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Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

YESSSSS!

Second day of good news for our servicemen!

UPDATE JUST IN: 2d Navy SEAL, Jonathan Keefe, acquitted in Baghdad trial!!!!!  Let us hope and pray that Matthew McCabe, whose trial is scheduled to begin on May 3, is also exonerated.

God Bless Justice–it’s been a long road but it finally happened for Sgt. Larry Hutchins yesterday in military appeals court.

A most gratifiying result: CONVICTION OVERTURNED!

From North Carolina Times:

A military appeals court on Thursday overturned the murder conviction of a Camp Pendleton Marine who had been found guilty of leading his squad in the 2006 kidnapping and slaying of an Iraqi man in the village of Hamdania.

The U.S. Navy-Marine Corps Court of Appeals said Thursday that it made the ruling because an attorney for Sgt. Larry Hutchins’ was improperly dismissed prior to the man’s 2007 trial.

That act alone is sufficient to set aside Hutchins’ conviction for the April 2006 incident and erase his 11-year prison sentence, the nine-member court found.

Backstory:

Advocates Call Iraq Marine’s Court Martial and Conviction Into Question

Former Marines investigating the case say there is far more than meets the eye; the court martial is currently under appeal and review.

Photo of Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins with his lawyer
Photo of Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins with his lawyer
Courtesy: DoD

(SALEM, Ore.) – A Marine convicted for murder in Iraq is receiving increasing public support by those who believe he is not guilty. Marine Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins has been sentenced to 15-years for the killings in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq.

Friends say Hutchins is innocent

Advocates say a number of the government’s dirty secrets bear their load on this Marine, considered by many as a scapegoat.

The particular case in Iraq involves the questionable death of one Iraqi civilian male. Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins III’s parents are not taking it in stride; meeting recently with the head of Marine Corps forces in the Middle East in the wake of their son’s conviction for killing an Iraqi civilian. Marine Lt. Gen James Mattis has been asked to look into inconsistencies that emerged during the recent court martial and consider evidence that was not included in the trial.

Tim Harrington is a personal friend of the Hutchins family who has worked tirelessly on the case.

Advocates of Hutchins like Harrington say the Marine is not the only American combat vet dealing with the “scapegoat” issue; the case of an Army Ranger, SSgt. Ray Girouard, bears unusual similarities to Hutchins’.

Girouard was convicted in March of three counts of negligent homicide for the deaths of three detainees after an Army raid in Iraq in May 2006. Girouard maintains that he was only following orders, as does Hutchins.

Lawrence Hutchins has been in solitary confinement in the Camp Pendleton brig since his conviction and sentencing by a military panel last month. He is now out of solitary confinement. It is reported that he will remain in a multi-man cell until the government decides where he will serve his 15-year sentence.

But a lawyer for Hutchins is preparing papers seeking clemency. It seems there were many questionable aspects to his General Court martial. The case was also automatically forwarded to the Navy-Marine Court of Criminal Appeal for review.

The Deloitte connection

Americans are well aware of the billions of dollars of income that the Iraq War has meant for defense contractors. They might be surprised to learn however, that this relatively quiet “accounting” firm Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has been active in the Al Anbar Province of Iraq for many years. Their psychologists were used to examine Marine Sgt. Lawrence Hutchins.

Marine Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins during his court martial

A group of former marines have been studying the history of the Al Anbar province during 2003-2006. They believe they have put together a fairly clear view of a somewhat larger picture that takes the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu firm and military court martial practices into account.

For the most part, Deloitte claims to be an accounting firm.

Former Marine Warren Bonesteel alleges that they were involved in the outcome of Hutchin’s court martial.

“What we do know for certain is that Deloitte was – and is – directly and indirectly involved in Al Anbar province, and, for our present purposes, specifically in Haditha. We also know that NCIS uses contracted Deloitte psychologists. The same psychologists may have been used by both defense and prosecution legal teams in order to examine the Marines in question. We know that NCIS operatives, ‘managers’, and even the NCIS director himself, have gone to work for Deloitte in the two and some odd years since the incident in question.

