Michael Behenna Gives First Television Interview Since Release From Military Prison

Michael Behenna, the former Army Ranger officer whose wrongful conviction has been the subject of dozens of pieces during the past four years, gave is first television interview yesterday, 12 days after being released on parole from military prison.

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To see photos of the location in Iraq where the shooting of the known Al-Qaeda operative Ali Mansur took place, read Photos Show Scene Where Trail of Injustice Began.

Culvert 3 Low-RezTo read Carrie Fatigante’s nine-part series about Behenna’s case, go to The Michael Behenna Story: Getting Personal.

To read about the Army’s refusal to release a copy of the investigation report about the incident involving Behenna, read go to Army 15-6 Investigation Report Proves Elusive.

To learn about Army Green Beret Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, one of the wrongfully-convicted men Behenna talked about during the television interview, order a copy of my first nonfiction book, Three Days In August.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

REPORT: Four More GITMO Detainees Returned to Terror

In a new semi-annual report, “Re-Engagement of Detainees Formerly Held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,” released Wednesday, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. reveals that four more former GITMO detainees returned to terrorism/insurgent activities and 74 others are suspected to have done so.

Click image above to download the latest ODNI report.

Click image above to download the latest ODNI report.

The new DNI report bumps up to 29 percent the number of GITMO detainees returning to terrorism, up from 28 percent six months ago.

Click image above to order book.

Click image above to order book.

The “silver lining” in this report can be found in the fact that three of the four detainees confirmed as having reengaged are no longer among the living.

In my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, I share details about GITMO detainees obtained from the high-ranking interrogation officials who interrogated them there. Most importantly, I share how they describe the damage done to national security by a Pentagon decision to strip GITMO interrogators of their most-effective tool for learning about detainees’ past exploits and future plans. And, of course, DNI Clapper plays a key role in this story one retired Navy SEALs training program commander called “an unconscionable cover-up.”Learn more by ordering a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMO, a book which has received a number of high-profile endorsements.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Michael Behenna Earns Parole

First Lieutenant Michael Behenna, the young Army Ranger officer sent to prison for killing a known al-Qaeda operative in Iraq, has been granted parole by the U.S. Army Clemency and Parole Board in Washington, D.C., according to a news report today.  He will be released from prison March 14.

Clockwise from upper left:  Michael's family; Michael; Michael as a youngster; and Michael and his girlfriend, Shannon.

Clockwise from upper left: Michael’s family; Michael; Michael as a youngster; and Michael and his girlfriend, Shannon.

Behenna, 30, has been behind bars at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for five years after being sentenced to 25 years and, later, having that term reduced to 15 years.

NewsOk Behenna ParoleBelow are a handful of links to the most important articles among the more than 60 articles I’ve published about his case since June 4, 2009:

Army 15-6 Investigation Report Proves Elusive (Jan. 15, 2013);

• Is Army Protecting Someone in Officer’s Chain of Command? (Aug. 20, 2012);

• American Warfighters Deserve Same Consideration as Taliban (July 17, 2012); and

Photos Show Scene Where Trail of Injustice Began (Feb. 10, 2010).

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

SCOOPED: ABC News Reporter Four Months Late to the ‘Party’

In a report broadcast Monday, ABC News’ Brian Ross finally caught up with what I reported almost four months ago about the U.S. Government’s reckless approach to business and warfare.

Shown in the video above, the alphabet network’s chief investigative reporter reveals much of what I shared in a startling piece July 30, an excerpt of which appears below:

Though Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was acquitted of charges that he aided the enemy when he released hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, U.S. Army officials continue to do business with 43 individuals and companies — most of whom are Afghans — despite evidence of their ties to supporters of the insurgency (i.e., the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and al-Qaeda) in Afghanistan.

SIGAR Report 7-30-13In his July 30 report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko raised concerns about the Army’s refusal to act on his recommendations that would prevent supporters of the insurgency in Afghanistan from receiving lucrative government contracts. Incredibly, they were the same concerns he had raised three months earlier in his April 30 report to Congress.

Why have no ties been cut between the Army and the suspect 43 individuals and companies during the past three months? Officials at the Army Suspension and Debarment Office say, according to Sopko, appear to believe suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due-process rights.

