first published on May 7, 2019 by Will
The White House has announced that President Trump will be giving a full pardon to a soldier that was convicted of killing an Iraqi detainee on a 2007-2008 deployment.
Michael Behenna was an Army lieutenant at the time of the killing. According to the case, Behenna lost two close comrades in an IED attack. They had temporarily caught the suspected attack facilitator, an al Qaeda operative named Mansur, but were forced to release him due to lack of conclusive evidence.
Approximately a month later, Behenna took matters into his own hands and tracked down Mansur. He detained him, stripped him naked, and shot him twice. The lieutenant then returned to base without mentioning the incident, although Iraqi police were able to put the pieces together.
In 2009, Behenna was sentenced to 25 years.
Speaking in regards to the pardon, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders claimed there were concerning issues with how Behenna’s self-defense claims were handled in court.
As further evidence of the military court’s mishandling, Sanders pointed out how, “…the Army Clemency and Parole Board reduced his sentence to 15 years and paroled him as soon as he was eligible in 2014… just 5 years into his sentence.”
According to the report, 37 generals and admirals and a former Inspector General of the Department of Defense signed a document in support of Behenna.