By JULIE WATSON
SAN DIEGO (AP) – The war crimes case against a Navy SEAL not only cost the Navy secretary his job. It dragged an elite military force known for quiet professionalism into a political firestorm.
The case against Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher also drove a wedge through the special operations community. Retired SEALs and those still in uniform tell The Associated Press that they are debating the handing of the matter in private online forums.
President Donald Trump ordered the Navy to allow Gallagher to retire with his full rank after he was acquitted of murder for the death of an Islamic State captive in Iraq in 2017 but convicted of posing with the corpse.
On Sunday, the Pentagon ousted Navy Secretary Richard Spencer over his handling of the matter.