Army Ranger Sentenced to 25 Years for Killing Known Terrorist in Self-Defense

Posted on Sun 12/08/2013 by

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BEHANNA_ MICHAEL_ LARGE

While GITMO enemy combatants are freed only to go back to the killing fields of jihad, our boys rot in prison for fighting these savages.

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….

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Army Ranger Sentenced to 25 Years for Killing Known Terrorist in Self-Defense

by FSM NATIONAL SECURITY TEAM December 6, 2013While GITMO enemy combatants are freed only to go back to the killing fields of jihad, our boys rot in prison for fighting these savages.

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.

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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.

Not only is this a miscarriage of justice on the behalf of Lt. Behenna, who was acting to prevent further loss of life in his platoon, it is demoralizing to the U.S. troops who continue to fight on behalf of the freedom and security of our nation. Whether it is U.S. border patrol agents, members of the armed forces, or FBI agents, no individual who is serving on the frontlines in the War on Terror should be so blatantly mistreated.

A note from Michael Behanna’s parents -

Please consider sending Michael a card, a letter, or even a money order (for snacks and phone calls) during this upcoming holiday season.  We promise you it will make Michael’s day!  Michael’s address is:

Michael Behenna  87503
1300 N. Warehouse Road
Ft. Leavenworth, KS   66027-2304

www.defendmichael.com

……………………………………………….

To the thousands of Michael supporters,

A retired Army colonel recently told us that there are three things that will change a person’s soul:  war, prison, and the desert.  These are all things that Michael has experienced in the past five years.  As for the state of Michael’s soul we would say emphatically that it is at peace.  In fact that is what Michael told the reviewers at his first Parole Hearing at the US Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) in Leavenworth on October 22nd.  Without qualification he has no bitterness or enmity towards anyone for the unimaginable path he has traveled.  Instead he continues to read, study, and improve himself as he looks forward to a future beyond prison walls. The USDB Board Michael met with will make a recommendation to the full Army Clemency and Parole Board in Washington DC.  Hopefully, we will be scheduled to represent Michael before the full Parole Board some time in December.   We will know two weeks after the full Board Hearing as to whether Michael will receive Parole.

The holidays are fast approaching.  For most of us that means the hustle and bustle of busy malls, Christmas music, and time with family and friends.  But for those like Michael who ‘celebrate’ the holidays behind iron bars there is a dark and heavy cloud of loneliness that is difficult to fathom.  Amid the smiles and laughter inside the packed visitation room at Leavenworth there remains an unspoken sadness; the cruel knowledge that when the clock strikes 4pm families will exit out one door into the fresh air of freedom and the inmates will exit out another door that takes them back to an unnatural place, devoid of so much of what we consider human.  One door represents life, the other door represents death.

Like life and death, grief and gratitude are blood brothers.  One cannot have one without the other.  It is almost always the experience of grieving what has been lost that makes us aware of how much we have to be grateful for.  So on this coming Thanksgiving day, as our family sits between those two doors in the crowded visitation room at Leavenworth, our hearts will be filled with gratitude for the blessing of sharing time with those we love most on this earth.  We will know that our time is short, but it is that very knowledge that will help us appreciate it even more.

Our gratitude extends to all of you who have supported our son and our family on this journey.  May you each have a wonderful Thanksgiving that is filled with a grateful heart and time spent with those you love.

Peace be with you all,

Scott & Vicki Behenna

Michael-Behenna-Photo-Collage _ LARGEEditor’s Note: In addition, here is contact information for the Army Review Boards Agency (ARBA):ATTN: Congressional and Special Actions
251 18th Street South, Suite 385
Arlington, VA 22202-3531
army.arbainquiry@mail.mil
Reprinted with permission from: Freedom Outpost  and Pamela Geller  We urgently need your help to correct this terrible wrong against a loyal and faithful soldier. Please contact your congressman and ask them to intervene on behalf of 1LT Behenna. Below is a brief recap of the relevant aspects of Lt. Behenna’s case.

