NORFOLK, Va. — Petty Officer 2nd Class Matthew McCabe said he will return to his career as a Navy SEAL now that a military jury has found him not guilty of abusing a terrorist detainee.
“I’m going to go back to my team, actually in about a week I am flying out to meet them and continue training and do what I’ve been doing,” McCabe said after the verdict was read.
During the trial, the prosecution’s star witness, Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin DeMartino, told the jury that he witnessed McCabe punch detainee Ahmed Hashim Abed in the stomach. Abed is a terrorist who was responsible for the killing and mutilation of four civilian security gaurds. One witness testified that Abed has beheaded people and killed hundreds of Iraqi’s.
“DeMartino had issues I think everyone has made that clear by now, but you know what, it’s over and done with. Myself and the other two guys are moving on with our careers, this is all behind us, so nothing but positive things now,” said McCabe.
McCabe’s fiancé was not able to be at the trial with his father, mother, and sister. After the verdict was reached McCabe told HUMAN EVENTS he hadn’t talked to her yet but that he texted messaged her using his blackberry.
“I’d just like to say that I believed from the first day that he was innocent and it’s been very stressful… we are just glad its over,” McCabe’s mother Pam told reporters in front of the Tour and Information Center at the Norfolk Naval Base.
McCabe’s father Marty said “These are the guys that preserve the American dream, if you start prosecuting them the American dream is going to go away because everything will fall apart.”
Marty said there has been a lot of support for his son, not just nationally but all over the world. “The Teaparty people have just been fantastic,” he said.
Congressman Dan Burton (R.-Ind) — who with HUMAN EVENTS helped to collect over 250,000 signatures in support of the dismissing the charges against SEALs — was ready to stand by and testify as witness in McCabe’s trial. The issue of public outrage and national opinion of the trail was raised in a motion, Burton’s testimony would have attested to that.
Burton said in a statement released late Thursday night that his “heartfelt congratulations go to Petty Officer McCabe and his family.”
“With all three Navy SEALs now cleared of all charges in this case, I believe this sends a very positive signal to the men and women in uniform who are fighting for America around the world today.”
"I join the many thousands of Americans who cheer for SEALs McCabe, Keefe, and Huertas tonight, and on behalf of the 35,000 who signed my petition for these three heroes, I thank them for their honorable service, and welcome them back to duty."
General Cleveland, who made the controversial decision to prosecute the SEALs, is expected to make a statement on the verdict Friday morning.