Retired Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher will appear on “60 Minutes” this Sunday where he will tell his story of being charged and acquitted of murdering an ISIS prisoner.
CBS released a teaser trailer of the interview, which will air at 7 p.m. EST/PT on CBS, Sunday, March 1.
Gallagher was acquitted of all charges except for one – posing for a photo with a corpse. That corpse belonged to a teenaged ISIS prisoner which Gallagher was originally accused of killing in Mosul in 2017.
Gallagher and at least 10 others from Alpha Platoon, SEAL Team 7 were photographed together near the ISIS fighters’ corpse, however, Gallagher was the only one charged with the act, and it was the only charge he was found guilty of.
In the CBS clip, Gallagher expressed regret for posing for the photo.
“It’s wrong. I’ll say it’s wrong now. And I’ve definitely learned… my lesson… It’s distasteful,” he said.
Gallagher sent the photo to a friend with a joking text, “got him with my hunting knife,” a piece of evidence that prosecutors used to allege he stabbed the ISIS prisoner to death.
Petty Officer Corey Scott had revealed under oath – and under the protection of immunity that was granted by the government – that he, Gallagher and others had treated the ISIS fighter when he was brought into SEAL Team 7. Scott admitted he made the decision to cover the ISIS prisoner’s breathing tube so he would die by asphyxiation (suffocation) which he did.
“It was like a joke text, dark humor,” Gallagher said. “I was trying to make it look tough… Yeah, I know how bad it looks when it gets out into the public, which it never was supposed to.”
Gallagher was sentenced to partial forfeiture of pay and reduced rank for the charge. However, Trump intervened to reinstate Gallagher’s rank, allowing him to retire as an E-7 Chief Petty Officer. Trump intervened again when the Navy attempted to strip Gallagher’s Trident Pin, a symbol of his membership as an elite SEAL.
“I’m pretty sure I’m the first person ever to go to a general court-martial for it, for taking a picture. It’s been done on previous deployments,” Gallagher said.
Though Trump intervened after the case was decided and sentence issued, Gallagher said he never wanted a presidential pardon because he wanted to prove his innocence in court.
“We didn’t want a pardon. I wanted to go to trial… if I had been pardoned, I would have had that presumption of guilt the rest of my life,” he said.