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We Support Our Nation's Warriors

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1LT CLINT LORANCE

 

Basic info: Rank

Accused of:

Imprisoned since:

Family status:

Etc.

SUMMARY

In June 2012, 1LT Clint Lorance deployed to Zhari, Afghanistan, with elements of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division in support of the on-going combat operations associated with the "Global War On Terror."

 

When a platoon leader was medically evacuated from the battlefield due to shrapnel wounds to his eyes, face, and abdomen from the blast of an improvised explosive device (IED), 1Lt Lorance was identified to replace him.

 

On July 2, 2012, three days after taking charge of the platoon, 1LT Lorance was leading his paratroopers on a combat patrol through a minefield near where previous attacks on the platoon resulted in four casualties, including the one which wounded the previous platoon leader.

While patrolling up and down 6 – 8-foot grape berms (mud mounds Afghan farmers use to grow grapes), one of 1LT Lorance’s soldiers identified three military-age Afghan men speeding toward their patrol on a motorcycle.

Correctly perceiving the riders on the motorcycle as an immediate threat to the exposed platoon, the soldier fired his rifle, but missed. 

Within seconds of the initial shots, 1LT Lorance, standing below a grape berm, radioed a “gun truck” (a lightly armored vehicle mounted with a crew-served machine gun), he had placed in an over-watch position to protect the patrol, to fire on the motorcycle.

Two of the Afghan riders were killed. One escaped.

1LT Lorance never fired a shot.

Just moments and meters away, a second tense and quickly evolving engagement occurred in which 1LT Lorance’s platoon shot and killed two other Afghans and wounded a third in the arm.

While patrolling back to their outpost, a US soldier believed one of the deceased motorcycle riders was a village elder. At that point, the case became a “civilian casualty” or “CIVCAS” case.

As a result, the Army prosecuted 1LT Lorance for double murder, attempted murder, and several lesser offenses... despite the fact that:

1. The first soldier who fired on the motorcycle riders testified his shots were consistent with the ROEs;

2. 1Lt Lorance relied upon the first soldier's correct threat assessment to order the fatal rounds to be fired from the "gun truck" within seconds after the first soldier missed; and

3. 1LT Lorance never fired his own rifle;

Leading up to 1LT Lorance's Court Martial, nine Paratroopers in the platoon were also initially accused of murder. But, they were eventually given immunity and ordered to cooperate in the case against 1LT Lorance.

Prosecutors withheld evidence which would have justified 1LT Lorances orders, specifically a US Army report that 1LT Lorance's platoon was being targeted for an "attack or ambush," and those 1LT Lorance's platoon killed were enemy combatant, not "civilians." 

As a result, 1LT Lorance was convicted, sentenced to 20 years (later reduce to 19 years) in prison in the United States Disciplinary Barracks (USDB) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and dismissed from the Army.

In June 2012, 1LT Clint Lorance deployed to Zhari, Afghanistan, with elements of the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division in support of the on-going combat operations associated with the "Global War On Terror." 

where he would replace a fallen lieutenant who had been injured in a military hot zone. Immediately upon receiving word of his new and dangerous assignment, Lorance began to study maps of the remote area in Kandahar Province. Long deserted by civilians, it had become a hot bed of Taliban activity.

In addition to the officer whom Lorance had replaced, there were other injuries and casualties in the time leading up to the assignment. During his briefing with an intelligence officer, Lorance was warned that insurgents would spy on American forces and gather intel for future attacks while seated on motorcycles. Deeply concerned for the safety of his unit, he told them that it was his duty to make sure each and every man would return home to their loved ones.

One month later, a U.S. helicopter surveying the area warned Lorance of Taliban activity. A group of motorcyclists were near a road used only by insurgents. After confirming a clear description of the terrorists, Lorance waited for further direction from the aerial surveillance. When a U.S. intelligence soldier intercepted radio transmissions from the Taliban detailing the American platoon’s location, one of the soldiers asked Lorance for permission to fire. Remembering his promise to have each and every man in his unit home in one piece, the first lieutenant granted permission to fire.


Summary of Case

When more insurgents infiltrated the U.S. Army and Afghan army formation, the threat was quickly and courageously reduced.

Despite the bravery that is reflected by the numerous awards granted to him throughout his military service, including a Platoon Leadership award, Lorance was unjustly charged with murder for giving the order that saved countless lives that day.

 

Update:

On December 19, 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (CAAF) decided not to hear our request for an appeal in Clint’s case. Consequently, there are two courses of action available to pursue simultaneously: a) prepare the federal civilian lawsuit under habeas corpus; and b) continue to press efforts for Presidential and/or Secretarial action.

February 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Events

* Phone calls and letters w/Clint Lorance
* Development of Amicus Brief and Signatories
* Case Law Review of CAAF Cases
* Coordination w/Amicus Attorney
* Coordination with Defense Appellate Division for Filing
* Revise and Edit Slides for Supplement Appendix w/ Bill Carney
* Assemble Appendix Materials
* Revise draft Supplement to Petition for Grant of Review

September 2017

Contact Clint

Clint's address in Leavenworth penitentiary is: