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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Ride supports ‘Leavenworth 10’

  • There is something upside down in this country, according to one of the men who spoke Saturday at a rally in Leavenworth.


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  • There is something upside down in this country, according to one of the men who spoke Saturday at a rally in Leavenworth.
    Retired Lt. Col. Allen West said soldiers are more afraid of military attorneys because of the danger of prosecution than the enemy on the battalion.
    West spoke as part of the L10 Freedom Ride.
    The event was designed to raise awareness about a group known as the Leavenworth 10, according to Scott Behenna, one of the organizers of the rally.
    The Leavenworth 10 are men who are incarcerated at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks or have served time there for killings committed while they served in the U.S. military in Iraq.
    Two of the men already have been released. Sgt. Larry Hutchins had a conviction overturned, and Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard has been released on parole.
    Supporters of the Leavenworth 10 argue the other members of the group should be released.
    Behenna’s son, Michael, is one of the Leavenworth 10. Behenna argues his son killed an Iraqi bombing suspect in self defense.
    And Behenna argues the other members of the Leavenworth 10 found themselves in similar predicaments in which they felt they were defending themselves or fellow members of the military.
    “We are going to free these men,” West said during his remarks Saturday.
    West, who is running for Congress in Florida, had his own actions called into question following a 2003 incident in Iraq during which he fired a shot over the head of a person being interrogated. He was fined $5,000 and retired from the Army.
    West said Americans are fighting against an enemy that has no respect for human life.
    “You can’t have political correctness on the battlefield,” he said.
    Saturday’s event began with a ride through portions of Leavenworth and Lansing.
    Behenna estimated about 300 motorcycles and other vehicles were involved in the ride, which ended by the front gate of Fort Leavenworth.
    He said there was a separate ride involving a smaller group of motorcycle riders who passed near the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks while traveling in rural Leavenworth.
    “We did a salute to the 10 soldiers,” Behenna said.
    Following the ride, participants gathered at 10th Avenue Park to listen to speakers and music.
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