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