Ex-Navy SEAL accused of war crimes posts video attacking 'cowards' who testified against him

The retired Navy SEAL who was accused of several war crimes stemming from a 2017 Iraq deployment posted a video to social media on Monday attacking his former SEAL teammates who made allegations against him. 

The three-minute video was posted to Edward Gallagher's Facebook and Instagram accounts with the title, "#thetruthiscoming." In it, Gallagher, a former chief petty officer, derided certain members of his platoon as "cowards" and claimed that some still refuse to "accept" that he was acquitted of most of his alleged crimes. 

The clip highlights specific interviews with SEALs who made allegations about Gallagher, listing some of their names, duty statuses and current units. Former SEALs told The San Diego Union-Tribune that information like that puts those service members at risk. 

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Some of Gallagher's platoon subordinates alleged that the former SEAL shot civilians and stabbed a wounded Islamic State fighter in the neck, killing him, during a 2017 deployment in Iraq. Gallagher was acquitted of the majority of the charges he faced last July. However, he was convicted of posing next to the dead ISIS fighter's body, resulting in a demotion. 

Gallagher's trial and its aftermath gained massive attention, including from President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says MORE, who ordered Gallagher to be released from confinement amid the trial and in November directed the Pentagon to restore his rank. 

David Shaw, a former petty officer 1st class who served in Gallagher's platoon during his 2017 deployment, questioned Gallagher's motives in an interview with the Union-Tribune. He also defended those who decided to testify against Gallagher, saying they "were performers of the highest caliber and people of the highest reputations within the platoon."

“Attempting to call attention to [those SEALs’] status in the way it’s been done does not serve the mission or the interests of the Navy,” Shaw, who did not testify at Gallagher's trial, said. “To attempt to out [their] status raises questions about the decision to do so.”

Another former SEAL from the platoon, who requested anonymity, told the newspaper that the exposure of the officers' names and titles was a breach of norms. 

“As a matter of policy we do not identify our special operators,” Navy Capt. Tamara Lawrence, a spokeswoman for Naval Special Warfare Command in San Diego, said in a statement to the Union-Tribune. “We don’t identify them by name, or by any other manner, due to the nature of their work, for the protection of their teammates and their families, and to protect on-going and future missions.”

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Gallagher's video uses a range of clips of his former SEAL teammates participating in Naval Criminal Investigative Service interviews. The interviews were originally disclosed on “The Weekly,” an FX show produced by The New York Times. 

Members of Gallagher's platoon described him as “freaking evil,” “toxic” and a "psychopath," according to footage obtained by the Times.

Tim Parlatore, one of Gallagher’s attorneys, told The Hill that Ghallagher's social media post served as a direct response to The Times's reporting. He also threatened to file a lawsuit against The Times unless it issued a correction and apology over its coverage. 

Asked about the concerns over Ghallagher's public identification of certain SEALs, Parlatore labeled it "fake outrage."

"All of their names have already been out there. There’s nothing in that video that is not in the public record," he said. 

The Hill has reached out to The New York Times for comment.

Trump has continued to speak out about Gallagher's case. In late November, he tweeted that he was "not pleased" with how his trial was handled by the Navy. Gallagher met with Trump at the president's Mar-a-Lago resort in December, according to a photo shared from an Instagram account operated by Gallagher and his wife. 

Updated: 7:31 p.m.