The Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces has upheld Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael C. Behenna's conviction for shooting al-Qaida operative Ali Mansur in Iraq in 2008. As a result, Lt. Behenna will be behind bars until 2023.
This is the latest development, a terrible twist, in an already gross miscarriage of justice. This wonderful soldier killed an Islamic jihad terrorist, a bloody savage who had dedicated his life to waging jihad against the West. Lt. Behenna shot a known al-Qaida killer, Ali Mansur, on the battlefield, a terrorist the Army had actually issued a kill/capture order for before they realized that he was already dead.
The persecution of Lt. Behenna is outrageous. There were many irregularities in Behenna's trial. I thought he would at least get a fair trial with the new evidence. The criminalization of our heroes is the liberal wet dream and the goal of the enemy, Islamic supremacists. Indeed, they make common cause of their hatred of the good.
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There is something horribly wrong in America when a soldier is jailed for killing the enemy. The U.S. military has succumbed to political correctness, and we're all less safe because of it. Our fighting men and women are over in Afghanistan spending their time building roads and schools and hospitals, vainly hoping that by doing so they will win over the jihadis who hate us and fight against us because they're told to by the Quran.
And again and again, the military wastes time and money prosecuting Americans for doing their job on the battlefield. Behenna is not alone. Marine commander Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani and seven Marines in his unit were convicted of killing 24 Iraqi civilians "in cold blood" after a fierce battle following the killing of a Marine by Iraqis who planted a bomb on a road and then fired on Marines from nearby houses.
Cases like these – and there are many others like them – are disgraceful harassment of our fighting men and women. Today's military establishment is cowed by political correctness to the extent that it is even willing to throw our fighting men and women to the wolves to appease the left. The prosecutors of Lt. Behenna acted as if the killings of which they were accused happened in a vacuum – as if Lt. Michael Behenna walked up to Ali Mansur on a peaceful, bucolic street on a sunny day and shot him dead without warning or reason. They never took into account al-Qaida's determination to kill as many Americans, both soldiers and civilians, as possible. They never took into account Ali Mansur's bloody record as an al-Qaida jihadist. They never took into account wartime conditions in Iraq. The trial as a whole was a politically correct fantasy, and the conviction was as divorced from reality as the proceedings in general.
Behenna's real crime was contradicting the military's ridiculous rules of engagement (ROEs), which command our valiant fighting men and women to put their own lives at risk to show their goodwill to bloodthirsty jihadis who will take their kindness for weakness and move in for the kill. The military would have been happier with Michael Behenna if Ali Mansur had murdered him while Behenna was handing the al-Qaida killer a chocolate bar – that at least would have fit in just fine with the ROEs.
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We shouldn't be holding Michael Behenna in prison; we should be giving him a parade down Fifth Avenue. His case shows that the U.S. military is in drastic need of reform from top to bottom. The military culture that allowed jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan to rise to the rank of major, and that persecutes fighting men like Michael Behenna and Jeffrey Chessani, needs to undergo a complete reevaluation of its priorities, its mission, its goals and more. It is a crime against freedom for one of America's fighting men to be left rotting in Leavenworth. Saving Behenna saves America. This is our battle – this is America under attack from the enemy within.
We can only hope that the next president frees Behenna and undertakes the reform of the military that is so urgently needed. Barack Obama sure isn't going to do it.