- The acting secretary of defence issued a statement Wednesday evening confirming that he had terminated the Trident review boards of three Navy SEALs had been cancelled.
- All three of the SEALs were connected to the case of Eddie Gallagher, the SEAL chief accused and acquitted of murdering a teenage ISIS fighter and shooting at Iraqi civilians. Gallagher was set to face a review board himself, but his was cancelled earlier this weel after repeated interference by President Donald Trump in his chaotic, high-profile case.
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Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly issued a statement on Wednesday evening that confirmed that he had cancelled the Trident review boards of three Navy SEALs connected to the dramatic war crimes case of SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher.
Gallagher’s review board, which allows Navy Special Warfare to review a SEAL’s actions and make recommendations to the head of the Naval Special Warfare Command as to whether he should be allowed to stay in the community, was cancelled earlier in the week after a tug-of-war between the Navy and the White House, which ended with the ouster of then-Navy Secretary Richard Spencer.
Three additional SEALs, Lt. Jacob Portier, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch, and Lt. Thomas MacNeil were set to face the review board because of their roles in the scandal surrounding Gallagher, who was accused of killing a teenage ISIS fighter in US custody and shooting at Iraqi civilians. He was acquitted of these charges and convicted of taking a “trophy” photo with the corpse of the ISIS fighter. Members of Gallagher’s platoon also posed with dead body and even flew a drone inches above it.
Portier was Gallagher’s platoon commander and was also charged during Gallagher’s case, and Bresch and MacNeil testified during Gallagher’s court-martial, according to The LA Times. Portier was charged with failing to report Gallagher’s alleged crimes up the chain of command. Those charges were dropped earlier this year, according to Task & Purpose.
“The United States Navy, and the Naval Special Warfare Community specifically, have dangerous and important work to do,” Modly said in a statement released on the Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving.
“In my judgment, neither deserves the continued distraction and negative attention that recent events have evoked,” according to the statement, which may refer to the spectacle of Gallagher’s court-martial and President Donald Trump’s subsequent intervention in Gallagher’s case.
Insider reached out to Naval Special Warfare for comment; their spokesperson referred us to the Acting Secretary of the Navy’s office, which did not respond to Insider’s questions about whether the SEALs would face any further discipline.
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