U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher has been imprisoned for 13 weeks for a crime he and numerous others maintain he didn’t commit.
Throughout his ordeal, Eddie’s wife Andrea has championed for his freedom.
“These allegations are malicious and shameless, and I know that my husband did not do what is alleged,” Andrea recently told American Military News.
“I will stand by him and I know he will be exonerated of these charges,” she added.
The Navy alleges that Eddie fatally stabbed an ISIS prisoner in the neck and torso after other SEALs in his unit stabilized the fighter, who was critically injured from wounds sustained from an earlier gunfight with Iraqi forces. The incident reportedly took place on May 3, 2017.
Other evidence, including witness testimony, argues that the fighter had succumbed to his wounds while still in the presence of the Iraqi Emergency Response Division (ERD) due to excessive blood loss from a severed artery.
Eddie’s attorney, Phillip Stackhouse, told Task & Purpose in October, “What we’ve learned in our independent investigation into these allegations is that a crime simply didn’t happen.”
It’s been a month since Eddie’s preliminary Article 32 hearing to hear the evidence in the case and determine whether or not to proceed with a full trial. A full trial date still hasn’t been set.
He’s remained in confinement for 13 weeks so far, with no end in sight.
“Eddie is stuck in pre-trial confinement – treated like a criminal, and treated as guilty until proven innocent,” Andrea said.
Eddie faces 14 charges, including other accusations unrelated to the ISIS fighter incident, all of which were reported by other SEALs in his unit.
Andrea, along with Eddie’s brother Sean Gallagher, say the allegations have been fabricated in retaliation against Eddie.
“Everything that has been said… is fake news in a way,” Sean told “Fox & Friends” last month. “It’s just complete fabrication, it’s rumor.”
“There were a few malcontents of guys that didn’t like being reprimanded for not wanting to engage in combat,” Sean added.
Iraqi ERD Commander Maj. Gen. Abbas al-Jubouri called Eddie “the best chief” among all the U.S. forces he worked with. He noted that Eddie was “very strict with his men.”
“He was an as*hole to them, like I am an as*hole to my men — because you have to be as a leader,” the commander reportedly told an NCIS investigator. “He was very aggressive and hard on his men, never wanting to stop working or take a break. Chief Ed never wanted to stop and he worked all the time.”
As a result, numerous accusations have surfaced from the unit.
“Eddie and his family ‘turned the other cheek’ while malicious accusations have gone unchecked by the NSW [Naval Special Warfare] Command from 2017 to 2018,” Andrea said.
The Gallaghers’ home was raided this past June by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), and Eddie was detained then for the first time.
“His two boys, then 18 & 8 years old, were pulled out of their home into the street in their underwear at gunpoint by over 20+ NCIS officers full kitted up in militia riot gear with automatic weapons drawn,” Andrea described.
Andrea wasn’t home at the time, a fact that the Gallagher team says NCIS knew, because they had been monitoring the home for weeks.
Eddie was detained in a room for seven hours and wasn’t allowed to contact his attorneys. NCIS agents didn’t release him or clue him in on what was happening until the raid was over. NCIS confiscated hard drives that weren’t returned until November.
“This is unfathomable that this happened in America, and yet it did,” Andrea said.
The Gallaghers attempted to return to their life after the raid, only to have the NCIS intervene months later.
In September, Eddie was receiving treatment at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Camp Pendleton for head injuries incurred from overseas combat duty earlier as part of his preparations for retirement next year.
NCIS arrested him on Sept. 11, Patriot’s Day.
“My husband was receiving holistic care and treatment from a program we waited a year to get into and was ripped out without warning – shackled like a common criminal, and held in solitary confinement,” Andrea said.
“This investigation is not about justice and the truth, it’s about a win,” Sean said on Fox. “NCIS and the prosecution want a win by taking down a Navy SEAL – Americans should be outraged.”
The weeks of Eddie’s imprisonment continue to tick on, while his family faces the everyday struggle of his absence.
Andrea isn’t sitting idly by, however.
She’s taken to social media to spread the #FreeEddie movement, including media appearances, a website and apparel to spread awareness for her husband’s cause.
“His family, friends, and SEAL & Former Marine and Scout Sniper colleagues, and millions of Americans all stand behind Eddie,” she said. “Eddie is a hero and we are patiently awaiting the restoration of his good name and reputation.”