President Trump pardoned Army Ranger Michael Behenna of the 101 st Airborne Division convicted of murdering an Iraqi bomb maker who was a prisoner — briefly — at the time, in 2009.
As Barack Obama sent terrorists home to fight again, he kept U.S. soldiers like Behenna in prison.
Behenna, 35, was sentenced to 25 years for “unpremeditated murder in a combat zone” after killing the al-Qaeda terrorist. Mr. Behenna was paroled in 2014.
Behenna said he killed the bomb maker in self-defense but during the trial, he admitted he disobeyed orders to return Ali Mansur to his village after Mansur was released and questioned about his ties to the murder of two U.S. soldiers, Behenna’s fellow soldiers.
Prosecutors said Behenna instead interrogated and stripped Mansour naked before shooting him twice.
Mansur would have gone back to killing U.S. soldiers.
Behenna’s trial raised the support of his fellow soldiers.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr earlier this year urging the Trump administration to consider a pardon for Behenna.
In a statement, Behenna thanked the president “for his act of mercy.”
“Although this is a time of great joy for my family, we as a country must never forget Adam Kohlhaas and Steven Christofferson and all those who gave their lives in service of this great nation,” Behenna said, referring to his comrades killed during combat. “They represent the finest of our society, and their families will forever be in our thoughts and prayers.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders wrote in a statement that upon his release from jail in 2014, “Dozens of Patriot Guard motorcycle riders met Mr. Behenna to escort him back to his home in Oklahoma.” She added that “Behenna’s case has attracted broad support from the military, Oklahoma elected officials, and the public” and he was a “model prisoner.”
I for one am thrilled he has been pardoned and we have one less al Qaeda bomb maker. At the time of this incident, the rules of engagement were absurd.