Former 1LT Clint Lorance awaits word on his defense team’s request for a new trial. Now an attack that killed six US troops in Afghanistan is the latest example supporting the decision Lorance made that landed him in military prison for a long stretch.
Lorance permitted his men to fire on strangers approaching his platoon on a motorcycle in a war-torn area of Afghanistan in July, 2012. After two of the men on the motorcycle were killed, the US government charged Lorance with murder and court martialed him. The men on the motorcycle had repeatedly ignored orders to stop.
As readers familiar with the case know now, the government has admitted withholding evidence about the dead men. The zealous prosecutor in the case painted the dead men as innocent villagers but never told the jury their names or backgrounds. The second defense team for Lorance discovered the men on the motorcycle were not the simple innocents the prosecution claimed but instead allegedly had ties to terrorists.
On the Monday before Christmas, a suicide terrorist hit a patrol near Bargram Airfield. Only US troops were killed. One of those who survived with injuries was Afghan.
The bomber drove his motorbike into the patrol.
When Lorance made his decision about aggressive behavior by those on a motorcycle in 2012, he had good reason to act on the side of caution. Media have confirmed one of the worst attacks on troops happened in the same month Lorance made his fateful decision to act to protect his men and himself. One media outlet acknowledged the “deadliest day for American troops in Afghanistan” before the latest bombing was “a July 2012 roadside bombing” killing six.
When Lorance was charged, US government policy at the behest of President Barack Obama and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton comprised appeasing the highly questionable government in Afghanistan. In my opinion, Lorance was offered as a sacrificial lamb for political reasons—the 2012 presidential election.
The latest bombing and the deaths of those six troops are the most recent tragic example illustrating why Lorance made the decision he made in 2012.
Lorance never should have been charged with murder. He chose to defend himself and his men rather than opting to risk their lives.
The Dept. of Defense, after issuing the customary statement of regrets about the latest deaths, listed the dead as:
Maj. Adrianna M. Vorderbruggen, 36, of Plymouth, Minnesota. She was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 9th Field Investigations Squadron, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
Staff Sgt. Michael A. Cinco, 28, of Mercedes, Texas. He was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, 11th Field Investigations Squadron, Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.
Staff Sgt. Peter W. Taub, 30, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 816, Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota.
Staff Sgt. Chester J. McBride, 30, of Statesboro, Georgia. He was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Detachment 405, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.
Technical Sgt. Joseph G. Lemm, 45, of Bronx, New York. He was assigned to the 105th Security Forces Squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.
Staff Sgt. Louis M. Bonacasa, 31, of Coram, New York. He was assigned to the 105th Security Forces Squadron at Stewart Air National Guard Base, New York.
Those six soldiers didn’t make it back home. All Lorance’s men did although the platoon under the leader Lorance replaced had suffered severe injuries during a patrol in the same area where Lorance gave permission for his men to defend themselves. Lorance never fired his weapon that day. The men who did fire weapons were not charged. Some of his men received immunity from the prosecution in exchange for their testimony.
Featured Image: Still shot from the video supporting former 1LT Clint Lorance’s innocence. These weapons were transported via a single motorcycle, a vehicle used commonly in Afghanistan by both terrorists and locals. This motorcycle is used as an example and it is not the motorcycle involved in the engagement with Lorance’s men. (Snip: freeclintlorance.com)
Previous stories on former 1LT Clint Lorance
Military horror show: Former 1LT Lorance asks for new trial
Archived articles at Day on the Day related to former 1LT Lorance
** [Must-See] Newly released video reconstructing events of July 2, 2012; includes data about insurgents killed
Free Clint Lorance
Website with documents and more information on Lorance case
Free Clint Lorance (Facebook page)
(Commentary by Kay B. Day/Dec. 10, 2015)
Disclosure: No benefits, financial or otherwise, are derived from my advocacy for this soldier.