Let LT Behenna’s Ongoing Defense Help Other Soldiers

My initial blog about LT Behenna’s Court Martial was an after thought. I intended to just write a few words about what I perceived to be a fascinating trial and the serious ethical and political struggle that went along with that trial. My real concern has always been for MY client, SSG Mitch Warner. For me, Mitch is a true American hero that should not be forgotten in all of this. He was and is a dedicated soldiers and served his country well for most of his infantry career.

I have watched as the ground swell of support and dissent has grown over the last year for Lt Behenna. I see many Defend LT Behenna web site’s on Facebook, Myspace and elsewhere. I see legal forums and threads popping up all over the place. The hits on my blog have swelled to almost 2500 a month. I have been overwhelmed with the response and it is growing.

I have attempted to remain somewhat neutral on the LT Behenna case. Not because I have anything against LT Behenna, but my clients interests are best served by my neutrality.  My client is Mitch Warner and LT Behenna has numerous supporters and clearly doesn’t need me.  My hope is that this defense and pride in supporting LT Behenna will pour over to other soldiers that have not been treated with the respect they deserve.

In the next few weeks, I will start to detail the story of another client of mine that has experienced injustice in a detainee abuse case.  This happened in Afghanistan and is an amazingly ridiculous response to a proper interrogation.  This story will be broken by CNN but I am hoping that those that support LT Behenna will be willing to pour that over to other soldiers in need.

Sadly, within the same platoon that was hit with the IED allegedly planted by Ali Mansur’s people, there are soldiers that have serious PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) from that incident.  In addition, one of those soldiers, has struggled to adjust to being home.  These soldiers should not be forgotten either. LT Behenna, SSG Warner, and all the members of their platoon have been casualties of the IED attack on LT Behenna’s platoon.  The effects continue to be far reaching.

9 thoughts on “Let LT Behenna’s Ongoing Defense Help Other Soldiers

  1. What amazes me is that this has been framed as a conservative vs. liberal matter. Correct me if I’m wrong but is it not true that these charges were brought against Behenna during the Bush administration? In addition, this is being framed as the mistreatment of a “war hero” we are hearing very little about what really happened, what your client really witnessed, and why Behenna’s superiors felt the investigation and charges were necessary. The voices of the Behenna supporters are too shrill and too powerful for anyone to ask? What was the true evidence that a jury of his peers believed 25 years (now down to 15) was justified?

    1. I am not framing this as conservative versus liberal matter. The charges were brought against Behenna. The government prosecutors in the case were very passionate and believed this was premeditated murder. They did not believe that Behenna was a “war hero.” Behenna’s Chain of Command did a full investigation, including getting CID involved. If you have read all of my blogs detailing this case, you know that I thought the panel weighed the evidence in front of them and made a decision that although Behenna’s supporters don’t agree, was easily justifiable.

      1. Anyone suspected of a crime E-7 and above and involved in so called war crimes are CAT I reportable offenses. This involves monitoring of the investigation progress by Command every 4 hours by regulation. The incident my be reported into MP and then CID channels. This became a hot button issue case and then Holder’s DOJ railroaded it from there.

  2. There is a recent article that can be found on line (see below)…Query: The government has been silent, how does one access the appellate brief of the government? Are these military court filings publicly accessible?

    Behenna responds to military court filing
    Attorneys … appealing a prison sentence responded to military “misrepresentations” in a recent court filing.
    On Aug. 6, Jack Zimmermann filed appeal-related paperwork for 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, serving a 15-year sentence for killing…who was in Army custody.
    In response to the government’s filing, Zimmermann pointed to its (the Government’s) misrepresentation(s)…

    p.s. How is your client, Mitch Warner, now doing?

  3. There is a recent article that can be found on-line (see below)…
    Query: The government has been silent, how does one access the appellate brief of the government? Are these military court filings publicly accessible? At least there should be some even-handedness in this reporting on-line and off-line, why are we not seeing news stories about the government’s position? In addition, is it not true that Behenna was charged during the Bush administration…why do the Behenna supporters claim this is a liberal attack on Behenna?

    Behenna responds to military court filing
    Attorneys … appealing a prison sentence responded to military “misrepresentations” in a recent court filing.
    On Aug. 6, Jack Zimmermann filed appeal-related paperwork for 1st Lt. Michael Behenna, serving a 15-year sentence for killing…who was in Army custody.
    In response to the government’s filing, Zimmermann pointed to its (the Government’s) misrepresentation(s)…

    p.s. How is your client, Mitch Warner, now doing?

    1. As one of the earlier posters stated: “Noteworthy are his mother, a federal attorney …. and his father, a career agent for the FBI.” These very same people rail on their website and in their interviews that their son is being victimized by the “Government.” They were and are the “Government”!!! It’s called karma…for all the truly innocent people they rail-roaded into prison. They attack the Government, while still drawing their paychecks from the Government. They are playing the people and the true patriots for suckers. They need to unwind their own karmic debt, before expecting the early release of their son.

  4. Behenna is a modern day Breaker Morrant! I served in the aforementioned smallest major army command that came in to exsistance after 1971. The spend as much time trying to get the goods on each other as they do the bad guys. I am a Behenna supporter since I turned in my Badge and Creds. Behenna should have never been brought to a court’s marshall after an article 32 hearing. The next time we have a war, have a draft and send the sons and daughters of the electied officials and captains and kings of industry first! Don’t mess around with “impossible” rules of engagement, see the enemy, kill the enemy. That is all there is too it. Behenna saw the enemy after two of his men were killed and two more were sent home wounded due to an Al Queda cell operating in his platoon sector. Was MI turning a double agent and trying to run the cell leader killed by Behenna? I think so. Behenna saw the enemy and he killed the enemy! Did he do it in a without “Guilty Mind”? I think so. Why is the JAG Prosecution suppressing evidence? Why? Because most of them are a bunch of progressive fairies and trying to make a name for themselves! They are not interested in serving the people of this country as Michael Behenna was! Should we send our warriors to jail for defending us? Enough said… FREE MICHAEL BEHENNA NOW!

    P.S. I served 22 years in the Reserves and retired two years ago.

    1. Prosecutors want US soldier court martialled over Iraq murder
      (AFP) Sep 14, 2008
      The murder was committed on May 16 under a bridge in the northern oil refinery town of Baiji, …. ‘Lieutenant Behenna started talking with Ali Mansur…’ the witness said.
      ‘Behenna …. started taking off Ali Mansur’s clothes with their knives. They then cut his handcuffs.’ Behenna ordered the detainee to sit,… ‘Ali Mansur said I will talk to you but Lieutenant Behenna pulled trigger and killed him,’ the translator said speaking in English, ‘Before we started the patrol, Lieutenant Behenna told to Ali Mansur ‘I will kill you”I was standing 10 metres (yards) back during the shooting — I could see everything even if it was getting dark – …. ‘took the grenade from his pocket, pulled the safety ring, walked around and put the grenade under Ali Mansur’s head. Mohammed was initially believed to have been freed along with another detainee at a checkpoint, but his naked and badly burnt body was found under the bridge the next day…. gruesome testimony of how Mohammed was first shot and then had his face disfigured with a thermite grenade.
      ‘I know he (Behenna) was mad…. Sanchez said. ‘We all thought that we were going to jail for this. …. told us to write that Ali Mansur had been released,’

  5. Hmm…It just occurred to me that old-fashioned execution and the subsequent cover-up are illegal and a detriment to the honor of every person serving in the US military. Enjoy your stay in prison LT, you earned it.

    FWIW, I am a combat vet of both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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