Twenty eight year old First Lieutenant Clint Lorance of North Texas was recently found guilty of two counts of murder in the July 2012 killing of two suspected Taliban fighters in a remote sector of Kandahar Province Afghanistan. Lorance was sentenced to 20 years in Leavenworth, dismissed from the army and must forfeit all pay. He was found not guilty of making a false official statement.
Prosecutors insisted Lorance ordered his men to open fire on unarmed civilians which violates the U.S. military‘s official rules of engagement – a policy that requires them to hold their fire unless there’s evidence of hostile action or direct hostile intent. Capt. William Miller, a government prosecutor, told the jury “Lt. Lorance used his rank and position to harass, intimidate, threaten and murder Afghans.”
Lorance’s defense argued that the village being patrolled was under Taliban control and had long since been vacated by all known civilian inhabitants due to constant violence and warfare. In fact, Lorance had just taken command of that particular platoon because in the days prior they had suffered several losses – including the loss of their prior commander. Lorance’s very presence in the situation was a testament to the “hostile action” and definitive “hostile intent” that U.S. troops had come to expect in that district.
——-background of Lorance
Clint Allen Lorance was born on December 13, 1984 and is a North Texas native who grew up in the town of Celeste. He was a member of the FFA as well as a Police Explorer throughout High School who also worked 3 jobs simultaneously to help cover household expenses as well as prepare for moving out on his own when he turned 18.
On the day of his 18th birthday Lorance walked into the Army recruiting station in Greenville, Texas and joined the Army as a Military Policeman. Upon graduating from Basic Training and AIT he shipped off to his first duty assignment in Pusan, South Korea. His next duty station was in Fort Richardson, AK, stopping briefly at Fort Benning, GA to earn his Airborne Wings.
As part of the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team In Alaska, Clint deployed for his first deployment to Iraq from September 2006 to November 2007 , initially a 12 month deployment which turned into a 15 month deployment. Lorance was then assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 4th BCT and deployed to Afghanistan in March 2012 to Southern Afghanistan. During his deployment, Clint was the squadron’s liason officer to the commander until selected to become a platoon leader.
——–setting the stage
Lorance’s patrol, consisting of 16 US Infantrymen, 5 Afghan National Army Soldiers, and 1 US Interpreter, left their Strong Point early in the morning on July 2nd 2012 headed to a remote village within the Kandahar sector of Afghanistan for a combat patrol.
Traveling on foot with electronic mine-sweepers in the front due to the heavily mine-riddled terrain, Lorance was in constant contact with overhead US Army helicopter pilots who had warned Lorance over the radio of enemy presence to the North, East and West of the Platoon’s position on the ground. Lorance confirmed with the pilots a good description of the enemy, and pilots continued to track and provide overhead surveillance for LT Lorance’s platoon.
As the patrol approached the village they spotted 2 individuals who were sitting on a motorcycle at a distance observing the patrol’s movement. The individuals matched the exact description that the Army pilots had relayed to Lorance moments earlier.
FYI: It’s common practice for Taliban fighters to use what the US calls “spotters”. This is a tactic the Taliban uses to communicate with one another and track the movement of platoons, just as it was apparently doing in the case of Lorance’s patrol.
Official intelligence reports for the area identified any personnel owning or operating a motorcycle as Taliban because as I mentioned earlier, there was no local population living there. The local population had long since moved out of the area because it had been taken over by the Taliban. Essentially, if they were in the area, they were up to no good and if they were in that area and perched upon a motorcycle sitting stationary there was little doubt they must have been Taliban scouts intent on divulging the existence and whereabouts of Lorance’s platoon – as had obviously happened just days prior when the same platoon was attacked in the same geographic location – losing several men.
——– his decision
Realizing the situation afforded him just seconds to react, Lorance made the decision to protect his troops by preventing the scouts from relaying back to the Taliban any further information as the platoons whereabouts by ordering a trained US marksman, who was standing guard in an overwatch position from the road on a US gun truck, to fire two long-range precision shots, eliminating the threat, but it was too late. Within minutes Lorance and his men found themselves embroiled in a gunfight with Taliban fighters.
Following the precision shots US Intelligence intercepted enemy radio signals talking about the position of the patrol and planning an ambush. Moments later, Lorance’s men engaged with and killed two confirmed Taliban fighters who were planning the ambush. Simultaneously, Lorance’s men in a separate location intercepted and detained a Taliban fighter who was attempting to flee the village on a motorcycle. Another suspected Taliban fighter was shot in the arm and was intercepted by the Afghan Army Soldiers. Lorance ordered his Combat Medic to immediately stabilize the man and bring him back to base with the patrol for further medical treatment and remain on Lorance’s base pending the investigation.
