Original Posting: Who is more deserving of justice than the men & women who fight to defend our freedom?
Update 1: Parole hearing scheduled
Update 2: Parole denied
Update 3: Government dragging its feet in responding to Supreme Court
Update 4: Is justice delayed justice denied in the case of Lt Behenna?
Update 5: Justice plods ahead slowly: Lietenant Behenna's case in conference at the Supreme Court
Update 6: What price justice?
Please send Lieutenant Behenna a card or a letter now and then. Not only will it help him survive his incarceration with some semblance of humanity, but also it will help you remember that justice in America is in peril. The daily news of scandals from the halls of power are not unrelated to this case. It is just another instance of the application of justice according to political and ideological tests that pervades this Administration.
The only hope for justice remaining is a Presidential Pardon. Will the current occupant of the White House grant one? As my Magic Eight Ball might say, "It is doubtful". Inasmuch as this Administration is committed to appeasement towards the terrorists, they can't be expected to act justly to those who fight them. Hopefully the next President will be wiser and act more justly. We can only pray...
Over the past five years all Michael truly wanted was a fair trial to show that he was defending himself when attacked by a known Al-Qa’ida member on that fateful May night in 2008. A week ago the Supreme Court announced that Michael’s case was denied certiorari. This effectively ends the possibility of a jury hearing from Dr. Herbert MacDonell, the expert witness for the Army prosecutors who told them in private during the original trial that he believed the evidence supported Michael’s version of the events. As most of you know the prosecutors sent Dr. MacDonell home rather than have him provide testimony that would have corroborated what Michael said happened in that Iraqi culvert. We will never know why the prosecutors wantonly withheld this evidence, or why the military chose to release a known terrorist whom Army Intelligence knew participated in the killing of Michael’s Soldiers (and for whom the Army had issued a kill/capture order on), or why Michael’s platoon was designated as the unit to return the very man responsible for the IED attack on Michael’s Soldier’s back to his home.
Although many questions will remain unanswered, one thing that I can tell you with absolute certainty is that Michael remains in good health, good spirits, and will dutifully serve in prison until the Army tells him he can go free, whether that be next year or ten years from now. I honestly don’t know how those that betrayed Michael sleep at night, but we are comforted by the fact that Michael is at peace in knowing his actions on May 16, 2008 protected himself, his troops, and all the Iraqi citizens that may have been harmed in the future by this Al-Qa’ida terrorist. While the military justice system that denied Michael a fair trial is indeed broken, despite everything Michael’s spirit remains UNBROKEN! To quote the poem Invictus, 'his head is bloody, but unbowed.'
With the decision by the Supreme Court to not review Michael’s case our legal battle has come to an end, but our fight to secure Michael’s freedom goes on. I know many of you who contacted your Congressional Delegations in the past had been told that they can’t do anything while Michael’s case works its way through the courts. Well those excuses are no longer valid and we want all those in charge - the President, The Secretary of Defense, The Secretary of the Army, the Army Clemency and Parole Board, the Congress - to finally stand up for what’s right and allow Michael to return home to his family and start a new life. These leaders and the entire country must ask the question: who is benefiting from Michael’s further incarceration? Society? The Army? Michael? Iraq? In 2009 President Bush commuted the sentences of the Border Patrol Agents Compean and Ramos due to public outcry. With your assistance we can do the same for Michael.
Michael may have been denied by the Supreme Court, but he knows from your many cards and letters of support that he has not been rebuked or rejected by the American public or Soldiers/Marines who have walked in his shoes before him. Please pass this latest disappointing news to your family, friends, and neighbors so we can work together to tell the political leaders of this country that we need to bring this brave Soldier home where he belongs!
Bless you for your continued support of our son!
Scott & Vicki Behenna
The poem INVICTUS, by William Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.