Was I surprised to learn of this difficult-to-fathom news? Hardly. I ran into similarly-dangerous thinking during the four-year investigation that led to the release of my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO.

Of course, this isn’t the first time I’ve called attention to Ross and his reporting exploits.  I devote 20 pages of my second nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, to a report by Ross that aired on ABC’s Primetime March 30, 2006.

To read more about reporting by Ross and what I uncovered during my investigation, order a copy of THE CLAPPER MEMOFYI:  It comes highly recommended.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Author Connects Dots Between Bradley Manning, Benghazi, Afghanistan and DNI Clapper

When retired U.S. Navy SEAL Capt. Larry W. Bailey concluded that the information I uncovered in my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO, constitutes “an unconscionable cover-up,” he wasn’t simply throwing support behind a book because it was critical of Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. Instead, the co-founder of Special Operations Speaks understood bigger things were at stake.  Three examples of those “bigger things” surfaced in the news this week.

SIGAR Report 7-30-13On Tuesday, I shared seemingly-contradictory news. While Pfc. Bradley Manning was acquitted of charges that he aided the enemy when he released hundreds of thousands of classified documents to Wikileaks, U.S. Army officials were shown to be guilty of that crime!

In his July 30 report to Congress, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko said Army officials in Afghanistan had refused to stop doing business with 43 individuals and companies supporting the insurgency (i.e., the Taliban, the Haqqani network, and al-Qaeda) in Afghanistan. Why? Officials at the Army Suspension and Debarment Office appear to believe suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due-process rights!

On Wednesday, I shared more disturbing news that I found buried more than a thousand words deep inside the latest DoD progress report from Afghanistan:

Report Progress Stability Afghan 7-13There was a 120 percent increase in insider attacks from 2011 to 2012, rising from 22 to 48 incidents. Additionally, 29 percent (14) of the insider attacks in 2012 were executed by more than one person. Prior to 2012, only two attacks had been executed by more than one individual.

Found on page 34 of the 192-page report, the words above stand in stark contrast to 39 other words (below) that appear near the top of page 3 of the report’s Executive Summary:

The number of insider attacks declined sharply during the reporting period. Thus far, these attacks have not significantly affected the strong relationship between coalition and ANSF personnel, particularly in the field, where they face a common enemy every day.

On Thursday, I shared equally-disturbing news linked to Jake Tapper’s CNN report that CIA officials are using polygraph exams — in some cases as often as monthly — in an attempt to find out if any agency operatives have shared knowledge about the deadly events that took place Sept. 11, 2012, at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

Because I spent much of the past four years conducting an exhaustive investigation of the federal government’s use of polygraph and non-polygraph tools (a.k.a., “credibility assessment technologies”), I felt somewhat qualified to ask a question about the CIA’s alleged use of frequent polygraph exams: “If true, is it a good idea?”

Though I gave a negative response to that question, I didn’t stop there. Instead, I asked a long-time counterintelligence professional whose name I am not at liberty to reveal for security reasons, for his thoughts on the matter, and he provided the feedback below:

“It makes no sense. People who are subjected to monthly polygraphs would quickly become desensitized to the polygraph process, and this could result in even worse accuracy rates than the typical 60-65% accuracy rate for polygraph (inconclusive & error rates range average 35-40%). This is definitely a control and intimidation measure. I guess it’s James Clapper’s new polygraph policy put into effect in the most absurd manner possible.”

Did the news surfacing this week surprise me? Hardly. I ran into similarly-dangerous thinking while digging for details and conducting interviews for THE CLAPPER MEMO.

TheClapperMemoFrontCoverLR 6-5-13U.S. Navy SEALs and Army Green Berets decried DoD’s decision to remove from their tool kits an investigative tool they described as being the best available.

Defense Intelligence Agency interrogators in Baghdad and at Guantanamo Bay did the same and later expressed to anyone who would listen — including yours truly — their disgust with DoD’s decision to remove that tool from their investigative arsenal.

Try as they might, DoD and Department of Justice officials have so far been unable to prevent more than 1,800 law enforcement agencies across the United States from using the investigative tool now banned by DoD.

