The commander in chief has repeatedly intervened on behalf of the Navy SEAL recently convicted of misconduct. And Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Trump did it again over the weekend, directly ordering him to allow Chief Petty Officer Eddie Gallagher to retire as a SEAL.
“I spoke with the president on Sunday. He gave me the order that Eddie Gallagher will retain his Trident pin,” Esper told reporters on Monday at the Defense Department, referring to the insignia designating Gallagher as a member of the elite commando force.
The order from the commander in chief effectively put an end to proceedings by a Trident review board that were called by the commander of Navy special warfare, Rear Adm. Collin Green. The panel was charged with deciding whether Gallagher and three of his supervising officers were fit for duty. In Gallagher’s case, the board was set to convene next week.
Trump pardoned several persons that committed war crimes, going AGAINST the recommendations of the generals he said he would listen to. Forbidding them from removing war criminals from their ranks.
SEALs from the platoon that Chief Gallagher led during a deployment to Mosul, Iraq, in 2017 told military officials that they saw the chief fatally stab a wounded ISIS captive. Navy investigators said while several SEALs were providing medical aid to the fighter, Chief Gallagher took out a handmade hunting knife and stabbed the captive, a teenager, several times in the neck and torso.
The chief was also accused of firing a sniper rifle at civilians, striking a girl wearing a flower-print hijab as she walked along a riverbank and an old man carrying a water jug. Several SEALs broke the group’s code of silence and testified against Chief Gallagher in a military trial.
During the war crimes investigation, officials uncovered evidence that Chief Gallagher had violated regulations in a number of ways. A live training grenade was found in his garage. Text messages were unearthed in which he talked about using marijuana and narcotics with other SEALs.
That behavior, along with his criminal conviction, has rankled the commander of the SEALs, Rear Adm. Collin Green, who has sought to rein in what some saw as years of lax discipline in the force. A sailor can be expelled from the SEALs if a commander loses “faith and confidence in the service member’s ability to exercise sound judgment, reliability and personal conduct.”
Navy secretary Rchard Spencer, in his resignation letter:
The rule of law is what sets us apart from our adversaries. Good order and discipline is what has enabled our victory against foreign tyranny time and again, from Captain Lawrence’s famous order “Don’t Give up the Ship,” to the discipline and determination that propelled our flag to the highest point of Iwo Jima. The Constitution, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, are the shields that set us apart, and the beacons that protect us all. Through my Title Ten Authority, I have strived to ensure our proceedings are fair, transparent and consistent, from the newest recruit to the Flag and General Officer level.
Unfortunately, it has become apparent that in this respect, I no longer share the same understanding with the Commander in Chief who appointed me, in regards to the key principle of good order and discipline. I cannot in good conscience obey an order that I believe violates the sacred oath I took in the presence of my family, my flag and my faith to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.