Common Dreams - January 1, 2019
Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, who was granted clemency this fall from President Donald Trump for posing with the body of a dead Iraqi child, is hawking t-shirts and supplements online in a bid to become a conservative influencer—a move that generated outrage from disgusted progressives.
"Everything's a grift today," tweeted advocacy group Sleeping Giants. "Even, it seems, for pardoned war criminals."
During his time in Iraq, Gallagher allegedly committed a number of war crimes, including killing a 15-year-old. Gallagher was acquitted of all crimes other than posing with the child's body; the president granted Gallagher clemency in November.
Gallagher's new job as an influencer and promoter for Salty Frog Gear was featured in a New York Times article Tuesday that described how the SEAL is using "his controversial past as a springboard to social media followers and branding opportunities":
Following the lead of many micro influencers, Chief Gallagher's Instagram account has also endorsed veteran-owned coffee beans and muscle-building supplements with macabre names like Double Tap and Total War. Like a sponsored athlete of the world's most dangerous sport, he regularly shows off the logos and clothing of a number of right-wing veterans' groups that push a distinct brand of patriotism, including an apparel brand run by the SEAL veteran who made the knife Chief Gallagher was accused of using to kill a captive. Along with all sorts of items emblazoned with the logo "KILL BAD DUDES," the site sells a "Waterboarding Instructor" shirt.
As Common Dreams reported in December, Gallagher's behavior while deployed to Iraq was so heinous that his fellow SEALs referred to him as "toxic," "freaking evil," and a murderer who "just wants to kill anybody he can." ...
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