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Old 01-28-2010, 03:00 AM
 
10,325 posts, read 8,947,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twista6002 View Post
Huh? What's that? Was I snoring? My bad.....
Your bad manners is correct. Let me guess, you're a Progressive.

Do your parents know you're playing with adults on the internet?
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Vermont
7,876 posts, read 5,004,731 times
Reputation: 6993
Interesting. Why do you suppose the Bush Administration prosecuted this guy? I guess they must have been trying to make sure the "terrorists" win.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,008 posts, read 17,970,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorhugo View Post
I also have contributed and am shocked that noone shows any interest.
I went off the page to find the second part of the video. I then went to Savage's website. Maybe others did the same.
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:34 AM
 
Location: New York (liberal cesspool)
918 posts, read 419,519 times
Reputation: 222
Default stillkit

Read your last respnse. Putting down floor here today/tomorrow. Will get back here with my complete response over the weekend
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:32 PM
 
Location: New York (liberal cesspool)
918 posts, read 419,519 times
Reputation: 222
Default stillkit

This in response to your earlier post quoted here for reference:

Quote:
Has anyone here done any research on this case beyond the linked video?

I can find no evidence of a cover up, no evidence that Lt. Brehenna was "set up," no evidence to suggest that the Army was out to "get him," no evidence that so-called political correctness had anything to do with this and certainly no evidence that the President of the United States is involved in any way or even should be.

The facts are clear and admitted by all parties, including Brehenna. In violation of his orders, he stripped and interrogated a suspect he'd been ordered to release, threatening to kill him if he did not talk, shot him twice then attempted to burn the body. None of that is disputed by anyone.

The ONLY question revolves around the testimony of an 88 year old forensic expert who examined the evidence and came to the conclusion that the victim was not seated at the time of his murder, but was standing with his arm extended. The prosecution chose to ignore this evidence as it did not seem conclusive at the time (they had not heard Brehenna's side of the story) and the verdict was rendered according to the testimony given. Later, when the defense raised the issue of why the expert had not been called to tesify, the Judge spoke to the expert via telephone, but the old mans hearing was so bad that he gave confusing and contradictory testimony to the Judge. Consequently, the Judge refused the defense motion for a mistrial.

That's the only "miscarriage" of justice in this whole affair. The only question is whether Brehenna intended to kill the suspect or not (he says he only intended to frighten him into testifying) or whether he fired in self-defense as the victim lunged for his pistol.

Even without the testimony of the old man, the Court did not convict Brehenna of the charge of pre-meditated murder, but of un-premeditated murder. In other words, they did not believe Lt. Brehenna actually intended to follow through on his threat to kill the suspect. That leaves only the question of his firing in self defense. Brehenna was sentenced to 25 years in Leavenworth Army Prison, later reduced to 20 years.

Even IF a new trail was held and the testimony of the old man admitted as evidence, there is no reason to think Brehenna would not still be convicted of at least the lower charge of voluntary manslaughter, which would still involve a lengthy prison term.

He admittedly violated his orders, took it upon himself to "correct" what he saw as a failure by Army Intelligence to correctly question the suspect, put himself in a situation where the suspect was in great, mortal danger and completely outside the bounds of the Uniform Code of Military Justice and killed an unarmed prisoner. Those things cannot be denied and no amount of extenuating circumstances will change that. It does not matter of the suspect lunged at him to grab his weapon because he never should have put the suspect in such fear of his life that he felt he had to do something to save himself in the first place. To accept the rationale that he fired in self defense is to effectively blame the victim for his own murder, in spite of the fact that he had no control over what Brehenna did to him.

Nor does it matter that the victim was probably a very bad guy and "needed" killing. The inescapable fact is that he was in Lt. Brehenna's custody and enemy fighters in US custody are not to be tortured, beat up or killed. Things like that happen during combat more regularly than non-Veteran's like to think, but it is ALWAYS illegal and everyone involved with doing such things knows it. The treatment of prisoners and detainees in US Army custody is taught to every soldier, beginning in Basic Training, so there is no "I didn't know" excuse. Though it does happen, it is expressly forbidden and the Army takes such things very, very seriously. That is not a secret to any soldier and especially to officers.

