USDB is the U.S. military’s only maximum-security facility and houses male service members convicted at court-martial for violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Only enlisted prisoners with sentences over five years, commissioned officers, and prisoners convicted of offenses related to national security are confined to the USDB.
Within that facility are soldiers who have been incarcerated — some in solitary confinement — for actions they took while trying to survive a combat zone defending the United States of America. These men were once referred to as The Leavenworth 10 but some of the original 10 have been released while many others have since taken their place.
According to author Elizabeth Kilbride in 2011, there may actually be 100 or more incarcerated at Ft. Leavenworth for similar charges. Speaking to a crowd of family and friends attending a rally in 2010 in honor of these men, WPIX’s Larry Mendte delivered some riveting words which lament the emotions of many people who are intimately familiar with these cases:
Larry Mendte, WPIX news anchor, New York City:
“You are blowing in the wind unless you get some media coverage for this. For the life of me I can’t understand why the national news outlets have not picked this up. Coming from New York City I do have an unusual, unique perspective on this whole thing. On the day the Towers came down, and on the day the Pentagon and a field in Western Pennsylvania were ablaze, a call went out across the country for the strong and the brave to go out and get monsters where they live — the ones that dared to bring that evil to our shore. And tens of thousands responded. They did a thankless and treacherous job. …. They killed monsters. Some of them got medals. Some are fighting still. Some are home with their families. And 10 were sent to Leavenworth for murder. Murder? In war? …Those men in Leavenworth, and the men that responded to the call after the Towers came down, did so to fight for your freedom. It is your responsibility now to fight for their freedom. Free the Leavenworth 10.”
In 2009 the Obama administration announced that the Barracks along with the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility in Michigan were being considered for relocation of 220 prisoners from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Kansas officials including both U.S. Senators objected to the transfer and the gitmo detainee’s were moved elsewhere – but the President’s gesture has never been forgotten. Many feel it’s the pro-Islam agenda of the current administration and the recent proliferation of radical Islam which are responsible for many of the “catch and release” tactics which wound up being ultimately responsible for the situations leading to the events which entangled these men into unwinnable circumstances.
Imagine the fatigue of 3 tours of duty – of facing death everyday – only to apprehend terror suspects firing on you and your men. Imagine those terror suspects killed some of your comrades and YOU were told after bringing them to justice unharmed – that Defense intelligence wants them returned to freedom – FREE to kill more of your men. Free perhaps, to kill you. Imagine a court who would convict such a man of murder on the shaky testimony of just one other person; an Iraqi civilian who has since vocalized his obedience to radical Islam. Conceive, if you can, that same court disallowing forensic evidence which would have completely exonerated the suspect. Envision a decorated war hero with 20 years of stripes, being sentenced to life in prison for murder and the prosecution unable to deliver a single dead body or even a report of a missing person.
In June of 2012 DCX picked up the story of Michael Behenna and published a written account of the events leading to his arrest, trial and conviction. That report has been seen well over 500,000 times and gained almost 200k shares in the 8 months it’s been online. Because Behenna’s story already exists here, it will be the first in this new series, followed by the second installment focusing on John Hatley.
Currently there’s not so much as a Wiki page for The Leavenworth 10 although it’s suspected that original attempts to build the page were undermined and what information collected there was removed by those sympathetic to the government’s position.
It’s my mission to bring more awareness to the plight of these men by exposing their cases to a broader audience of Americans and to do that I need your help. Please read their stories and share them with your friends. Contact your state representatives and ask them where they stand on incarcerating U.S. soldiers who have been imprisoned for killing the enemy during war.
The Leavenworth 10 – Uncommon Injustice
(some of the original names have been removed and some newer cases, unfortunately, have been added. As developments are brought to my attention I’ll post the updates here. I realize this list isn’t exhaustive and there are many deserving people who should be included here. If you know of a solider who should be spotlighted please don’t hesitate to contact me using the “contact” button up top or my social media links found in the ‘about author’ section.)
