‘Sewing Circle’ Revealed in Navy SEAL Murder Case
Tuesday saw an end to one of the most closely watched war crime trials of the year and one that should never have even happened. But in the process, it revealed a highly secretive group of SEALS intent on discrediting and ousting SEAL leaders who they did not like, as well as prosecutorial corruption.
Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher was accused in January of this year of murdering an Islamic State fighter and shooting civilians in separate instances during his time spent in Iraq in 2017.
According to those accusing Gallagher, an injured ISIS teen was brought in for medical treatment after a recent airstrike. Gallagher was the first to treat him, and a video shows him working to provide aid to the young man.
However, several SEALs on the team claim that Gallagher suddenly and without warning stabbed the teen repeatedly in the neck and body, killing him. Gallagher then posed with the body, holding his knife and saying, “Got him with my hunting knife.”
Later in a separate incident, they claim that he shot down an elderly man and young girl in Iraq. However, neither of the two SEALs that accused him of this saw him pull the trigger or even shoot.
Gallagher was held imprisoned for over nine months waiting for his trial, after serving his country faithfully for nearly 20 years.
In total seven seals testified against Gallagher, all his juniors and with a grudge against him for his apparently demanding leadership style.
It was established that this group of SEALs formed a WhatsApp chat group called “The Sewing Circle” to discuss the alleged war crimes of Gallagher, although this was later identified as an attempted coup and mutiny to oust their leader from his position.
In late June, one SEAL, Special Operator 1st Class Corey Scott, testified that Gallagher had stabbed the ISIS militant but that it did not kill. Scott claims he killed him in an act of mercy by suffocating him.
During the trial, Gallagher’s attorney asked Scott, “Did Chief Gallagher kill this terrorist?”
“No,” was Scott’s reply.
The charges should have been dismissed right then and there, but the testimony surprised the prosecution and said that they had not heard that story before. They accused Scott, their own witness, of lying.
So it continued, much to the shame of our broken military justice system.
Others, including the Iraqi general who had given the young fighter over to the SEAL team, also testified that Gallagher did not kill him but only provided medical attention. A government pathologist also gave his account of finding no evidence of stab wounds or blood on the dead man – suggesting that Gallagher had nothing to do with the death.
As the trial moved forward, it was uncovered by Gallagher’s attorneys that the prosecution had violated several rights of their client in their attempt to win the case, including search without a warrant under the Fourth Amendment and threatening his right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment.
In addition, they violated attorney-client privilege.
Fortunately, this was all found before the case went to the jury, which was made up of two sailors and five Marines, one of whom was a SEAL.
On Tuesday, the jury found Chief Gallagher not guilty of all charges except for posing with the body, the most minor of charges and one in which most of the other SEAL team members, including the ones testifying against him, had participated in as well.
What a farce!
Navy prosecutors should be ashamed of their actions, as should the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), who dragged young children out of their beds and into the street in the middle of the night at gunpoint for questioning and then called it “standard operating procedures.”
This is not what our justice system was meant for. This trial comes like a slap to the face of any man or woman who has served our nation and stood for freedom.
Thank God for a jury in their right mind and with a heart for true justice. And thank God also for a president who considered the pardon of Gallagher and is still considering action to pardon several other military members in similar war crime cases.