Neither does it matter what the Lt's state of mind was at the time or whether he was suffering from combat trauma. Every soldier in a combat zone suffers from combat stress every day of his life while on deployment, and especially in the Infantry. It is their daily existance, not something which occurs only rarely or on certain occassions. It is the coin of the realm in war.

Yet, unless they have been identified by their chain of command as being overly stressed or have self-reported themselves for a mental evaluation, they are expected to continue to perform their duties within the bounds of the Rules of Engagement, Army policy, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and their orders, combat stress not withstanding. The Army simply cannot, and will not, allow any soldier to claim mental stress during combat for knowingly and willingly violating his orders or the law. To do so would strike at the very heart of the Army's effectiveness in battle. There are avenues and programs to address such things before a soldier takes the law into his own hands and not having availed himself of them, or not having enough visible symptoms which would result in an order to go, the soldier is left without an excuse for his actions.

The bottom line is that Lt. Brehenna is guilty and no amount of outrage, pity or blaming someone else will change that.
************************************************** *****
I'll start by describing my version of the incident as outlined in "The Michael Behanna Story", a copyrighted work for which permission to republish is granted if attribution to www.BobMCcarty.com is made. So done. Underlining of quoted text is NOT original to said text and is added by me for emphasis only. In an editor's note this incident is described as "the spurious case against Lieutenant Behenna". "Spurious" means untrue or illegitimate for those not cognizant of it.

It's 21 April 2008 and Behenna is in command of a three truck desert patrol. Suddenly one truck is hit with an IED. Behenna runs back to the carnage to see that two of his soldiers had been killed. One, his very good friend, had been physically cut in half by the explosion. Also two Iraqis were killed along with other personnel who were gravely injured. As is his responsibility in the period after he informed families of the dead, completed paperwork filings on the incident and continued his responsibilities for his platoon.

Subsequent to this the following is noted for the record..."..psychiatrist Pablo Stewart testified that he was operating under Acute Stress Disorder. ASD is similar to PTSD, except that the symptoms are onset shortly after a traumatic event." Dr. Stewart also testified that earlier experiences Behanna had had from two prior stressful events increased his response to this event and bears on the continuing nightmares he suffered from. "Very little was presented about Michael's stress disorder during the trial, especially the implications of Acute or Post-traumatic Stress Disorders in decision making. Also notable was the failure of the Army to recognize Michael's impairment or offer any coping mechansims to alleviate symptoms."

Protestations you made noting that...
"Yet, unless they have been identified by their chain of command as being overly stressed or have self-reported themselves for a mental evaluation, they are expected to continue to perform their duties within the bounds of the Rules of Engagement, Army policy, the Uniform Code of Military Justice and their orders, combat stress not withstanding. The Army simply cannot, and will not, allow any soldier to claim mental stress during combat for knowingly and willingly violating his orders or the law. To do so would strike at the very heart of the Army's effectiveness in battle. There are avenues and programs to address such things before a soldier takes the law into his own hands and not having availed himself of them, or not having enough visible symptoms which would result in an order to go, the soldier is left without an excuse for his actions." appear to indicate an attitude that a member of the armed forces in combat who is charged with a crime is guilty until proven innocent. I've already noted that his immediate chain of command FAILED in THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES. Yet you embarked upon a running diatribe ignoring that and detailing the varied rationale for should have...could have, totally ignoring the consideration that a psychologically stressed soldier cannot be expected to act rationally IF his instability is considered and recognized and it is clearly apparent it wasn't even considered and therefore not recognized.
His mental stability is of definite interest to any jury in reaching a 'fair' resolution based upon ALL THE FACTS. His superiors' failure in their responsibilities is likewise.

As I proceed I'll underline key points and continue to comment upon them.

