Did Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance get a fair trial from the military for ordering the men under his command to open fire on three Afghanis on motorcycles heading towards the American troops, killing two of them? His supporters say he didn’t, including charging the Army with having withheld exculpatory evidence. In other words, the military scapegoated a soldier doing nothing more than his job — protecting his own guys while killing the bad ones. His detractors say he had a bad attitude and was looking for blood.
For those of us who weren’t on the ground with Lorance or at the trial, we really don’t know. What we do know is that Lorance has been sentenced to spend 20 years of his life at Leavenworth. Lt. Col. Allen West thinks this is a terrible thing because the sentence is grossly in excess of the minor punishments (and big bucks) given to others who ran afoul of Army rules, but who either meshed well with the prevailing political ideology in the White House or were simply placed so high in the military that they pretty much couldn’t be touched:
Of course I will help out, but here is what disturbs me. We are releasing Islamic terrorists from GITMO and yet we are holding a young American officer in prison for killing the enemy. And what is frightening and frankly disturbing, the Army withheld evidence in the court-martial of 1LT Lorance because the Army definitively knew about the terrorist actions of several of the Afghans involved. This is no different from the withholding of exculpatory evidence in the case of 1LT Michael Behenna — whom the Army finally released from prison.
What is happening in the U.S Army when we lock away Clint Lorance for 20 years while we dither and hide the whereabouts of deserter Bowe Bergdahl? And what a blatant slap in the face to Clint, that Bergdahl may end up with some $350,000 while Clint sits in the same facility as Nidal Hasan. Where is the outrage from the American people and our elected representatives?
Lorance was on the front lines, making a split-second decision to protect his men. If you want to see how completely wrong this situation is, let me share how another army officer and paratrooper has been treated in what was a far more sordid and scandalous situation.
As reported by the Washington Post back in June of 2014, ” Disgraced Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Sinclair will retire as a lieutenant colonel, three months after he pleaded guilty to having a three-year romantic affair with a subordinate officer. The decision could be one of the final chapters in a sordid scandal that rocked the Army. Sinclair, 51 was accused of forcible sodomy, adultery and other charges, but struck a plea deal and avoided jail time. He was issued a reprimand that effectively ended his career and forced to pay a $20,000 fine.” However, he will still receive retirement benefits – albeit at lower level. Army Secretary John McHugh said “Sinclair displayed a pattern of inappropriate and at times illegal behavior both while serving as a Brigadier General and a Colonel.” Oh, you mean like forcible sodomy?
After his trial, Sinclair said “The system worked. I’ve always been proud of my Army. All I want to do now is go north and hug my kids and wife.” And then what, sir?
Sure, the system worked for BG Sinclair and he gets to go home and hug his wife and kids — while Anna Lorance laments over her son who honorably faced the enemy on the battlefield and killed them.
You can sign the petition here seeking clemency. It still needs over 63,000 signatures by February 1 and that’s a lot of signatures. Every person who signs helps.
Here’s my bet: Absent about a million signatures, the same president who used the White House rose garden to celebrate Bowe Bergdahl’s release and refused for years to acknowledge that Nidal Hasan’s Fort Hood massacre wasn’t just “workplace violence” is not going to shed a single tear for a young man who made a decision in the heat of battle. Knowing that Obama will make the morally wrong decision, however, is no excuse for us not to make the right one: MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD. SIGN THE PETITION.