The Article 32 hearing of Lt. Jacob Xavier Portier has begun. The Navy SEAL officer faces seven different Uniform Code of Military Justice (USMJ) charges, to include dereliction of duty and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman.
During a 2017 deployment in Iraq, Portier was the SEAL platoon commander of Special Operations Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher, who has been accused of murdering a 15-year-old captured ISIS fighter, shooting at unarmed civilians, wrongfully using a dead ISIS fighter to re-enlist, and abusing banned controlled substances.
“This is not a case about any minor misconduct by the enlisted sailors in the platoon or any perceived guilt by association. This is about Chief Gallagher killing civilians indiscriminately and the chain of command that did nothing about it,” said Marine Captain Conor McMahon, the Judge Advocate for the government.
Government prosecutors claim that Portier both knew about Gallagher’s actions and performed the reenlistment ceremony. They also argue that he ordered his platoon to pose for a group photo next to the dead detainee. The prosecutors, however, acknowledge that Portier wasn’t present during the actual killing. But they stressed that he didn’t do anything when he found out.