The Obama administration is emptying the military’s Guantanamo Bay detention facility of avowed terrorists captured fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, but several American service members languish in another military prison for actions on those same battlefields that their supporters say merit clemency, if not gratitude.
Among the prison population at Fort Leavenworth, in Kansas, are remaining members of the so-called “Leavenworth 10,” convicted service members doing terms ranging from 10 to 40 years for heat-of-the-battle decisions their supporters say saved American lives.
“The very people who protect our freedoms and liberties are having their own freedoms and liberties taken away,” said retired U.S. Army Col. Allen West, a former congressman and political commentator. “I think it’s appalling and no one is talking about this issue.”
The “Leavenworth 10” is the name given to a fluctuating number of men housed at Leavenworth for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan that their supporters say were justified. Over the years, a handful have been paroled, and more have been incarcerated.