Navy SEAL Changes Testimony After Being Granted Immunity

Two years and full immunity later, the truth comes out

The San Diego Naval Station
The San Diego Naval Station is where Edward R. Gallagher's trial was held. (Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times via Getty)
LA Times via Getty Images

U.S. Navy prosecutors charged Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher, the enlisted boss of Alpha Platoon, SEAL Team 7 with the murder of an ISIS prisoner and other charges in Mosul, Iraq, in 2017. In the Naval Station San Diego courtroom on Thursday morning, the trial took a dramatic turn.

Special Warfare Operator 1st Class Corey Scott began his testimony with the same information he had recited during previous testimonies with NCIS or with the prosecution. Scott described how he arrived on the scene to find Gallagher and a medic standing over the 12-year old boy. At this point, someone had performed a tracheotomy, providing an open airway through an incision in the neck, and the boy was breathing normally.

Scott claimed that after the other medic left, he saw “Gallagher pull out his knife and stab the ISIS prisoner underneath the collar bone at least once.” Until Thursday morning, the script was that Gallagher inexplicably stabbed the prisoner below his collarbone before stomping off.

On cross-examination, Scott revealed the boy would’ve survived that and, “it was, in fact, he who killed [the combatant] by closing off an airway to a breathing tube for the wounded fighter and then he slowly watched him die.” He claimed it was an “act of mercy … because I knew he was going to die anyway.”

Scott’s account differed because he, along with six other SEALS, were granted immunity in exchange for their testimonies. He also liked his ex-superior he “didn’t want him to go away for the rest of his life,” Steve Walsh reported.

Regardless of Thursday’s courtroom theatrics, the trial on the various violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice will continue. In the meantime, President Donald Trump announced Gallagher will be moved to “less restrictive confinement.”


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