What these observations translate to stillkit is that IF Michael's immediate superiors in the field were attentive to what was happening in their command responsibility they should have noted how he was reacting since the incident. They did not! It was their responsibility to be alert enough to know if a junior officer under their command was 'unfit to command' so that they could have taken action to 'relieve him of said command' and referred his case. They were not, so did not! "PTSD and other stress disorders are so prevalent for Iraq veterans that, during the first five months of 2009, 15 soldiers committed suicide at Ft. Campbell, KY. Despite this disturbing trend, Michael's stess reaction received only a cursory acknowledgement during testimony argued to the jury." This begins to suggest to any impartial observer that he may have had an incompetent defense, yet you continue to set about your criticism detailing only what is convenient to convicting him.

In fact you procede to attempt to 'demean' "the testimony of an 88 year old forensic expert" by mentioning his age and then that the judge in the case "when the defense raised the issue of why the expert had not been called to tesify, the Judge spoke to the expert via telephone, but the old mans hearing was so bad that he gave confusing and contradictory testimony to the Judge". I'd submit that such was inproper behavior on the judge's part. Especially considering that you then added this..."Consequently, the Judge refused the defense motion for a mistrial." Give us all concerned with this MISCARRAIGE OF JUSTICE stillkit a break, huh!

Along with the fact that he well may have had an incompetent defense consider this:

"Dr. Herbert Leon MacDonnell, director of the Laboratory of Forensic Science in Corning, N.Y., is an expert whose forensic career spans five decades and includes such high-profile and complex cases as the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and the case against O.J. Simpson. After being flown to Fort Campbell, Ky., by Army prosecutors to serve as an expert witness in the case, U.S. v. Behenna, he wasn’t allowed to testify and the result is tragic.
Instead of allowing Dr. MacDonell to present the factual evidence that corroborated Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna’s self-defense claim and thereby implode the “revenge execution” premise of their case, Army Capts. Meghan Poirier, Jason Elbert and Erwin Roberts violated their own ethics code by hiding this evidence from both the defense team and the jury in order to achieve conviction in a politically-motivated prosecution."

stillkit. Considering ALL this, which you in your hastily concocted "research" failed to unearth, enough so that you felt completely comfortable making this passing comment EVEN after acknowleding the aforementioned judge's phone call.
"That's the only "miscarriage" of justice in this whole affair."

REALLY? I most sincerely hope you'll reassess your position. I care not what or how much experience you have with stress and trauma. This case is about inproper legal conduct and process that in and of itself, each incident unto itself, results in the commission of a crime. In the meantime Michael Behenna is left the 'scapegoat'. You, in your haste to debunk the validity of my topic post support of Lt. Behenna made a rush to judgement based upon a myopic view of the entire battlefield.

I'll rest and let you respond before I continue. There's MUCH more. So much that I have neither mentioned the name of the terrorist insurgent who was allegedly murdered nor the incident yet, but we'll get to that.
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Old 02-03-2010, 03:02 PM
 
Location: New York (liberal cesspool)
918 posts, read 419,519 times
Reputation: 222
Default Gee! I'm gettin' worried...

...it's been six days already and stillkit is still a 'no-show'. Hmmmm!
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,023 posts, read 9,952,917 times
Reputation: 7405
Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorhugo View Post
...it's been six days already and stillkit is still a 'no-show'. Hmmmm!
I'm glad you bumped this back to the top because I've been waiting for your response and simply didn't see that you'd already done so.

LT. Behenna may present evidence of his psychological trauma to the courts martial and may try to lay the blame for that on his superior officers, but that is for the defense to offer, not the prosecution. If he's suffered a miscarriage of justice, the fault lies with his lawyer, not the Army. Misrepresentation is sometimes grounds for an appeal, but it's not so easy to prove as you may think and the appelate court has to accept an appeal on those grounds.

In any case, Lt. Behenna's psychological state at the time is only valid as a mitigating factor since he freely admitted that he did, indeed, disobey his orders and killed an un-armed prisoner. While his chain of command is tasked with recognizing soldiers in trouble, he too is tasked with looking out for his own mental health and he did not report himself for evaluation. The onus lies as much on him as it does anyone else.

Plus, there is plenty of case law and precedent about people claiming PTSD or something similar as an excuse for murder and I don't know of single case where the jury decided in favor of the accused. There may be some out there, but I've never run across them.

