The Gibbs case
The incidents involving U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Gibbs occurred in the Kandahar Province of Afghanistan between June 2009 and June 2010. In November 2011, he was convicted on multiple charges, including premeditated murder of three Afghan civilians. Gibbs is currently serving a life sentence (with eligibility for parole) in the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. At the time of his sentencing, he was serving with Joint Base Lewis McCord's 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
AFN reported earlier that the jury in Gibbs' case was not allowed to view evidence indicating that all three of the alleged victims had biometric data proving they were terrorists and members of the Taliban. One of the deaths occurred during an active engagement with Gibbs' squad; and witnesses who would have testified Gibbs wasn't even at the scene of the other two deaths reportedly were threatened with prosecution.
Suzanne White is a member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee and co-author of a recently adopted resolution calling for post-war amnesty. She contends that most American adults familiar with the military can grasp the weightiness of the phase "leave no man behind" – which implies that members of the military will do everything within their power to extricate fellow servicemen from the most dangerous predicaments known to man.
But Gibbs, she tells American Family News, risked his life fighting an enemy, only to find himself "left behind, imprisoned for alleged war crimes."
"As the final chapters on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan come to a close," White says, "that's exactly what is being done to courageous warriors like U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs" (see sidebar). [Editor's note: For more on the Gibbs case, go to United American Patriots.]
White describes the conviction of Gibbs as the result of "human fallout of a politicized military justice system and the Obama-Biden administration's unreasonable rules of engagement – and this should outrage every patriotic American."
Resolution birthed out of frustration
White explains that the plight of Gibbs and other servicemen similarly convicted "disgusted some members" of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee (LRSCC). That prompted the group to draft the resolution in August, one week prior to President Joe Biden's botched withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, during which 13 U.S. service members lost their lives.
"Ultimately," White admits, "the resolution was birthed from the frustration of witnessing the U.S. government free thousands of Taliban terrorists, many of whom went right back to killing American soldiers and our allies." She adds that the frustration is further heightened by "watching thousands of illegal aliens pour across the border with no consequences whatsoever, and with some being granted amnesty."
She also considers it "sickening" that former President Barack Obama granted pardons to "traitors" Bowe Bergdahl and Bradley "Chelsea" Manning.
"I and the LRSCC will not stand for U.S. servicemen like Montana native, Calvin Gibbs, who served honorably for eight years in multiple combat tours and was awarded medals, to be left to languish in Leavenworth for alleged war crimes," says White. "There is ample evidence he did not commit the murderous crimes he has been convicted of."
The resolution passed with a majority vote at the LRSCC's August 14 quarterly meeting with over 100 members present. It calls on Louisiana's Congressional delegation to "spearhead a bipartisan effort to secure post-war amnesty for U.S. soldiers currently awaiting court martial or are incarcerated for alleged crimes committed while serving their country in combat in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan."
According to White, members of the LRSCC are eager to see other states follow their lead. In addition, she is urging U.S. citizens to encourage their elected representatives in Congress to encourage President joe Biden to "grant post-war pardon and commutation to all U.S. military members currently facing court martial for alleged crimes committed during hostile actions while executing their military duty during their service in Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan."
Aware of the opposition
White acknowledges some detractors would label the resolution "radical" or "unrealistic."
"[But] there is actually vast historical precedence for post-war amnesty and pardons following most every major war America has fought," she counters.
And while some may be hesitant to embrace allowing alleged "murderers" to return to society, White suggests the concern about the men and women of the nation's armed services is unwarranted. She points out emphatically that "for cases like Gibbs' and others, the recidivism rate at Leavenworth is zero."
That being the case, White shares she is "certainly willing" to take her chances.
"These guys were in the throes of battle when they acted, [and] many are intelligent, decent men who just want to go home to be with their families and get their lives back," she adds. "If terrorists and traitors are allowed to go free, then at the very least, U.S. servicemen should also be set free."
Finally, White presumes some might argue it's a waste of time to pursue amnesty for American soldiers while Biden is commander-in-chief.
"Why wait on a more favorable government?" she asks. "None of the warriors who served the country got to choose to wait and fight when there was a more favorable government."
"Regardless of who is in the White House," White concludes, "the freedom of all who have been unjustly imprisoned while serving the country needs to be fought for today – and for as long as it takes to bring them home."