Skip to comments.ARMY RANGER GOES TO PRISON FOR 25 YEARS FOR SHOOTING AL QAEDA OPERATIVE
Posted on 08/02/2011 6:45:36 AM PDT by curth
To the thousands of Michael Behenna supporters,
We are pained to share with you that the Army Court of Appeals has upheld Michaels conviction and denied him a new trial. The appeal process took over two years (six months longer than is allowed by law) and their ruling was an absolute punch in the gut to justice for a young man who fought so bravely for this country.
Back in March of 2009 the sting of Michael conviction was eased somewhat by the knowledge that critical evidence was not heard at trial which made us hopeful for a successful appeal. During the trial, from beginning to end, the military argued Michael executed the al-Qaida cell leader Ali Mansur while he was seated on a rock. But in their appeal brief the military changed gears and argued that it didnt matter how Mansur was killed because Michael lost his right to self-defense the moment he pointed his weapon at Mansur.
From our experience in the civilian appellate process we felt confident that a review of what had occurred during the trial would uncover the egregious errors committed by the Prosecution and the Trial Judge, including the Brady law violation involving non-disclosure of the PROSECUTION expert witnesss opinion that the forensic evidence supported Michaels testimony of self-defense as the only logical explanation of what occurred in that Iraqi culvert.
However, the twisted logic of the Appeals Court not only agreed with the trial judge, but even introduced language in their ruling that was never even part of the original trial. The substance of this appellate opinion was void of any indication that the facts and issues were really evaluated to a logical legal conclusion. The following quotes used in the appellate opinion are indicative of what the appellate court used as a basis for their decision and should strike fear in every soldier and Marine serving in a combat zone:
Commenting on Michael pointing his weapon at Mansur (a known al-Qaida member who both Michael and Army intelligence believed was involved in the blowing up of Michaels convoy); "If, confronted by this demonstration of DEADLY FORCE, Ali Mansur, under these circumstances, attempts to turn the very same Glock pistol towards appellant, his assailant, there can be no escalation sufficient legally to excuse Ali Mansur's killing." By this logic every time a soldier points his gun at anyone, whether at a checkpoint or entering a village, they have assaulted those people by virtue of pointing their gun at them and if someone gets shot then they should be brought up on charges of murder. No consideration is even given that this is a war zone.
When confronted with Mansur standing and reaching for Michaels weapon; "There is no evidence that Ali Mansur made contact with the appellants weapon. At that point, the appellant (Michael), in full battle armor, with much of his platoon standing nearby, ready to defend him, did not keep moving to the left away from the victim into the vast expanse of desert, did not shout for assistance, but instead shot the victim two times." So if a police officer in America has his gun pointed at a known killer and that killer suddenly lunges for his gun the police officers only option is to turn and run while yelling for backup? Seriously, who comes up with this nonsense! Unfortunately, the entire Appellate opinion was full of this kind of logic.
We are to going to appeal to the final level, the Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces (CAAF), but their opinion will take at least eight months to a year before it is issued. Despite losing the first two rounds to a corrupt and outdated military justice system that refused to guarantee one of the most basic rights that Michael and his men fought for the right to a fair trial, there is one positive to mention: CAAF is a civilian court that is supposed to be completely removed from all military influence. That is a good thing for what we have learned through this ordeal is that the Military Justice System is in fact beyond broken. As one article on military corruption put it, Military justice for the majority is prefabricated according to the wishes of the local Commander, and the "trial" or "court-martial" is tantamount to a pre-ordained verdict of GUILTY. How could any court proceeding be considered fair when the "convening authority," by right of title, is given the power to select the judge, the jury and defense and prosecution attorneys? It may go "unsaid," but the implication is very clear - if the convening authority "sees fit" to bring about a court-martial, then the accused can be assumed to be guilty. In the U.S. military, the court-martial conviction rate of 98% "rivals that of Communist China." Innocent until proven guilty" by an "impartial judge" is the right of every American. The military deserves a jury that can seek out the truth without fear of retaliation.
We want you to know that despite everything that has happened to him over the past three plus years Michael is doing well. In the next week or so we will be sending out a letter that Michael has written to all of you - his incredible supporters who have stood beside him throughout all of this madness. Please continue to contact your Congressional Delegations to put pressure on the Army regarding Michaels case. And most importantly please continue to write to Michael. All of your efforts have helped us to spread Michaels story as we promised him we would do when he was hauled away in handcuffs over two and a half years ago. For Michael and the other Leavenworth 10 warriors who are behind bars and the thousands of brave soldiers and Marines who are on the front lines facing an enemy that wants to kill them and a JAG corp that wants to imprison them THIS FIGHT IS FAR FROM OVER!
Scott & Vicki Behenna
Proud Parents of 1LT Michael Behenna
I hope they stand firm. The delay until the next appeal may work to their advantage. If we are lucky, there will be a new sheriff in town.
