“I WISH HIM ALL THE BEST”
by Sharon Rondeau
(Nov. 19, 2019) — On Tuesday The Post & Email spoke with a reader and octogenarian who exchanged correspondence with 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, one of three service members pardoned or restored in rank by President Trump on Friday in a late-afternoon announcement.
Last year Mrs. Norma Whiting sent Lorance, now 34, two letters while he was imprisoned at the military barracks at Ft. Leavenworth. Lorance was serving a 19-year sentence resulting from convictions on two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder while he was serving in 2012 with the 82nd Airborne Division in Afghanistan.
As a newly-installed platoon leader, Lorance ordered the soldiers under his command to fire on three men approaching them on a motorcycle who, though outside of Lorance’s line of sight, he judged to be terrorists based on the information relayed to him in the chaotic moment. Two were killed and the third escaped.
Following court-martial and convictions, Lorance was sentenced to 20 years in prison and on appeal, granted a reprieve of one year. Nine members of the platoon testified against him, although Lorance himself did not fire on the motorcycle-riders.
One of Lorance’s attorneys, former Navy JAG officer and prolific author Don Brown, said in an April interview that “The prosecution of Lieutenant Clint Lorance is the most disgusting military prosecution imaginable and should never have been brought. In fact, those who made the despicable decision to prosecute this American hero should be prosecuted themselves as far as I’m concerned…I have prosecuted dozens of felony-level cases in the military justice system before dozens of military juries, recognizing responsibility of the prosecution to be forthcoming with the defense, and not hide exculpatory evidence, from either the defense team at trial, or from the military jury. The prosecution in the Clint Lorance case hid evidence that the three Afghans who Clint’s men fired upon were Taliban bomb-makers whose bombs were used to kill Americans.”
Brown added that in his view, Lorance’s prosecution was politically-motivated out of the Obama regime’s concern for Afghan-U.S. relations at the time.
Mrs. Whiting shared with us a letter she received from Lorance late last year dated January 1, 2019 in which he expressed optimism about a potential positive resolution of his case despite his then-five-year imprisonment. One of his options at the time, he wrote, was a habeas corpus petition, an aspect of the case reported by United American Patriots (UAP), a non-profit organization which sought to ruling compel a reversal of Lorance’s convictions and provided funds for his legal defense.
Lorance began his letter, “Dear Norma, well, hello, young lady…,” about which Mrs. Whiting commented to The Post & Email, “He got that wrong!”
Mrs. Whiting said Lorance thanked her for including in her letter various internet printouts about his case as well as entertaining and humorous items. Lorance was without internet access, he wrote in his letter, and said that television and radio media were not as expansive as the internet.
In September The Post & Email interviewed David “Bull” Gurfein, UAP CEO, just before a congressional delegation traveled to Leavenworth to meet with Lorance and three others whose stories UAP has featured on its website.
Later in the letter, Lorance extended his condolences to Mrs. Whiting on the death of her husband Gene several years ago. Well into their later years, Mr. and Mrs. Whiting were deeply engaged in exposing public corruption in both Florida and Tennessee.
Lorance expressed admiration for both of his parents, Mrs. Whiting read to us from the letter, and concluded it with, “Never give up; never give in.”
At the end of our interview, we asked Mrs. Whiting her impression of Lorance’s interview on Monday morning’s “Fox & Friends,” at which time she informed us that she does not own a television and therefore did not see it. Following our phone call, we sent Mrs. Whiting a link to Lorance’s appearance, his first since being released from prison Friday evening.
Of her own perception of Lorance’s case, Mrs. Whiting offered the following commentary:
My daughter and I were just talking a little bit ago, and she and I agreed that we would not want to see any of our young people in a position like that, making a split-second decision and having it come up like that. Our military deserves much better. Not only that; the nine men that testified against him saying that those men on the motorcycle were innocent — Clint was new at this command. Why didn’t they go to him first and tell him instead of at trial? I have some very strong convictions about it.
After viewing Lorance’s Fox & Friends interview, Mrs. Whiting told us, “I like Clint even more now. He was humble….. not bitter and spoke well of our country. I wish him all the best.”
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.