  • September 2007: 1LT Michael Behenna deployed to Iraq for his first tour of combat.
  • April 21, 2008, Al Qa’ida operatives attacked LT Behennaʼs platoon. The
  • IED attack resulted in the death of two of LT Behennaʼs platoon members, two Iraqi citizens, and wounded two additional soldiers under LT Behennaʼs command.
  • May 5, 2008: Based on information from US Army intelligence, LT Behenna’s platoon detained known terrorist Ali Mansur at his home for the attack on LT Behennaʼs platoon. Mansur had illegal weapons and a passport indicating trips to Syria.
  • May 16, 2008: Without explanation, Army Intelligence ordered the release of Mansur.
  • LT Behenna, who lost two members of his platoon just weeks earlier, was ordered to transport Mansur to his home.
  • LT Behenna attempted a final field interview of Mansur prior to his release.
  • During the interview, Mansur attacked LT Behenna, and LT Behenna reacted to defend himself by firing two shots which killed Mansur.
  • July 2008: The U.S. Army charged LT Behenna with premeditated murder for the death of the Al Qa’ida operative and terrorist Ali Mansur
  • February 23, 2009: 1Lt. Behennaʼs trial begins.
  • Defense experts testify that Mansur was standing with his arm outstretched when shot.
  • On the evening of February 25th, prosecution expert witness Dr. Herbert MacDonell told the prosecution attorneys the only logical explanation for what happened was that Mansur had to be standing, reaching for LT Behennaʼs gun when he was shot. This contradicted the prosecution’s theory that Mansur was executed while seated on a rock.
  • On February 26th LT Behenna testified that while he was interrogating Mansur he turned his head towards his interpreter, and when he did, Mansur lunged for his gun. The LT fired a controlled pair of shots. This explanation was identical to what Dr. MacDonell told the prosecution team in a private meeting the night before.
  • During a recess after 1LT Behennaʼs testimony, Dr. MacDonell met with the prosecution team and told them again that the LT’s testimony was exactly what he had demonstrated to Prosecutors the day before and that the LT must be telling the truth. The prosecutors sent Dr. MacDonell home to New York. Leaving the courtroom, Dr. MacDonell told defense counsel he would have made a great witness for LT Behenna.
  • The defense counsel asked prosecutors if they have any exculpatory evidence about Dr. MacDonell, and the prosecutors denied possession of such evidence.
  • In the prosecution’s closing arguments they argued LT Behennaʼs testimony that Mansur was reaching for his gun was “impossible” based upon the evidence (despite knowing that their own expert witness had told him it was the only logical explanation.)
  • Later that Friday night a military panel of seven officers, none of whom had combat experience, convicted LT Behenna of unpremeditated murder and assault.
  • After LT Behenna was convicted, but before sentencing, Dr. MacDonell sent an email to the prosecution team requesting that the information provided in his demonstration be turned over to the defense.
  • A mistrial was requested by the LT’s defense counsel, but on March 20, 2009 the military judge denied both defense motions to declare a mistrial and to order a new trial.
  • LT Behennaʼs attorneys have exhausted his appeals through the military courts and are currently pursuing  a fair trial by petitioning the United States Supreme Court.
  • LT Behenna is currently serving a 15-year sentence in Ft. Leavenworth (the original 25 year sentence was reduced five years by the commanding General of 101st Airborne and the Army Clemency Board reduced it another five years.) The earliest he would be eligible for parole is after serving a third of his sentence. Without parole or a new trial Lt. Behenna will get out of prison for the shooting an Al Qaeda terrorist in self defense when he is 40 years old.

1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was an excellent officer. He received his call to serve his country while attending the University of Central Oklahoma. He is from a family of public servants, his mother being an Assistant United States Attorney and his father a retired Special Agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. He has served the Army and the United States with honor and dignity. To sacrifice the life of this Oklahoma soldier over the death of a known terrorist, is a breach of faith with all who are serving our country.  Please stand with us and demand justice for this American hero!!!  He fought for you; now please fight for him!

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