US Soldier Michael Behenna Sent to Prison for Killing Al Qaeda Op UPDATED!
In March of 2009, convicted of killing a known Al Qaeda operative while serving in Iraq, Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was sent to Leavenworth prison for a duration of 25 years. The Al Qaeda terrorist, ali mansur, had killed two of Behenna’s comrades and injured two others the previous year. Mansur was on the governments kill/capture list.
But Army intelligence ordered the release of the suspect and Behenna was burdened with returning ali mansur to his home. Throughout the Leavenworth 10 chronicles you’ll see many of the cases occurred because of the very same “catch and release” policy that “military intelligence” insisted upon.
During the return Mansur attacked Lt. Behenna and the Lieutenant killed the terrorist in self defense, doing the world and especially American citizens a huge favor. The United States Government, who itself ordered Michael Behenna to war in Iraq with the clear mission of defeating terrorism – who had a clear tag of kill/capture on this terrorist, subsequently prosecuted Lt. Behenna for premeditated murder and won.
This, from a government that flies unmanned drone aircraft into foreign countries killing men women and children, blindly, for the purpose of political gain on the eve of a federal election. For that same government to stand in judgement of an American Hero like Lieutenant Behenna, is a most ironic travesty and a gross miscarriage of justice in the true sense of the term.
This case was brought to the attention of DCX recently because of the results of Michael’s July 5th final appeal just last week: it was denied and his legal defense has now exhausted all recourse.
Michael’s parents, family and friends, have set up a website to bring attention to his cause and that website is located here: http://www.defendmichael.com/
On their site you’ll find much more information about Michael Behenna’s case, current appeals status, media links, photo’s, video’s and much more. There’s also a link to an online petition which is located here: Michael Behenna Petition.
(editors note: I received this email from Michael’s parents and wanted to share it with DCX readers)
To the thousands of Michael supporters,
With heavy hearts we must inform you that all our efforts to get clemency for Michael this year were for naught. The Army Clemency and Parole Board listened to our family’s plea concerning the facts and circumstance’s surrounding Michael’s case and decided four years in prison was not enough. The Clemency Board did not question us about Michael’s case, character, or whether he was a threat to society, so we are left to wait another year for an opportunity to petition for his freedom.
We truly thought this year would be different; that this year we would finally get our son back where he belongs. It is hard to convey the grief and despair we feel over this latest setback. It is only the love and support of all of you and our deep abiding faith in a Higher Power that sustains us through these dark days. I know all of you are equally disappointed and frustrated by the decision of the Parole Board. We still remain cautiously optimistic regarding Michael’s Supreme Court petition as we await the government’s response which the Supreme Court requested by February 27th.
Please pursue requests to your Congressmen and Senators to contact Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford to seek a path to a Presidential commutation. To find your Congressional Delegation click on the following link: http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
Finally, please offer a prayer up for Michael and our family as you watch this Ballad written in his honor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMbytddDjWI
With you at our side we will continue this fight until our son is home.
Scott & Vicki Behenna Proud parents of 1LT Michael Behenna http://www.defendmichael.com
(editors note: I received this email from Michael’s parents and wanted to share it with DCX readers)
To the thousands of Michael Behenna supporters,
On January 2, 2013 we filed a petition to the US Supreme Court on Michael’s behalf. The Government almost immediately waived their response to this petition. However on January 28th, the Supreme Court, in a rare move for military cases, requested a response from the Government. This is a hopeful sign since the likelihood of the Supreme Court hearing a case where both sides have not responded is very low. Although this request does not guarantee the Supreme Court will hear Michael’s case, it shows that the Court is taking our petition very seriously as a landmark use of force issue for the protection of all our armed fighting forces, as well as US civilian law enforcement.
On January 22, 2013, Vicki and I testified in Washington, DC before the Department of Defense sub-committee charged with the responsibility to report on the use of military justice in a combat zone. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta set up the committee to determine if the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice) was being correctly applied in war zone situations. Prior to our testimony we listened to five and a half hours of testimony from four Generals and one Admiral from the various service branches. These high ranking officers basically said that the UCMJ, from the initial investigations to the trial itself, was a viable tool of justice and that few problems with its application had been encountered. One Army General even stated that the Soldiers/Marines who were convicted were anomalies and any problems resulting from those trials had been corrected. In the half hour that we were given to speak we walked the committee through all the reasons why the Soldiers/Marines who are still incarcerated for war crimes did not receive anywhere close to a fair trial under the UCMJ. It is our sincere hope that the sub-committee will look into not only the investigative flaws and prosecutorial misconduct; but also the long sentences given to these Soldiers/Marines, which are far more severe than in any previous wars or even earlier incidents in Iraq or Afghanistan.
Finally, on February 7th we will be arguing before the Army Clemency and Parole Board in Washington D.C. to seek a reduction in Michael’s sentence. Please lift up this Board in your prayers so they will see that 1) Michael is not a threat to society, 2) he has been severely punished, and 3) further incarceration will not serve any benefit to the Army, the community or Michael.
We want to thank all of you who have been spreading Michael’s story through Facebook and other social media. The support and activity has grown to heights we never imagined possible, driven by word of mouth and opportunities to speak about Michael’s case on tv and radio programs. Vicki and I were recently on former Congressman LTC (Ret) Allen West’s new Internet TV show. You can view the interview at: http://www.nextgeneration.tv/?cmd=mpg&load=7965&mpid=517 (P.S. You must register with PJTV – but it is free.)
Other articles you might find of interest are below: NewsOK article: http://newsok.com/edmond-parents-of-army-1st-lt.-michael-behenna-fault-military-justice-system/article/3748192 Edmond Sun article: http://www.edmondsun.com/local/x1633462716/Behenna-Military-injustice-contributed-to-sons-fate
God bless each of you for all your support and please keep signing the petition, contacting your Congressional Delegations, and notifying your friends and family of this injustice. Also, please send Michael a card or letter letting him know that you are still supporting him after four years of imprisonment. Michael’s prison address is as follows: Michael Behenna #87503 1300 N. Warehouse Road Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304
Respectfully, Scott & Vicki Behenna Proud parents of 1LT Michael Behenna http://www.defendmichael.com
(end of update. everything from here down is original text: end note – EAB)
I’ve had a few readers request more information and/or sources I used to form my opinion of this highly controversial case. My opinion is based on many hours of research as well as an admittedly conservative perspective of how wars should be waged, ie. killing the bad guys as quickly possible and bringing our service members home as quickly as possible – not dragging out wars for 15 years, apologizing to our enemies, and training the very people who want to kill us. Regardless, if for one single minute I felt that Behenna killed for retribution rather than to protect his troops as well as American citizens I simply would not have written this article. My list of sources of credible information can be found on page two:
New York Times article - When Prosecutors Step Over The Line Former Senator Stevens conviction thrown out because of Prosecution Withheld Evidence
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