Each passing day in the war crimes trial of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher reveals additional shocking evidence. Fellow Navy SEALs testifying against Chief Gallagher have stated that, during their deployment in Iraq, he attempted to level a mosque by calling in false target coordinates for an airstrike.
Thus far, Chief Gallagher has been charged with stabbing to death an underage Islamic State (ISIS) prisoner using a hunting knife, shooting at unarmed civilians with his sniper rifle, and threatening his teammates to remain silent about his actions. He has also been accused of conducting a reenlistment ceremony beside a dead jihadi, but the Navy judge ruled that, although it was a show of bad taste, the action didn’t violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ).
The latest evidence appears to be coming from SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon’s assistant office in charge (AOIC). A SEAL platoon usually has a lieutenant (O-3) as the officer in charge (OIC) and a lieutenant junior grade (O-2) as his second-in-command. The AOIC has a relatively easy job: He is essentially a shooter while learning how a SEAL platoon operates. Alpha Platoon’s AOIC is claiming that Chief Gallagher’s actions were known by the senior leadership but that he wasn’t confronted because of a good ol’ boys club mentality in the SEAL community. The platoon’s OIC, Lieutenant Jacob X. “Jake” Portier, appears to have been a student of Chief Gallagher during Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training.
The Naval Criminal Investigation Service (NCIS) has been tracking electronic devices throughout the SEAL community to determine the veracity of the accusations. The SEALs have to remain anonymous given that they are still operational.