What is this tool? How does it work? Why did top government officials ban its use within DoD? Answers to all of those questions and DNI Clapper’s connection to it can be found in my latest nonfiction book, THE CLAPPER MEMO. It’s available in paperback and ebook versions, and comes highly recommended.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct '11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May '13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August (Oct ’11) and THE CLAPPER MEMO (May ’13). To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Oklahoma Army Officer’s Appeal

A crucial milestone in the military’s case against Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna passed today as the U.S. Supreme Court announced justices rejected the appeal filed on behalf of the Edmond, Okla., native who was convicted in 2009 of unpremeditated murder after he shot and killed Ali Mansur, a known al-Qaeda operative, in what he said was self-defense near Baghdad May 16, 2008.

Clockwise from upper left:  Michael's family; Michael; Michael as a youngster; and Michael and his girlfriend, Shannon.

Clockwise from upper left: Michael’s family; Michael; Michael as a youngster; and Michael and his girlfriend, Shannon.

Though I’ve written more than 60 articles about the lieutenant’s case since June 4, 2009, I share links to a handful of the most important ones below:

Army 15-6 Investigation Report Proves Elusive (Jan. 15, 2013);

• Is Army Protecting Someone in Officer’s Chain of Command? (Aug. 20, 2012);

• American Warfighters Deserve Same Consideration as Taliban (July 17, 2012); and

Photos Show Scene Where Trail of Injustice Began (Feb. 10, 2010).

With almost 11 years remaining on his sentence, it remains unclear as to how many of those years he must serve before being given the opportunity for parole.  Until then, I hope you will write to him at the address below to show your support:

Michael Behenna #87503
1300 N. Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS  66027-2304

FYI: Behenna and Kelly Stewart, the man whose life is chronicled in my book, Three Days In August, were good friends while both were behind bars at Fort Leavenworth.

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Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.

Flag Officers Back Supreme Court Brief Filed on Behalf of Lieutenant Michael Behenna

Thirty-seven retired high-ranking military officers, including a former Chief of Naval Operations, signed an Amicus Brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court Feb. 27 in support of Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna.  An Edmond, Okla., native, Lieutenant Behenna is serving 15-years behind bars at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., for killing a known Al-Qaeda operative in Iraq.

Army Ranger 1st Lt. Michael Behenna SCOTUS Amicus Brief

Click image to download document (pdf)

Early on, the 31-page brief raises an important question — that is, whether a servicemember in a combat zone categorically forfeits the right to self-defense as a matter of law by pointing a firearm without authorization at a suspected enemy.  In the case of Lieutenant Behenna, he admitted during his court-martial that he shot Ali Mansur in self-defense.  And therein lies the rub.

Behenna SCOTUS Question PresentedThe brief’s conclusion section (below) makes a clear argument, stating that Lieutenant Behenna deserves some punishment, but not what he received, and, more importantly, a new trial:

Lieutenant Behenna’s unauthorized actions in a combat zone were a serious breach of military discipline and for that reason he should be subject to appropriate disciplinary action under the (Uniform Code of Military Justice).  But in so acting without authorization, he did not forfeit his right to self-defense.  This Court should grant the petition for certiorari, reverse the (Court of Appeals of the Armed Forces), and remand to allow a new court-martial panel to consider Lieutenant Behennas’s claim that he acted in self-defense, including evidence unlawfully withheld by the prosecution corroborating that claim.

At the same time as I’m pleased with this document, I remain disappointed that its authors made no mention of the colossal failure of leadership among officers in Lieutenant Behenna’s chain of command.  That failure, a subject I tackled in a post Aug. 20, 2012, allowed him to be put in a position from which nothing good could result.

To read any of the more than 60 posts I’ve written about the lieutenant’s case since June 4, 2009, click here.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Lieutenant Behenna and Army Sgt. 1st Class Kelly A. Stewart, the man whose life story is chronicled in my book, Three Days In August: A U.S. Army Special Forces Soldier’s Fight For Military Justice, became good friends behind bars at Fort Leavenworth.

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Bob McCarty is the author of Three Days In August and THE CLAPPER MEMO. To learn more about either book or to place an order, click on the graphic above.