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Another Navy SEAL Due in Court on War Crimes Case

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Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher - Another Navy SEAL Due in Court on War Crimes Case

U.S. Navy SEAL Lt. Jacob “Jake” Portier will be arraigned Tuesday in San Diego for allegedly failing to report war crimes committed by a fellow SEAL Edward Gallagher and other related offenses.

Portier is the second Navy SEAL to be charged in connection with the death of a wounded ISIS fighter in 2017 during the battle of Mosul. Chief Edward Gallagher is accused of killing the young man with a knife and then holding a reenlistment ceremony next to the fighter’s corpse.

The Navy SEAL officer is charged with dereliction of duty for allegedly failing to prevent Gallagher from wounding two non-combatants with a sniper rifle; failure to obey a lawful general order for not reporting an alleged war crime; obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence; making false official statements for allegedly lying to his superior officers about Gallagher; and conduct unbecoming an officer for allegedly telling enlisted service members to pose for pictures with a human corpse.

Portier had also been accused of lying to cover up the death of the ISIS fighter, but a specification of misprision of a serious offense against him was dismissed.

At his Article 32 hearing in November, Portier’s attorney Jeremiah Sullivan argued that his client did in fact tell his chain of command what he knew about the allegations against Gallagher.

Sullivan told Task & Purpose that Portier is “a highly decorated combat veteran who served our country on the battlefield,” whom Sullivan looked forward to representing at trial.

Read the whole charge sheet here:

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British Special Forces Lacks of Recruits

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British Army soldiers boarding Chinook

British elite special forces, including SAS and SBS, are 200 soldiers short after ­recruitment plunged 20 percent. The lack of “good quality” soldiers has hit the Special Air Service (SAS), Special Boat Service (SBS) and SRR, the Special Reconnaissance Regiment. Hardest hit is the Special Boat Service, down in numbers by around 100. The SRR needs 60 and the celebrated Special Air Service – motto Who Dares Wins – is 40 light. Each unit normally has 340 to 400 operators.

Senior defense sources say the SBS and SRR are now classed as being “over-stretched” with troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Baltic States and Africa. The shortage is being linked to cuts and a recruitment and retention crisis affecting the rest of the armed forces.

The British Army is down in size from around 150,000 in 1990 to 78,000. Despite that reduction, the SAS and the SBS have remained the same size.

A military source said: “The talent pool is shrinking. A lot of guys who built up experience in Iraq and Afghanistan and who would often see the special forces as the next step have left. In the last 25 years, the SBS has increased in size and the SRR has been created but the Army has shrunk around 40 percent. So there are fewer quality people coming through. But we have been down this road before and it hasn’t had an impact on our operational commitments. It means that everybody has to work harder to get the job done.”

Twice-a-year selection courses are tough and an average pass rate of 10 percent has led to as few as eight recruits. One serving member of the SAS said: “Life is tough. You spend a lot of time on operations, overseas exercises and on courses. It is unrelenting.”

British Special forces earn about £30 extra a day but experienced operatives can earn far more in private security. The British MoD does not comment on special forces.

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Witness seeks immunity to testify against Navy SEAL accused of battlefield murder

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Chief Gallagher - Witness seeks immunity to testify against Navy SEAL accused of battlefield murder

Prosecutors could gain an ally in the case of a Navy SEAL accused of executing a young ISIS fighter during the battle of Mosul in 2017 and his commanding officer, who allegedly failed to report the incident.

Author of the article:

An attorney for a fellow SEAL has requested immunity for his client in return for testifying that Chief Edward Gallagher called in “false target coordinates to engage a mosque” and put his team at risk, yet Lt. Jacob Portier failed to relieve him on several occasions, Navy Times’ Carl Prine first reported.

Gallagher is charged with premeditated murder for allegedly using his knife to kill a wounded ISIS fighter and then posing for a reenlistment video next to the man’s corpse. Portier has been charged with obstruction of justice and related offenses for allegedly destroying evidence in the case and lying about Gallagher, as well as dereliction of duty for allegedly not stopping Gallagher from wounding two non-combatants.

The SEAL who served with Gallagher and Portier is requesting immunity so that he will be protected against any possible retaliation in the future, said attorney Michael Hanzel, who is defending the SEAL along with his wife Lauren and a Navy attorney.

“Our client has done nothing wrong, and we believe the record will demonstrate that,” Hanzel said in a statement to Task & Purpose.

“It is never an easy thing to be placed in the middle of a situation like this, but it is crucial to the integrity of the military justice system that witnesses in a case as high-profile as this are protected from retaliation later. The only way to ensure that is through grants of immunity, which is why we requested that for our client.”

The SEAL is showing “great courage” by offering to testify about what he witnessed during the deployment with Gallagher and Portier, said Hanzel, who added his client is not seeking any publicity, nor does he bear a grudge against any of the accused SEALs.

The full article can be found here.

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