Here's the most important thing, though: We're not talking about Joe Blow on the street or a trial in a civilian court concerning a crime which occured long after the stressful event. We're talking about a military courts martial, where the rules are different, trying a case which occured during combat in a time of war.

Behenna is not the first, nor the last, soldier to experience the horror of seeing his buddies blown in half, but he does join a very, very small number of combat veteran's who commited a heinous crime and, when caught, tried to claim, "The war did it to me." The fact is that millions of men and women have seen the same thing, or worse, and did not follow that up with killing an unarmed prisoner under any circumstances.

Yes, war brutalizes people and emotional numbing is a natural byproduct of it, but the great, huge majority of soldiers still recognize right from wrong and legal from illegal. As I stated before, things like that happen in war, but nobody fools themselves into believing it's alright or that retribution won't fall if it's found out. That Behenna knew that too is clearly indicated by his attempt to cover up his crime by burning the body.

No matter the stress he was under, no matter what he'd seen and endured, he KNEW what he was doing was wrong, KNEW it was in direct violation of his orders and KNEW he would get into trouble if anyone found out. Trying to shift the blame after being caught won't wash and has never washed. It was not their fault, LT, it was yours. And a share of the blame resides on his PLTSGT as well. Those senior NCO's are expected to guide their less experienced junior officers and to uphold the highest traditions of the uniformed services by physically stopping an officer from commiting a crime if that's what's necessary.

Just because he COULD abuse a prisoner does not, never has and never will, be a valid excuse or legal justification. Just because he was under a lot of stress or had experienced something awful is no excuse either because ALL Infantry combat veterans have seen and done worse, but they didn't run amok and decide to take matters into their own hands. It is not allowed and is a criminal act. Ask LT. Calley.

Let me give you an example of what should have happened:

My squad leader in Vietnam had previously served with another platoon, but was transfered out to my platoon because he physically restrained that PLTLDR from calling in artillery on an occupied village just because he wanted to. Like Behenna, that LT knew it was wrong, knew it was illegal but was going to do it anyhow, supposing he could get away with it in the fog of war. My squad leader also knew it was wrong and upheld his oath of enlistment by preventing a crime from taking place. Behenna's sergeant should have done so too, but he didn't. That's not to say all the blame rests upon that sergeant, but share of it certainly does. In reality, what he did was save that officer from a courts martial because one would have surely followed such an act when it was found out and nobody was under the illusion that it wasn't.

Let me give you another personal example: I've stood by and watched prisoners being slapped around, along with every other member of my platoon. While it certainly never rose to the level of murder, NONE of us thought it was alright. We all knew it was wrong, all knew it was illegal and all knew that if trouble from it came, we had no leg to stand on. It happened, yes, but nobody was under any illusions about what we were involved in. And we were an Infantry unit in the field against a hostile enemy at the time. We too had been under enormous stress, and we too had seen our buddies blown away, but we never succumbed to the easy morality of believing it did not matter or that it gave us an excuse for anything we wanted to do.

Behenna's "defense" rests solely upon claiming that he's not like other soldiers, that HIS stress was enough to justify killing an unarmed prisoner and there isn't a courts martial board in the Army which is going to buy that because guess what? Most of the officers who would sit on such a jury are combat veterans themselves and know that's no excuse.

You may feel sorry for Behenna and so do I. I hate that war does things like that to people and I hate that he and his family have to endure this, but the facts of the case are chrystal clear and admitted under oath. Lt. Behenna is guilty. His emotional state at the time may be grounds for a reduced sentence, but it is not an excuse for what he did. And, I dare say he knows that better than you and I.
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Old 02-03-2010, 04:46 PM
 
Location: New York (liberal cesspool)
918 posts, read 419,519 times
Reputation: 222
Default stillkit

From the beginning my only anger and reason for pushing back against you has NOTHING to do with Behennas "responsibilities". I make NO excuses for breaches of conduct in the field. I've seen guys die violent deaths. Not a great experience, but nothing justifies murder, IF...indeed that is the ultimate ruling. The William Calley incident proved that beyond any doubt.

Neither you or I are privy to ALL the facts to make that determination and I think we must await the 'ultimate' legal resolution here and NOT make any rush to judgement on what appears to be.

