Rep. Duncan Hunter admits taking photos of dead combatants while serving in the Marines

Rep. Duncan Hunter admits taking photos of dead combatants while serving in the Marines
Edward Gallagher image via Screengrab

Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California has been an outspoken defender of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, a U.S. Navy SEAL set to go to trial on charges that he shot unarmed civilians and murdered a prisoner of war in 2017 while on duty in Iraq. And Hunter, who served in the U.S. Marines from 2001-2005, has admitted to doing something else that Gallagher is accused of: taking photos of the bodies of dead combatants.

Hunter told the Times of San Diego, “Eddie did one bad thing that I’m guilty of too: taking a picture of the body and saying something stupid. But a lot of my peers… have done the exact same thing.”

The POW Gallagher is accused of stabbing to death, according to a U.S. Navy investigation, was a 16-year-old member of the terrorist organization ISIS (Islamic State, Iraq and Syria). ISIS is an avowed enemy of the United States and its allies, and under the rules of the Geneva Conventions, members of the U.S. Armed forces have every right to use deadly force if necessary while in combat. But Gallagher, allegedly, was not acting in self-defense when he stabbed the 16-year-old ISIS member multiple times—according to the Navy investigation, he posed for pictures with the dead body, texted one of the images to a fellow Navy SEAL and wrote, “Good story behind this, got him with my hunting knife.”

Gallagher is also alleged to have shot an unarmed girl and an older man in Iraq. President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a presidential pardon for Gallagher and other Americans accused or convicted of war crimes.

Hunter is the son of former Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter, who is now 70 and served in Congress from 1981-2009.


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