Navy SEAL McCabe Found Not Guilty

May 7, 2010 – 1:04 AM | by: Steve Centanni

By Steve Centanni, Pat Summers and Gretchen Gailey

NORFOLK –  It only took a 7-member jury one hour and 40 minutes Thursday afternoon to find Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe not guilty on all counts. McCabe had been charged with assault for allegedly roughing up Ahmed Hashim Abed, the accused terrorist who allegedly masterminded the grisly killings six years ago of four American contractors in Iraq.

In closing arguments, prosecution attorney Lt. Jason Grover said, “This is a simple case, but not an easy one. Nobody wants to believe a decorated Navy SEAL would assault a detainee.”   Grover also argued that a key prosecution witness, Petty Officer Kevin Demartino, had no reason to lie when he testified that he saw McCabe punch the prisoner in the stomach.

“What’s Dimartino’s motive to blame his shipmates?” asked Grover. “If he was looking for an explanation for something that happened on his watch, he had an easy one right in front of him,” the prosecutor argued.  “He could just say the terrorist did it to himself.”

Which is exactly what the defense argued in this case.  Defense attorney Haytham Faraj, in his closing argument, insists McCabe acted honorably.  Faraj asked the jury, “Why didn’t McCabe just shoot Abed in the first place?”

“These SEALs,”  he continues, referring to McCabe and two other SEALs charged in the case, “had motives, they had opportunities, but they’re professionals.” Faraj insists, “Everyone has to be lying for the government’s case to be believed.”

The jury of six men and one woman received the case at 4:15 Thursday afternoon.

This follows four days of pre-trial motions, jury selection and testimony before a Judge Advocate General, Captain Moira Modelewski, at the Naval Station Norfolk, in Norfolk, Virginia.

Another of the Navy SEALs charged in connection with the Abed case, Petty Officer First Class Julio Huertas, took the stand for the defense Thursday morning.
He said that he and the other two Navy SEALs, McCabe and Jonathan Keefe, did visit the detention facility where Abed was being held on the night of the alleged incident.
But, he insists, there was no assault.  He says they only dropped by to see if Dimartino, who was in charge of the holding facility, needed anything.  Huertas and Keefe were found not guilty last month in separate trials in Baghdad.

The defense called an oral surgeon Thursday who testified by phone from Baghdad.  He said Abed might have bitten an ulcer on his lip, causing it to bleed.  Defense attorneys said this validated their position that no assault occurred and that Al Qaeda detainees are trained to injure themselves then claim abuse.

Earlier, after the prosecution and defense both rested their cases, prosecutors Thursday announced they needed time to present a rebuttal.  They were basically trying to rehabilitate their key witness, Demartino, whose character and credibility had been questioned by a string of defense witnesses Wednesday, many of them Navy SEALs.  One of Demartino’s former superior officers, testifying as a rebuttal witness, called Demartino “one of my top sailors—I can depend on him for anything.”

Defense witnesses on Wednesday had painted a picture of Demartino as unstable, unreliable and, after the incident with Abed, “distraught.”  According to testimony, Demartino was worried his career would be ruined because a prisoner claimed abuse on his watch, and that he would no longer have a chance for his dream job with the California Highway Patrol.  This, the defense claimed, gave Demartino a motive to lie.  Demartino did not immediately report the alleged assault to his superiors and admits to dereliction of duty.  The defense suggested that since Demartino initially said nothing about an assault, he’s an unreliable witness.

The defense also continued throughout the trial to cast doubt on the English translation of Abed’s audio-taped testimony, claiming it was unreliable, which creates an element of doubt.  As in civilian courts, a defendant—in this case McCabe–must be found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  Four of the seven jurors would have had to vote to convict for McCabe to have been found guilty.

Thursday afternoon, prosecutors suffered an apparent setback when a witness they called supported the defense position on disputed statements submitted in writing by two Navy SEALs in Iraq shortly after the alleged assault.  The prosecution claimed the two SEALs, Jonathan Keefe and Matthew McCabe, colluded to get their stories straight, because their statements appeared to be identical.  But this witness acknowledged the statements of two SEALs on the same mission often coincide.

Abed was captured in a surprise raid by the Navy SEALs in Fallujah, Iraq, in September of last year.  The murders he’s accused of masterminding were a turning point in the Iraq war, galvanizing the U.S. military to launch a major offensive against the insurgents in Fallujah.  The bodies of the four Americans were burned and dragged through the streets, and two of them were hung from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

Ever since charges were brought against the Navy SEALs last year, there has been a huge outpouring of popular support for the defendants. Rallies were held at which the men were described as heroes rather than criminals. Websites helped raise defense funds and at least 20 members of Congress called for the charges against them to be dropped.  The military, however, insists it has a zero tolerance for detainee abuse and that all members of the services are duty-bound to follow the law.

Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe To Appear At Scottsdale Rally

Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe To Appear At Scottsdale Rally

A rally and fundraiser for the Navy Seals that are being court-martialed for the alleged gut punch of a known terrorist is being held on Saturday, 3.27.10 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  According to Neal Puckett, Matthew McCabe’s attorney, Matthew will be making an announcement that will change the dynamics of this case.  For more information, check out the related links at the bottom of this post, and to donate to the Navy SEALS defense fund, go here.

Navy SEAL SO2 McCabe To Speak at Rally

SO2 Matthew McCabe will appear at a “Support the Seals” rally and fundraiser in Scottsdale, Arizona on Sat from 11:00 until 2:00 at the Silverleaf Country Club. Many of his supporters have expressed support for this American Hero believing that even if the act was committed, a punch to the gut of a terrorist, it does not deserve a court-martial. They do not care if the allegations are true or not.

