Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Imprisoned Soldier’s Family Needs Your Help Now

Recently, I communicated with Brett Lawrence, a man whose son, David, is serving a 10-year prison sentence at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., after pleading guilty to one charge of premeditated murder. Before you turn away, read the message below — to which I added a few hyperlinks — from Lawrence and his wife, Wendy:

David Lawrence

David Lawrence

Our son, U.S. Army Private First Class David Lawrence, pleaded guilty to one charge of premeditated murder, essentially admitting he fired the shot Oct. 16, 2010, that killed Mullah Mohebullah, a senior Taliban commander in custody of U.S. forces in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. After pleading guilty, David was sentenced to 12.5 years behind bars — later reduced to 10 years — at the U.S. Military Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kan. Today, one essential question remains about this tragic incident: Why was David put in a position to be guarding this high-value target?

That question lies at the heart of our effort to help David obtain a further reduction in sentence and/or an early release so he can receive professional medical help.

Prior to the deadly incident, David had been “hearing voices” and was taking Army-prescribed anti-depressant medication following the murder of his close friend, Army Chaplain (Capt.) Dale Goetz, by Afghan insurgents. Incredibly, one Army doctor deemed our son not mentally responsible for the killing and diagnosed David as schizophrenic and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Regardless of that doctor’s assessment and despite the fact David had no training as a guard, someone in David’s chain of command still saw fit to assign him to stand guard over the high-value prisoner. Alone.

After the deadly incident, David was flown out of Afghanistan Oct. 24, 2010, and arrived at Fort Carson, Colo., Nov. 6. Though the Army had ordered a sanity inquiry Nov. 5 to determine whether or not he suffers from a major mental defect or disease, that same Army decided not to wait for an answer before initiating the court-martial process.

When the Army scheduled David’s Article 32 Investigation (the equivalent to a preliminary hearing) for Nov. 29, the defense submitted two separate requests for delay to enable the psychiatrists to determine his mental status. Both delay requests were denied. Why? Because then-Afghan President Hamid Karzai had publicly lashed out at the United States for Mohebullah’s death, and U.S. Government officials seemed to want to appease Afghan government officials.

After suffering some financial setbacks in recent months, we decided to launch this campaign as a last-ditch effort to raise funds to continue our fight on David’s behalf. Right now, we hope to raise at least $10,000, an amount that will pay for the following:  Shipping court-martial-related documents from our former residence in Indiana to our current residence in Arizona; paying legal fees; paying for medical specialists; and funding travel costs to and from Fort Leavenworth.

We need your help. Please keep David and his family in your prayers.

With much appreciation,

Brett and Wendy Lawrence

If you would like to help the Lawrence family continue fighting for their son, two methods exist via which you can make a contribution.

You can send a check, payable to “FOB PFC David W. Lawrence” in care of United Community Bank at the address below:

United Community Bank
19710 Stateline Road
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025

Or you can make a contribution via this PayPal account: pfcdavidlawrence@yahoo.com.

Stay tuned for updates as I will make every attempt to keep you posted about their efforts.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

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Americans Deserve More Facts About GITMO, Bombings

During the past 24 hours, it seems I’ve hit the mother lode in the form of top news stories lacking pertinent facts that should be shared with the American people.

A U.S. Sailor, foreground, assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Guard Battalion conducts an early morning patrol while detainees stand by in the background at the recreation yard inside Camp Delta at Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantanamo, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, July 7, 2010. JTF Guantanamo provides safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees, including those convicted by military commission and those ordered released by a court. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth)

A U.S. Sailor, foreground, assigned to the Navy Expeditionary Guard Battalion conducts an early morning patrol while detainees stand by in the background at the recreation yard inside Camp Delta at Joint Task Force (JTF) Guantanamo, Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, July 7, 2010. JTF Guantanamo provides safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees, including those convicted by military commission and those ordered released by a court. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth)

Yesterday, the Miami Herald published a piece by by Carol Rosenberg under the headline, First flight: 8 of first 20 ‘worst’ still at Guantanamo. It begins with a look back at what happened 13 years ago after 20 men in orange jumpsuits were brought from Afghanistan to the U.S. Navy detention facility in Cuba. By the time it ends, however, it fails to offer much in the way of details about the variety of interrogation methods — good, bad and ugly — employed by U.S. military and intelligence officials at GITMO as they sought information that might have helped the U.S.-led war effort succeed.

Conversely, I share never-before-published details about what happened to the “first 20″ of more than 700 detainees (a.k.a., “enemy combatants” or “prisoners of war”) to arrive at the U.S. Naval Station Guantanamo (a.k.a., “GITMO”) in my second nonfiction book, The Clapper Memo. [FYI: For more details, read my Sept. 9 post, Investigation Reveals Never-Before-Published Truths About Early Days of ‘Global War on Terror’ at Guantanamo Bay. Better yet, order a copy of The Clapper Memo.]

In Steven Aftergood’s article, “Insider Threat” Program Lags Behind Schedule, published by the Federation of American Scientists, he makes no mention of the fact that the “insider threat” program launched by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence more than two years ago relies heavily upon employees being subjected to polygraph exams.

Conversely, I share never-before-published details about the flaws in the polygraph and about a newer, more effective and more reliable credibility assessment technology that proved itself more than a decade ago at Guantanamo Bay and should be incorporated in any program to identify so-called “insider threats.” In addition, I shared insider details about how the non-polygraph technology was unceremoniously banned from use by the Department of Defense personnel despite having realized top-notch results in myriad uses and scenarios around the world. Again, the details appear in The Clapper Memo.

Click image above to read other OKC Bombing-related articles.

Click image above to read other OKC Bombing-related articles.

Finally, a Boston Magazine article attempts to offer comparisons between the men alleged to have been behind the Oklahoma City and Boston Marathon bombings, respectively: Timothy McVeigh and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. My biggest problem with the article is that it fails to mention the fact that an Oklahoma City Bombing Trial is taking place now in federal court in Salt Lake City and the implications at stake.

Conversely, I used a headline of a Dec. 30 piece to ask one questions about the Oklahoma City bombing: Does ‘Domestic Terrorism’ Label Apply to OKC Bombing? Below the headline, I shared reasons to doubt the the official narrative that is set to turn 20 years old April 19 — unless, that is, the outcome of the new Oklahoma City Bombing Trial turns that narrative upside down.

So, there you have it — proof that many of the news stories you’re reading have a lot of holes to be filled in by folks like me.

UPDATE 4/19/2015 at 1:23 p.m. Central: Check out the limited-time free-books offer here.

For links to other articles of interest as well as photos and commentary, join me on Facebook and Twitter.  Please show your support by buying my books and encouraging your friends and loved ones to do the same.  To learn how to order signed copies, click here. Thanks in advance!

Click on image above to order Bob's books.

Click on image above to order Bob’s books.

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