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Gallagher says it was 'wrong' and 'distasteful' to pose with body of dead ISIS prisoner

Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher leaves a military courtroom on Naval Base San Diego with his wife, Andrea Gallagher, during his trial.

ANDREW DYER, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE/TNS

By DAVID MATTHEWS | The New York Daily News | Published: February 28, 2020

Eddie Gallagher, the Navy SEAL acquitted of murder and supported by President Trump, said it was “wrong” and “distasteful” to pose for a photograph with a dead ISIS prisoner, according to a preview of an interview Gallagher gave to “60 Minutes.”

In the interview, which airs on Sunday, Gallagher said it was wrong to pose for the picture as well as send it to multiple people and imply in text messages that he killed the man. One text read “got him with my hunting knife."

Two members of Gallagher’s platoon testified that they saw him stab the prisoner in the neck. Gallagher maintains that the two who testified against him were upset because he was hard on them.

“Told them they were acting like a bunch of cowards…and that’s what really, I think, sparked them,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher was eventually convicted of posing with an enemy dead but was acquitted of more serious charges after one of his accusers, who was offered immunity to testify, claimed that he had actually killed the prisoner during cross-examination.

“I’m pretty sure I’m the first person ever to go to a general court martial for it, for taking a picture," Gallagher said. "It’s been done on previous deployments.”

After the trial, the Navy tried to demote Gallagher and take away his status as a SEAL, but President Trump intervened on his behalf both times. Gallagher retired as a SEAL.

“We didn’t want a pardon," Gallagher said. "I wanted to go to trial … if I had been pardoned, I would have had that presumption of guilt the rest of my life.”


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