In this March 14, 2014, file photo, Michael Behenna, center, is embraced by his brother Brett and girlfriend Shannon Wahl following his release from prison in Leavenworth, Kan. Behenna, who was convicted of killing an Iraqi prisoner, served five years of his 15-year sentence for unpremeditated murder in a combat zone. Oklahoma's Attorney General Mike Hunter is urging President Donald Trump to issue a pardon to Behenna. (Associated Press/The Oklahoman/Sarah Phipps)
(Reuters) - President Donald Trump on Monday pardoned former U.S. Army Lieutenant Michael Behenna, who was imprisoned for five years for killing an Iraqi prisoner in 2008.
Behenna, a platoon leader in the 101st Airborne Division, was convicted of unpremeditated murder and sentenced to 25 years after killing Ali Mansur Mohamed, a suspected al-Qaeda member.
Behenna, who stripped Mansur naked for questioning and then shot him twice, claimed he was acting in self-defense.
His sentence was subsequently reduced to 15 years and he was paroled in 2014, five years into his term.
"Behenna's case has attracted broad support from the military, Oklahoma elected officials, and the public," the White House said in a statement.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter petitioned the White House for the pardon.
Mansur was captured by Behenna's soldiers and questioned by military intelligence in connection with a roadside bomb that killed two members of the platoon on April 21, 2008.
Mansur was ordered released due to insufficient evidence to hold him and Behenna was tasked with returning him to his village. During the operation, Behenna stopped the convoy and questioned Mansur on the attack.
Behenna said Mansur lunged for his weapon and he shot him in self defense, according to testimony from his 2009 trial.
The White House said Behenna was a "model prisoner" and "entirely deserving" of the Grant of Executive Clemency.
In a scathing letter, a top Navy legal official on Sunday expressed "grave ethical concerns" over revelations that government prosecutors used tracking software in emails to defense lawyers in ongoing cases involving two Navy SEALs in San Diego.
The letter, written by David G. Wilson, Chief of Staff of the Navy's Defense Service Offices, requested a response by Tuesday from the Chief of the Navy's regional law offices detailing exactly what type of software was used and what it could do, who authorized it, and what controls were put in place to limit its spread on government networks.
"As our clients learn about these extraordinary events in the media, we are left unarmed with any facts to answer their understandable concerns about our ability to secure the information they must trust us to maintain. This situation has become untenable," Wilson wrote in the letter, which was obtained by Task & Purpose on Monday.
Riley Howell, the Army ROTC cadet shot and killed while restraining an active shooter at UNC Charlotte on April 30, was posthumously awarded the ROTC Medal of Heroism earlier this month for his heroic sacrifice, the Army announced.
The head of naval aviation has directed the creation of a new process for approving and reviewing pilots' call signs after two African-American aviators at an F/A-18 Hornet training squadron in Virginia filed complaints alleging racial bias in the unit, from which they said they were unfairly dismissed.
In a formal endorsement letter signed May 13, Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, commander of Naval Air Forces, said he found the two aviators, a Navy lieutenant and a Marine Corps captain, were correctly removed from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 out of Naval Air Station Oceana due to "substandard performance," despite errors and inconsistencies discovered in the grading and ranking process.
However, Miller said he did find inappropriate conduct by instructor pilots who did not treat the pilots-in-training "with appropriate dignity and respect," using discriminatory call signs and having inappropriate and unprofessional discussions about them on social media.