Oklahoman soldier, hero and patriot, Lt. Michael Behenna, has learned that he is going to be paroled for a crime he never should have been charged with! His crime: Shooting an Iraqi terrorist in the head while fighting in Iraq in 2008. A war zone. A U.S. soldier defending himself and his country. A crime? I don’t think so.
Granted, I wasn’t there. I didn’t see what happened, but neither did those who brought the charges against him. Neither did the ‘jury’ who found him guilty and neither did the ‘judge’ who sentenced him to fifteen years in prison. Really! I’ve read the facts and had I been or on that jury, I would have said, “Not Guilty!”
A couple of weeks ago I saw the movie, Lone Survivor. It’s a true story. Four U.S. Navy Seals go into the hideously rugged terrain of Afghanistan, or Pakistan, to take out a known terrorist that the U.S. has solid evidence is in the location. A terrorist. A killer of innocent people. An animal.
In the movie, these four amazing American heros are discovered by a small group of goat herders: one, an old man; another, an angry teenager; the third, a young boy. The problem: What do we do with them. The conversation goes on as the four Seals contemplate their options. They could kill them; they could tie them up and hold them until their work is done or until they- the Seals – got out of the area; or, they could let them go.
The argument: Do you want to spend the rest of your life in Leavenworth?
How infuriating is that? Is it right that our soldiers would have to hesitate for one second in taking preventive measures to protect themselves, even if that meant death to those who would kill them, because it isn’t politically correct! Is it right that if they do defend themselves by killing these people, they will be sentenced to life in prison in America? How on earth is that right? What constraints do we put on our soldiers when we ask them to put their lives on the line, to go into horribly dangerous areas and ‘play nice’?
The Seals opted for the least favorable to them option – they let the enemy captives go and, in doing so, sentenced themselves to debilitating injuries and death. There was no escape for the Seals; four brave men against an army of blood thirsty terrorist with nothing but murder on their minds. There wasn’t any second thought about fairness. Or jail. Or anything but killing our soldiers. How fair is that?
It has long been said that ‘war is hell!’ With that, I can agree. We send our young men and women into battle in strange territory against enemies who have no moral compass and we wonder why they come home so badly damaged! How can that be right? We clean up the area, set the residents free, then we withdraw from the area that we have freed from the terrorist, pulling out and handing the area back to the terrorist to do as they will without interference from us. Isn’t that actually walking out Luke 11:24-26.
On a day in March, God willing, Michael Behenna will return to Oklahoma, a paroled convict. While I’m glad he is coming home, there is no question in my mind that he shouldn’t have been paroled – he should have been pardoned!
Pay attention world – there has been a very long war going on and Lt. Behenna got caught in the cross fire. I pray some president, somewhere along the line, will have the grace and fortitude to pardon him. But, whether or not that happens, in my mind Lt. Behenna should come home with his head held high and all the awards any brave soldier who has been held in a Prisoner of War camp would be granted, because that is what he is – a Prisoner of War. A war he didn’t ask for, he didn’t want, but he bravely signed up for because he thought it was the right thing to do. Now, can’t we do the right thing by him by pardoning him and restoring his life and dignity to him? I would vote YES!