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SEAL Trial, Santa Anita Horse Racing, Pioneer Women In Film

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A key witness in the Navy SEAL war crimes case stunned the court by taking the blame for the death of an Islamic State fighter. Also, workers who care for the horses at Santa Anita Park held a rally opposing shutting down the race track after 29 horses died this season, and the Not-So-Silent short film festival celebrates women pioneer filmmakers.

Show transcript

Speaker 1: 00:00 No witness testimony so far in the gallery go court Marshall today, but the defense prosecution and the public are still trying to digest yesterday. Shocking claim from the witness stand now that a navy seal medic has told the court he and not Edward Gallagher ended the life of an isis prisoner in Iraq. What effect will that claim have on the outcome of the trial? Joining me as KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh from the trial venue at the 32nd street naval base and Steve, welcome to the program.

Speaker 2: 00:31 Hi Maureen, who is a little quieter this morning. Certainly much quieter than yesterday.

Speaker 1: 00:36 What is going on in the hearing today?

Speaker 2: 00:39 This morning there's prosecutors and the defense are arguing over whether or not to admit some DNA data. So far the judge hasn't made a decision. It's rather technical. But coming up this afternoon, we're going to see a two more seals. They're expected to testify. They're kind of really two basic sets of allegations against Eddie Gallagher. One of them that he stabbed and killed. They wounded teenage isis fighter in his custody. The other ones involved him, uh, shooting at a elderly man. And a young woman while as with his sniper rifle in this afternoon's testimony, they'll zero in more on those allegations of shooting the man and the woman

Speaker 1: 01:19 have navy prosecutors responded to yesterday's blockbuster testimony. Is the trial therefore moving forward as if nothing happened?

Speaker 2: 01:28 Well it's moving forward but you know, prosecutors say very little in this trial situation of the defense will come out almost on a daily basis and we'll give you their thoughts on the day's events. Prosecutors do none of that so we don't get as much of a window into what they're thinking is that we have had a statement issued by the navy saying that they are going to let the jury decide who's telling the truth in this case. So yes, this case is certainly moving forward.

Speaker 1: 01:55 The medics Cory Scott who told the court that he actually caused the death of the Isis prisoner by closing his breathing tube. Is he expected to face any charges for that admission?

Speaker 2: 02:06 We cannot say for sure at the moment. He is not. He has a prosecutorial immunity, so anything he says is it was not supposed to be used against him. File any charges, uh, he can still be, I'm charged with perjury for lying on the stand. I will say in the buildup to this trial, there was a great deal of wrangling and we didn't quite understand it at the time. Many of these seals have their own outside attorneys separate from the defense or prosecutors for that matter. And there was a lot of wrangling over like whether or not they would receive immunity from just military court or whether or not they would also receive immunity from federal courts. And ultimately the seven seals that are scheduled to testify now have, have both. The US Attorney's office has also had also signed off under this community before Cory's got took the stand.

Speaker 1: 02:56 No, even though Scott testified he caused actual death, he's still told the court he saw Gallagher's stabbed their prisoner in an unprovoked attack. Is that in line with other witness testimony?

Speaker 2: 03:08 Indeed. So now we have two separate seals that have taken to the Stan, Corey Scott and uh, the chief petty officer Miller, who both say that they saw Gallagher's stamp him. And in the case of Scott's, he became a much less responsive to prosecutors yesterday then he had been an earlier statements to them into Ncif. Originally we were told that, uh, Scott had said that the Gallagher stab team two or three times on the witness stand, he said you owe me, snapped him one time and that he felt that uh, injury wasn't life threatening. Uh, Miller said when he saw him stab at that you saw a great deal a of blood and that, um, it, it definitely was life threatening.

Speaker 1: 03:51 No. Aside from the witness testimony, has there been any other kind of evidence introduced in the trial photos or anything like that?

Speaker 2: 04:00 Oh yeah. We've seen a great that we've seen the videos much like police. The baby seals will carry helmet cam. So we have seen the pictures of the detainee while he was still alive. He was brought in by Iraqis and uh, on a, on top of a Humvee. He was still alive and responsive. We see Gallagher's starting to work on him, provides medical assistance with an another medic and he's still alive at that point. He actually flinches forward when, uh, when Gallagher grabbed his leg and then Gallagher pushes him back down to the ground. And of course we've seen, uh, photos of several of these seals posing with, um, with the dead Iraqi fighter. And also there was an allegation initially of them flying a drone over the dead body. We actually have seen that footage is if a small white drone and the bodies in the background, what we learned in court is that bodies stayed at that site cupboard, but stated that site for a possibly several days before the CEO finally cleared the area.

