The cause for freedom in the case of Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna is gaining ground. Lt. Behenna, along with nine other soldiers, sit in military prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. They are serving sentences ranging from ten to forty years for crimes against terrorists and enemies of the United States . . . on the battlefield . . . during time of war. They have become known as the Leavenworth Ten.
Caught in a circle of military and government red tape, along with political correctness, these brave soldiers served their country and in return, were sentenced to prison for defending themselves in a combat zone. Vickie Behenna, Michael’s mother, recently contacted me to give an update on their pursuit to have these men set free:
“I wanted to let you know that the government, after 7 months, finally filed their response brief in Michael’s case. On August 6 Michael’s lawyer filed his reply brief so the case is finally fully briefed and we are waiting for a date for the oral argument before the Army Court of Appeals.
In the meantime, at the request of several of Michael’s supporters we along with his supporters have organized a bike ride and rally to be held in Leavenworth on September 4th, 2010. The ride and rally was organized to raise awareness of the prosecution and imprisonment of soldiers/marines who have been charged and convicted of combat related incidents, and to let the public know that these soldiers/marines have been given unbelievably long sentences. As you may know many of these soldiers have purple hearts and bronze stars.
The ride will have riders from all over the country who will ride in support of these soldiers. After the ride there will be a rally where the families of the imprisoned soldiers and LTC (R) Allen West, a Congressional Candidate from South Florida, will speak on their behalf.
Michael, from the beginning of his incarceration has requested that we, his Dad and I, do something to help these other soldiers/marines. So instead of having the ride and rally concentrate just on Michael, we expanded the ride to include these other guys. They are referred to as the Leavenworth Ten. There were ten soldiers/marines incarcerated at Ft. Leavenworth when Michael arrived there. One has been paroled and another has had his conviction reversed.”
As many of you know, Lt. Behenna received an unfair trial due to the violation of the Brady Material:
“A Brady motion is a defendant’s request for evidence concerning a material witness which is favorable to the defense and to which the defense may be entitled. Favorable evidence includes not only evidence that tends to exculpate the accused, but also evidence that may impeach the credibility of a government witness. A Brady violation occurs where the failure to disclose evidence to the defense deprives the defendant of a fair trial. Instead of presenting the factual evidence that corroborated Lt. Behenna’s self defense claim and thereby show the “revenge execution” premise of their case, Army Captain’s 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.”
It is because of this violation that the Behenna’s continue to fight for a new, fair trial for their son and ultimately for his release. The goal of the ride is to raise public awareness about how soldiers are being imprisoned for killing the enemy during combat operations. For more information on the Biker Freedom Ride for the Leavenworth Ten, contact Steve Gabelsberg at : email@example.com
Show your support for our American soldiers . . . L10 Freedom Ride in Leavenworth, KS on September 4th, 2010. To contact Lt. Col. Allen West for an interview about the event, contact Valentina Weis at 561-603-8188.
Thanks for your support,