Upon return to base, Lorance ordered both of the captured men be tested for gunshot residue on their hands. Both men tested positive, confirming Lorance’s suspicions that the men had fired weapons recently.
Lorance then ordered that both men be physically separated, put into a shaded area, and be given food and water. Two-three hours later, the prisoners were transported to the Detainee processing facility at the Brigade Headquarters.
Even though both men tested positive for gunshot residue and were acting suspiciously military intelligence released them back into the wild.
The two aforementioned scouts were not confirmed as enemy fighters by that same exact military intelligence and the Army assumed Lorance guilty of random acts of murder – fired him from platoon leader and took his weapon. He was moved to HQ to assume administrative duties while awaiting the investigation.
On Tuesday January 15th 2013 Clint was charged.
The marksman in this particular case, as well as 4 other U.S. military operatives involved in the events of July 2 2012, were exonerated of all responsibility in exchange for their testimony against Lorance.
On August 1st Lorance was found guilty on 2 counts of murder by a 10 member jury comprised of military officers. During the sentencing hearing Lorance said “I take full responsibility for the actions of my men on 2 July, 2012.”
Former military colleagues appeared and spoke on behalf of Lorance’s character, telling the jury they always knew Lorance as a smart, above-average soldier.
Capt. Zachary Pierce called Lorance “trustworthy,” “unparalleled” and “one of the kindest and gentlest people I’ve ever met.”
Regardless, Lorance was sentenced to 20 years at the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas.
After the sentence was announced, Lorance turned to hug his crying friends and family members who traveled from Texas to North Carolina to watch the trial and support their hero during his court trial.
“Y’all can handle this,” Lorance told them. “Be strong.”
Lorance’s family has maintained that he was unfairly singled out by the military for simply doing his job.
“Any military mother, if I were you, I’d get them out of the military,” Lorance’s mother, Anna, said through tears as she and the rest of his family left the courthouse. “I’d get them home.”
I spoke to Anna Lorance for nearly an hour via telephone today(9.24.13) preparing to write this report. The only thing more predominant than utter sadness in her voice and the words she chose to relay to me – was pride. She seemed quite torn between the crippling sadness of the injustice which has befallen her son and the beaming prideful joy any parent would have for their son or daughter who’s accomplished great things.
Clint Lorance is being added to our DCX “Leavenworth 10 – Uncommon Injustice” series page where he will be honored alongside others who have suffered the same fate. While he wasn’t one of the original 10 members of that unfortunate group of brave heros – it’s becoming quite obvious that the first 10 were merely the beginning. Based on my own research I suspect there are approximately 90-100 soldiers currently serving time in Leavenworth for charges related to killing the enemy in order to protect themselves or the lives of their comrades – resulting in nothing more than U.S. soldiers becoming POW’s of the United States’ current policy of radical Islamic appeasement.
With your support and interest we can make all Americans aware of Clint’s case and the cases of other American hero’s who have been unfairly persecuted in the name of injustice.
Clint Lorance has dedicated his entire adult life to serving his country and protecting American freedoms. During his tours he risked his life combating an enemy who wishes to bring great harm to our beloved country.
How ironic that — instead of his life being taken by that enemy, it was taken, in many regards, by the very government that ordered him onto the field of battle to begin with.
You know what to do. My readers have done it more than 500,000 times in regards to these stories of military injustice. Click, share, comment, sign the petition to free Clint Lorance, visit his website, and/or make a donation to his legal defense – but please get involved and spend some time every day informing others who might not be aware that our own government is persecuting, prosecuting, and imprisoning our very own sons and daughters for the alleged crime of protecting American lives and defending American soil.
If you’d like to mail Clint letters of encouragement and support you can send those letters to:
Clint Allen Lorance
1300 North Warehouse Rd
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304
OFFICIAL STATEMENT ON CLEMENCY :
Brig. Gen. Richard Clarke of the 82nd Airborne Division notified defense attorneys that Clint’s conviction will stand. Clarke took 1 year off of the sentence.
Please join the Free Clint Lorance community on facebook. Clint and his family need your support now more than ever.
