Mother of U.S. Army Lt. Michael Behenna
Wrongly convicted of murdering an al queda operative in Iraq
Monday 8 PM EST
Call ins welcome
From Beverly Perlson, founder,Band of Mothers:
Sent: Monday, June 1, 2009 11:14:28 AM
Subject: Re: Michael Behenna
As the mother of a Son who has served 4 deployments with the 82nd Airborne, I write to you, Joshua, to request contact information, such as an email address or mailing address for Brig General Stephen Townsend. I understand from the family of Michael that the General is reviewing Michael’s case and this outrageous and harsh sentence of 25 years in prison.
This case is a tragedy and I grieve for Michael and his family. Michael’s mother and father also have served this country in their jobs and this decision has been most devastating for them. There is a petition online in support of Michael Behenna and I invite you to read the comments made on this petition. There are over 1600 signatures in less than a week!
I implore you to allow me contact information so that we can reach out to Brig Gen Townsend and fight for Michael as he fought for all of us…Michael had the love of his brothers and his country in his heart. He defended himself and killed an enemy and now he sits in jail for 25 years. Many of us regard Michael as a Hero. He killed the enemy, isn’t that what we expect our Soldiers to do, or are we suppose to try and talk to the enemy now, ask them not to kill our Soldiers. Michael would have been regarded a Hero during WWII for what he did. With decisions such as this one, I do not believe we will ever win another war. Further, if this sentence is allowed to stand, then I withdraw my support of this war and I will begin a campaign to bring our troops home to keep anymore of these brave men and women from suffering prison sentences for killing evil terrorists. If this sentence
stands, I could not look anyone in the eye and encourage them to fight for a country that treats it’s Soldiers with such little regard! I cannot tell you how my heart aches for this brave Soldier and his family.
Thank You and please supply me with contact information for the General, or feel free to forward this email onto him. Please exepedite this as my understanding is the General will be making a decision very soon.
God Bless and Watch Over All The Brave Men and Women of Our Military! With decision likes this one, they need all the help they can get!
The Band of Mothers
There are so many of us who feel Michael Behenna’s sentence was wrong and unjust and feel it is our duty to fight for Michael’s freedom as he has fought for ours. Michael’s sentence of 25 years for defending himself and killing a known terrorist is so terribly wrong and unjust. I am aware of all the facts of this case as are many…I suggest that whoever sent him on this mission to return this terrorist to his hometown made the worst decision. What are we doing to these fine young men who volunteer to fight for all of us? Decisions like this one are a disgrace to every Soldier serving and I see no good to come of this. Michael is a Hero in the minds of so many and to send him to prison for 25 years is an outrage. Further, I do not believe the prosecution in this case was truly seeking the truth but more a “win”. Nobody wins in this case now but the terrorists. Our Soldiers are let down and I see
only two things to come out of a decision such as this: More Soldiers will be killed because they will hesitate to defend themselves for fear they will be charged with murder by the very country they volunteered to fight for; and the military will see less and less men and women willing to step up to the plate to defend this country that throws them in prison for killing the enemy! I can tell you that I will not encourage anyone to join this military, based on the Haditha cases and now this one. What troubles all of us about this case is this information from Dr. MacDonnell:
This is from Dr. MacDonnell:
“On Thursday afternoon when I heard Lt. Michael Behenna testify as to the circumstances of how the two shots were fired I could not believe how close it was to the scenario I had described to you (prosecution team consisting of Meghan Poirier, Jason Elbert, and Erwin Roberts) on Wednesday. I am sure that had I testified I would have wanted to give my reenactment so the jury could have had the option of considering how well the defendant’s story fit the physical facts. This, of course would not have been helpful to the prosecution case. However, I feel that it is quite important as possible exculpatory evidence so I hope that, in the interest of justice, you informed Mr. Zimmerman (defense counsel) of my findings. It certainly appears like Brady material to me.” Excerpted from email from Dr. Herbert MacDonell, the government’s expert witness, which was sent to the prosecution team on the day the jury deliberated and found Michael Behenna guilty of
murder. This email was forwarded on to defense counsel after the verdict. Dr. MacDonell had met with the prosecution team on Wednesday (two days before the verdict) to demonstrate his scenario of what must have happened. After hearing this the prosecution team chose not to put him on the stand. Dr. MacDonell told defense counsel as he was leaving the courtroom to catch a plane on Thursday night ‘Too bad I wasn’t allowed to testify because I would have been your best witness.’ When asked by defense counsel why that would be Dr. MacDonell explained that he was still retained by the government and so he couldn’tt say, but to ask the prosecution. On Friday morning the defense counsel asked the prosecution what exculpatory evidence they had related to Dr. MacDonell and lead prosecutor Meghan Poirier stated that they had NONE! Later that same day during closing arguments Jason Elbert and Meghan Poirier of the prosecution team argued that Lt
Behenna’s explanation of the shooting was ‘impossible’ despite knowing that their own expert witness had told them that ‘it was the only logical explanation based upon the evidence.”
My hope is that the General will show leniency and reduce this sentence. Thinking back on Lt. Calley and the My Lai incident (who was convicted of 3 murders) Lt. Calley only ended up serving 3 1/2 years under house arrest! I quote a comment that is left on an article about this case in Human events:
“I would suggest that those who believe in the Military justice system read this whole story (link below)… There is no justice there is only political expediency.. There is no statute of limitations on War Crimes. Shall we go after the greatest generation next? War is hell anger is a part of war.. you don’t send your troops into war and expect them to be ‘politically correct’ in an inhuman environment. It’s time we follow the rules of the Geneva convention. The Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists. If not we should at least treat this generation of warriors as we did the ‘Greatest Generation’