Wronged Officer Gets Justice At Last
A former soldier found guilty of murdering an Iraqi in 2008, has been pardoned by President Trump. Ex-First Lieutenant Michael Behenna is now free to get on with his life, no longer under the shadow of a killing he says was a justified act of self-defense.
Anti-Terror Hero Faced Death — And Then a Court Martial
In 2008, US Army First Lieutenant Michael Behenna detained and questioned an Iraqi he suspected of being an Al Qaeda terrorist responsible for a lethal bomb attack on the men he commanded. During questioning, Behenna says, the Iraqi tried to grab his weapon — and in the scuffle that followed, the soldier shot him dead.
Behenna says the court that tried him for murder suppressed evidence that backed up his self-defense claim, and in 2009 the highly regarded officer was sentenced to 25 years in prison. Behenna was released on parole in 2014, but he still carried the stigma of being a convicted murderer.
His family, along with senior politicians from his home state of Oklahoma have been campaigning hard to clear his name — and finally, their pleas have been heard. Last week President Trump issued a full pardon. The White House released a statement saying “Mr. Behenna is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency.”
It would have been better if a man who only wanted to serve his country had never faced trial in the first place, but at least now he can move forward with a clean record.