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Navy SEAL charged with Iraq war crimes also under investigation in death of Afghan civilian in 2010

Andrew Dyer, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in News & Features

Gallagher was deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 with an Army unit. According to the portion of an NCIS investigative summary obtained by the Union-Tribune, Navy investigators in May 2018 contacted the Army Criminal Investigation Command after interviewing members of Gallagher's platoon. The Army told them it had no investigative records involving Gallagher.

However, an Army warrant officer who was in Afghanistan in 2010 and is now facing federal child pornography charges recently came forward with information about a shooting he says he witnessed involving a Navy SEAL on loan to his unit, according to the investigative file.

That officer is Chief Warrant Officer 2 John Rindt, according to the file. Federal court records show that Rindt was arrested in late 2017 on charges of producing and possessing child pornography.

Parlatore confirmed some contents of the NCIS investigative file to defend his client against the 2010 allegation.

According to the report, Rindt claimed that during a 2010 Afghanistan deployment he was in the field alongside a Navy SEAL when they came across a goat herder. When Rindt turned away, he heard the SEAL fire his weapon. He turned back in time to see the civilian fall, the report said.

Parlatore said Rindt described the Navy SEAL he was with to investigators but didn't give them a name. Rindt's description, which was contained in the investigative summary, included hair and eye color that matched Gallagher's -- blonde hair and blue eyes -- but not matching height.

 

"I'm duty bound to highlight the portion of the document that says he's 6 (foot) 3 (inches)," Parlatore said, referring to Rindt's description of the SEAL. Gallagher is under six feet tall, Parlatore said.

Rindt's attorney did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Parlatore told the Union-Tribune that the Navy's investigation into the shooting is an attempt to pin it on Gallagher but it is "pointless."

Rather than Gallagher, Parlatore said he feels the Navy investigators should be investigated by the Inspector General's office, for what he believes are leaks to reporters.

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