Comment by Jim Campbell
February 15, 2019
It’s rather amazing that the article below was written 5 days after Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher’s family had written letters to President Trump asking for his help that the situation would result in new allegations.
Lt. Jacob X. “Jake” Portier, was Edward Gallaghar’s immediate commanding officer.
He was the person in charge if this story is to be believed that was responsible for relieving Gallagher from duty.
Story was likely originally written by an information specialist/propaganda writer, a position I know only too well having been one the short time I was in the U.S. Army.
February 15, 2019
Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward “Eddie” Gallagher not only stabbed to death a teenage wounded Islamic State prisoner of war during a 2017 deployment to Iraq.
According to an officer in his chain of command, but the SEAL also called in “false target coordinates to engage a mosque,” tried to push his platoon into pointless and potentially catastrophic firefights with insurgents and became so mentally unstable that he should’ve been relieved from duty but wasn’t.
Those allegations are contained in a proffer from the officer sent to military officials on Wednesday seeking immunity from prosecution in the sprawling war crimes case roiling California-based SEAL Team 7.
Additional comments immediately below by Jim O’Neill, SEAL TEAM II
It was the AOIC’s first combat tour as a SEAL and “although he invested a lot of faith and trust in his leadership to guide him and do the right thing, ultimately the message he got back was that no one wanted to hear what he had to say or heard it and tried to contain the information from being released,” he told prosecutors.
Proffers are legal documents that outline what potential witnesses will say on the stand in a court-martial trial in exchange for immunity from prosecution for crimes they also might’ve committed.
Copies of federal search warrants also obtained by Navy Times show investigators have been tracing electronic communications across the SEAL community and have seized cellphones of those involved.
The twin proffers and search warrants are the clearest indications yet that there are active probes into senior enlisted and commissioned SEALs, a potentially damning indictment of the culture of the usually tight-knit community of clandestine commandos.
The seriously wounded Islamic State fighter, believed to be between 15 and 17 years of age, military prosecutors believe was murdered by a Navy SEAL. (screen shot of YouTube video used as evidence in criminal hearing)
Because these witnesses are expected to return to operational SEAL teams, military officials have asked Navy Times to continue its policy of not printing their names or disclosing information that could identify them to overseas terrorists who would put them or their families at risk of harm.
“He never expected to get caught up in this and he fears retaliation if he tells the truth.”
One of Gallagher’s civilian attorneys, Phillip Stackhouse, cautioned that the legal significance of the AOIC’s proffer request could dissipate significantly once he’s under oath, even if he’s been granted immunity from future prosecution.
Initially, many of the AOIC’s concerns stemmed from a growing belief that Gallagher was exercising poor judgement that could pointlessly get SEALs killed.
At one point, Gallagher told him that Alpha Platoon needed to find Islamic State elements and get in “one good TIC” (Troops in Contact, the direct and violent engagement with an enemy), “one where you need to focus on your field of fire or else you could take (a bullet) to the side of the head,” according to the proffer.
The AOIC told Gallagher this sort of training by fire “was extremely unnecessary” but Gallagher shot back that his SEALs were “all a bunch of pussies,” the document states.
The AOIC told prosecutors he had come to believe Gallagher was “going to put the platoon in extreme danger” and an unassertive Portier would do too little to stop him.
He said he became so alarmed by Gallagher that he began to examine the plans of every operation “in order to mitigate the risks, and tried to go out on every operation he could to make sure that the lives of his teammates weren’t being unnecessarily jeopardized.”
Special Operations Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher, a highly decorated Navy SEAL, is fighting murder charges tied to the death of an Islamic State operative in Iraq. (photos provided)
The AOIC indicated he’s willing to testify about a raid Gallagher proposed in July 2017 that involved “shooting people under the bridge.”
The AOIC told prosecutors he interjected because of flaws in the plan, including a non-existent goal to achieve by the attack, the lack of reasons for gunning down the people under the bridge and the failure to include contingency options if they got pinned down on the riverbank.
The AOIC “stressed that this was putting their platoon in an extremely vulnerable position for a mission that was not even authorized,” an argument that ended not only the conversation but the proposed raid, according to the proffer.
The AOIC was so worried about Gallagher that he made it his bedtime ritual to practice calling in MEDEVACs, which front-line troops call “9-Lines” to brief inbound helicopters that medically evacuate wounded personnel, he added.
The AOIC said he stressed the rules of engagement handed down from superiors to Alpha Platoon, regulations designed to prevent the killing of civilians, but this “sparked aggression” from Gallagher.
As Iraqi government forces drew closer to liberating Mosul from the Islamic State in July 2017, he recalled watching ISR footage — an intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance feed, often shot with a drone aircraft — with Gallagher and other SEAL’s.