Bonesteel says NCIS was in control of intelligence operations in Al Anbar during 2004, including the publishing of propaganda. Problems associated with that effort were later blamed on the platoon/company of combat Marines in question. Bonesteel points out that combat Marines don’t do twenty million dollars worth of publishing. “We also know that Deloitte or its subsidiaries and alliances handle the ‘auditing’ and business ‘consulting’ for a great many of the contractors and sub-contractors in Al Anbar province as well as in other areas of Iraq.

These include construction, healthcare, Internet Technology, transportation, private security firms, food and facilities management, oil industry manufacturing and experts, hydroelectric, banking, labor, education, etc., and so on. NCIS also has several other contracts with Deloitte and its subsidiaries. He says his research also shows that men like William Delahunt, John Murtha and others, including most of those who sit on various appropriations committees, receive more than half of their campaign contributions from Deloitte and from its subsidiaries or “alliances.”

Others on that list include Walter B. Jones, Trent Lott and Nancy Pelosi.

“We know that Deloitte directly or indirectly handles a great many, if not most, of the contracts going into the Pentagon, including retirement, life insurance and healthcare. We know that Deloitte also handles the money and business consulting for most of the companies and conglomerates who contract with the Pentagon. We know that Deloitte and it’s subsidiaries and ‘alliances’ have lobbyists all over D.C. and in every state capitol in America.”

He says they have offices and lobbyists in nearly every national capitol and, seemingly, in almost every provincial and state capitol in the world.

“We know that men like Delahunt also have direct and indirect connections to known terrorist supporters and to lobbyists with both direct and indirect ties to Deloitte. Among these groups and lobbyists are individuals, banks, and groups directly and indirectly associated with CAIR, the ISNA, MAS, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Muslim individuals, groups and organizations on a national and international basis. Deloitte is also involved directly and indirectly handling financing for those same groups and organizations.”

Bonesteel says most of these individuals, and almost all of the organizations, are known to actively support Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Queda, among other terrorist and jihadist groups. “And we have Delahunt’s staff lawyer currently sitting in the courtrooms of these court martials, and allowed to wander about them quite freely, including ‘advising’ the prosecution’s legal teams.” He says that Deloitte has had – and continues to have – business dealings with Iran, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia, and others committed to the open or subversive destruction of America.

“We know that several of those nations are actively involved in supporting terrorist operations in Iraq and around the world.” He says that what the don’t know at the moment, is what specific event or series of events, or series of ‘business deal’ began what he calls the slide towards having our fighting men and women prosecuted for ‘murdering’ the enemies of America in known combat zones.

“Killing the enemy is what they get paid for. In a combat zone, on an active battlefield, killing the other guy first has always been considered to be a measure of success by military strategists and tacticians throughout history.”

The Marine’s friend says that even with the above mentioned issues aside, there are glaring problems with the military justice system.

“For example, there is no outside accountability, and the military’s Senior SNCO and staff level officer ranks are relatively small, almost inbred, communities. NCIS has little or no accountability to anyone, anywhere. NCIS has also begun ‘civilian’ operations within the United States, most notably within the state of Washington. JAG isn’t much better.”

He says the public needs to be on the lookout over “questionable” principles employed during these Iraq War court martials. That includes future NCIS and JAG officers’ promotions, future options regarding choices of military assignments and deployments, and future civilian employment/careers and other forms of “remuneration.”

Bonesteel suspects that within two to four years, they and/or their proteges will make surprising leaps in their careers and financial well-being.

“In any case, we well understand why Delahunt, Walter B Jones and a dozen others on both sides of the aisle have completely ignored our efforts to bring to light evidence that will exonerate the Haditha Marines…and prove their innocence. General Mattis is also quite aware of what we have presented.” As for the case of Army SSgt Ray Girouard, the town of Sweetwater, Tennessee is maintaining a vigilant show of support. A sign hanging in the middle of town states: “SSgt. Ray Girouard Fought For Us, Now We Fight For Him.”

“This is such a small, close community. He grew up in this community and they just felt responsible for Ray,” one of his neighbors said.

In this small Tennessee town fundraisers and cash donations have flowed in, allowing them to hire a private attorney for Girouard and help his family pay expenses. Despite his conviction, the community continues to believe in Girouard’s innocence and say they support his ongoing bid for clemency.

In the meanwhile, citizens of Sweetwater are paying for Girouard to get a college education while serving a 10 year prison term.

