Last week, DCX introduced you to Master SGT. John Hatley and earlier this week we brought you an update on Lt.Michael Behenna’s case. Tragically, these are not isolated incidents. The “Leavenworth 10” are a group of America’s best and bravest who have fallen victim to a government run amok with political correctness and the left’s policy of appeasement. Our warriors have been handcuffed to ludicrous policies of the military’s paper pushers; Rules of Engagement preventing our troops from returning fire toward the enemy and the Catch and Release policy which routinely turns enemy combatants back out to kill more of our men.
Please allow me to introduce to you 28 year old PFC Corey Clagett, the youngest and most junior member of the “Leavenworth 10.” Clagett enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Iraq. In May of 2006 Clagett and his squad participated in an operation known as Iron Triangle. Their orders were to“kill all of military age males.”
From Jim Campbell’s article “Update PFC Corey Clagett a living casualty of the Iraq war:”
A Blackhawk helicopter dropped Corey’s squad off on an island consisting of two homes. The squad then approached one of the homes and discovered three military-aged males using two women as human shields. Corey’s squad handcuffed and detained the three men while the squad leader, Staff Sergeant Girouard, radioed Command to report the three detainees. The response was, “Why aren’t these terrorists dead yet?” Girouard held a meeting of the entire squad. He then ordered Corey and another soldier, William Hunsaker, to kill the three detainees. Corey and Hunsaker were coincidentally the two lowest-ranked members of the squad.
Staff SGT. Girouard ordered the men be un-cuffed and told to run. Girouard ordered PFC Clagett and Specialist Hunsaker to shoot the men. Clagett recognized this to be an unlawful order, but obeyed for fear of the consequences he might face for disobeying. Thus the order was carried out.
Following the shootings, SSG Girouard took steps to cover up what had happened. SSG Girouard first cut SPC Hunsaker on the face andarm, and then punched PFC Clagett in face. It was clear that SSG Girouard inflicted these wounds on PFC Clagett and SPC Hunsaker “so as tomake it appear that the three detainees had attacked [PFC Clagett] and SPC Hunsaker during an escape attempt.”
The allegation that these men were trying to escape gave the appearance of the killings being justifiable. Staff SGT. Girouard directed his men to stick to the story. Days later an investigation revealed the facts surrounding the incident resulting in PFC Clagett, Specialist Hunsaker, and Staff SGT. Girouard being charged with the deaths.
While detained in Kuwait, Clagett was held in isolation for 23 hours a day. He often went unfed and endured 24 hours of bright lights. Additionally, Clagett was chained and forced to sleep in the fetal position.
PFC Clagett’s family was able to secure a private attorney for him. Days before the trial, his attorney abandoned him forcing him to turn to a JAG who had never handled a murder case. Threatened with the death penalty, 22 year old PFC Clagett agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. He even “provided substantial assistance to the Government in the prosecution of his squad leader who ordered the killings.”
Speaking via telephone Clagett’s mother, Melanie Dianiska, revealed that her son had been held in solitary confinement for nearly 7 years and that he had just recently been released into the regular population of prisoners. Mrs. Dianiska also shared that Corey suffers from “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, along with anxiety and severe depression.” PFC Clagett is to be fed four times a day to help keep his medications in balance. There have been instances where those directives have not been followed. Clagett’s family lives 1,200 miles from Leavenworth. Mr. and Mrs. Dianiska have only managed to see Corey twice throughout this ordeal. They are trying to raise funds to make a visit possible.
To add further insult, Staff SGT. Girouard who gave the order was convicted of a lessor charge and was released from prison after 3 1/2 years. Specialist William Hunsaker is due to be paroled next month. Common sense would dictate that PFC Clagett ought to receive similar consideration.
PFC Clagett has a clemency hearing tentatively scheduled for April. We ask you to please write the members of the Clemency and Parole Board. PFC Clagett has assumed responsibility for his actions. He’s been punished disproportionately compared to the others. Considering this young man has served more time than anyone else involved in this case, it is time this grievous judgment be set right.
UPDATE – 03.12.2013
PFC Corey Clagett’s mother, Melanie Dianiska, has reported that her son had surgery last week to remove a cyst from his throat. He is recovering and expects the staples to be removed Tuesday.
He also has a clemency/parole hearing coming up on April 4th. He is nervous about this one. When Mrs. Dianiska asked why, his response was, “I am so ready to be home.”
Please consider writing a letter to the Board on PFC Clagett’s behalf. Sample letters can be found on his facebook page. He is also in need of funds. Letters and postal money orders may be sent to his address below.
N. Warehouse rd
Ft. Leavenworth, KS 66027
UPDATE – 01.25.2014
There’s a facebook group named “Support Corey Clagett” … be sure to check it out for up to date info on Clagett as well as others.
This report is part of a new DCX series titled The Leavenworth 10 – Uncommon Injustice
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