Sunday, December 6, 2009

Whose side is our Defense Department on, anyway?

We all remember the popular television show JAG (1995-2005) that had stories of diligent military lawyers who investigated and litigated crimes committed by Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Their fairness and objectivity were the hallmark of military justice. Welcome to the real world where today lawyers for the Department of Defense are prosecuting members of the Armed Forces fighting a despicable and treacherous fanatical enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan. I posted a story a few days ago about three Navy SEALS who were sent to capture Ahmed Hashim Abed the alleged mastermind behind the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. Ahmed Hashim Abed told investigators he was punched by his captors — and he had the bloody lip to prove it so our diligent Defense Department JAG lawyers are going to Court Martial the Navy SEALS on multiple charges.
Matthew McCabe, a Special Operations Petty Officer Second Class (SO-2), is facing three charges: dereliction of performance of duty for willfully failing to safeguard a detainee, making a false official statement, and assault.

Petty Officer Jonathan Keefe, SO-2, is facing charges of dereliction of performance of duty and making a false official statement.

Petty Officer Julio Huertas, SO-1, faces those same charges and an additional charge of impediment of an investigation.

Now comes another story about a greater miscarriage of military justice. It is the case of lst Lt Michael Behenna, who was convicted at a Court Martial and is serving 20 years at Leavenworth for defending himself!!!

Here is an excerpt from an email sent by Beverly Perlson from the organization The Band of Mothers:

In the case of lst Lt Michael Behenna, who was convicted at a Court Martial for DEFENDING himself against a known terrorist, Ali Mansur, not all the evidence was presented at his trial. The prosecution had a world renowned forensic expert, Dr. MacDonnel, as their witness. However, when the doctor heard Michael's testimony at trial as to what happened, he told the prosecutors Michael was telling the truth based on his examination of the forensic evidence, and that Michael did indeed DEFEND himself against this "KNOWN" terrorist, Ali Mansur, he did not commit pre-mediated murder. What is horrendous is that the prosecution sent Dr. MacDonnell home that day and would not call him as a witness.

This is so terribly wrong as the doctor's testimony would have exonerated Michael  and today he would be at home with his family instead of sitting in Leavenworth, where he has just begun his eighth month of incarceration!  Further, at trial, the judge gave instruction to the jury before deliberations that since Michael had his gun drawn on the "KNOWN" terrorist Ali Mansur, that could be seen as provoking the attack by Mansur!  

As the mother of a Son who served 4 deployments with the 82nd Airborne, that instruction to the jury has frightening implications for our military Heroes.  In other words, if holding a gun on a terrorist in this war means you are provoking an attack by the terrorists, it looks like the Army will fill Leavenworth to the brim with military Heroes who, according to the judge in Michael's trial, do not have the inherent right to defend themselves from terrorists!  Ali Mansur was a known Al Qaeda member.  He had already planted an IED on a roadside and Michael and his men had had been instructed by intelligence to take another route!  Further, Michael had lost two of his men weeks before due to the actions of Ali Mansur and  this Al Qaeda cell!!!

What has happened to lst Lt Michael Behenna is an outrage!   We are affording rights to terrorists and denying our brave men and women the right to defend themselves.  Michael Behenna's mother and myself spent the last two days in DC meeting with Congress and Senate officers and they have expressed to us their concern in this matter also.  I'd like to especially thank Congressman Steve King, who not only offered to  write a letter to the clemency board, but who also will request Michael be released to his family while clemency hearing/appeals take place.  Obviously, the Army does not feel Michael is a threat as Mike was given a presidential detail in the interim before he was formally charged!

Michael Behenna is a Hero who killed a terrorist!  If he was serving during World War II, he would have come home to a ticker tape parade and medals for killing the enemy. Now, in this politically correct war we are fighting, the Army has turned their back on this Hero and sentenced him to 20 years in prison!   God help our military and shame on the Army!  Please write the Secretary of the Army and ask him to afford Michael the inherent right to defend himself against a known terrorist, and let this brave young man go home to his family.

