Jan 28, 2020

Eddie Gallagher attacks Navy SEALs who testified against him

Retired Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Retired Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher, who was acquitted of war crimes and had a minor charge cleared by President Trump last year, launched a scathing social media attack on members of his platoon who testified against him at his San Diego court-martial last June.

Why it matters: Gallagher referred to some of his former platoon members as "cowards" in a three-minute video posted Monday, which included clips from Navy investigators' interviews of his SEAL teammates. The video highlights the names, photos, duty status and current units for some members of his former platoon, a move that "former SEALs say places those men — and the Navy’s mission — in jeopardy," writes the San Diego Union-Tribune, which first reported on it.

What he's saying:

"On September 11, 2018, I was arrested and charged with war crimes which I did not commit. My family and I then had to fight for my freedom. Even though I went to trial, exposed all the lies that were said about me by certain cowards in my platoon, and found not guilty, there are those to this day who refuse to accept that fact. I wanted to put this all behind me and move on with my life. Unfortunately, the fight to clear my name is not over. ... For those who have and continue to slander my name, the truth is coming."

Flashback: Gallagher was accused of war crimes by some of his platoon subordinates, with allegations including stabbing a sedated teenage ISIS fighter to death for no apparent reason, then ordering platoon members to gather around the corpse for a photo.

  • He was acquitted of most of the charges, but convicted for the photo, and his rank was reduced until Trump intervened last year.
  • In video testimonies obtained by the New York Times last year, platoon members described Gallagher as "evil" and "toxic."

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Trump's former Navy secretary endorses Mike Bloomberg

Former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images; Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump's former Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, who was fired for his handling of the Eddie Gallagher case, announced Friday that he would endorse Mike Bloomberg for president in 2020.

Why it matters: Spencer is the first Trump political appointee to break with the president and support one of his challengers in the forthcoming presidential election.

Retired admiral who oversaw bin Laden raid defends outgoing intelligence chief

Acting DNI Joseph Maguire walks to a congressional briefing at the Capitol on Jan. 8 in D.C. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, who oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, defended former acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire in a Washington Post op-ed on Friday.

What he's saying: "...in this administration, good men and women don’t last long. Joe was dismissed for doing his job: overseeing the dissemination of intelligence to elected officials who needed that information to do their job," McRaven writes.

U.S. evacuee with coronavirus initially discharged from hospital

Personnel in biological hazard suits welcome passengers evacuated from Wuhan, China, at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, California. Photo: Matt Hartman/AFP via Getty Images

An evacuee from Wuhan, China, who became the 13th person in the U.S. to be infected with the novel coronavirus, was initially mistakenly released from a California hospital, UC San Diego Health said in a statement Monday.

Details: Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told San Diego Public Health "four patients being evaluated for 2019-nCoV at UC San Diego Health had tested negative for the virus," according to the statement. They were discharged and returned to federal quarantine at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar "at the CDC's direction," it said.

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