Entertainment

US Navy SEAL Convicted Of A War Crime For Taking A Selfie With The Head Of A Teenager He Stabbed To Death Gets A Clothing Line

In September of 2018, a US Navy SEALS Special Warfare Officer came into the national media spotlight when he was charged with ten offenses under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Edward Gallagher, who—after months of legal gymnastics—continues to hold the rank of Chief Petty Officer, was accused of stabbing to death an injured and sedated teenage prisoner of war who had been fighting for the Islamic State.

But Gallagher didn’t just commit an unjustifiable murder (which, given the context, was also a war crime)—Gallagher then took a photo of himself holding the corpse’s head by the hair, which he later sent around to his friends. In addition to this charge, Gallagher was accused of randomly killing two Iraqi civilians: a young girl walking with her friends, and an unarmed elderly man. And when fellow Navy SEALS reported Gallagher’s aggressive sniper behavior, they were often met with threats and intimidation.

Although Gallagher was respected among SEAL teams for his leadership, SEALS who served under him during his first combat platoon in 2017 in Mosul, Iraq, reported that he had become obsessed with getting in firefights, made strange and treacherous tactical decisions, and killed people in a way that did not align with military protocol.

In video interviews with investigators, first made public by The New York Times, numerous SEALS described Gallagher as dangerous, becoming deeply emotional while sharing their experiences under his command.

Credit: Facebook

“The guy is freaking evil,” Special Operator Miller told investigators. “The guy was toxic,” Special Operator First Class Joshua Vriens, a sniper, said in a separate interview. “You could tell he was perfectly okay with killing anybody that was moving,” said Special Operator First Class Corey Scott, a medic in the platoon.

In these interviews, these SEALS not only had to relive disturbing events—but they had to break a potent unwritten code of silence within the SEALS’ elite social paradigm. Their willingness to do so serves as a testament to the intensity of what they observed while they were deployed under Gallagher’s leadership.

After being acquitted on nine of the original ten charges, Gallagher was ultimately found guilty of posing for a photo with the teenager’s body and was later sentenced to demotion and a maximum of four months confinement. But President Trump ordered Gallagher’s rank to be restored, granting him clemency in spite of the many testimonies from Gallagher’s peers that reaffirmed his questionable ethics.

Presidents are usually hesitant to issue military pardons, as this type motion is often fraught with controversy and grave sensitivity. And when they do grant leniency, it is usually for non-violent crimes. Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama all granted military pardons—but they waited several years to do so. Donald Trump, on the other hand, issued his first pardon to former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio in August of 2017 and has issued sixteen federal pardons since. After receiving his pardon in July of 2019, Gallagher retired from the Navy will full honors the following November.

Since his retirement from the military and the controversial trial that preceded it, Gallagher has shifted his focus in a new entrepreneurial direction: he has started his own lifestyle brand in collaboration with the veteran-owned and -operated clothing brand Nine Line Apparel.

Described as a “coastal lifestyle brand with an edge,” Gallagher’s line—called Salty Frog Gear—is geared toward male outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy drinking, fishing, and spending time on the shooting range. With T-shirts slogans like “Stay Salty” and “Unleash the Tempest,” Salty Frog Gear embodies a certain macho sensibility, something Gallagher seems to be channeling into his new career as an “influencer.”

Using his contentious past as fuel for his growing social media presence, Gallagher is exploring more than just the world of outdoor apparel—according to The New York Times, he and his wife have also ventured into the realm of dangerously sassy clothing, creating an online shop with T-shirts that liken the Navy (and the SEALS that testified against Gallagher in court) to “mean girls.” He promotes several right-wing veteran groups that promote a certain vehement nationalism, including We Kill Bad Dudes, the company that made the knife Gallagher was accused of using to kill the teenage captive. But beyond the world of clothing and gear, Gallagher has also used Instagram as a platform to advocate for a slew of other products, from veteran-owned coffee beans to nutritional supplements.

Regarding his collaboration with these different brands and companies, Gallagher wrote: “I was afforded the opportunity to work with both Nine Line Apparel and Black Rifle Coffee Company to help promote our collaborative line with Nine Line, ‘Salty Frog Gear.’ These two veteran-owned companies set the bar for brotherhood and showing the country it’s not just a statement but a way of life.”

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Disney Just Announced That We Won’t Have To Wait For The Pandemic To End In Order To Watch Mulan— Thank The Ancestors!

Entertainment

Disney Just Announced That We Won’t Have To Wait For The Pandemic To End In Order To Watch Mulan— Thank The Ancestors!

Rich Fury / Getty

After months of delays and waiting, Disney has announced that Mulan fans will no longer have to wait for a major theatrical release to see the live-action version of the animated classic. On Tuesday the Walt Disney Company revealed that the film will no longer seek a major theatrical release and that the blockbuster’s debut will take place on the subscription streaming service, Disney+.

To see the movie, customers will need to pay an additional $29.99 on top of the cost of the monthly subscription for Disney+

“In order to meet the needs of consumers during this unpredictable period, we thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring this exceptional family-friendly film to them in a timely manner,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained in a statement according to Variety. “We see this as an opportunity to bring this incredible film to a broad audience currently unable to go to movie theaters.”

