The charge-sheet describing Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward “Eddie” Gallagher’s actions in Iraq has been leaked, and it is disturbing.
Chief Gallagher has been charged with four different violations of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). More specifically, Gallagher is accused of murdering a captured fighter by stabbing him in the neck and body; shooting at unarmed civilians; obstructing justice by encouraging his platoon members to remain silent over his actions on three separate occasions; wrongfully using a dead ISIS fighter to reenlist and then operating a drone on the body — details on how he did that remain scant; and finally, abusing banned controlled substances.
Now that the Article 32 hearing has been completed, the officer in charge will consider the evidence. Thereafter, he will decide whether the evidence is substantial enough to justify a court-martial, and present his report to the Naval Special Warfare Group ONE — which has been overseeing the investigation.
Judging from the indictments on the charge-sheet, a court-martial is almost certain. One of Gallagher’s lawyers, Philip Stackhouse, anticipates that there will be a court-martial, but he remains confident that his client will be vindicated.