MEGA UPDATE 12.15.2014
I’ve received a zipped file containing information from Lorance’s defense team which is alleging the prosecution is withholding vital elements of testimony and physical evidence which would exonerate Clint Lorance. The list is long and the value of each item, from the defense’s standpoint, is high. I asked for permission to publicize this file and it was granted. It can be downloaded in it’s entirety here.(656kb)
Among the items of evidence the government is allegedly in possession of are biometric identities of the individual enemy combatants involved in the case – along with fingerprint evidence linking each individual to previous involvement in attacks on U.S. and coalition forces(appendix A). The list is very thorough and includes the names and other digital identifiers associated with each enemy combatant involved. Item 11 from appendix A provides a very forthright summary of the prosecution’s non disclosure of that vital evidence during trial:
11. This evidence should have been developed and presented to decision-makers throughout the entire process. This evidence counsels against a General Court-Martial. And, it is certainly reasonable doubt. The Army has an officer imprisoned for twenty years. The Army also had this information at its fingertips all along. Nothing is known to have been done to develop it and use it. And, CID had IED terrorists standing before them. The third rider, on the very same motorcycle as the two EKIAs, is part of IED networks. Clemency as soon as possible resolves the matter for all concerned.
The first item in the file titled US v. Lorance 30 NOV 2014 PGS 1-3 expounds on the governments failure to disclose the evidence during trial:
1. REQUEST. The Army has in its possession evidence linking Afghan military-aged-males involved in this general court-martial to improvised explosive devices (IED) as well as IED attacks and terror networks in Afghanistan. The government failed to disclose this information to the chain-of-command, counsel for the defense, and the court-martial. These significant failures strike at the very heart of American due process and show that the government violated its discovery and disclosure obligations under Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) Article 46, RCM 701, Army Regulation (AR) 27-26, and well-settled Supreme Court and military case law. This newly discovered evidence, standing alone or in combination with the many legal errors already raised, shows that this court-martial is not correct in law and fact.
And from section 6 of that file:
The new evidence implicating the Afghan military-aged-males to attacks on US and other terror targets during the relevant timeframe all but confirms hostile intent and hostile activities. The evidence underscores the validity of the split-second decision to fire at the three riders. This is especially so where it is beyond any doubt that moments and meters later, Afghan military-aged-males associated with the three riders (as shown in Appendix A) were scouting 1st platoon for an attack. And, the two Afghan military-aged-males detained shortly after the second engagement each had HME on their hands. This is reasonable doubt. But, the larger point is the prosecution had this evidence available and did not disclose it.
Section 8 alleges the obvious, failure to disclose by military prosecutors, as well as exactly who didn’t receive the information:
8. FAILURE TO DISCLOSE. Had the new evidence been properly developed and disclosed to decision-makers along the investigative, preferral, and referral processes, it is certain that there would have been a disposition other than General Court-Martial. Indeed, the Army did not court-martial SSG Herrmann or PFC Carson for killing and wounding military-aged-males that morning based on less than perfect information. The newly-discovered information was never presented to the chain-of-command when each commander recommended trial by general court-martial. It was not presented to the UCMJ Article 32 Investigating Officer. It was not presented to the Convening Authority when he referred the case to general court-martial. It was not disclosed to defense counsel.
Appendix B outlines 23 unique and very vital items which also weren’t disclosed during trial. That list includes photographs and sketches from the day and place in question as well as expert and eye witness testimony which could have exonerated Lorance of wrong doing. Item 7 in the list indicates that the actual taped communications from overhead reconnaissance – which was very much responsible for the information Lorance was receiving and basing his decisions on – was not presented at trial. Those tapes contain a relay from recon to Lorance indicating the combatants in question had the intention of bringing harm to Lorance and his men:
7. Wolfhound communications intercepts were taped and recorded of two military-aged-males that Staff Sergeant Herrmann and Private First Class Carson shot and killed 500 meters away from the first engagement and but moments later. The record of trial states that EKIAs were using ICOM radios and stated – “they could see the Americans on the roof and that they wanted to do something to them.” The tapes were not disclosed to the defense.
The defense was not able to use any of this information to prepare it’s case. On top of these omissions the defense has also identified 10 material legal errors during the processing of this court martial, four of which are included in the PDF file contained in the zipped folder. Those four items include:
- The jury never knew each witness against Lorance was initially suspected of murder but then given immunity
- The jury never knew that the Squadron twice prevented CID from investigating the identities of the riders in the first engagement
- The jury did not know that the military judge failed to give the right instructions on applicable special defenses
- The jury never knew that the CID uncovered derogatory information about prosecution witnesses which was not disclosed to the defense
Clint Lorance was right to suspect those men were enemy combatants based on the information he was being provided with, which has now been proven accurate. The biometric identifiers, which anyone can download and view in the zip file, are linked directly to fingerprints found at previous IED events. Lorance’s split second decision to take action protecting his men was justified. The government has in it’s databases the “biometric proof” they were indeed the enemy and needs to reconsider it’s entire case against Lorance. As it stands – they’re holding a U.S. war hero in captivity for doing his job and doing it well. As Lorance has stated, he has “always believed those men intended to harm my soldiers and if I had done nothing and some of my men had been wounded or killed, I would have been in a different kind of prison … for the rest of my life.”