Speaker 1: 05:00 Now, Gallagher's defense claimed vindication after yesterday's testimony from the medic. What did they have to say about that?

Speaker 2: 05:07 They're incredibly excited. How, as we mentioned yesterday, the family seemed to jubilant, and that's not to say that this is just evidence of a very sloppy investigation that there on the stand, Scott has a hour in his testimony prior to being on the stand, Scott had said that, uh, the detainee had been [inaudible] 68. It's not step six, eat it. That's what we, somehow it caused his death and their thing that no one with the prosecutors are in cis followed up on [inaudible]. So when they raised it on the stand and they said, uh, after court yesterday that they did not know Scott was going to say that he been the one to kill them, that's what they say. But issue of the fixation was a key part that was completely overlooked by prosecutors though prosecutors say on the other side, in this case, they quizzed him and at each step of the way, see what happened next. What happened next? Did you do this? Did you do that? That they believe that they're a investigation was incredibly detailed and that this was just a bombshell revelation by Scott.

Speaker 1: 06:11 Now she's Gallagher is also charged with other offenses including shooting two civilians. One have the seals testifying at the trial said are regarding those accusations.

Speaker 2: 06:24 Right? So we will hear more about that today. So, uh, essentially the, the, the key witnesses and maths. But we've already seen a couple of different feel, a a former sniper, a Dylan delay, and then a chief Miller have both gotten on the stand and talked about seeing Gallagher firing from his position I and hitting on a rocky man firing it, civilians firing at a crowd of civilians. Now, on the other hand, so far, the defense will get up and say that no one saw Gallagher specifically pulled the trigger. They saw shots coming from, they've heard taking testimony of Gallagher bragging about shooting or killing or not having a problem with killing someone. But I'm no direct admissions that I shot this man and killed this woman. So, um, we're waiting now for more testimony to come this afternoon. These are of course, all of these seven seals who had been granted immunity to testify in this case. Uh, and this is going to be the meat of the prosecutor's case on the sniper allegations.

Speaker 1: 07:28 I've been speaking with KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh. Steve, thank you. Thanks marine.

Speaker 1: 00:00 The first of three film programs titled The Not So Silent Short film festival debuts in the East village this Saturday. The focus of the event is women film pioneers KPBS film critic Beth Huck Amando speaks with the founder of vanguard culture, which organized the festivals Susanna parade swap and film curator Scott Paulson about what to expect. Susanna, can you remind me

Speaker 2: 00:25 people of what vanguard culture is all about and what they're doing here in San Diego? Vanguard culture is a small all volunteer five o one c three nonprofit. We work to advance San Diego's creative industries. So we do that in three components. We do arts coverage with writers that we send out to review shows a in the arts. The second thing is professional development for creatives. So we do panel discussions, workshops, um, industry mixers to help people learn how to make a living doing the thing that they love. And then we do special events and all of our events are collaborative in nature. They all encourage a creative collaboration across different industries that typically never intersect. So we'll put, for example, an artist and a chef together and say, okay, create a menu inspired by the work of this artist. We've had events in the past where we brought together a poet, a scientist, an artist, and a chef and said, create something inspired by climate change.

Speaker 2: 01:20 And so everyone had their take on that and our events try to bring people together in unique and innovative ways and have them walk away feeling like they just experienced something very special. And what do you have coming up is something called the not so silent film festival and what does that entail then also assignment short, film fest is a sort of brainchild between a partnership between a vanguard culture and the La Jolla historical society. It is three interactive evenings of silent short films. Each one of them is themed around three different topics. The first one is the Saturday, June 22nd it's women filmmakers, pioneers of cinema. The next one is July 6th which is a wacky inventions and inventors. And then the last one is our steam punk soiree, and that's on August 3rd and then the, one of the fun things, if you're a popcorn aficionados, chef Daniela Dell appointee, who's our culinary director, is creating a variety of a gourmet popcorn varieties. So Bazell and curry, things that you typically wouldn't expect from popcorn. Now for this not so silent short film festival, you have Scott Paulsa news here with us and Scott,

Speaker 3: 02:28 you have a kind of specialized in silent films. So what are the films that will be screening on Saturday? The theme is a women film pioneers. Uh, we have to feature Alice [inaudible] who was the first female director. She's French. She, she started a career in France, but she didn't come, come here as well to America. Oh, for her, we're showing falling leaves, which is a beautiful sentimental film and write for a lot of wonderful musical gestures that I doing and that the will be doing. I, you know, I'll let them play in my heart. I'll let them play in my mind. I'll chime so it'll be fun. We also have to feature Lois Weber who was the first American director. We're showing her 1913 film suspense, which is an amazing home invasion film shot in on very unusual split screen, a triptych, a three split screen, these very nice triangular shapes for it.

