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“WE ARE IN THE PRAYER STAGE”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Oct. 22, 2013) — First Lt. Michael Behenna is awaiting a parole hearing after having been sentenced to Ft. Leavenworth prison for 15 years for allegedly committing unpremeditated murder while serving as a platoon leader in Iraq in 2008.
Behenna killed an unarmed Al Qaida member, Ali Mansur, who lunged at him during an interrogation following an IED explosion which had killed two of Behenna’s men several weeks before.
On a website established to publicize Behenna’s case, it is stated that “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.” Michael is now 30 and has served one-third of his sentence.
After requesting an update from Michael’s father, The Post & Email received the following:
We are in the prayer stage as his parole packet has been turned in and Michael’s parole hearing at the Disciplinary Barracks is OCT 22, followed by the full Pardon hearing in DC – hopefully in December. Vicki and I will represent Michael in DC and we should hear the results about two weeks after the DC Hearing.
Mr. Behenna also thanked us for our inquiry and continued interest in his son’s case.
Michael is one of ten military members incarcerated with lengthy sentences as a result of the “war on terror.” A recent case brought against Lt. Clint Lorance has resulted in a 20-year sentence at Leavenworth for allegedly ordering the killing of two “spotters” for the Taliban who were planning an ambush of Lorance’s men last year.
The Post & Email has written extensively on the court-martial process, which does not begin with a grand jury review or involve a jury of one’s peers, as outlined in the Fifth and Sixth Amendments of the Bill of Rights. The military justice system instead employs a “panel” which can consist of officers who work for the officer acting as the accuser or who are otherwise compromised against the accused. Courts-martial can be influenced by commanders for political and retaliatory reasons.
The Post & Email extends its best wishes to the Behenna family at this time.