PFC Corey Clagett, the youngest and most junior member of the Leavenworth 10, 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 two of 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.
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 to make 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 was indicted by the F.B.I. forcing him to turn to a JAG who had never handled a murder case. PFC Clagett agreed to plead guilty to avoid life without parole. He even “provided substantial assistance to the Government in the prosecution of his squad leader who ordered the killings.”
As of June 13th, 2014 Clagett has been held at the U.S.D.B for 7 ½ years all of which he has spent in some form of solitary confinement. He has spent a total of 8 years incarcerated.
To add further insult, Staff SGT. Girouard who gave the order was convicted of a lessor charge and was released from prison in the Fall of 2009, less than 2 yrs into a ten year sentence. Specialist William Hunsaker was released in March of 2013, leaving PFC Clagett as the only one remaining at the U.S.D. Common sense would dictate that PFC Clagett ought to receive similar consideration.
PFC Clagett had a clemency hearing on May 1st of 2014 of which he was denied again for the third time. 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.
You can write Corey:
1300 N. Warehouse rd
Ft. Leavenworth, KS 66027
This report is part of The Leavenworth 10 – Uncommon Injustice DCX series.
(editor’s note: Callie Strong, who is personal friends with Corey and visits him on a regular basis, is providing this update and because of her very intimate knowledge of the subject matter I’m relinquishing authorship of this article to her. I’m confident she can offer DCX readers a very timely and insightful glimpse into the case of Corey Clagett – like no one else can —- 7.9.2014 11:48pmest ed brown, editor)
What happened to PFC Corey Clagett of the Leavenworth 10? This is the question that many have been asking since he first appeared in the news in May of 2006. Well, eight years later he is the last and only one remaining at the U.S.D.B out of all that were involved in his case.
On May 1st 2014 Clagett’s attorney, along with Major Bill Donahue from United American Patriots and COL Horvath, a friend and mentor of Clagett’s for the last 8 years, went before the parole board in Arlington to plead on his behalf. In less than a weeks time they came back with a denial for the third time in a row.
What is he doing now? Well, on June 21st he turned in his appeal letter and is patiently awaiting their decision. They have up to 60 days to decide if they will approve his appeal, or deny it.
In the meantime, Corey is doing all that he can to stay busy and to keep his mind off of the appeal. I was able to visit him not long after he was denied, which was something he really needed. Myself, along with a good friend went to visit Corey two weekends in a row (May-June 2014), and then myself again for a third weekend. I am also currently here visiting again (July 2014) and will return again next weekend. Visitations are crucial for his mental and emotional stability, along with the support of the American people.
We have a Facebook support page that has been a huge blessing to him. He has amazing supporters who write to him faithfully and help to keep his spirits lifted high. Corey is an AMAZINGLY gifted artist who spends most of his time drawing and creating wonderful masterpieces.
Right now I would say that despite all that he has been through, despite the pain, torment, torture, years secluded from human life etc. he is in a good place mentally and emotionally. He has a pretty positive outlook on life, and doesn’t live in an “Oh poor me” mentality. Of course there are moments when he gets down and feels hopeless, but it doesn’t take long for him to pick himself up and try again. He is currently waiting to enroll in some college courses that of which he has been unable to do for the last 8 years.
Upon his release (When the time comes) Corey will be going to North Carolina to work with The United American Patriots, while also attending college. Aside from being an amazing artist, Corey has a passion to help others, along with a passion for the auto world and customizing cars. He really is talented in more ways than not and I see him succeeding at whatever he puts his mind to.
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