Larry Orr is the pastor of the First Assembly of God church in Sweetwater. He says the town is conservative and pro-establishment for the most part, but they quickly sensed something was wrong, based on what they knew of Girouard.

“We all felt pretty early on there we were left with plenty of reason to believe that our guy did not out and out murder anybody,” Orr stated.

The local VFW in Hutchin’s hometown quietly assisted the family with travel expenses. Friends have provided support through the sale of “Free Larry” T-shirts. Harrington hopes to expand the effort in the weeks to come. Friends of the family hope to generate support for Hutchins with a town meeting that will take a closer look at the case and the inconsistencies that developed during last week’s court martial.

According to the Marine’s advocates, “The fight has just begun.”

Tim King Salem-News.com

May the Truth continue to shine its way on all of America and our servicemen upon whom the vagaries of political correctness and political expediency have fallen and may all those thusly incarcerated soon be free.

And, VERY special thanks to all those who have worked so hard to free Sgt. Hutchins and all wrongly incarcerated troops…YOU know who you are…TIM…and that coffee drinking, cigarette smoking guy we all know and love…a VERY special H/T to you!

Oh, and please see Sgt. Tim Harrington, USMC, ret. http://citizentsunami.wordpress.com …he’s got the goods, the moxie and the honor the USMC demands!

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Special 2 Hour Show Tonight
Welcoming the Families
of
Evan Vela, Corey Clagett
and
Vicki Behenna

Mondays at 8 PM EST

Mondays 8:00 PM EST

(347) 202-0569

“The Dame Truth”
Welcomes
Family & Friends
of
Pfc. Corey Clagett
Sgt.Evan Vela
Lt. Michael Behenna
Pfc. Corey Clagett, Sgt. Evan Vela & Lt. Michael Behenna are just three of a growing number of our military wrongly accused and incarcerated for doing their duty in combat zones, victims of political correctness, expediency and politics as usual.  Join us to meet their families and learn about their fight to survive and clear the names of their loved ones and that of so many others.  They, like so many others, are being held in Ft. Leavenworth.

Please Write to Corey, Michael & Evan

Sgt. Evan Vela 84486
1300 N.Warehouse Rd.  Ft.Leavenworth,KS 66207

Sgt. Michael Behenna 87503
1300 N.Warehouse Rd.  Ft.Leavenworth,KS 66207

PFC Corey Clagett 82477
1300 N.Warehouse Rd.  Ft.Leavenworth,KS 66207

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Saturday Night Special 11 PM EST

Kickback 2scriptautocrop
http://www.phnmedia.com/the-dame-truth
 (347) 215-6929
 
Join The Dame


To Welcome


Jamie Leahy


Wife of Sgt.Michael Leahy
http://www.supportsgtleahy.com/
 
Upcoming 4 Part CNN Documentary to air Nov. 10th, 2009 at 10 PM EST
on
AC-360
 
One of the “Leavenworth Ten”, as they are now called, Sgt. Leahy is a recipient of a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and 3 Army Commendations and held a distinguished record in the Army during his 6 years of service in the Middle East.  As as result of a complicated series of events, Sgt. Leahy is now incarcerated at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas,
Leahy was initially sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty for 2007 killings near Baghdad. Mayo, who had pleaded guilty to premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit premeditated murder had received a 35-year sentence under a pretrial agreement.
“None of us really know what these soldiers face when they are over there, the stress and strain they are under,” Debbie Leahy, the soldier’s mother, told the Chicago Tribune. “I am not embarrassed by what my son did. He did what he believed he had to do to survive.”
In June of 2009, Sgts. Leahy and Mayo were granted clemency and received reduced prison terms in a ruling by of Brig. Gen. David R. Hogg.
The fact remains, however, that our troops and their families are in jeopardy in the complicated matrix that prevails in combat zones, political correctness and political expediency.  Tonight’s “Kicking Back” will serve as a prologue to Monday Night’s “The Dame Truth” which features Sgt. Tim Harrington, USMC and Walter F. Fitzpatrick III, as they delve into some of the issues that lie at the heart of these tragic stories.

