Even from their prison cells, the men of Raven 23 are fighting: fighting for their freedom, fighting to have their story told. Please help them by participating in our Letters for Raven 23 campaign. This month's letter is to Sean Hannity, as a special request from Nick Slatten.
In 2015, Mr. Hannity featured an op-ed by Nick's sister. However, since that op-ed was published, the Raven 23 appeal has revealed even more rights violations, including that a key witness perjured his trial testimony, that the government hid proof of Nick's innocence from the jury, and that the government has now conceded the ENEMY fired first. These are newsworthy events, and we believe Mr. Hannity's prior interest in the Raven 23 case makes him the prime person to investigate and report on our fight for true justice and transparency.
We ask that you forward the link to this blog post containing Nick's letter to Mr. Hannity via his many social media platforms. Ask him to cover the story of four decorated veterans who were convicted for defensive actions in a war zone by a civilian jury that heard perjured testimony but was denied proof of innocence. Please help us #FreeRaven23!
Dear Mr. Hannity,
My name is Nick Slatten, and I am a decorated, honorably discharged combat veteran and Army Sniper School graduate who served two tours in the Iraq War. After leaving the 82nd Airborne in 2006, I went back to Iraq as a State Department contractor, where I served as the designated defensive marksman for Blackwater's Tactical Support Team Raven 23.
In September 2007, my team came under fire and faced a car bomb threat in Baghdad's red zone while responding to a car bomb attack against another Blackwater team. In the nearly decade that has passed since, myself and three of my teammates (Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, and Paul Slough), who are also experienced veterans and honorable men, have had our good names raked through the mud and our lives destroyed.
Now, my brothers and I sit in federal prison. We are POWs in our own country, convicted by a civilian jury clueless about combat that was allowed to hear perjured testimony but not evidence of our innocence.
We are currently appealing our unjust convictions, with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in our corner. In January 2017, we had oral arguments. There, for the first time ever, the government admitted that the enemy fired first. This concession makes me wonder why my brothers, whose defense was self-defense, are still serving their 30-year sentences.
My case is different; I'm in prison for life for "murdering" someone I didn't even shoot. I was vindictively charged with this crime after I beat the government's attempt to try me for the same lesser charges as my brothers. Rather than admit defeat, the government charged me with a murder I didn't commit, even though it has proof I'm innocent. There are statements by one of my codefendants (including ones made under oath immediately after the 2007 engagement) admitting to killing the man I'm in prison for "murdering." These statements were hidden from my jury, and they remain sealed by court order to this day because the D.C. Circuit has elected to conduct its business in the dark. I have copies of them in my cell and wonder if the truth will remain forever hidden, locked away with me, in yet another cover up by the corrupt left.
I listen to your program every day through the week on my radio. You say journalism is dead. I'm sure if you visit our website www.freeraven23.com you will be outraged by this miscarriage of justice. I beg you, sir, please help us. Don't let two innocent soldiers and two innocent marines be left behind for political appeasement.