To the supporters of Michael Behenna,
On February 28, 2009, exactly one day AFTER Michael Behenna was convicted of murdering an Al Qaeda insurgent, Vicki and I listened to the government’s expert witness Dr. Herbert MacDonell give his testimony to a military judge via telephone. The reason this testimony was being given over the telephone was because he had been sent home by the prosecutors who did not want their own witness to tell the panel members facts which conflicted with their case. An email sent by Dr. MacDonell after he got home (which didn’t reach the defense team until after Michael was convicted) set the stage for a possible a mistrial because the prosecutors had withheld Dr. MacDonell’s conclusions on the case which were favorable to Michael.
In his testimony that Saturday morning and in a later affidavit Dr. MacDonell stated that he had strongly advised the prosecutors to let him testify as to his findings: specifically that the prosecution’s ‘execution scenario’ was inconsistent with the facts and that the only logical explanation was what Michael had testified to – that Ali Mansur had to be reaching for Michael’s gun when he was shot. Dr. MacDonell went on to say that the prosecutors coldly told him that rather than take the stand he was being sent home as his services were no longer needed.
Listening to Dr. MacDonell’s testimony on the phone that Saturday morning, I remember being struck by his commitment to his profession and to the pursuit of justice. Despite the efforts by the Prosecutors and even the Judge to get him to equivocate, he did not give an inch in regards to what he had advised the prosecutors earlier that week. His integrity would not allow him to have his words twisted by anyone – even the government for whom he was a paid consultant.
When Dr. MacDonell spoke the truth that Saturday morning, it was like a ray of light had finally penetrated the dishonest actions of the prosecutors. Dr. MacDonell had shined a light on the undeniable, impartial, and corroborating evidence that Michael acted in self-defense. Shockingly, the Judge would later deny the motion for a mistrial.
The link below is a short article about Dr. MacDonell and his experience with Michael’s case.
The fight for Michael continues and will continue until this injustice is overturned. As always, we very much appreciate your prayers and your support and for being a part of the growing movement to get justice for Michael.
Scott & Vicki Behenna
Proud parents of 1LT Michael Behenna, US Army Ranger, 101st Airborne