President Donald Trump and his sycophants have a way of becoming furious whenever Chris Wallace, Shepard Smith or anyone else at Fox News questions anything the president says or does. Regardless, Fox on the whole is a very Trump-friendly outlet, and a new report by the Daily Beast outlines the ways in which Fox News’ Pete Hegseth has been lobbying for Trump to pardon some accused war criminals.
Asawin Suebsaeng, Sam Brodey and Andrew Kirell, in their Daily Beast report published on May 20, discuss the case of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL platoon leader who is set to go to trial on May 28 for allegedly shooting civilians in Iraq in 2017. Gallagher is also accused of fatally stabbing a captured member of the terrorist organization ISIS (Islamic State, Iraq and Syria) who was receiving medical treatment in Iraq that year. And the article notes that Hegseth, a co-host of Fox News’ morning program “Fox and Friends,” has been urging Trump to pardon Gallagher as well as Maj. Mathew Golsteyn (who was accused of murdering an Afghan male detainee and burying the body in 2010).
Hegseth himself is a veteran of the Iraq War and formerly headed the right-wing group Concerned Veterans for America. And according to the Daily Beast’s sources, he has had multiple private conservations with Trump in 2019 and has specifically discussed Gallagher’s case with him.
One of the people interviewed for the Daily Beast’s report was a U.S. Special Forces soldier familiar with Golsteyn’s case. The solider, quoted anonymously, disagreed with the claim that Golsteyn is a “hero,” asserting that “he murdered a dude in cold blood and hid the evidence”—which “is not what we do. He is giving the regiment a bad name…. People like him make people mistrust us.”
The Beast also interviewed a U.S. Green Beret who was highly critical of both Gallagher and Golsteyn and told the publication, “We have a set of principles. That is what separates us. Neither one of the guys weren’t aware of the consequences of their actions.”
The Green Beret, quoted anonymously, went on to say that the “Geneva Conventions provide us with ample opportunity to get rid of the enemy…. Rules of Engagement isn’t based in philosophy, it’s based on law—which they both knew. The character of the individuals allegedly killed doesn’t change the Rules of Engagement.”