The US Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher. – REUTERS / JOHN GASTALDO – Archive
NEW YORK, Nov. 25 (EUROPE PRESS) –
The US Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, has stopped Sunday the Secretary of the Navy, Richard Spencer, for his defense of Edward Gallagher, a member of the SEAL who was pardoned after being convicted by a military court for posing with the body of an Islamic State detainee (IS) while deployed in Iraq in 2017.
Pentagon spokesman Jonatahn Hoffman has said in a statement that “Esper has demanded his resignation after losing the confidence placed in Spencer due to his lack of honesty regarding the conversations with the White House about Eddie Gallagher.”
As the Secretary of Defense has explained, Spencer had proposed to the White House – contrary to what he claimed – to restore Gallagher's rank and be allowed to retire as SEAL. According to Esper, despite the many conversations held in this regard, he was never properly informed of this proposal.
“Unfortunately and as a consequence I have decided that Secretary Spencer no longer has my confidence to remain in his post. I wish Richard the best,” he said. Thus, he has proposed to take his place to the current US ambassador to Norway, Kenneth Braithwaite.
President Donald Trump has expressed on Twitter his unease over the management of the Gallagher case. “He has been treated very badly but, despite this, he was completely exempt from all the main charges. Then I restored Eddie's rank,” he said.
“Defense Secretary Mark Esper has put an end to Richard Spencer's services. I thank Richard for his service and commitment. Eddie will retire in peace with all honors,” he said before confirming that “the admiral and now Ambassador to Norway, Ken Braithwaite, will be nominated to be the new secretary of the Navy. ” A man of great achievements and success, I know Ken will do an exceptional job! “, He said.
Gallagher was subjected to war council accused of premeditated murder, attempted murder, obstruction of justice and posing in a photograph with a dead man, but in July he was convicted only for the last crime and degraded, which would mean he would retire without the trident of the SEAL. However, Trump's intervention restored his rank to Gallagher, who has thanked the president for his gesture and assured that his superiors wanted revenge on him.