first published on November 4, 2019 by Will
President Trump has overridden the Navy’s top admiral, and has restored convicted SEAL Eddie Gallagher’s rank to chief petty officer.
Gallagher had recently been acquitted on charges of murdering an ISIS detainee with a knife as well as acquitted on charges of shooting at civilians. However, he was convicted of posing for pictures with a dead body.
The entire courts martial process had been embarrassingly corrupt and devoid of ethical practices on the part of the Naval prosecution. Gallagher’s constitutional rights were repeatedly violated by federal agents working for the prosecution team.
At one point, one of the prosecutors was dismissed from the case for his role in sending the defense team an email with a poorly hidden embedded hack that was intended to track and report the defense’s online activities.
Gallagher had been demoted from E-7 to E-6, but wanted his rank restored for retirement. Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday denied the request, upholding the demotion to E-6, which would have reduced the SEAL’s retirement payout by $200,000. Trump has now overridden Gilday’s decision and will restore Gallagher’s pay grade, allowing him to retire as an E-7.
There are those that question whether this decision sets a dangerous precedent by disregarding the significance of war crimes. Yet, the shameful manner in which Eddie Gallagher’s case was mishandled would have set an even worse precedent for military “justice.”
Reportedly, Trump is also working to end the prosecution of US Army Special Forces MAJ Matt Golsteyn, who is accused of executing a Taliban bomb maker, as well as free from prison US Army 1LT Clint Lorance from a 20-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth. Lorance was convicted of murder for ordering his platoon to shoot and kill three Afghan men on a motorcycle.
“This president recognizes the injustice of it … You train someone to go fight and kill the enemy. Then they go kill the enemy the way someone doesn’t like, and then we put them in jail or we throw the book at them,” said Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth.