The Navy SEAL commander reinstated to rank by Donald Trump after beating war crime charges says in a new podcast that his intention was to kill an unarmed Isis fighter and "nobody had a problem with it".
Eddie Gallagher, the retired chief of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon, was acquitted two years ago in the death of a 17-year-old prisoner who had been wounded in a US missile airstrike.
In the final episode of Apple podcast series "The Line", Mr Gallagher said, "We killed that guy, our intention was to kill him. Everybody was onboard".
"The grain of truth in the whole thing is that, that Isis fighter was killed by us, and that nobody at that time, had a problem with it," Mr Gallagher said.
Mr Gallagher was found not guilty of premeditated murder for the allegation of stabbing the prisoner in the neck. The trial heard that Mr Gallagher cut an emergency airway into man’s throat as part of medical treatments the SEALs provided to the prisoner in 2017.
Mr Gallagher was found guilty of "bringing disorder or discredit to the armed forces" for posing for a trophy photo with the corpse of the dead prisoner.
After the trial, then-president Trump publicly intervened in the Navy’s attempt to demote Mr Gallagher and remove his "Trident Pin".
“The navy will NOT be taking away Warfighter and Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s Trident Pin. This case was handled very badly from the beginning. Get back to business!” Mr Trump tweeted at the time.
While Mr Gallagher maintains in the new podcast that he "didn’t stab that dude", he said that "everybody was on board" with conducting medical scenarios on him until he died.
Asked if that was "nursing to death", Mr Gallagher said that was putting it nicely. "Nursing into death or just killing," he said.
"I mean he was going to die regardless, we weren’t taking any prisoners… because that wasn’t our job," he said.
Attorney Timothy Parlatore told Task & Purpose, which was first to report Mr Gallagher’s latest comments, that nothing new was revealed in the podcast because he filed a motion during the 2019 court-martial that the platoon’s medic began using the prisoner as a "training aid"
“When the terrorist came in, they did the initial assessment and they knew that he was going to die,” Mr Parlatore said, according to Task & Purpose.
“There was no way that he was surviving this thing. And, exactly what he said there: They decided – OK, he’s going to die anyway, let’s use this as an opportunity for training. We’ll just do procedures on him.”
Mr Parlatore said "The Line" podcast did not change Mr Gallagher’s defence that he was a victim of "mutiny" by the platoon who knew the teenager was going to die but "made up a story after the fact".
Mr Gallagher said in the podcast that "everybody knew what was going on" and "then the rest of it just is like a bunch of contorted lies to, like, pin that whole scenario on me".
"We verbalized, everyone was like, let’s just do medical treatments on him until he’s gone," Mr Gallagher remembered. "It was said."
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