Author: CPT Tyler Merritt, USA, Ret. CEO
The word “justice” has been so degraded in common parlance. In its most basic sense it should mean administering deserved punishment or reward. But now we have social justice, economic justice and even climate justice. Who knew the weather could be unjust?
Justice is no longer something our Founders would recognize, along with truth or the American way – concepts now diluted and undermined by weak, liberal agendas.
The Uniform Code of Military Justice has not been immune to the general cultural decline. We’ve witnessed too many of our warfighters, who, after having risked all for their nation, return home to fight yet another battle for their freedom and reputation.
Let’s take the continuing saga of Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher, the Navy SEAL who served this country for 19 years and now faces charges of premeditated murder and obstructing justice — that word again.
Chief Gallagher is still scheduled to stand trial on June 10th for his alleged crimes, but a judge’s decision last week may be the first signs that the case against the SEAL is collapsing.
On Friday, the military judge presiding over the court-martial of Eddie Gallagher said that prosecutors electronically tracking email communication of defense lawyers without a warrant violates the accused’s right to a fair trial.
As a result, the decorated combat veteran was released from the Naval Medical Center in San Diego on Friday, and allowed to return home to his wife and children. You might recall Chief Gallagher had been confined to the Naval Consolidated Brig in Miramar, but was moved to the medical center after President Trump tweeted he should be in a less restrictive environment.
Say what you want about the President’s tweets, but he was right on this one.
In reaction to the judge’s decision, Chief Gallagher’s defense team has filed motions seeking to either dismiss all charges or remove the prosecution’s lead prosecutor on grounds of alleged misconduct, both on his part and by the agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).
Navy lawyers have specifically been accused of using electronic tracking software secretly embedded in emails sent to the defense in order to conduct illegal surveillance of defense attorneys.
So, we already know the prosecutors violated attorney-client privilege and have committed prosecutorial misconduct. It hasn’t been enough for the judge to completely throw out the case, but it may be falling apart from the inside.
Per the Navy Times, “Three witnesses from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service declined to take the stand” in last week’s hearing regarding who authorized the scheme to track emails and leak the contents.
And the media seems to be forgetting a few things a prosecutor normally needs to prove a case:
- Chief Gallagher is accused of killing an unarmed ISIS fighter, but Investigators never found a body, so no autopsy exists to explain cause of death.
- What photographic or footage exists is inconclusive and fragmentary, and prosecutors say they cannot find the missing footage.
- Prosecutors say a knife confiscated from Chief Gallagher shows forensic evidence — cells — of an Iraqi man, but cannot be matched to any known victim.
- At least three witnesses who allegedly saw or heard the events have already said they’re considering taking the Fifth and not showing up to testify.
So let’s do the math here. There’s no body. There’s little or no physical evidence. There’s only potential testimony from witnesses, some of whom don’t actually want to talk about it anymore. Oh, and we know the prosecutors engaged in some shady maneuvers.
So exactly why is Chief Special Warfare Operator Edward Gallagher facing trial, and potentially a life behind bars? It’s a question that keeps me up at night.
We at Nine Line Apparel, a relentlessly patriotic, veteran-owned company, are committed to defending Chief Gallagher. So far, we’ve been able to raise over $90,000 for Chief Gallagher and his family, but his fight has only just begun.
And we have only begun to fight.
No matter what, we’ve got his six, and we’ll do whatever we can to support him and his family in the fight of his life — for truth, justice and the American way, dammit.
Proceeds from the sale of this fundraising design, "I Have Not Yet Begun", will be donated to Edward Gallagher's family to help with the legal fees and other expenses.