The Navy on Tuesday said that it will not further investigate controversial former SEAL Eddie Gallagher after determining claims he made on a May podcast were not corroborated.
In an email, Navy spokeswoman Cmdr. Courtney Hillson said that the Navy has reviewed Gallagher’s comments, and will not pursue further action.
“After a review conducted by the Navy, it was determined that Gallagher’s statements were not corroborated and no substantive information was found to merit an investigation based on those statements,” Hillson said.
Gallagher, who in 2019 was acquitted of stabbing a wounded Islamic State prisoner to death after a Hellfire strike in Mosul, Iraq, and shooting at civilians on other occasions, raised further questions when he commented on the prisoner’s death on the podcast “The Line.”
“I didn’t stab that dude,” Gallagher said of the prisoner’s 2017 death in Mosul. “That dude died from all the medical treatments that were done. And there was plenty of medical treatments that were done to him.”
“Everybody knew what was going on,” he continued. “The grain of truth in the whole thing is that that ISIS fighter was killed by us, and that nobody at that time had a problem with it. We killed that guy. Our intention was to kill him. Everybody was on board.”
When host Dan Taberski asked, “Your intention was to kill him?” Gallagher responded that they intended to “do medical scenarios on him until he died.”
Taberski asked if that meant they were nursing the prisoner to death, Gallagher said, “Yeah, if you want to put it in a nice way. Nursing him to death, or just killing him — he was going to die regardless. We weren’t taking any prisoners. That wasn’t our job.”
In a June 15 interview with Military.com, Gallagher said that the Iraqi Emergency Response Division was also on the scene, and would likely have tortured the prisoner to death.
“They were saying [in a video taken that day], ‘Not in front of the Americans,'” Gallagher told Military.com. “Because what they were going to do — what they always did — is chop him up in front of us or somehow torture him and mutilate him. So we decided to just nurse him to death by medical procedures.”
Gallagher told Military.com that the treatments were not done to hasten the prisoner’s death, and that they were done with his medical interests in mind.
After the podcast was released, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin declined to comment on Gallagher’s comments, but told reporters that the Navy was looking into them.
The Navy repeatedly said, when asked by Military.com over the following two months, that it had nothing new to report, until Tuesday.
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