Note to Army: When a terrorist kills two Soldiers in a particular platoon, and you intend on releasing said terrorist, send an officer NOT CONNECTED IN ANY WAY with the platoon/company of the Soldiers who were killed.
It’s not Rocket Science.....
The DOD needs a top-to-bottom house cleaning, starting at the top. There is only one potential POTUS that can and will do the job: POTUS Sarah Palin.
With a little bit if luck we will have new ROE on 21 Jan. 2013. No more “Mr. Nice Guy”, Shoot First and Ask Questions Later!
This is going to come back to bite Obama.
It will be the Willie Horton ad of the 21st. Century.
Taking what’s said here at face value, I’d wonder why the appellate level would turn out this screwy. Has it been packed by the Bummer administration with ignoramuses (ignorami)? Obama has quite the gift for the tossed monkey wrench.
Might be a travesty of justice, but she is very hard on the military justice system. She assumes these men have no honor.
I suspect the rules of what the judge allowed in for evidence was more at fault than the people that made up the jury.
I can’t get the link to work, where would I get info on why this guy is being charged?
That’s why my son will never join up like his father, 6 uncles and grandfather did. Unless he became a lesbian-communist Latina then his temper would have made a criminal of the PC mentality currently permeating the armed forces.
The democrat quisling party has almost accomplished it’s goal of destruction of the country and asserting a police state. It needed to destroy the economy, takeover education in order to indoctrinate the majority of the country and limit knowledge and finally the destruction of the military effectiveness.
One of the Republican nominee’s campaign promises should be a full pardon for the Leavenworth Ten and any other soldiers ensnared by the pro-Muslim rules of engagement.
“Military justice for the majority is prefabricated according to the wishes of the local Commander, and the “trial” or “court-martial” is tantamount to a pre-ordained verdict of GUILTY. How could any court proceeding be considered fair when the “convening authority,” by right of title, is given the power to select the judge, the jury and defense and prosecution attorneys?”
The premise is false. The CA does not select the judge, the jury (members of the court martial panel are subject to objection for any - or no - reason) or the defense or prosecution attorney. They may have a point in Behenna’s case (I don’t know, having not followed it), but using false data doesn’t bolster their case.
Meanwhile, the POS Quisling who murdered his fellow soldiers in cold blood at Ft. Hood is still drawing a pay check . . .
Disgraceful army nonsense.
We live in Bizarro World, the upside-down world of liberalism. It’s going to take a purge of the courts, civilian and military as only one of the actions we need to take.
I respectfully disagree about it being a gift. Causing chaos and mayhem is easy even for the small minded. The trick is having the lack of conscience to do it.
Keep trying. The link should work but may be busy. There’s a wealth of information there. One additional bit of irony you might not see is that sometime after this incident, the army issued a “wanted dead or alive” order on Ali Mansur, not knowing he had already been killed. Makes no difference; 1st Lt Behenna is still locked up in Leavenworth.
As you very well know politics and personal vendettas run rampant at the company/battalion level.The CO will do a preliminary investigation. He will interview First Sgt.’s, company commanders, other platoon leaders. Also take into consideration the military is and always has been a “good ol boy” club. If you are well liked and respected you can get away with alot. On the other hand if your a smart ass or pissed off others, well, lots of luck on that one. There is nothing “fair” about how the UCMJ is administered.
Has anyone ever heard anyone on tv or the radio discuss this matter? I know I haven’t. I think it’s about time this gets put out in the open. We know Rush reads FR and I would bet just about every other conservative talker does too. How about it fellas?
Why would anyone join this PC military is beyond me. There are too many lawyers with nothing to do but look for work and the work they choose is prosecuting the military for engaging in war.
It didn’t need to “take over” educational system, it created it for the express purpose of indoctrination.
This strikes fear into my heart for our soldiers. This has to be reversed!
you are correct.
it is doubly insane, that our military have tighter standards, and ridiculous ROE,
that even our police don’t have.
(like the West Point grad killed by police at COSTCO,
and the young Marine murdered by police in AZ)
DA: Elk Grove police officer justified in shooting handcuffed suspect
prayers for the young soldier, and his loved ones.
maybe the President in 2013, will pardon him.
...and, back at home, a cop shoots a cuffed suspect in the backseat of a patrol car...and is cleared.
If he executed him why didn’t he get a medal? Seriously ...
That would make him a guilty hero!
The convening authority (a General) looks over the charge sheet and signs the order convening a court. The Staff Judge Advocate assigns the prosecutor, a different office assigns the defense attorney, and yet a different office assigns the Military Judge. These are real cases, hard fought, the defense does not want to lose any more than the prosecution. While in this particular case, it can be argued there was a serious discovery issue and possibly prosecutorial misconduct, to paint with such a broad brush about the system itself is not helpful.