The company has said that it plans to release Mulan in theaters in areas where Disney+ is not available to audiences.

According to Variety, “The decision to put Mulan on premium video-on-demand further emphasizes the studio’s increased reliance on Disney Plus at a time when most of their business — from theme parks and cruises to movie theaters and retail stores — have been crippled by the pandemic. Research, Chapek says, suggests that bringing a high-profile release like Mulan to homes “will act as a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney Plus.”

Mulan had been originally scheduled for a theatrical debut on March 27 and was meant to be Disney’s biggest theatrical release for the year.

Disney shelled out a $200 million budget and in early March the studio set up a lavish red carpet premiere at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Days later, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Disney to postpone the movie’s release. The movie’s debut was then pushed back several times before Disney announced last week that they would indefinitely remove it from the release calendar. Fortunately, they’ve changed their mind and Mulan will debut on the streamer’s new platform on September 4, 2020.

Disney’s latest version of Mulan stars actress Yifei Liu as the titular character based on the legend of a female Chinese warrior who disguises herself and takes her father’s place as a soldier.

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In Total Telenovela Style, Spain’s Former King Is Forced Into Exile But Don’t Feel Too Bad For Him

Things That Matter

In Total Telenovela Style, Spain’s Former King Is Forced Into Exile But Don’t Feel Too Bad For Him

Daniel Perez / Getty Images

In news that totally seems to be made for TV, the former king of Spain – Juan Carlos – has been forced to flee the country and to live in exile as allegations of corruption emerge.

Juan Carlos had been a very popular and well-liked king until he was forced to abdicate in 2014. He had been on an elephant hunting trip in Botswana as Spain grappled with the very worst of the Great Recession and unemployment hit 24%.

Since his abdication, allegations of corruption and money laundering have chased him and harmed the Spanish monarchy, including his son, Felipe, who is the current reigning king.

Spain is reeling after their former king, Juan Carlos, has fled the country to live in exile abroad.

For a royal scandal with a dash of shock and awe, this week we look to Spain, where its former king has fled the country under a cloud of corruption allegations. This is the same former king who was accused of having a thing for Princess Diana.

Juan Carlos, who ruled for 39 years from 1975 to 2014, has fled the country following a series of allegations he pocketed tens of millions of dollars from a Saudi Arabian deal in an offshore Swiss bank account. He dropped the news to son and current rule King Felipe via a letter published this week.

The former king had become plagued with scandal after scandal and it was beginning to impact his son Felipe, the current reigning king.

Credit: Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images

Although he had several small scale scandals during his reign, Juan Carlos appeared set to go down in history as the leader who helped guide Spain from a deadly dictatorship to a healthy democracy after the death of Gen. Franco in 1975.

However, once his. 2014 abdication of the throne, new allegations of corruption and shady financial deals have followed him. As a result, the former king’s son – King Felipe – has led a very austere personal life in a country where the monarchy does not enjoy high levels of support. 

Many experts say that the whole situation has cast a shadow on the future of Spain’s monarchy. The emergence of shocking allegations of corruption and money laundering against former Spanish King Juan Carlos have cast doubt over the very future of the monarchy, under his son King Felipe

Meanwhile, officials actually have no idea where the former king is currently at.

Credit: Daniel Perez / Getty Images

Since the former king first published his letter detailing his plan to live in exile, outside of Spain, there has been intense speculation about where he would go. Turns out: we still don’t know for sure.

His letter gave no details about his destination but many media outlets reported he would be going to the Caribbean – perhaps the Dominican Republic. However, officials there said they had no information that he was coming. 

A spokeswoman for the Caribbean nation’s immigration service said he had not entered the country, despite reports that he had arrived on Tuesday. But she said he had been there for a few days from late February to early March.

Media in Portugal have reported that he is in a Portuguese resort town, but few outlets have actually been able to confirm these reports.

So with all this drama what could happen to the former king next?

As a royal, Juan Carlos still enjoys some level of immunity from prosecution. However, in Switzerland, which is investigating alleged money laundering, the former king has no immunity, regardless of the date of any possible crimes. So it’s possible that Swiss prosecutors could attempt to bring charges against him.

Regarding the Spanish Supreme Court inquiry, most experts believe the former king will avoid charges as most of the possible crimes took place before his abdication.

Spain’s Congress too has so far voted against a minority of left-wing and regional parties that wish to hold an investigative commission into the origin of Juan Carlos’s offshore fortune.

But what of King Felipe’s future in a country that polls suggest is split fairly evenly down the middle on remaining a monarchy? Some argue that Felipe needs to take greater steps towards a clean break with the past. The Prime Minister has admitted that he is in favor of reforming the constitutional concept of absolute immunity for Spain’s head of state. 

While a prominent supporter of Spain’s monarchy, José Antonio Zarzalejos, told the BBC that King Felipe should take further steps to secure his future on the throne, including the “physical removal” of Juan Carlos from Zarzuela palace.

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