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December 2, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 27, 2012/ 5 Iyar, 5772

Army may as well put soldiers in straitjackets

By Diana West




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | To keep former Army 1st Lt. Michael Behenna behind bars until 2024 for the "unpremeditated murder" of an insurgent during the war in Iraq, U.S. military prosecutors have resorted to strange and disturbing twists of law, logic and morality. They were all on display again this week in Behenna's final plea before the military's highest court of appeals in Washington, D.C. It was enough to make the gold eagle on top of the American flag in the courtroom shake and then hang its head.

Or so I imagined while listening intently as questions from the five civilian judges began to drill into a central argument advanced by the military prosecutor: that Lt. Behenna had "lost his right to self-defense" in the war zone when he embarked on an unauthorized interrogation of Ali Mansur, a suspected al-Qaida cell leader.

Lost his right to self-defense? What does that mean to our soldiers at war, where extenuating circumstances are facts of life?

At the hearing's onset, however, questions from the bench peppering Behenna's defense counsel, Jack Zimmerman, made it clear the judges weren't interested in any such circumstances. For the record, these include the fact that: (1) Behenna, as a 25-year-old platoon leader, lost two of his men very likely to Mansur, who was strongly suspected of organizing attacks against Americans; (2) shortly after Behenna's platoon arrested Mansur, he was released again; (3) Behenna himself, deeply affected by the deaths of his men weeks earlier, was ordered to take Mansur home; and (4) Behenna decided one more interrogation would net the confession necessary to find other al-Qaida members and put Mansur back in jail.

Thus, Michael Behenna, a 2006 ROTC graduate of the University of Central Oklahoma, found himself in a culvert in Baiji, Iraq, in 2008 interrogating Mansur, who, stripped naked, sat on a rock.

Military prosecutors argue Behenna executed Mansur then and there. A court-martial panel (jury) called it "unpremeditated murder" in 2009, and Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in Fort Leavenworth military prison. (That sentence has since been reduced to 15 years.)

According to Behenna's own testimony -- and according to the corroborating hypothesis of one of the prosecution's own expert witnesses -- Mansur rose from the rock and lunged for Behenna's gun. Behenna fired two bullets in self-defense, killing Mansur. And therein lie the seeds of appeal.

One: Military prosecutors didn't inform the defense team about their own expert witness's exculpatory evidence, which is required procedure under the rules of discovery. Two: The instructions to the original panel (jury) were so convoluted that one of the appeals court judges said he'd read them four times and still found them confusing.

Maybe more than anything else, though, what made the eagle in the courtroom droop in despair were the lengths to which the U.S. government was prepared to go to strip this soldier, and by extension all soldiers, of their "right to self-defense," even amid the untenable conditions of urban counterinsurgency (COIN) warfare and its restricted rules of engagement.

A lengthy line of questions on a soldier's right to self-defense indicated considerable interest (incredulity?) among the judges on this key position of the prosecution. Lead prosecutor Army Capt. Steven E. Latino argued that by embarking on the unauthorized interrogation with a loaded gun pointed at Mansur, Behenna lost his right to defend himself -- in essence, lost his right to stay alive -- even in the event the al-Qaida op attacked him. Indeed, Latino stressed that there was no condition here under which Behenna could have maintained his "right to self-defense."

How twisted Uncle Sam has become. If we take this position to its shocking conclusion, in our government's eyes, a terrorist with American blood on his hands merits more legal protection than does the U.S. soldier who breached protocol, however severely, in hopes of bringing said terrorist to book for killing Americans.

Free Michael Behenna, yes. And free the rest of the "Leavenworth 10" -- every one of whom is an Iraq War veteran-victim of unseemly prosecutorial zeal (for courtroom victory over justice), from former Master Sgt. John Hatley and Sgt. Evan Vela, to Pvt. Corey Clagett.

It would make the eagle proud.

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© 2009, Diana West