Clint Lorance joined the Army on his 18th birthday and devoted the first 10 years of his life to serving our country. Finding himself in Afghanistan in 2012 Lorance and his platoon came upon Taliban scouts preparing to relay location and sensitive particulars back to their commanders. Faced with either killing to protect his men or allowing the scouts to compromise his platoon’s position Lorance chose to safeguard his own. continue reading …
John Hatley – A highly decorated veteran with nearly 20 years of service who was deployed to Bosnia, Kosovo, Panama, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. He saw combat during Operation Desert Storm as well as serving 3 tours of duty in Iraq. Hatley was convicted of premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and is currently serving 40 years in Leavenworth. continue reading…
Derrick Miller – Army National Guardsman, Sergeant Derrick Miller was sentenced to life in prison with the chance of parole by the United States Military. His actions saved his unit…and instead of receiving a medal or a thank-you, he became a political prisoner in his own country. In September 2010, Sgt. Derrick Miller took part of a combat mission in a hostile area of Afghanistan. An Afghan national who had continue reading …
David Lawrence – PFC David Lawrence was charged with premeditated murder despite the Army’s own expert psychiatric determination that he was not mentally responsible for the killing of Mullah Mohebullah. He was sentenced to 12 1/2 years, with a 2 1/2 reduction, ultimately leaving him with a 10 year sentence. One, that could have been avoided had the Army taken action when David first asked for help. continue reading …
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, PFC Clagett along with his squad participated in an operation known as Iron Triangle. Their orders were to”kill all of military age males.” Others involved in this incident have since been released but Clagett, who has spent all of his time in segregation, remains continue reading …
Lawrence Hutchins III (to be retried in August 2014 ) was deployed to Iraq. He was accused of being the ringleader of six fellow Marines and a Navy corpsman in a plot to kidnap and kill a suspected enemy insurgent. Hashim Ibrahim Awad was killed in the Iraqi village of Hamdania in 2006. The squad was accused of planting a shovel and a rifle near his body, to give the appearance he was digging a hole to plant a roadside bomb. continue reading …
Michael Behenna(paroled March 2014) – 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. continue reading…
Evan Vela (paroled March 2013) enlisted in the Army at the age of 21. His intent was to be a career military man. SGT. Vela completed Airborne, Expert Infantry and Ranger training and was stationed at Fort Richardson in Alaska with the 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division. continue reading …
William Hunsaker (paroled March 2013) joined the Army in August of 2001.He completed Army Ranger school and earned the rank of specialist as a parachutist. He also served a tour of duty in Korea. In August 2005, Specialist Hunsaker deployed to Iraq with the 101st Airborne Division 3rd Brigade. In May 2006, he participated in Operation Iron Triangle; their orders were to “kill all military-age men.”continue reading …
As previously stated, this list is nowhere near exhaustive. There are plenty of others and as their cases are brought to my attention they will be added here.
Mailing Addresses For Leavenworth Inmates
Department of the Army Clint Allen Lorance (93197) 1300 N Warehouse Rd Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304 http://www.defendveteranlorance.com/
Department of the Army Evan Vela (paroled)(84486) 1300 N. Warehouse Road Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304 http://freeevanvela.blogspot.com/
Department of the Army Corey Clagett (82477) 1300 N. Warehouse Road Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304 https://www.facebook.com/groups/supportcoreyclagett/
Department of the Army William Hunsaker (paroled March 2013)(82476) 1300 N. Warehouse Road Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304 http://www.soldiersforjusticeandpeace.org/hunsakerbio.html
Department of the Army Michael Behenna (paroled)(87503) 1300 N. Warehouse Road Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304 http://defendmichael.wordpress.com/
Department of the Army John Hatley (87613) 1300 N. Warehouse Road Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304 http://defendjohnhatley.com/
Department of the Army Joseph Mayo (87525) 1300 N. Warehouse Road Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304 http://www.defendjosephmayo.com/
Department of the Army Michael Leahy (87356) 1300 N. Warehouse Road Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304 http://supportsgtleahy.com/
Department of the Army Micheal Patton Williams (paroled) (79205) 1300 N. Warehouse Road Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304