Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Behenna Seeks Clemency from Obama

Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has rejected his appeal, Lt. Michael Behenna, will "turn full-time toward the clemency and parole process."  Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the unpremeditated shooting and killing of an unarmed Iraqi man during the course of an interrogation. The incident followed an insurgent attack with an improvised explosive device (I.E.D.) that killed two soldiers and three Iraqi civilians. Kali Borkoski described it as follows:
The driver of Christofferson’s MRAP didn’t see the IED. As it detonated, the vehicle somersaulted and crashed down on its roof in a cloud of smoke and dust. The force of the explosion rocketed an axle off the driveshaft, hurling it into the desert sky where it hung for a moment before slamming down. 
The driver of the second vehicle threw it into reverse. Some of the men in that MRAP didn’t even wait for him to stop before jumping out and running towards the explosion. Someone shouted into the radio, “Mad Dog 5 has been hit!” When the wounded MRAP settled to a stop it was empty, with its former passengers – depending on their injuries – either limping out of the smoke or lying in the dust around the wrecked vehicle. 
Christofferson had been thrown the farthest away from the wreckage. He landed face up, his mouth and brown eyes agape, hands at his sides with fingers crumpled. The lower half of his body was gone. Kohlhass was dead too, although he didn’t look it. He had barely a scratch. His lips were still quivering as the men from the second vehicle got to him. But then he was gone. Internal injuries, they would learn. 
Intelligence sources had linked the prisoner to the attack. But, Behenna claims that he actually acted in self-defense, when the prisoner reached for a handgun. Behenna's petition to the Supreme Court was supported by 27 retired generals and admirals. See story here. and here. Original documents on the case can be found here.

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