It showed female Islamic State fighters ambushing Iraqi troops in a bloody last stand.
The AOIC told prosecutors he’s prepared to testify about another incident that occurred in a safe house in northern Iraq in which Gallagher asked “how easy it would be to kill someone back home” and if he “could get away with it.”
The tension dissipated when someone joked “it would be pretty hard nowadays with technology and security cameras,” the AOIC indicated.
A member of the Iraqi federal police awaits his next movement on the streets of the recently secured airport during the offensive to liberate West Mosul on March 2, 2017. (Army)
In the final sentence of his proffer, the AOIC directly accused Portier of “ordering the destruction of video and reports in order to avoid their use as evidence in investigations.”
The AOIC told prosecutors Portier not only knew about many of these incidents, but so did a pair of senior enlisted and commissioned troop leaders who visited Alpha Platoon during the summer of 2017 and continued to interact with the SEAL team after they returned home to California.
When the Iraqis yanked the burlap sack off the prisoner’s head, the AOIC saw an elderly, blindfolded man who looked famished and parched.
After a few nibbles of food, he told the AOIC that he was a technician who had been imprisoned by the Islamic State to toil at the Mosul Hospital, he recalled.
But in the middle of the interrogation, Gallagher “leaned his back against the wall and pulled out his tomahawk” and began tapping the blade “against the cement wall in a threatening manner,” the AOIC alleged.
Realizing that the “situation was escalating,” the AOIC said he pulled Breisch and Gallagher together in another room “to diffuse the situation.”
It remains unclear in the proffer whether Breisch took any action against Gallagher, but the lieutenant commander left with the chief, according to the AOIC’s statement.
The AOIC said Breisch’s senior enlisted adviser, the troop chief, also should’ve been on notice about Gallagher’s alleged misconduct.
During that visit in the summer of 2017, the AOIC said he was in the mission planning room while Gallagher was giving the troop chief a tour of the building.
The AOIC told prosecutors he put Gallagher “on the spot and told him to tell (the troop chief) about the detainee” he allegedly stabbed to death.
Gallagher, the proffer states, “became clearly flustered” and muttered something about how “they were getting that close to insurgents.”
Although the AOIC said he wasn’t sure if the troop chief understood that this was a war crime, he thought the senior enlisted leader “would look into it or at a minimum talk to (Breisch) about it,” but nothing further seemed to come “from this notification,”according to the proffer.
An Iraqi boy stands at the entrance of a destroyed building in the old city of Mosul on March 14, 2018, eight months after the Iraqi government forces retook the city from the control of the Islamic State group. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images)
Once the SEAL platoon rotated home in late 2017, rumors continued to swirl throughout the SEAL community in Coronado about Gallagher’s alleged misconduct in Iraq.
The AOIC said he was informed that there would be a platoon meeting in Alpha’s highbay (a locker room) and Gallagher would be given the chance to speak to the junior SEALs.
He said he confronted Portier in the parking lot outside the meeting room and told him “they needed to do something about SOC Gallagher’s actions instead of giving him a platform to speak.”
The AOIC said Gallagher suddenly rushed up to them, got in the AOIC’s face and said, “If you take me down, I will take all of you down.”
After the SEAL powwow, the AOIC said Gallagher sidled over to him to reimburse him for a haircut he bought the chief during the deployment in Iraq.
The AOIC told prosecutors that it was during these weeks after the platoon came home from deployment that Breisch, his troop chief, Gallagher and Portier “would walk in the room, tell him to leave (sometimes along the lines of ‘Get out’ or ‘Get the fuck out’) and have closed door discussions,” sessions he thought “very unusual from their daily routine.”
The AOIC said in the proffer that these “meetings lasted over an hour at a time” and occurred “multiple times.”
Mosul’s Old City on Jan. 8, 2018, six months after Iraqi forces seized the country’s second city from ISIS militants. (Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images)The troop chief indicated he began a series of conversations with Alpha Platoon’s lead petty officer around Christmas in 2017.
During one conversation, the SO1 told him Gallagher also filched sunglasses and money but “it was a lot more than that,” according to the troop chief’s proffer.
In this Nov. 12, 2017, photo, Ghanim Ahmed holds the photo of his son Ghazwan Ahmed, who was taken by unidentified gunmen after their village was liberated from Islamic State militants, in Bijwaniya village, south of Mosul, Iraq. (Felipe Dana/AP)
It was then, he said, that Gallagher announced he had killed the wounded detainee “in self-defense,” according to the proffer.The troop chief told prosecutors he was puzzled by Gallagher’s statement.
“Knife kills are virtually unheard of in the SEAL community,” the proffer states.
The above statement is not credible.
Throw dirt in the eyes? Of course all principles of Krav Maga which is now taught regularly to the Spec/Ops community.