The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Up Through the Ranks, Under the Bus

Posted on | January 14, 2014 | 24 Comments

Have you heard about Clint Lorance? In 2002, the Texan enlisted in the Army on his 18th birthday, and was promoted to sergeant in two years. In 2005, he earned his Airborne wings at Fort Benning. Sgt. Lorance was deployed to Iraq with the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team from September 2006 to November 2007. Upon returning stateside, Sgt. Lorance enrolled in an officer training course and in 2010 was commissioned a second lieutenant. Assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, Lt. Lorance deployed to Afghanistan in March 2012:

During his deployment, Clint was the squadron’s liason officer to the commander until selected to become a platoon leader.
On July 02, 2012 while conducting an Afghan-Led dismounted patrol into an afghan village, the Afghan Army element on the joint patrol began to engage what they thought were Taliban. Worried that the Afghan Soldiers are poor marksmen and would likely cause collateral damage, Clint ordered his gun truck to fire two precision shots at the Taliban. As the platoon moved through the village, the intelligence analysts intercepted several radio transmissions indicating the Taliban could see the Platoon in plain view. There was an existential enemy threat in the area. From the beginning of the patrol, US helicopters were radioing LT Lorance’s patrol indicating confirmed enemy activity in the area, the description of the enemy matched exactly the enemy combatants the patrol initially engaged with the two precision shots. A few moments Later in the patrol in the same village, Clints Soldiers captured one Afghan on a motorcycle who was later confirmed as a Taliban.

Lt. Clint Lorance was subsequently charged with murder and in October 2013 was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison. Here was a soldier who had devoted nearly 10 years of his life to his nation’s service, who had come up through the ranks from private to lieutenant, whose previous record as a soldier was unblemished.

However, in a situation of extreme danger — a battlefield environment in which guerrillas and terrorists were a menace to the lives of Americans and Afghans alike — Lt. Lorance was accused of violating the rules of engagement and convicted of murder.

“He made the statement to his soldiers that
he would bring them home to their families
and that’s what he intended to do.”

Does this seem right to you? It sure as hell doesn’t seem right to me.

His family has a Web site devoted to this issue.

 


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Comments

  • RS

    Thus, we see what happens when politicians who have never spent a day in uniform and who derive their military knowledge from Steven Spielberg movies, decide to screw with the rules of engagement. It flows from the misbegotten belief that war fighting can be sanitized; that it can be made “humane.” It cannot. It is Darwinism at its most stark. We can only hope and pray that we are on the right side when we send our young men and women into harm’s way. I fear such reactions to the necessary evils of fighting a war to protect ourselves will lead to many, many more casualties than otherwise and will further erode the moral of those upon whom we rely to protect our way of life.

  • robertstacymccain

    War is hell.

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  • Finrod Felagund

    Offtopic: via Moe Lane, Bill Owens (D-NY21) has decided to cut and run. Now if we can stop the GOP from nominating a complete disaster like Scozzfava, we should pick up that seat.

  • G21

    I think we all know whose side Hussein Obama is on.

  • texlovera

    The current CiC does not have the stomach for war. He can only embrace drone strikes, or the occasional SEAL Team covert attack.

    His policies are not based on waging a war. They are based on saving his own political face.

    Despicable.

  • DaveO

    Politicians? Maybe. More likely this is a combination of 2 factors: bored military lawyers; and, political sensitivity to Hamid Karzai. Karzai has been selling out US forces to the Taliban since 2010 when he caught a clue from Iraq that Obama will always side with Islamicists, like the Muslim Brotherhood and the theocracy in Iran. None of Karzai’s assistance to the Taliban will help him – he’ll go the way of Najibullah.
    As for Lorance, his only hope is if some officer comes forward with a tale of undue command influence. It’s happening now in the USMC with the Commandant’s unlawful interference in the care of the marines who pissed on some meatsacks.

  • Quartermaster

    It’s stuff like that inspired me to tell young men to stay away, far away, from the military. It really disturbed me that your son wanted to go in, and I hope stays OK while he’s in, but he needs to get out when the hitch is up.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    This is an example how Barack Obama says “Thank you for your service.”

  • RS

    My 17 year old was flirting with the idea of ROTC. I dissuaded him, not because I think military service is a bad thing. Indeed, my father was a WWII Navy aviator. Rather, I’m concerned about the level of support provided to the men and women in the field. I would hate to lose my son in some Benghazi-like fiasco because some progressive, inside-the-beltway, Ivy graduate thinks it’s politically expedient.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Indeed. Apparently former SecDef Gates said in his book that the only time Obama showed any passion towards the military at all was when he was trying to get “don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed.

  • LouAnn McCain (Bittner)

    Ok Stac, We are now part of the “military family” What are WE going to do about this???!!! We can’t just do NOTHING!!! What if that was our kid?! I don’t get mad very often about stuff, but I am really MAD! (I want to call his mom) ok maybe that is a bit crazy, or not :)

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  • Quartermaster

    Military service these days is a bad thing. Rules of engagement is just one factor, but the PC trash is wrecking the services and wrecking young men that just happen in the way. My son got out in 2007 after 12 years as it was getting quite bad. I can’t imagine how bad it is under Zer0, but I tell young me to stay away because the idea of military service may not be bad, but the services have become quite bad.

    My family came ashore in 1649 and has been involved in every war fought in and by this country. I didn’t start giving the advice to stay away lightly.

  • ajpwriter

    I don’t understand. What did he do wrong?

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  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    In a sane world?…NOTHING.

  • Mike G.

    He used initiative in a stressful situation to save his men and TPTB just can’t have that.

  • aguila2011

    That’s it? That’s all you’ve got for this issue? WTF?

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    He was supposed to get an automatic appeal. His lawyer at the time of the original verdict last year said he expected it would be overturned.

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  • ajpwriter

    Yeah, but, what rule is he even accused of violating?

    We’re still convicting people of violating written laws, right?

  • Chazz

    Was the court martial comprised of active duty combat experienced Army officers?