Those of us present at Michaels hearing today felt the defense had a much better day than the government. The defense argued that the government didnt meet the burden of proof to sustain Michaels conviction. I have felt all along that Michaels conviction set a very dangerous precedent with regard to our Soldiers brandishing weapons in this war. It seems some of the judges felt the same way. Now let me say, seems is a key word. The last appeal hearing I attended for Michael seemed to go his way and that court rendered a decision to uphold the conviction. However, this is a civilian court and the standard seems more reasonable. Seems is the key word!
The decision will be rendered anywhere from 30 days to one year. Please, keep the prayers up for Michael and please send this video to all your lists and ask folks to play this beautiful and haunting song on the radio! And remember please, Michael NEVER Left His Men!
The Ballad of Michael Behenna
If there are requests for a CD, let me know, I will get them to you! My very special thanks to all the folks who came to the hearing: Jeannie and James, Pat, Chad, Ron, Cindy, Dana and Phil.
A very special thank you to Kelly Stewarts dad, John, who left at 2am to make the trip in to attend the hearing. It breaks my heart to see the turmoil the families of these brave Warriors are going through. It shouldnt be!!! God Bless you folks, with all my heart, thank you!!!
And to all of you on this email list, thank you for your prayers for Michael! I made a promise I will never give up until Michael is at home with his family. He is a Hero and if I could, I would trade places with him in a heartbeat.
So, please keep the prayers up for SFC Soldier Kelly Stewart and lst Lt Michael Behenna. Two brave young Heroes who deserve our support, our gratitude and our utmost respect. My family is forever grateful for all they have done to keep us safe!!!
With a Mothers Heart,
THE FATE OF A NATION
Michael Behennas civilian hearing for appeal took place yesterday in DC. I was privileged to attend thanks to the thoughtfulness of my hosts Bev Perlson of the Band of Mothers and Jean Morris and her husband James.
We are there to support Michael Behenna, a young Lieutenant being wrongly incarcerated in Leavenworth for killing an Al Queda terrorist. We are there to support the Behenna family and all of the families of all the patriot soldiers being held in Leavenworth. If not for their willingness to serve, they wouldnt be there. Their families were prepared for many outcomes for their sons as a result of their service, but being a number in prison was surely not one of them.
Learn more about Michael Behennas story here. http://www.defendmichael.com/
As we go through the security screening in the courthouse lobby where a mans fate will be decided, I pray. As we walk up the stairs to the anteroom of the courtroom, I pray. As we gaze into the hopeful but anxious eyes of the family members, as we greet each other, I pray. I pray for Michaels spirit and that of his fiancee Shannon and of course for everyone who loves him.
Yet each conversation held between family and friend at this meeting is in itself a prayer, a prayer that our hopes for Michaels freedom will not only be heard, but that we will see his smiling face out and among the free people he has sacrificed so much to protect.
So many appeals have been denied in the military court, for reasons that mere mortal citizens cannot fathom, dare we believe that this time, in civilian court, reason and righteousness might prevail? We are united in our fear of believing that it might be so, lest Michaels hopes be dashed again.
The courtroom is full but quiet and orderly, the military on the right and the family and friends on the left. The imposing government architecture does its job reminding us of our place in the world, or at least in this court. The atmosphere is positive yet still.
As the trial begins, we are all frustrated by the acoustics of the marble-encased room. We can hear the judges questions, but not the responses of the attorneys. The family and friends of Michael are so well versed in the details of the shooting, that it almost doesnt matter. In a strange way, hearing only the judges questions helps concentrate our minds as to where their prudence might be taking them. We sit hanging to their every word, every pause, every nuance as we struggle to be objective observers in a way that can never be.
I am relieved that the panel of 5 judges seem to have their questions lasered on the cruxes of the matter at hand. They know exactly where to place their legal scalpels. I am relieved that they seem to drill in on the many flaws in the governments case. The judges questions appear to support the belief in the quite unusual and specifically American concept that is the burden of the government to prove its case, not the burden of the accused to prove his innocence.
The questions of the judges are wise, and provoking focusing on matters of the law. They frequently send both the government and the civilian attorneys scrambling for precise references. I find comfort that through the precision of their disciplined and relentless approach to the dissection of the conduct of Michaels trial, that they will see through the flawed government conviction of a patriot and set him free.
Lets all pray that justice will be done as Michael is set free and faith in our justice system can be as well.