A group of Navy SEALS who accused their platoon leader of war crimes have spoken out in never-before-seen footage obtained by The New York Times.
According to a trove of leaked Navy materials, members of SEAL Team 7 described Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher in grim terms, calling him “freaking evil,” “toxic” and a “psychopath.”
“You could tell he was perfectly OK with killing anybody that was moving,” Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, a medic in the platoon, told investigators during Gallagher’s trial on war crimes, including murder, according to the report.
In the leaked video interviews, SEAL Team 7 members described seeing Gallagher targeting civilians, including a 12-year-old child, and fatally stabbing a wounded captive with a hunting knife.
Gallagher was ultimately acquitted by a military jury in July of murder charges but was demoted after being convicted of posing for a photo with the ISIS captive’s body. However, he was ultimately spared all punishment after President TrumpDonald John TrumpLA Times editorial board torches Trump on climate Spotify to pause the selling of political advertising Fed study: Trump tariffs backfired, caused job losses and higher prices MORE intervened in November and restored his rank.
Gallagher’s lawyer told the Times that the video interviews were full of inconsistencies and falsehoods that created “a clear road map to the acquittal.”
The Times reports that in the video interviews with investigators, “three SEALs said they saw Chief Gallagher go on to stab the sedated captive for no reason, and then hold an impromptu re-enlistment ceremony over the body, as if it were a trophy.”
“I was listening to it, and I was just thinking, like, this is the most disgraceful thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Special Operator 1st Class Craig Miller stated.
Social media posts from earlier this week showed Gallagher meeting Trump and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpNavy SEALs who turned in Gallagher: He is ‘freaking evil’ Trump, first lady attend Christmas Eve services in Florida Trump ‘still working’ on Melania’s Christmas present MORE at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. Gallagher appeared to give the president a folded, black-and-white ISIS flag. In an Instagram post, Gallagher described the flag as a gift to the president from his time in Mosul, Iraq.
The leaked materials published by the Times also included thousands of text messages exchanged between platoon members, revealing some hesitancy to come forward about Gallagher for fear of retribution and threats of violence.
“Tell the truth, don’t lie or embellish,” one member told the others in a group text in 2017, when they first reportedly tried to report the chief. “That way, he can’t say that we slandered him in any way.”