SPY SOFTWARE ALLEGEDLY USED ON SEAL’S DEFENSE TEAM BY MILITARY PROSECUTORS
May 16, 2019
The military criminal defense case of Navy SEAL and Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher has been complicated from the start. He stands accused of multiple charges surrounding the death of an Islamic State prisoner in 2017, including charges of premeditated murder, aggravated assault, wrongful use of controlled substances, and more. The case, however, got even cloudier recently when Gallagher’s defense team accused military prosecutors of attempting to illegally spy on their email communications.
According to the defense attorneys representing Gallagher, the prosecutors violated their rights against illegal searches, jeopardized Gallagher’s right to an attorney, and also endangered the freedom of the press. The last allegation stems from the fact that a third-party reporter was also apparently targeted by the prosecution’s spying attempts.
The prosecution allegedly embedded emails with a small signature image that would collect email and IP address information from any party receiving or opening the email, even after the communication was forwarded or duplicated. The image was apparently spotted by the defense lawyers at once, as it did not appear in other email threads and it was not an official logo for any government or military entity. Concerns about the apparent spying attempt were heightened because the email communications were not necessarily confidential and could have been subpoenaed by the prosecution during typical discovery processes.
Furthermore, there have been questions about the prosecution’s methods from the beginning of the case. For example, it has been alleged that the drug charge stems from Gallagher’s legal pain medication prescription. The prosecution also reportedly inferred Gallagher committed spousal abuse based on a text message argument he had with his wife and no further evidence. Some believe the prosecution tried to track the defense team’s emails to look for more opportunities to smear his character.
THE TAKEAWAY FROM THE GALLAGHER EMAIL SPYING CASE
At this point, the prosecution has not provided any encouraging statement to the press as to why there was an apparent bug in their emails that could track that email and any future related communications, as well as IP addresses. It can be assumed that the prosecution did not intend to get caught and now does not know how to respond to inquiries. With the legality of their email tracking attempt in a gray area and awaiting official word from a court or Justice, they do not need to explain their actions for the time being.
What can be safely assumed is that military prosecutors are being pressured to secure a conviction by any means necessary — even if the edge of the law has to be skirted. If you have been accused of a serious military crime, you need to be aware that the opposition is fiercely gunning for your name, title, military career, and your very freedoms. Do not let them push you over without a real fight.
Call (866) 624-7503 to connect with Military Criminal Defense Attorney Joseph L. Jordan. For years, Attorney Jordan has built his reputation as the go-to defense lawyer for the brave men and women in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and who are posted at bases all around the world. He is not afraid to go up against any opposition. No matter how tenacious they might be to secure a conviction, he is all the more steadfast in his defense.