Please share this post. You and I know the mainstream media won’t cover it … they’re too busy creating the next “Ferguson” to worry about doing what’s right and actually helping Americans who truly deserve it.
In their absence the burden of promoting truth falls on our shoulders. It’s why I created this blog and it’s why you’re here reading. I create the post, provide the information, you click the share button and/or bounce over to Clint’s petition page and give him a Christmas gift of your name on the line – where it matters. Let him hear your voice and let him know you know the truth.
If you’d like to take your involvement up a degree, you can contact your state Senators and/or Representatives and let them know what you think about this situation. In case you’d like a quick note to drop them, try this one:
I just learned the government is withholding vital evidence in the case against LT Clint Lorance who is currently serving 20 years in Leavenworth for killing enemy combatants in Afghanistan. That evidence, which was not disclosed during the trial, identifies each combatant and ties them to previous IED attacks against U.S. and coalition forces . This evidence exonerates Clint Lorance, who has testified on numerous occasions he was just trying to protect his soldiers, and I want to see him freed immediately.
I’m closely monitoring this case to see if you take action on behalf of justice.
Feel free to gut that or rework it to get your message across.
I believe in Clint Lorance. I think you do too. Please join me this holiday season in creating our own media event in his honor. Let’s let that clemency board know we want our hero freed from Leavenworth. Together we can do it but each reader must take action right now, tonight/today.
Clint did his best for us. Now it’s our turn …
The following documents pertaining to Clint Lorance’s upcoming clemency hearing were sent to me by an anonymous source today, August 16th, 2014. The handwritten letter from Lorance himself was penned just yesterday, the 15th of August:
On May 28th, Clint received the authenticated record of trial at the USDB. It was forwarded to the prison legal office to be redacted before Clint gets the final copy. Once Clint gets that copy, he has 30 days to respond to it before the General gets it for his review. The General can lessen or overturn the sentence at this time.
Keep the prayers coming! We are praying for Justice to be served and Clint be set free. We’ll know soon.
Thank you for your support,
This is the first update to this report I’ve made since the developments surrounding Bowe Bergdahl and the prisoner exchange and subsequent release of 5 high ranking Taliban detainee’s from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It draws some intense contrast with Clint’s case because it was Taliban Lorance was charged with killing yet it’s Lorance who remains in prison while the Taliban 5 – a group comprised of founding members of the Taliban dating back to the early 90’s and as such responsible for the deaths of countless Americans and Christians around the world both military and otherwise – are now back in the wild.
Supporters of the president’s move say ‘no, they’re in Qatar’ to which I respond, you haven’t done your Qatar homework. Qatar’s emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani – is a main contributor to the terror organization Hamas and is suspected to have been the main financier of the Arab Spring uprising which saw the Muslim Brotherhood rise to power in Egypt – a move our own president helped solidify by recognizing the MB just a few short months before elections there.
Qatar, while considered the Mayberry of the Middle East because it’s seldom heard of in mainstream news reporting(for a reason) – funds radical Islamic militant organizations. To suggest that the Taliban 5 is now anchored down in some sort of boarding school for bad jihadist kids – is ridiculous. To assume they’ve already begun operations setting up a new Taliban HQ in Qatar – is more realistic.
Yet there are still those who argue that justice has been served and things are as they should be – our president being one of them – but things are far from being as they should be as long as Clint is imprisoned by his own countrymen while our President – ON HIS SIGNATURE ALONE – allowed the very founding members of that same enemy organization to waltz right out the front door of their prison – and back onto the battlefield to take even more lives of even more American troops and even more Christians worldwide.
The prisoner exchange for Bergdahl adds a higher degree of injustice to the case of Clint Lorance even though it was about as unjust as it could be even before the Gitmo detainee’s were released.
As the Lorance family continues to fight and pray for their son’s freedom and as political pressure continues to be applied to have him released – I hope each and every reader of this story will take the time to “take an action,” as a gesture to Clint and his family that you agree he should be released.
Follow the links here and sign his petition, find other articles online about Clint’s case and leave comments condemning his imprisonment – write your congresspeople and Senators and ask them what their policy is on detaining U.S. troops while releasing our enemy back to the front lines and remind them that their jobs will be on the line in November.
Finally it never hurts to contact your local news station and make sure they’re aware of Clint’s situation. Many times they are not. I’ve personally scored featured time slots on local network news(unrelated matters) just by sending them a fax of an online news report.
These are our neighbors – our compatriots – our family. Please help them. -ed