The Honorable John McHugh
Secretary of the United States Army
1400 Defense Pentagon
Washington, D.C. 20301-1400

Thank You.

With A Mother's Heart,

Beverly Perlson
The Band of Mothers

Bob McCarty wrote a piece on Andrew Breitbart Presents BIG GOVERNMENT web site about the plight of these miscarriages of justice.

Six Important Facts About the Assault Charges Three Navy SEALS Face for Doing Their Jobs

In recent years, I’ve published too many posts about members of the Armed Forces facing undeserved charges:

    * First, it was the so-called “Haditha Marines” who faced trumped-up charges, thanks largely to idiots like Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) declaring them guilty before a mainstream media eager to paint them in a bad light.

    * Next, it was Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna who was wrongly convicted of executing an Iraqi detainee, Ali Mansur, on May 16, 2008, and is now serving a 25-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

    * Now, I’m following the case of three Navy SEALs facing assault charges related to their capture of Ahmed Hashim Abed.  Who is Abed?  He’s the alleged planner of the March 2004 ambush, killing and mutilation of four Blackwater contractors in Fallujah, Iraq.  The SEALS gave this enemy combatant piece of dirt a fat lip while apprehending him.

As my first investigative reporting effort related to the SEALs’ case, I offer six important facts about the case you’re likely not to read about in the mainstream media supplied to me by a source whom I cannot name inside the Pentagon:

1) The charges or accusations against the three Navy SEALs were not made from within the SEAL community.  Sources tell me they came from someone within the Navy’s Master-at-Arm community.

2) The SEALs were presented with the option of going to Captain’s Mast for these charges but declined this form of non-judicial punishment and opted for court-martial instead.  Why?  Because they did not want to be judged by those outside of the SEAL community and believed the court-martial route would assure them the representation necessary to prove their innocence.

3) At no time did anyone within the Naval Special Warfare community have any control over these accusations or events other than providing advice or guidance to the accused SEALs.

4) The integrity of the chain of custody of the prisoner is at question.

5) There are extenuating circumstances that indicate there is questionable evidence in some of the accusations made.

6) Evidence will come out in a court-martial that might not have come out in a Captain’s Mast in favor of the accused SEALs.
Why are we prosecuting our heroes? Join the protest.

Do you remember the headlines? It was 2004: Fallujah, Iraq. Four civilian U.S. contractors were transporting supplies for a catering company. They were ambushed, killed, their bodies burned and dragged through the streets, then hung from a bridge on the Euphrates River. A NAVY SEAL TEAM was sent after and captured one of the military’s “most wanted” terrorists, the one responsible for the heinous crime. Now 4 of our bravest and finest are facing prosecution because the scumbag terrorist claimed he got a bloody lip while in their custody.

Rep. Dan Burton on the Navy SEALS Court-Martial: “I would have done much worse. The al-Qaeda Manual says complain of torture if you’re caught.
If this outrageous prosecution infuriates you as much as it did me, there is something you can do about it. To file a citizen’s complaint regarding the treatment of these Navy Seals, please call 813-828-4976, or send emails to Lt. Col. Holly Silkman, spokeswoman for the special operations component of U.S. Central Command,

US Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps
The Office of the Judge Advocate General
Public Affairs
1322 Patterson Ave., Suite 3000
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066

Phone Numbers:
Washington Navy Yard: (202) 685-5190
Comm: (202) 685-5493 :
Pentagon, Room 4C642: (703) 614-7420

AJAG, Military Law
1254 Charles Morris St., SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5047
Comm: (202) 685-7053

SPO public affairs 813-368-9885 that's a cell phone number.

You can also write to the Admiral of SOCOM:

Admiral Eric Olson
7701 Tampa Point Blvd.
MacDill AFB, FL 33621-5323


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