Updated Information: Be sure to read all the way through this post as I have updated information on the Michael Behenna story.
I feel obligated to share this story with you. I first learned about 1LT Michael Behenna while surfing Facebook a couple years ago. Somehow I stumbled upon a post that was promoting a link from the “Defend Michael Website.” I decided to click on the link and check out the website. After spending about 45 minutes on the website, I was absolutely amazed that I had never heard about this story before. I figured something like this would be all over the news 24/7.
After reading the website, I experienced a wide variety of emotions from anger, to sadness, to betrayal, and pure disappointment.
His story goes something like this…
“On March 20th, 2009, Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Ali Mansur, a known Al Qaeda operative while serving in Iraq. Mansur was known to be a member of an Al Qaeda cell operating in the lieutenant’s area of operation and Army intelligence believed he organized an attack on Lt. Behenna’s platoon in April 2008 which killed two U.S. soldiers and injured two more. Army intelligence ordered the release of Mansur and Lt. Behenna was ordered to return the terrorist to his home. During the return of Mansur, Lt. Behenna again questioned the Al Qaeda member for information about other members of the terrorist cell, and financial supporters. During this interrogation, Mansur attacked Lt. Behenna, who killed the terrorist in self-defense. The government subsequently prosecuted Lt. Behenna for premeditated murder.”
You can read the rest of the story here.
When you read all the information in this story, you will quickly discover that there are some VERY disturbing things. I won’t get into all of that here, but visit the website in the link above and educate yourself. The case is/was very controversial.
As a former Soldier, I am very disappointed with how things turned out in the Michael Behenna case.
Not just the end result, but the process itself. There were some key pieces of evidence that were practically ignored. Even worse, not ONE member on the court martial panel had any combat experience. I could go on and on, but I don’t want to rant.
My bottom line is that if a Soldier is put on trial for some type of war crime, they should receive a fair, unbiased trial.
The government should do all it can do to make sure ALL the evidence is taken into consideration and that there isn’t a BIGGER AGENDA that will determine the outcome of the case.
I’ll be the first to admit that war is a horrible thing. Every Soldier knows that when they deploy there’s a chance they might not come home alive! But they also hope that their government will stand beside them if something crazy happens (like in the case of 1LT Michael Behenna). I personally signed the petition because I believe that ALL Americans (including Soldiers) have right to a FAIR trial. I hope you will visit the website and decide for yourself! Educate yourself, and if you feel compelled, help spread the word!
Chuck wrote this piece some time back. There is some new information you should be aware of:
- Michael’s attorney put up a strong appeal over the fact that the prosecution’s forensic analyst agreed that wounds of the terrorist showed it was self defense. This was not said during the trial.
- Many U.S. Attorneys and States Attorneys General, law professors, and lawyers wrote to the Secretary of the United States Army, Pete Geren, asking for a retrial.
- The forensic analyst signed a motion for a mistrial.
- Both a retrial and mistrial were denied. But the sentence was reduced to 20 years.
- Michael’s family appealed to the Army’s Clemency Board and his sentence was reduced to 15 years.
- They again appealed and it was denied.
- In 2014, a clemency request was again denied, but Michael was granted parole on March 14th, 2014 having served less than 5 years.
- Because of the conviction, Michael’s life is not easy. Currently, Michael and his family are strongly urging President Donald Trump to pardon him. And Oklahoma’s Attorney General is backing this pardon.
Like Chuck, after reading Michael’s complete story, I am completely disturbed. This man was not a cold-blooded murderer like the man he killed in self-defense.
Please give a shout out of support for this soldier and I pray everything he lost is restored.
Thank you Michael for your service!
Please leave a comment to share your thoughts.