During recent visit to New Hampshire, Evan's father and aunt had an opportunity to speak with Senator Marco Rubio regarding the fate of our four men at the hands of our corrupted justice system. The Senator was very receptive, but now we need to drive home how many of his constituents support the men of Raven 23. Please take this sample letter and send it to:
Senator Marco Rubio
284 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC, 20510
Dear Senator Rubio,
As someone who anticipates voting in the primaries and the general election, I am writing you because I am concerned for our defenders and because I want to know what you are going to do to protect them against the abuses they have suffered at the hands of the current administration if you are elected President.
In October, in New Hampshire, you met Brian Liberty. Brian personally handed you some materials, which you said you wanted to look at, and I hope you get the chance to review them soon. Brian's son, Evan Liberty, as well as three other decorated veterans (Dustin Heard, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough) were wrongfully convicted last year by a Washington, DC, CIVILIAN jury for defending themselves during an attack that occurred in Baghdad in 2007 while they and their team, Raven 23, were doing incredibly dangerous war-zone contract work for the Department of State. While we fight the numerous rights violations and erroneous legal rulings that led to this travesty of justice in the courts, I want to know what you are going to do to protect those--like these four decorated veterans--who are willing to lay their lives on the line to defend us?
If you are elected President, what will you do to curb the convictions-at-any-cost mentality that plagues the current Department of Justice? What will you do to stop abusive charging decisions like those that occurred in these men's cases? Even putting aside the injustice of manslaughter and attempted manslaughter convictions for defensive actions taken in a war zone, Evan, Dustin, and Paul each received a 30-year mandatory minimum prison sentence because the DOJ abusively charged them with violating a federal weapons law (18 U.S.C. § 924(c)). Congress enacted this law to encourage the would-be criminal to leave his gun at home. The DOJ applied this law to Evan, Dustin, and Paul based on government-issued weapons these men simply could not leave at home because they were contractually required to carry them when the alleged crimes occurred. Because the DOJ misapplied the weapons law in their case, at sentencing, their service to this country became an aggravating factor rather than a mitigating factor. As President, would you sanction similar abuses by your DOJ against our defenders?
As President, would you sit quietly by while your DOJ vindictively charges a combat veteran--a man who successfully asserted his right not to be prosecuted for lesser crimes, alleged crimes your own DOJ had previously dropped due to weak evidence and then failed to bring back within the applicable statute of limitations--with first-degree premeditated murder because that is the ONLY charge that does not carry a statute of limitations? That is what President Obama's DOJ did Nicholas Slatten, who is now imprisoned in a federal penitentiary in your state. Long before Nick ever went to work as a DOS contractor, he deployed to Iraq twice as a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne, even leading a team on his second tour. Nick is a graduate of Army Sniper School, a highly-trained, highly-skilled professional. He received several awards and commendations for his service prior to his honorable discharge, including the coveted Combat Infantryman Badge. Nick would still be out there, in some capacity, serving his country today, except for, at this moment, he is sitting in a federal prison serving a life sentence for the premeditated murder of a person he did not even shoot during the engagement--a person the government knew before trial that someone else killed, and a person the government's own witness admitted at trial to killing because he presented a threat to the team.
If you were President, what would you do if you learned that prosecutors within your DOJ hid exculpatory evidence and knowingly presented perjured testimony because, as it turns out, the truth didn't justify convictions but political appeasement required them to uphold a very public promise that your Vice President made to the Iraqis over 4 years before the trial ever began? Do you think convictions that come at the cost of the constitution and the ethical rules that you as a lawyer, were sworn to uphold embody the values that set our constitutional republic apart from the rest of the world? In the Raven 23 case, for nearly seven years, the DOJ suppressed photographs of AK-47 shell casings that proved Raven 23 received enemy fire from a specific location that matched the team's real-time reports. The government had these photographs in its possession from day one, minutes after the engagement, but it did not turn them over to the defense until nearly seven years later, midway through the trial, after several Iraqi witnesses testified that no one shot at the team from that location. Then, nearly six months after the convictions, the government disclosed more exculpatory evidence in the form of a victim impact statement from an Iraqi police officer that not only proves this man perjured his trial testimony but that also destroys the government's entire theory of what happened during the engagement, including rendering it completely impossible for Nicholas Slatten, to have fired the shot that the government alleged killed the person Nick was charged with and convicted of murdering. Even though this Iraqi police officer's trial testimony was wildly contrary to prior statements that he gave to various media outlets in the days following the engagement, and even though no one else saw him on the scene doing the things he told the jury that he did (which we now know from his victim impact statement he did not actually do), the DOJ blindly accepted and presented his lies as the truth simply because they supported the story it needed to sell to get the promised convictions. What would you do if your DOJ did this? Would there be consequences? Or, like our current President, would you sit quietly by while four honorable men who sacrificed their youths serving this country get discarded and quietly swept under the rug? On October 22, 2015, it was a year since Nick, Evan, Dustin, and Paul were wrongly convicted. They still can't appeal. They're still waiting on the trial judge to decide whether the DOJ's use of perjured testimony to secure their convictions warrants a new trial. As President, at what point would enough be enough? Exactly how bad would it have to be before you did something to reign in your DOJ? Would you be asking yourself if your DOJ is doing this to our defenders--men who also have excellent legal representation--what in the world is it doing to every other defendant? Is there any line it won't cross? Does our constitution even matter anymore?
I am an undecided voter and this issue is important to me. And these are the questions I need answered before I consider supporting you as the next President of the United States. I hope that you will take the time to learn about these men. There is a wealth of information available at www.freeraven23.com or find more on Facebook at Free Raven 23. If you take the time to visit the Facebook page, you'll quickly see that thousands upon thousands of people have the same questions as me, and are fighting daily to raise awareness about what the DOJ did to Nick, Evan, Dustin, and Paul. I would welcome the chance to speak with you or any member of your staff further about these issues. Either I or someone as equally well-versed in the facts of the Raven 23 case would also come and meet with you, any time, any place.