Located 25 miles north of Kansas City, Kansas, Fort Leavenworth is home to the United States Disciplinary Barracks. Originally known as the United States Military Prison, the USDB was established by an Act of Congress in 1874. Construction began in 1875 and was completed in 1921. Prisoners were used for the bulk of the labor.
The prison was rebuilt in 2002 and upgraded to SUPERMAX status. It has the capacity to house 515 men with 440 of it’s beds currently occupied. 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 10 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 are known as The Leavenworth 10. According to author Elizabeth Kilbride, there may actually be as many as 97 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 comrade’s 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 imprison 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 Laurie Studer’s first 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 construct the page were undermined and what information collected there was removed by those sympathetic to the governments position. It’s the mission of DCX to bring more awareness to the plight of these men by exposing their cases to a broader audience of Americans and to do that we need YOUR assistance. Please read their stories and share them with your friends. Contact your state representatives and ask them where they stand on the incarceration of U.S. soldiers for killing the enemy during war.
About the Investigative Author:
DCX is proud to welcome Mrs. Laurie Studer who’ll be bringing you the stories of these soldiers of the Leavenworth 10. Laurie’s a very active 2nd amendment advocate , defender of the Constitution, book author and a dedicated teacher of conservative political studies . She’s the mother of 3 terrific homeschooled kids and resides with her family in North Carolina. Among Studer’s most notable works is her book Worldview from which Laurie shares her memories of 9/11 in a style that’s all Studer; displaying her ability to orchestrate words that people can digest and assimilate almost …. too easily:
I recalled my memories from the day, and the fear that gripped the nation. I shared how people flocked to the grocery stores to stock up and gas stations to fill their tanks. The news channels all had images of the wreckage and replayed the footage of the jets slamming into the World Trade Center. I also shared with students that 9/11 had a significant impact on my family. My great uncle, Jerry Brown, was the fire captain interviewed so often by the media. He and his sons were all part of the clean up and rescue.