Speaker 3: 03:22 And I was kind of asked to do perils of Pauline as well. A good, good slapstick films, but I prefer hazards of Helen. They are superior. And Helen in the movie, Helen homes often directed the episodes and that and she really took chances and she did not use a stunt double. And the ones that I watched, and we're also going to feature a wonderful film from baby Peggy, who is the last living silent film star. She's a hundred years old and I talked to her just the other day and she's very excited that we're going to show one of her films where she plays a Royal Canadian Mounted Police on a beautiful pony that you're all going to fall in love with. And you've brought a few instruments here into the studio. You have one here that's a little tower and you said that this is very good for transitions. Yes. Silent films.

Speaker 3: 04:07 Yes. A summer from the audience will help me with this one. This is called a bell trees. He's cupped bells that go from smallest to largest. And if you gesture downwards is a very cliche scene change moment, especially effective if the film is Irish. Sing in an Irish thing out, kind of like a James Bond movie. So someone is going to have that lucky job in, in the films. Just doing that little moment for seeing change. Uh, another intimate we have as a slap stick, you know, slapstick comedies get their name from the slap stick. Let's see. You just slap it. When you hear that slapstick, it's a very distinctive sound and you know that the violence is not real. It's cartoon like silver slapstick film. It's a, it's a great tool to use and uh, just let's have, we know that it's not for reals.

Speaker 3: 04:56 Another wonderful, wow, bad guy moment would be with this Viber slap you just put your hand through and is this wooden ball and a little box with metal teeth. You slap the ball and you get that spectacular sound that you recognize from the good, the bad and the ugly amongst other things. Yeah. Oh, and you bought yourself a new instrument, a, a little toy, a little toy accordion. And it's very easy to play. You just pick some buttons and then you open and close. It's just your little Tada moment. So yes, we can get carried away. It is kind of all the bells and whistles you can stand, but there are some beautiful moments in the this evening and we'll be doing some beautiful music as well besides the crazy slapstick. So for this accordion, what kind of visual cues might people be looking for that they would use this? Well, the, the Allis g film is about a doctor who finds a cure for um, a debilitating lung disease. And in the beginning all the patients are paraded and they show how well they're breathing. So I think just each time they take a big breath to show off. I think that's an easy one for the audience to cue up too,

Speaker 4: 06:09 Huh?

Speaker 3: 06:10 Yes, I can very thank you doctor. But for the rest of the film, it's so beautiful. We're actually going to use a modern minimalist music along the lines of, you know, you'll think it's Philip Glass who all it was pretty minor thirds and major sixth is the rest of the home is going to be quite, quite beautiful because it's very sentimental. But we'll start out funny with a boot with a breathing. All right.

Speaker 2: 06:31 This sounds like a fabulous night. And uh, Suzana do you want to add anything to this? Yeah, I did just want to say that a part of our intention of, of partnering for this Silent Film Fest, a as an organization who works to advance the creative industries vanguard culture is to give people sort of the behind the scenes, give them an opportunity to learn what it takes to create an original soundscape for a movie. Uh, even in this very sort of minimalist form. But it still feels very satisfying to make a film come to life, you know, with your own hands. And that's what we're trying to do overall as an organization is just teach people and an appreciation for the creative industries from all film, theater, dance, music. You know, this, this wonderful plethora of artistic practices that happen here in San Diego. And where is this going to take place? Yes. It takes place. That idea. One downtown in the East village. We actually have a residency there right now in arts residency where we're producing all of our events at that venue.

Speaker 3: 07:28 And Scott, do you want to give us a sound cue to go out? Oh, uh, oh gosh. Oh yes. It's always nice to remind people that when you hear one sound

Speaker 5: 07:41 [inaudible],

Speaker 3: 07:41 most likely you'll hear another yes, more cow bell.

Speaker 1: 07:47 That was Scott Paulson and Susanna Broido swap speaking with Beth Ahca, Mondo about Saturday's not so silent short film festival, Women Film Pioneers. It takes place Saturday night at idea one.

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KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.