Blue Magazine Advisor and Contributing Writer Win the Fight for Justice
Imagine if former New York City Police Commissioner and Blue Magazine Advisor Bernard Kerik had not flown to San Diego to assist the Gallagher family for the seven grueling weeks leading up to the trial. Imagine if Commissioner Kerik had not recommended assembling the legal dream team consisting of powerhouse attorneys Timothy Parlatore and Marc Mukasey. Imagine if we as Americans had allowed a slanted and malicious prosecution to jail Chief Eddie Gallagher, 39, for the rest of his life. Had Commissioner Kerik not intervened, that's where we were headed.
Gallagher, a trained medic, sniper and explosives expert had spent 19 years of his life fighting terrorists on their soil so we could be safe here at home. He had eight overseas deployments, including service in both the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan. Gallagher was recognized for valor several times, including two Bronze Stars. He's also a loving husband and father of three children. He's a hero whose many sacrifices have successfully battled the war on terror.
For Commissioner Kerik, the fight for justice for Gallagher was personal. "I've followed the Gallagher case for months before I got involved," Kerik said. "It was horrible the injustice, the maltreatment, the disrespect to Gallagher's wife, his parents, and his children. After all Eddie had done for our country to see him maltreated was where I drew the line."
Many people had forgotten why Gallagher and others like him were overseas fighting terrorists. When Gallagher was arrested on Sept. 11, 2018, at gunpoint, which included holding his family at gunpoint, the media had appeared disinterested. Disgraceful. However, not all people have short memories. Many of us will never forget that horrific day on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked our country and killed nearly 3,000 Americans.
"As the person responsible for overseeing the rescue, recovery, investigation of the World Trade Center. Somebody who lost twenty-three of my own officers on September 11, 2001, I remember when Pres. George Bush came to Ground Zero on Sept. 14th, and he told me the people who did this—the people who attacked the Towers—the people who attacked America— they were going be held accountable for what happened," Kerik said. "And you know what we did? We sent people like Chief Gallagher into the Middle East to kill the terrorists. We sent them to the Middle East to take out the people who attacked our city."
That's why Kerik got involved.
"When I heard this story, I thought it was outrageous. We can't go after the men and women who do the job that has to be done. Monday morning quarterbacking, what they should've, would've done. No. Let them do their job," Kerik said. "Eddie Gallagher did his job. He's a hero in the eyes of every American that's following this case, and I couldn't be happier than I am with Tim Parlatore and Marc Mukasey for a job well done."
We too at Blue Magazine are proud of the job Parlatore—a Blue Magazine contributing writer, and Marc Mukasey did in the name of justice. Parlatore and Mukasey are tremendously busy attorneys who dropped everything and flew out to California to fight for justice. They remember the attack on 9/11—they know the honorable work our men and women in the military do every day to keep us safe. Railroading our heroes for crimes they did not commit is about as insulting as it gets. This is not how we treat our veterans. This is not how we, as Americans, thank them for their sacrifices and dedication.
Even President Trump—an ardent supporter of our military and law enforcement community—stepped in and helped Gallagher after reports of his harsh treatment while in confinement became public. On March 30, Pres. Trump ordered Gallagher transferred to "less restrictive confinement," marking the second time in history a U.S. president had intervened in a prisons conditions matter. Pres. Nixon did it in 1971 when he ordered Lt. William Calley moved from a military brig to house arrest.
On July 2, 2019 the jury acquitted Gallagher on six charges and found him guilty on the seventh charge of "wrongful pos[ing] for an unofficial picture with a human casualty. Since the maximum sentence for that charge was four months, and Gallagher had already served more time in jail than the sentence, he was released.
Trump tweeted, "Congratulations to Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher, his wonderful wife Andrea, and his entire family. You have been through much together. Glad I could help!"
The Gallagher trial has exposed Americans to the inner workings of the malicious military prosecutions of our heroes. It has taught us we must continue to honor heroes like Gallagher, not turn our backs on them, jail them for life for whatever political expediency or other unjust reasons. We see this all the time in the law enforcement community where good officers are collateral damage of pandering politicians or spineless law enforcement leaders who don't have the mettle to stand up and fight for justice.
On that horrific day of Sept. 11, 2001, the terrorists attacked and killed so many of us, and have thus far been destroyed by heroes like Gallagher, who've never forgotten what's at stake. All of us at Blue Magazine commend Chief Gallagher and appreciate the work Kerik, Parlatore and Mukasey did in the name of justice. It's refreshing to know there are still great men out there who never forget 9/11 and remember the cost in blood and lives. Job well done.
George Beck is a police sergeant, award-winning journalist, and managing editor of Blue Magazine. He holds a Ph.D. in History & Culture from Drew University. He is the author of The Killer Among Us and several other books.