The US Navy SEAL who was found not guilty of murdering a captive teenage militant in Iraq said in a televised interview Wednesday that numerous media outlets had tried to frame him “as a criminal from the get-go.”
“But we knew the truth the whole time. We knew I was innocent of these charges,” Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, 40, said on “Fox & Friends.”
“I overcame it by having my strong wife with me the whole time and my legal team fighting for me,” added Gallagher, who was accompanied by his wife, Andrea, and attorney Tim Parlatore.
It took a military jury about nine hours over two days to clear the decorated SEAL of all charges — except posing for a photo with the captives corpse.
The maximum sentence for the photo is four months, so Gallagher was set to walk free on time served from his nine months of pretrial confinement.
Seven SEALs had said Gallagher, who was on his eighth deployment, suddenly stabbed the ISIS teen moments after he was treated by US medics May 3, 2017, after being injured in an airstrike. Two said they saw him plunge his knife into the 15-year-old prisoners neck.
But defense lawyers argued that the Bronze Star recipient had been framed in a “mutiny” by disgruntled platoon members.
Gallagher said the few SEALs who “concocted” the accusations do not represent the special warfare community as a whole.
“This has put a black eye on this community. I want the nation to know this is not what our community is about,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”
“This community is full of elite warriors that I have been honored and blessed to work with for the past 20 years,” he said.
Gallagher had faced a total of seven criminal charges, including premeditated murder, willfully discharging a firearm to endanger human life, retaliation against members of his platoon for reporting his alleged actions, obstruction of justice and the attempted murders of two noncombatants.
In a bombshell m