Just months after US President Donald Trump intervened in the trial of Gallagher, the ex-Navy SEAL appeared on “60 Minutes” to discuss his past misconduct and show off his “glory wall” collection of military memorabilia - including the knife that was at the center of a Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) investigation.
Gallagher, who previously violated the US military code of justice and was found guilty of taking a photo with the corpse of a teenage Daesh fighter during his 2017 deployment in Mosul, Iraq, was pardoned by US President Donald Trump in November 2019.
Despite the graphic photo showing him holding the teenager’s partially severed head with his right hand and a knife in his left hand, he told “60 Minutes” correspondent David Martin that he did not stab the Daesh fighter. Gallagher argued that the image was a trophy photo.
“They ran a test on the knife, the sheath. No blood anywhere on it. And if you look at the picture close, there's no blood on the knife. There's no blood anywhere on me," the accused war criminal said.
“The show @60Minutes is glamorizing the murdering war criminal Eddie Gallagher,” journalist David Perry said in a tweet following the program’s Twitter posting. “They have a tweet up celebrating the knife he used to murder a captive. Everyone involved with this episode, including those who greenlighted and oversaw the episode, should resign or be fired.”
Rowaida Abdelaziz of the HuffPost also called out the outlet’s decision to give airtime to the accused war criminal.
Stabbed a teenage captive to death. Shot & killed a school girl walking with friends and an elderly man. Indiscriminately shot up neighborhoods with rockets & machine-gun fire. Boasted about the number of people he had killed, including women. But sure, let’s give him the airtime https://t.co/PWBbEeJU29— Rowaida Abdelaziz (@Rowaida_Abdel) March 2, 2020
Gallagher and “60 Minutes” quickly became trending topics that extended into Monday among netizens on Twitter.
Who’s the @60Minutes producer who approved a glowing profile of a violent, murderous war criminal today? Who were the advertisers?— Anil Dash (@anildash) March 2, 2020
Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher is not only the worst of America, he is the worst of humanity.#60Minutes— Bill Madden (@maddenifico) March 2, 2020
Eddie Gallagher is a war criminal who was so sadistic in his conduct that his fellow Navy SEALs testified against him in open court. He bragged about killing women. He threatened his colleagues if they reported it.— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 2, 2020
There is no "other side" to this story.#Boycott60Minutes
The @60Minutes profile of former Navy SEAL and convicted war criminal Eddie Gallagher was journalistic malpractice. It reminded us again whose lives so often matter most in the editorial judgment of the majority-white corporate press. Giving him that platform was unconscionable.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) March 2, 2020
60 Minutes has just invalidated the entirety of their 52-year history.— Chuck Taggart 🖖🏻 (@SazeracNELA) March 2, 2020
During the segment, Gallagher referred to a plaque that had Alpha Platoon Seal Team 7’s so-called motto “Kill ‘Em All” etched in the wood. New York Times reporter David Philipps noted that Gallagher made the plaque himself and breached protocol by listing his name above that of his commanding officer.
Third, he added the invented the motto "KILL EM ALL." Others in the platoon were mystified. "Since when was KILL EM ALL our motto?" one asked others in a group text. Another apparently referring to Gallagher, said "For some people it was."— David Philipps (@David_Philipps) March 2, 2020
Prior to his “60 Minutes” interview, Gallagher took aim at his fellow Navy SEAL officers in a January social media video that highlighted the names and information of witnesses who testified against him in the NCIS trial. The video’s description on Instagram simply read “#thetruthiscoming” - possibly alluding to his appearance on the CBS program.