Pardoned officer seeks release of Raven 23 warriors, cites ‘political nonsense’

Pete Hegseth, left, with Fox News, shakes hands with Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance during his appearance on "Fox & Friends," Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Source: One News Now, By J.M. Phelps, December 12, 2019

A former U.S. Army officer recently pardoned by President Donald Trump believes others like himself have “fallen victim to tainted political nonsense” and deserve to be returned to their families, having served their country well.

Last month, 1st Lt. Clint Lorance (pictured, right) was granted clemency by President Trump. Accused of “war crimes,” the Army officer was released from the U.S. Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas, after serving more than six years of a 19-year sentence.

Since being reunited with his family, the 34-year-old Oklahoma native has taken great interest in other cases involving veterans who he argues have “fallen victim to tainted political nonsense.” One of those cases deemed controversial by most secular media outlets involves the unjust trial of four members of Blackwater’s Raven 23: Nicholas “Nick” Slatten, Paul Slough, Dustin Heard, and Evan Liberty.

Lorance spoke to OneNewsNow, admitting he was once skeptical about the details of their case. However, while being catapulted into the media spotlight upon his release from Leavenworth, he was prompted to reach out to one of the attorneys involved in the case from Washington, DC.

The former Army officer took the opportunity to question the attorney, asking: “Why would you take [Nicholas Slatten’s] case?” Lorance says the attorney looked him directly in the eyes and replied, “Because [Nick] didn’t do it. He’s innocent.”

According to Lorance, the well-respected attorney – on the brink of tears – was clearly fighting for Slatten’s freedom.

In the hours to follow, Lorance realized how eerily similar his case was to Slatten’s. The more he read and learned about the case, he said he began to understand the truth of what happened in Nisour Square on November 16, 2007.

Lorance labeled the case the “Biden four case,” because former Vice President Joe Biden was one of the people who took it upon himself to play a part in appeasing the Iraqi government. According to Lorance, Biden exerted “incredible influence, [telling the Iraqi president], don’t worry, we’re going to make sure we get these guys.”

Subsequently, the four Raven 23 members faced a number of complex and disheartening trials. After multiple appeals and court appearances, Slatten was sentenced to life in prison, Slough to 15 years, Heard to 12.5 years, and Liberty to 14 years.

Speaking to OneNewsNow, Lorance expressed his distrust in a civilian federal court’s ability to come to the right decision in a case involving four combat veterans, emphasizing the word “combat.” As a result, Lorance says he is honored to join the fight alongside these four “veteran warriors” in an effort to make an appeal to President Trump.

Family member Jessica Slatten maintains her “[brother] is innocent and we need him to come home. He has already endured three sham trials, and recent revelations prove the government lied to wrongly convict him. To keep Nick from losing more of his life defending against a bogus murder charge, we’re praying President Trump will take a close look at his case, say enough is enough, and pardon Nick and the other three unjustly imprisoned veterans of Raven 23.”

Lorance agrees that “the next step in this campaign to bring Nick Slatten and his brothers home is to get the facts in front of President Trump.” As a veteran and former warrior himself, he considers it his duty to fight for his brothers until they come home.

The “Biden four” were members of a tactical support team tasked with the responsibility of helping protect a U.S. diplomat.

“They went out to fulfill their assignment in good faith,” Lorance attests. “The American people should be compelled to call upon the president to get these men out of prison. [I challenge] anyone to read the legal filings and see very clearly that these men went out in good faith and tried to do their job on that day.”

And the way forward, he says, requires the American people to “get involved in the democratic process to bring our warriors home.”

“The president doesn’t have time to scour the internet to search for all the injustices of our courts throughout America,” Lorance admits. “[But] the Constitution allows for us to petition our government – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

An online petition, he concludes, provides the avenue for Americans to get behind service members who put their lives on the line in a wartime situation to fulfill their duties to protect the United States of America. At press time, the petition was nearing 10,000 signatures.

In photo above, Pete Hegseth, left, with Fox News, shakes hands with Army 1st Lt. Clint Lorance during his appearance on “Fox & Friends,” Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)