To the thousands of supporters of Michael Behenna,
Many of you have been asking about the latest on Michael’s appeal. Michael’s appellate brief was filed on December 22, 2009 and the military’s response brief was due January 21, 2010. The military asked for and was granted a three-month extension to April 21, 2010. Then sometime in early April the military filed for and received yet another three-month extension making their response brief not due until July 22, 2010! But most amazing of all was that the extension was granted without notice being provided to Michael’s attorneys to argue against it.
From the start of this hell we have tried to put our trust in the military justice system. But time and time again this ‘justice’ system has failed this young man who defended our liberties in the face of a ruthless enemy. First it was the withholding of evidence in Michael’s trial and now this. The government will have had seven months to respond to Michael’s appellate brief when it should have taken only seven weeks. It appears to us that the Army is deliberately doing everything it can to delay Michael’s appeal process. And for what end you ask? We may never know, just as we may never know what was really behind the Army prosecuting Michael in the first place. But in the face of these delay tactics we have become even more convinced of the strength of Michael’s appeal (which the military is struggling to counter.) As Thomas Paine wrote, ‘Tyranny is not easily conquered, but our consolation is that the harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.’
Despite everything Michael is faring well. He draws strength from the many letters he receives and your continued correspondence will help him leave Leavenworth the way he arrived – with his head held high. Michael ‘celebrates’ his 27th birthday behind bars on May 18th. This will be his second birthday in Leavenworth Prison and is yet another reminder of how long he has been away from family and friends. Please consider sending Michael a birthday card to let him know he is not forgotten and to encourage him to keep the faith. You can send your cards and letters to:
Michael Behenna #87503
1300 N. Warehouse Road
Fort Leavenworth, KS 66027-2304
Finally, good news was received this week concerning the two Navy SEALS exonerated of injuring an Al Qaeda leader. In addition, Sgt Larry Hutchins, a Marine held at Leavenworth, had his case overturned in the Navy Court of Appeals. These men are decorated heroes who have served this country honorably and deserve our support. It is my hope that the pendulum is truly swinging back in favor of our soldiers and away from a capricious and political military justice system led by people who have NEVER been in harms way. Please continue to contact your Congressmen and Senators and let them know that our soldiers deserve our unending support, especially when they are defending themselves in a combat zone.
Bless each of you for supporting all of our troops,
Scott and Vicki Behenna
Proud Parents of 1LT Michael Behenna