Monday, March 30, 2009


You will find below a story of an American soldier that may not appeal to all of you. But it DOES appeal to me as an American citizen for several reasons.

One-- is because, as I said, I'm an American citizen and believe I have a great debt that I owe to those who wear the uniform and protect our country from foreign enemies especially those who attack us on our shores as 9-11 evidenced they can and will.

Two--is because I have a grandson in training with the Marine Corp at this moment and I know he will probably be shipped to Afganistan when boot camp is finished and I would want double care taken when dealing with him or any other soldier when they are engaging the enemy in an atmosphere of war.

Three--is because I have another grandson who went to school with the young man accused, convicted and sentenced to 25 years in Leavenworth. It is his testimony that there will not be found a better person or soldier than the one who is now in prison for the next quarter of a century with no possibility of parole.

I'm not asking about your view of the biblical position on war or anyone's view of the justice/injustice of the present war on terror, though you are free to comment about either if you wish. There are differing views about that I'm sure and the right to disagree about those things certainly exists also. But my concern here is that the truth be known and heard about this specific case because of my concern for him and others who may follow in like responsibilities.

I must confess I have a lot of research to do myself and will be doing just that. I'm going to also do what I can to get our politicians to carefully reconsider what has happened here for the sake of justice.

But as a christian I will be praying for this young man and his family and invite you to do the same.

[I will AlWAYS face issues like this with my eye on the fact that as a christian I'm a citizen of another country and the gospel being shared will always trump the pain or injustices one might suffer in this or any other country. So I would desire my hope for justice in any matter as a citizen and as an American would never be the angry or mean-spirited kind so as to diminish my voice being heard when the true gospel is presented. But sometimes a christian citizen just has to appeal to Caesar. You get the scriptural inference I'm sure.]

The Story

Michael Behenna

On March 20th, 2009, 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing a known Al Qaeda operative while serving in Iraq. The “victim”, Ali Mansur, was known to be a member of an Al Qaeda cell operating in the lieutenant’s area of operation, and was suspected to have organized an attack on Lt. Behenna’s platoon in April 2008 which killed two U.S. soldiers and injured two more. Army intelligence ordered the release of Mansur and Lt. Behenna was ordered to return the terrorist to his home.

During the return of Mansur, Lt. Behenna again questioned the Al Qaeda member for information about other members of the terrorist cell, and financial supporters. During this interrogation, Mansur attacked Lt. Behenna, who killed the terrorist in self-defense. The government subsequently prosecuted Lt. Behenna for premeditated murder.

Not only is this a miscarriage of justice on the behalf of Lt. Behenna, who was acting to prevent further loss of life in his platoon, it is demoralizing to the U.S. troops who continue to fight on behalf of the freedom and security of our nation. Whether it is U.S. border patrol agents, members of the armed forces, or FBI agents, no individual who is serving on the frontlines in the War on Terror should be so blatantly mistreated.......

To read the rest of the story and get other information go here....DEFEND MICHAEL

Paul B.


Kate Johnson said...

I do not understand this type of "justice." Where is the justice? A known murderer is killed by a known hero and the known hero is in jail... what has this world come to? In the end, the world will be turned upside down and right will be wrong and wrong will be right. This is another example. I wonder if Bill O'Reilly or Glenn Beck might be interested.

I will pray for him and his family.

Paul Burleson said...


You're voicing the kind of outrage I feel about it. You and I would both agree I'm sure that were there to have been a violation of the code of conduct in any fashion that any soldier would need to face appropriate charges.

But, not only does the young man say he was protecting himself, if any violation of the code of conduct should exist, it doesn't make sense to face twenty-five years WITHOUT PAROLE. They are saying they have proven beyond reasonable doubt PRE-MEDITATED MURDER. I don't think so.

Interesting question about some TV personality being contacted, I would assume the family is looking at any avenue of help. I'll ask.

One final thought, even if some provocation were there in some fashion, which I have no way of knowing for sure, it would have to be weighted against the provocation of 9-11 and a hostile environment of warfare. But my sources say that the idea of pre-meditated murder is ludicrous.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your outrage Paul. I also question whether there can even be such a charge of pre-meditated murder against Al Quaeda in time of war.

Paul Burleson said...


I'm hoping that we will have some people with influence looking at this before long. It is at present a real tragedy in the making.

Aussie John said...


I have resisted writing since I first read your article yesterday because I didn't trust myself to make a reasoned comment.

At this time the utter disgust I feel is beyond my ability to reasonably portray in words.

I have personal experience of the sense of betrayal when false accusations are made, and cannot imagine the sense of injustice haunting this young man's mind.

My prayer is that those in authority will be caused to right such a damnable wrong.

Paul Burleson said...

Aussie John,

Your spirit is what I beleve many people will have were this to become as well known a story as it needs to be.

It's always good to hear from you.