Every day I wonder what’s happening in our America. Here’s another example. I received an email from Don J. Snyder regarding the plight of Army 1LT Clint Lorance – about whom we’ve written here often.
Here is what Mr. Snyder sent me:
“Col. West, we lost our clemency appeal. I was able to notify Anna (Clint’s mother) as she was about to visit Clint. So she told him. Essentially the Army stood on the investigation and court-martial. I am now turning all our attention to trying to persuade President Obama to grant Clint Lorance a presidential pardon. See the website here for the petition. Will you help us get the 100,000 signatures we need in the next month? I wonder if there would be some way to reach Veterans’ organizations for help? Thank you very much. Don”
We need 100,000 signatures by February 1, so please sign the petition here.
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?
I hear nothing but crickets from all these wannabe Commanders-in-Chief. Well, not a one will get my support if they don’t make a stand right now for this young American.
I share with you Clint’s words expressed to Mr. Snyder — and shared with me:
“I’ve come to believe that all that has happened to me is just my destiny. I believe I am destined to fight to change the army so that soldiers who come after me who serve in combat will know that the army and the country stand behind them and will not turn against them. If I must serve my twenty years here, I will pick up this fight from the day I am released from prison until the end of my life.”
I am astounded by this injustice, and this must be a cause for which an entire country lets its voices be heard. We have a current Commander-in-Chief who wants to open up diplomatic relations with a communist country and an Islamist theocracy, Cuba and Iran. Obama is dead set on freeing as many GITMO Islamic terrorists as possible in order to maintain a campaign promise — and Army 1LT Clint Lorance sits in a prison? Ladies and gents, this is unacceptable.
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.
To anyone reading this post who doesn’t believe Clint Lorance should be free, I can only shake my head in abject disgust. What mother wants her son to join the Army and fight the enemy at the risk of being imprisoned? Ask Vicki Behenna. Even worse, what dad would want his daughter joining the Army knowing that the good ol’ boys seem to take care of each other? I love the U.S. Army but I detest what it’s becoming — a place where a disgraced general evades prison while a young warrior is locked up.
And where exactly is Bowe Bergdahl and that report, Secretary McHugh?
We need 100,000 signatures by February 1! (Please note: your verification email once you sign the petition may go to your junk inbox, so look for it there. Thanks!)
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.