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Robert O’Neill – the Navy Seal who shot Osama Bin-Laden – backed President Trump on his decision to restore Eddie Gallagher’s ranking.
Gallagher – a decorated Navy Seal just about to move into retirement – was accused of stabbing to death an ISIS teenager back in 2017 and was only just recently cleared of charges after spending 9 months in prison.
However, having been found guilty of just one smaller charge in the case (posing for a photo with a casualty) Gallagher was demoted by the Navy – a move which President Trump took upon himself to reverse.
In spite of the backlash President Trump got from going against the crowd on this one, O’Neill stands with Trump, stating that he believes Gallagher is, “a great guy. He’s a poster image of what a SEAL should be. I’d go to war with him tomorrow.”
Check out the news on Twitter:
Last week, President Trump made it clear that Gallagher will retain his ranking as a Navy Seal on Twitter:
Here's more on O'Neill's opinion, from The Washington Times:
The Navy SEAL who shot Osama bin Laden during the May 2011 raid at his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, has his own opinion on a case that threatens to tear apart his former service and further strain ties between President Trump and his military chiefs.
Robert J. O’Neill sides with Mr. Trump in an extraordinary battle of wills over military justice and a commander’s prerogative, saying in an interview he believes Edward Gallagher should be able to retire as a chief petty officer and with the prized Trident pin signifying his membership in the elite SEALs unit.
Mr. O’Neill said he believes Chief Gallagher had been the victim of a vendetta by military bureaucrats and some members of the Navy Criminal Investigative Service, better known as NCIS.
“It’s like someone wanted a notch on their belt: They took down a SEAL,” Mr. O’Neill said in a telephone interview on Monday. “They were looking to advance their own agenda.”
But while Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff head Gen. Mark Milley have signaled they’re ready to move on — and Mr. Trump again defended his intervention in a trio of war crimes cases — there was no sign Monday that controversy or the underlying problems that sparked it have been resolved.
Mr. Trump showed no signs of having second thoughts in a session with reporters in the Oval Office Monday.
Mr. Trump said he intervened to “stick up for the warriors,” as opposed to what he characterized as the Obama administration’s leniency for deserter Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and former soldier Chelsea Manning, who was convicted of military espionage.
“I think what I’m doing is sticking up for our armed forces,” Mr. Trump said. “I will stick up for the warriors.”
That may be easier said than done, however.
Although assigned to different SEAL teams — Mr. O’Neill was an “East Coast” guy while Chief Gallagher was assigned to units on the West Coast — Mr. O’Neill said the two have become friends since the war crimes allegations were first raised.
“He’s a great guy. He’s a poster image of what a SEAL should be,” Mr. O’Neill said. “I’d go to war with him tomorrow.”
He doesn’t believe the accusations that Gallagher had committed a string of illegal killings during multiple tours in combat.
“If you’re pulling that — killing unarmed civilians — you’re going to get yanked,” Mr. O’Neill said.
Chief Gallagher was known as a demanding leader within the SEAL community.
“I heard a lot of the younger guys thought he worked them too hard. They had a different work ethic,” Mr. O’Neill said. “And they weren’t quite ready for the reality of war.”
Although Mr. O’Neill said a lot of the rank-and-file members of the Navy SEAL community backed Mr. Trump’s clemency move, others have criticized the president’s decision to intervene aggressively in the military justice system and overrule military officials pushing to rein in what they see as increasing indiscipline in the ranks.
Daily Mail also said:
The man who claims he killed Osama bin Laden is backing President Trump's contentious decision to restore the rank of Eddie Gallagher - the Navy SEAL demoted after being convicted of posing with the corpse of an Iraqi civilian.
In an interview on Monday, Robert O'Neill, the Navy SEAL crediting with shooting bin Laden during the 2011 raid on his Abbottabad compound, also hit out at 'whiny' Pentagon officials, some of whom are said to be angered over the President's intervening in military affairs.
Speaking with The Washington Examiner, O'Neill stated: 'Everyone knows Gallagher will always be a SEAL... they'll never be able to take that away from him'.
He added: 'It's a special designation. SEALs go through the hardest training in the world… basically beating you up. It turns you into a special warrior'.
Trump reportedly ordered that Gallagher be able to keep his prestigious 'Trident'' pin - effectively allowing him to be able to retire as a SEAL.