However, let me say this.......I had a lot more faith in the JAGC prior to the Iraq and Afghanistani wars....I was confident in indicating to my friends and relatives that there was no way America was condoning water-boarding or other forms of torture. I had always taught commanders that information gained by torture was not reliable and that the US wanted its own fighting force to be treated in accordance with the Geneva and Hague conventions so the US would not be violating those provisions. Furthermore that taking the long view meant you want to leave common ground for peace, which would come sooner if combatants were treated with respect.
I know there are issues about the definition of combatant here and whether Geneva Hague even applies. But I also taught commanders that the US always followed Geneva Hague even if the other side didn’t.
So, all that said, a known member of Al Quida, not a uniformed combatant, who lunged at an officer is a legitimate target. Someone did a very poor job of defending this kid.
I suppose he should have opted for the courageous restraint method. Sheesh, what idiocy we have allowed ourselves to be engulfed in.
(( ping ))
The liberal panty-waist Pentagon assault on battlefield warriors continues...
I have met with and discussed with current military officers, the impact of the O’Bummer “rules of engagement.”
Some of them had tours of duty under both Bush and O’Bummer. The complain that they can’t protect their men under O’Bummers rules where everything is based upon defense and not returning fire unless you get approval. The moral is crashing as these men and women feel helpless.
The psychological burden of holding these officers responsible for their men, but not allowing them to do what is necessary to protect them is driving the officers to breakdowns. It’s worse than in Vietnam!
This happened under George Bush’s watch, not Obama’s.
Pray that sanity prevails!
For this example and many others, I do not recommend military service to any youngster who approaches me with quesitons about military service. The usurper government should not be furthered or served in any capacity. The quicker it is dismantled, the sooner we can start to re-construct it to its original republican and constitutional form.
This insanity helps explain why many of our kids are coming home maimed or frozen in aluminum boxes. Makes me want to re-up. How about you? Thinking about joining today’s military? Just know that you’ll be reporting to perfumed princes who left the academies chock full of PC BS.
I THOUGHT the purpose of the military was to kill the enemy and break enough of his stuff to make him quit the fight? Not any more.
Hopefully, the next occupant of the White House will not be a muslim sympathizer and will pardon this young trooper.
PS: To my grandkids: Please reconsider your thoughts about joining UNTIL this sort of crap is over and the “Rules of Engagement” no longer require YOU to take the first bullet or be fired upon — if it ever is.
Maybe we needed to hire the taliban as private contractors? They don’t seem to have any problems killing folks — including fellow muslims and cops. If you’ve never witnessed 16 men lined up and executed, don’t watch this video!
I have had my problems with Bush 43 but PC/diversity/tolerance/nation building crap has been invading the military academies for close to 30 years now and more of this sort of crap is bound to happen as a result. The bulk of the current senior officers are so imbued with this chit that, short of a hard to imagine pre-appeal pardon for this young man and the ensuing charges of meddling in army process BEFORE the process had run its course, Bush was probably not able to do much before the usurper came in.
It is Obozo’s minions and fellow muzzie sympathizers who want a pound of flesh from this trooper.
Let’s just pray that the next occupant of the WH is not a muzzie sympathizer and pardons him.
We posted the same link..19 seconds apart.
Breaker Morant - American Style
The Court Martial was held in Feb 2009...
Sometimes I think the bragging rights to the conviction rates (and the career bennies that go with them) is all many JAGs give a rip about.
If this kind of information had been withheld from the defense, then I fail to see how this conviction cannot be overturned. We all know that a conspiracy to hide important exhonerating evidence would gain a new trial in a civilian trial.
Mansur goes for a gun and Behenna, defending himself, shoots the man.
A judge who was not present is essentially saying that in his opinion the Lieutenant, since he was armed, didn't have to fire on Mansur as he went for a gun.
The judge wasn't there, but he's making that kind of assumption!! .
The incident occurred on May 15, 2008 and he was charged in July 2008.
It's just a fact.
Since any real comment from me would pretty much be one long, long expletive I’ll just say ALL the people running this place for the last 10 years have completely and utterly FAILED.
ALL those people with sh!+ for brains sitting around digging sh!+ out of the ears for years with nothing better to do but roll that sh!+ in little balls and flicking it off their desks and now we wonder why this country is buried in sh!+.
Thanks for the ping, LH.
It’s mind-boggling what the prosecutors and Al Qaeda are getting away with.
I do not recommend military service to any youngster who approaches me with quesitons about military service.
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My grandsons (16-14) have not really expressed an interest, although they like the Military places etc I take them and the 14 yo had a ‘thing’ for USMC things when he was ‘younger’.
I never ‘pushed’ one way or the other but I (by choice) was restrictive in what I exposed them to...they loved the ‘day trip’ on the Enterprise etc...
The events of the last couple of years etc are making it real easy for me to NOT push them in the direction of the Sea Services - much to my daughters delight -
In fact, I am ready to assume the discouragement route to them, but I do continue to show pride in my Naval Service.
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