Edward Gallagher, a former US Navy SEAL chief petty officer, on Monday posted a video on Twitter and Facebook, in which he verbally attacked the SEAL teammates who testified against him during his war crimes trial.
Gallagher, who was acquitted of most of his crimes, in the video labels some members of his platoon "cowards", claiming they refuse to “accept” his acquittal.
In the video, which Gallagher titles "#thetruthiscoming", he presents fragments of clips, in which his former SEAL teammates gave testimony against him during the investigation, and reveals their names and titles. The video clips of the testimony were originally released by The New York Times on its ‘The Weekly’ show.
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Gallagher’s reveal of information that is normally kept quiet about SEAL officers as a means of meeting operational security standards was quickly met with deep criticism by Navy officials.
“Attempting to call attention to [those SEALs’] status in the way it’s been done does not serve the mission or the interests of the Navy. To attempt to out [their] status raises questions about the decision to do so,” said David Shaw, former petty officer 1st class, who served in Gallagher's platoon but did not testify at the trial, according to the Union-Tribune.
Another unnamed former SEAL officer, cited by the Union-Tribune, considered revealing personal details of members a “breach of norms”.
“As a matter of policy we do not identify our special operators. We don’t identify them by name, or by any other manner, due to the nature of their work, for the protection of their teammates and their families, and to protect on-going and future missions,” noted Navy Capt. Tamara Lawrence, spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Command in San Diego, California, according to the publication.
Tim Parlatore, an attorney for Gallagher, reportedly said that his client’s social media post is a direct response to the Nytimes.com report, claiming that “there’s nothing in that video that’s not already public.”
Gallagher was charged with several war crimes that occurred during his 2017 deployment in Iraq, including shooting civilians and stabbing a wounded Daesh* fighter in the neck until he was dead. In July 2019, however, he was cleared of a majority of the charges, but was convicted for posing in a photo with the corpse of the militant he killed, resulting in a demotion.
In November 2019, US President Donald Trump pardoned Gallagher, ordering his rank restored and his medals returned.