The New York Times is out with a story documenting video interviews and texts by Navy SEALs who reported their platoon chief, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, for misconduct. Gallagher was accused of war crimes, though he was eventually cleared of all charges except posing with a prisoner's corpse. When the Navy planned to remove him from the elite unit, President Trump stepped in to ensure Gallagher could retire as a SEAL. The Times has now obtained video interviews that were part of the Navy investigation, along with texts sent among Gallagher's accusers. A few samples:
- "The guy is freaking evil," Special Operator First Class Craig Miller told investigators in a video interview.
- "The guy was toxic," said Special Operator First Class Joshua Vriens in a separate interview.
- "You could tell he was perfectly OK with killing anybody that was moving," said Special Operator First Class Corey Scott, a medic in the platoon.
- "I was listening to it, and I was just thinking, like, this is the most disgraceful thing I’ve ever seen in my life," said Miller. He was referring to an incident in which Gallagher was accused of stabbing a wounded captive to death, then having his men stand over the corpse for a ceremony of sorts, and photos.
- "Tell the truth, don’t lie or embellish," a SEAL sniper texted others in the group of accusers in 2017. "That way, he can’t say that we slandered him in any way."
- Gallagher's response: “My first reaction to seeing the videos was surprise and disgust that they would make up blatant lies about me, but I quickly realized that they were scared that the truth would come out of how cowardly they acted on deployment,” he said in a statement through his lawyer. Gallagher maintains the men lied about him to force him out because they couldn't meet his standards.
(Read the full story
for much, much more on the controversy.)