother wrote a passionate defense and plea to President Trump in a Fox News opinion piece last week. In the piece, Sean Gallagher appealed to President Trump to look into his brother’s case and “intervene in this broken system.”
Sean Gallagher added that they believed prosecutors had “threatened his friends, harassed his teammates, and doled out immunity offers in return for damning statements.”
Sean Gallagher and the defense have painted a vastly different picture of Eddie Gallagher — one of a war hero, valiantly leading troops to take back Mosul and named the most professional by his peers in 2017. The defense has also referenced Gallagher’s extensive service which includes eight deployments and numerous accolades including three medals for valor in combat.
In a Newsmax interview Sean Gallagher gave, he said that his brother and another medic were treating the ISIS POW and he died while they were treating him, not because Gallagher murderously stabbed the POW in the neck.
Eddie Gallagher himself has also allegedly claimed he killed the ISIS teenager out of self-defense, according to testimony in the proffer from the troop chief who recalled a conversation he had with Gallagher.
Lieutenant Jacob Portier is also facing charges for covering up Gallagher’s war crimes as one of his commission officers. Portier has proclaimed his innocence and will claim that he was responsible for bringing Gallagher’s crimes to attention.