My problem in aggressively coming back at you was that one cannot help, in researching this case, finding all the allegations of prosecutorial misconduct AND defense incompetence and you gave that all a pass. Another issue here is there definitely WAS an issue here of his next in command's responsibility to observe and respond to his actions/behaviors and to be aware of stress accumulating. Not as a shrink, but as his immediate superior as to execution of their mission. One thing I firmly believe is that as much as any civilian in a criminal court a soldier/sailor/airman deserves a "fair shake" in the military court. I could make a separate topic on one about the JAG office. They have a shabby record and every time I see evidence of some guy being railroaded by some civilian career seeking JAG staff attorney looking to fill out a nice dossierre it makes my blood boil. This guy is entitled to innocense until proven guilty. This case, upon review, if it is a fair review I do not think will stand muster. The ONLY WAY to pressure for that is to advocate on his behalf. His current conviction is legally tainted and he deserves to be retried.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Texas
14,023 posts, read 9,952,917 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doctorhugo View Post
From the beginning my only anger and reason for pushing back against you has NOTHING to do with Behennas "responsibilities". I make NO excuses for breaches of conduct in the field. I've seen guys die violent deaths. Not a great experience, but nothing justifies murder, IF...indeed that is the ultimate ruling. The William Calley incident proved that beyond any doubt.

Neither you or I are privy to ALL the facts to make that determination and I think we must await the 'ultimate' legal resolution here and NOT make any rush to judgement on what appears to be.

My problem in aggressively coming back at you was that one cannot help, in researching this case, finding all the allegations of prosecutorial misconduct AND defense incompetence and you gave that all a pass. Another issue here is there definitely WAS an issue here of his next in command's responsibility to observe and respond to his actions/behaviors and to be aware of stress accumulating. Not as a shrink, but as his immediate superior as to execution of their mission. One thing I firmly believe is that as much as any civilian in a criminal court a soldier/sailor/airman deserves a "fair shake" in the military court. I could make a separate topic on one about the JAG office. They have a shabby record and every time I see evidence of some guy being railroaded by some civilian career seeking JAG staff attorney looking to fill out a nice dossierre it makes my blood boil. This guy is entitled to innocense until proven guilty. This case, upon review, if it is a fair review I do not think will stand muster. The ONLY WAY to pressure for that is to advocate on his behalf. His current conviction is legally tainted and he deserves to be retried.

It's going to be difficult for him to make the case of prosecutorial misconduct or misrepresentation when he, himself, took the stand and admitted under oath to every allegation against him. The only "defense" he offered was that he really didn't intend to kill the prisoner, but had to when he grabbed for the 9 mm. The court actually bought some of that argument when they convicted him of a lesser crime, but even then there was no disputing the facts.

If his chain of command dropped the ball, that's their legal problem and in no way a justification for what Behenna himself admitted he did. That's a totally seperate issue which I strongly doubt will ever be addressed. Whether it is or not, though, it won't affect Behenna's case.
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Old 02-03-2010, 06:11 PM
 
Location: New York (liberal cesspool)
918 posts, read 419,519 times
Reputation: 222
Default stillkit

We shall see. This, which I earlier included in my initial reponse, can't be easily dismissed upon review.

Quote:
Instead of allowing Dr. MacDonell to present the factual evidence that corroborated Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna’s self-defense claim and thereby implode the “revenge execution” premise of their case, Army Capts. Meghan Poirier, Jason Elbert and Erwin Roberts violated their own ethics code by hiding this evidence from both the defense team and the jury in order to achieve conviction in a politically-motivated prosecution."
At this point I'm content to simply follow the process on this case and report back to this thread with any updates.
************************************************** ****************************************
Supplemental edit:
The latest update here with a second reduction of sentence to 15 years. The military court does NOT have a record of multiple reduction of sentences upon appeals WITHOUT cause. My sense is they are trying to cover up some dirt here, but we shall see.
Army Reduces Soldier’s Sentence to 15 Years

Last edited by doctorhugo; 02-03-2010 at 06:22 PM.. Reason: supplementa addition edit
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