This corrects a grave injustice. But it won’t be over until they clear his name. On March 20th, 2009, Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Ali Mansur, a known Al Qaeda operative, while serving in Iraq. Mansur was known to be a member of an Al Qaeda cell operating in Behenna’s area of operation and was suspected to have organized an attack on Lt. Behenna’s platoon in April 2008 that killed two U.S. soldiers and injured two more. Army intelligence ordered the release of Mansur, and Lt. Behenna was ordered to return the terrorist to his home.
During the return of Mansur, Lt. Behenna again questioned the Al Qaeda member for information about other members of the terrorist cell, and financial supporters. During this interrogation, Mansur attacked Lt. Behenna, who killed the jihadist in self-defense. The government subsequently prosecuted Lt. Behenna for premeditated murder.
Not only is this a miscarriage of justice on the behalf of Lt. Behenna, who was acting to prevent further loss of life in his platoon, it is demoralizing to the U.S. troops who continue to fight on behalf of the freedom and security of our nation. Whether it is U.S. border patrol agents, members of the armed forces, or FBI agents, no individual who is serving on the frontlines in the War on Terror should be so blatantly mistreated.
“Michael Behenna Earns Parole,” Bob McCarty, February 12, 2014
First Lieutenant Michael Behenna, the young Army Ranger officer sent to prison for killing a known al-Qaeda operative in Iraq, has been granted parole by the U.S. Army Clemency and Parole Board in Washington, D.C., according to a news report today. He will be released from prison March 14.
Behenna, 30, has been behind bars at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for five years after being sentenced to 25 years and, later, having that term reduced to 15 years.
Below are a handful of links to the most important articles among the more than 60 articles I’ve published about his case since June 4, 2009:
- Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna Sentenced to 25 Years for Killing Known Terrorist in Self-Defense – Show Him Some Support
- Army 15-6 Investigation Report Proves Elusive (Jan. 15, 2013);
- Is Army Protecting Someone in Officer’s Chain of Command? (Aug. 20, 2012);
- American Warfighters Deserve Same Consideration as Taliban (July 17, 2012); and
- Photos Show Scene Where Trail of Injustice Began (Feb. 10, 2010).