First Lieutenant Clint Lorance never imagined that following the rule of engagement to save not only his life, but the lives of his fellow soldiers against Islamic enemies would result in him spending nearly two decades in prison. But it did.
Lorance, 30, had been trained to make split-second decisions and his training culminated in a real-life scenario in July 2012 when he and his squad were on a foot patrol in southern Afghanistan. He had just been made Platoon Leader after his predecessor had been severely wounded.
At that time, Lorance led his troops into a Taliban-infested territory, where their air support had indicated that there were enemy personnel were in the vicinity.
Jennifer Bucholtz reports what happened next.
While crossing a barricaded road designated only for military and police use, his platoon encountered a dreaded–and possibly deadly–threat: Three men on a motorcycle speeding directly towards them. Not only were the men driving on a prohibited road, but they ignored the platoon’s verbal shouts and hand signals commanding them to stop. They also fit the description of the enemy personnel as described by the overhead surveillance team. Fearing an impending ambush and/or vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, either of which could have resulted in the loss of additional men (his unit had already lost four soldiers), Lorance commanded his gunners to open fire on the motorcycle. The first shots missed the riders. The three Afghan men on the motorcycle roared through the platoon formation, then came to a halt nearby. All three dismounted and began walking aggressively towards Lorance’s troops, still ignoring commands to stop.
Not knowing whether the men might be armed with traditional weapons and/or suicide vests, he again gave permission to his men to open fire, resulting in the death of two of the Afghans. The third ran away but was found and detained later that day. His hands tested positive for homemade bomb-making materials residue, lending to the suspicion that he and his cohorts were preparing for an attack against American soldiers. Another local Afghan quickly retrieved the motorcycle from the scene and rode away on it before it could be collected as evidence or assessed for explosives.
While this kind of scenario has happened many times during both wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, this particular scenario resulted in Lorance being convicted of murder of the two Afghans. No charges were brought against his men, who not only opened fire against the Afghans, but who also testified against him.
PFC. James Skelton told the Army Times, “He told me to engage.”
Well if I would be in the US Army, I would have done the same. I guess, they would have put me in jail for doing my duty and saving my life.
Well let's see now, Obama turns convicted killers of 2 to 3 thousand U.S.citizens loose because they are no longer useful to USA . Gives 19 years to this US ,1st Lt. in a war zone. I guess he must still be useful to OBAMA.? Just saw on the news where Obama cut his vacation short to hurry to S.Arabia to kiss the cheek of the Sheik. Obama chooses the wrong fork in the road every time. I guess the Tea Party, Cruz, Palin , and a few others are the only ones that can see Obama for what he is? He sure didn't support the French who are trying to save their country from the very ones Obama so dearly loves? I said when Obama ran for office in 08 this this country couldn't afford him, I have never wavered in my thinking.
Well John it doesnt appear that we have a snowballs chance in hell if and when we are
invaded. Better keep the 2nd admentment around so we can take armed action against
the enemy, who ever he may be
I hear you Fred P loud and clear and You are 100% right on that !.
Like LT. Cally, In Viet Nam. Another Good Soldier, Shafted when he should have received a medal!
Right you are John.
What does it mean that his troops testifide against him. We have no military leadership with any
kind of balls today. I'm glad I'm retired
I know ! Your right on this one to Fred .
A terrible case of mis justice. It is ridiculous.
When his men testified against him; as far as I would consider--their next commander should have them re-assigned to a different posting.
The top brass in the military, and those who aspire to top positions are politicians. That means their personal welfare, power and prestige comes first. They are more than willing to sacrifice soldiers to the political winds and dictates of clowns like Obama. They will select ambitious officers as judges, who are also dedicated to their selfish pursuits and ambition. They will sacrifice anyone for those objectives and to hell with justice.