“It is within the power of writers and artists to do much more: to defeat the lie!”    –Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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the dame truthscripttiny

http://thedametruth.net/
http://blogtalkradio.com/The-Dame-Truth
Mondays  8:00 PM EST

(347) 202-0569

“The Dame Truth”
Welcomes
Sgt. Dean J. Sanchez
Decorated 4 tour Iraq & Afghanistan Veteran
to talk about
Home & War: What’s Next
On the Ground
At Home
Pt II

For more information, please click the links below!

http://feelingsfrommyheart.org/Bio_Sgt_Sanchez.html

http://feelingsfrommyheart.org/2nd_Batalion_8thMarinesCO_G_MemorialPage.html

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584590782_m

Hard at work here in New York with 4 time combat vet Sgt. Dean J. Sanchez, USMC, we’ve enjoyed several days of balmy, Fall weather as backdrop to our work, preparing for tomorrow’s exclusive Kicking Back and material to come. It hardly seems possible that over a year has passed since we met in Denver during my tenure there with PUMA.  In that year, he returned to South Asia and I learned much and changed my mind about a great many things I once believed immutable and sacred:
     Our election laws;
     Our Constitution;
     Our media Amendment rights;
     Integrity & Accountability of our congress & Government
Sgt. Sanchez returned from South Helmand and his 4th tour of combat duty  in September and kindly agreed to spend some time with me to assist in getting a firsthand report on some of the things that most concern so many Americans:
     The Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan and the differences between them;  Rules of Engagement and their impact on the safety of our troops, Media coverage, What changes have occurred in the Military since 2003
Over the course of our ongoing conversations, Sgt. Sanchez continues to inspire me, sharpen my skills as a writer and as a person and remind me once again–as if I needed reminding–how many incredibly strong, bright and committed people there are in this world at a time when it can be all too easy to lose faith in ones’ fellow human beings. He brings to the table not only his years of combat duty but a keen mind, an extraordinary personal journey and a degree in Criminal Justice.
His views, in my opinion, reflect the best of what America has to offer: intellect honed with on the ground experience, fired by strong background knowledge of our Constitution and our history and tempered by the kind of resourcefulness, committment and individuality that has made our country the great model for independence and personal accomplishment that it has become.
In countless interviews with foreign press, I have time and again asked them just why the rest of the world continues to watch our every move with respect to our politics, our Constitutional issues and foreign policy. The answer is always the same, and always succinct: it is because it is our Constitution upon which every free nation’s Constitution is based; and they watch with baited breath to see how we will handle our challenges, for if America’s Republic falls, they see no way for theirs to survive.

 While there are myriad reasons for a Republic to fall–and, indeed, historically, no republic has survived for more than 250 years–there are myriad reasons for ours to continue despite the serious challenges we now face. From the Fed to constant challenges to our Constitution, the threat of serious demoralization both to our military and our People, America and Americans have something that few, if any, other republics have ever had: some call it Attitude; others tenacity, but all would agree that those who would seek to destroy us are ignorant of the singularly major factor that will determine our longevity as a Republic: WE…ARE…AMERICANS, and there are a LOT more of US than there are of THEM. And if we all remember that and work together, we shall prevail, now and always.

l_adc0a53326f24229bf4fcec755448bb6 2/8 CO. G. Infantry Assaultmen                    Camp Leatherneck                   May 2009

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI_RgWVgnas

Until tonight ~ 

Semper Fi.

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the dame truth

Welcomes

 

Vicki Behenna

 

Mother of U.S. Army Lt. Michael Behenna

Wrongly convicted of murdering an al queda operative in Iraq

 http://defendmichael.org

http://www.petitiononline.com/MBehenna/petition.html

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1189604/This-hell-troops-endured-liberate-country-Mr-Sarkozy.html

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=32035&page=7#c1

http://blogtalkradio.com/The-Dame-Truth

Monday 8 PM EST

 (347) 202-0569

Call ins welcome

From Beverly Perlson, founder,Band of Mothers:

From: <bevperl@sbcglobal.net>
To: joshua.wick@us.army.mil
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!

http://www.petitiononline.com/MBehenna/petition.html

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!

Beverly Perlson
The Band of Mothers
www.thebandofmothers.com
630-820-3611

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:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=32035&page=7#c1


“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’

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