DIRTY JAGS BELONG IN DB - NOT ARMY LT THEY
"RAILROADED" BY WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE AND
COMMITTING OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
TESTIMONY FROM PROSECUTION "EXPERT
WITNESS" NOT CALLED - EXCULPATORY
EVIDENCE NOT SHARED WITH DEFENSE - IF HAD
BEEN, COULD HAVE UNDERCUT PROSECUTORS'
CLAIM MICHAEL BEHENNA SHOT AL QAEDA
OPERATIVE IN COLD BLOOD - 101ST AIRBORNE
TROOPER DESERVES NEW TRIAL - REAL "CRIME"
HE IN LEAVENWORTH - NOT DISHONEST
"WIN-ANY-WAY-YOU-CAN" JAG PROSECUTORS
© 2009 MilitaryCorruption.com
Those who are supposed to uphold the law and deliberately violate it, should not escape punishment. But that appears to be the case in the miscarriage of justice that sent U.S. Army 1LT Michael Behenna to the Leavenworth DB for the next 20 years.
The "win-any-way-you-can" JAG prosecutors - who tried to railroad the officer on "premeditated murder" charges and put him in prison for the rest of his life - got caught with-holding exculpatory evidence during the lieutenant's court-martial. They should be locked up instead.
There are two kinds of JAG officers. Readers of this web site over the past ten years (see "related stories box" below) know while there are honorable men and women in that profession, more than a few ambitious and unprincipled military lawyers would frame an innocent person in a heartbeat if it helped them get a promotion or further their career.
We don't know what went on in the minds of the three prosecuting attorneys who deliberately deceived the defense team and violated court rules by trying to hide the fact one on their "expert witnesses" was ready to give testimony that would demolish their false claim Behenna shot an Al Qaeda operative "in cold blood" as he was sitting on a rock in Iraq.
JAG PROSECUTORS VIOLATE RULES ON EXCULPATORY EVIDENCE
Dr. Herbert MacDonnell, who should be commended for his honor and integrity, was not called to the stand by the prosecution when they realized his expert testimony would seriously undercut their case.
MacDonnell later told a civilian defense attorney his study showed Behenna did not shoot Ali Mansur Mohammed as he helplessly was sitting down, but that the likely terrorist, suspect in the IED murder of several Americans a month before his death in May 2008, was "standing upright" with his arms out at the time the fatal shots rang out.
Lt. Behenna had been tasked with returning Mansur to his village after the local Iraqi authorities couldn't absolutely prove he was the mastermind behind recent attacks on American troops in the area. Obviously frustrated and using poor judgment, the 26 year-old lieutenant decided to do an "interrogation" of his own in an area close to Forward Operation Base Summerall in Iraq.
Holding his handgun in the suspect's face, he didn't expect the Iraqi to stand up and lunge for the weapon. It went off and Mansur was dead. MacDonnell's investigation showed the bullet was fired horizontally, not in a downward trajectory. If the expert's testimony had been given, it would have turned the entire trial on it's head.
Behenna could have gotten off with lighter punishment for disobeying an order and been spared such a draconian prison term.
IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE, A NEW TRIAL MUST BE HELD
Ace defense attorney Jack Zimmerman asked the JAG prosecutors several times if they had "any" exculpatory evidence to share, according to law. Each time they denied they did, until MacDonnell came forward with his revelation. By then, however, it was too late. Lt. Behenna had already been found "guilty."
Request for a new trial has been denied, but there is still hope that a clemency hearing later this month could reverse the verdict or at least greatly shorten the sentence. And the case has been appealed to the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals.
Tried before a jury of officers who lacked combat experience, has Michael Behenna been sacrificed on the altar of "political correctness?" Is the present administration in Washington more interested in not "ruffling the feathers" of Iraqi politicians than in providing true justice for a decorated airborne officer who risked his life in service of our country?
We urge you to write, call and/or e-mail your members of Congress. Contact the "mainstream media" and ask why - with the notable exception of the Los Angeles TIMES - they have ignored this travesty. Click on http://defendmichael.wordpress.com/. Please help!
[EDITOR'S NOTE: Those of you who have been the victim of prosecutorial misconduct on the part of JAG attorneys are invited to contact us at email@example.com.]