Well Matthew McCabe cares! The Law Firm of Puckett and Faraj cares! SO2 McCabe will be making an announcement at the SEAL Rally on Saturday in Scottsdale. He will reveal something he has known since September 1st of last year. Do not miss this surprise that will crack the SEAL cases wide open!

Press Release For The Event:

News Release:
Support the Seals
March 24, 2010/5:55PM Eastern
Alexandria, VA

Rally: Saturday March 27, 2010, Scottsdale Arizona

In early September 2009, U.S. Navy SEALs secretly captured one of the most wanted terrorists in Iraq, Ahmed Hashim Abed, the mastermind of the murder and mutilation of four Blackwater USA security guards in Fallujah in 2004. Now, three of the SEALs who captured him are facing criminal charges because Abed claims he was hit in the stomach by one of the SEALs.

These terrorists are trained to claim abuse despite no physical evidence of such. More importantly, they know the powerful influence of our mainstream media & legal system and are using these facets as tools against us. This tactic with resulting media attention is effective in causing our heroes to question their training and decisions, placing their missions, lives and our security in jeopardy.

Because this story was under reported, a group of patriots started a Facebook group called Americans United Against the Prosecution of 3 Navy SEALs to show solidarity against what we believe to be an inappropriate and politically correct court martial against these SEAL heroes. No evidence has been released or offered to warrant these charges to date. Over 260,000 supporters from all over the world have joined the forum to voice their concern, support and outrage these heroes are facing.

The Navy SEAL advocates have created a fundraising event in Scottsdale, Arizona, to give awareness, show support and to raise money for these SEALs legal costs. Attending this event will be one of the SEALs, Matthew McCabe, his lawyer Neal Puckett and various political figures from across the country to show their support.

A CALL TO ACTION! You are invited to donate, attend and help spread the word to this seemingly and apparent injustice these SEALs are facing. We need YOUR support! They defend us. Now you have the opportunity to defend them!

Visit for more information and to RSVP to the event or to donate to their defense funds.

On a another insane but related note, how many of you know about Michael Behenna?


The Story

Michael Behenna

On March 20th, 2009, Army Ranger 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was sentenced to 25 years in prison for killing Ali Mansur, a known Al Qaeda operative while serving in Iraq.  Mansur was known to be a member of an Al Qaeda cell operating in the lieutenant’s area of operation and was suspected to have organized an attack on Lt. Behenna’s platoon in April 2008 which killed two U.S. soldiers and injured two more. Army intelligence ordered the release of Mansur and Lt. Behenna was ordered to return the terrorist to his home.

During the return of Mansur, Lt. Behenna again questioned the Al Qaeda member for information about other members of the terrorist cell, and financial supporters. During this interrogation, Mansur attacked Lt. Behenna, who killed the terrorist in self-defense. The government subsequently prosecuted Lt. Behenna for premeditated murder.

Not only is this a miscarriage of justice on the behalf of Lt. Behenna, who was acting to prevent further loss of life in his platoon, it is demoralizing to the U.S. troops who continue to fight on behalf of the freedom and security of our nation. Whether it is U.S. border patrol agents, members of the armed forces, or FBI agents, no individual who is serving on the frontlines in the War on Terror should be so blatantly mistreated.

We urgently need your help to correct this terrible wrong against a loyal and faithful soldier. Please contact your congressman and ask them to intervene on behalf of 1LT Behenna. Below is a brief recap of the relevant aspects of Lt. Behenna’s case.

  • September 2007: 1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna deployed to Iraq for his first combat experience
  • April 21, 2008: Lt. Behenna’s platoon was attacked by Al Qaeda operatives. The attack resulted in death of two of Lt. Behenna’s platoon members, two Iraqi citizens, and wounded two additional soldiers under Lt. Behenna’s command.
  • May 5, 2008: Known terrorist Ali Mansur was detained at his home for suspected involvement in the attack on Lt. Behenna’s platoon
  • May 16, 2008: Army Intelligence orders the release of Mansur
  • Lt. Behenna, who lost two members of his platoon just weeks earlier, was ordered to transport Mansur back to his home
  • Lt. Behenna attempts a final interrogation of Mansur prior to his release
  • During the interrogation, Behenna is attacked by Mansur and is forced to defend himself. During the altercation, the terrorist is killed.
  • Lt. Behenna failed to properly report the incident
  • July 2008: The U.S. Army charges Lt. Behenna with premeditated murder for the death of Al Qaeda operative and terrorist Ali Mansur.
  • February 23, 2009: Lt. Behenna’s trial begins
  • Government and defense experts agree on the trajectory of the bullets killing Mansur
  • Prosecution expert Dr. Herbert MacDonnell initiated contact with defense attorneys explaining his agreement with the testimony of Lt. Behenna and his presentation to prosecutors supporting Lt. Behenna’s version of events.
  • Dr. MacDonnell is not called to testify in the case and instead is sent home.  Just before leaving the courthouse he picks up his coat from the prosecution room and says to the three prosecutors (Megan Poirier, Jason Elbert, and Erwin Roberts), ‘The explanation that Lt Behenna just testified to was the exact same scenario I told you yesterday.  Lt Behenna is telling the truth.’
  • Jack Zimmermann, defense counsel, asks prosecutors if they have any exculpatory evidence that should be provided to the defense (referring to Dr. MacDonnell’s demonstration). Prosecutors deny having any such evidence despite having been told by their own expert witness that Lt Behenna’s explanation was the only logical explanation.
  • Prosecutors withholding of this evidence allowed them to argue that Lt. Behenna executed Ali Mansur while seated when the forensic experts, including Dr. MacDonnell, agree that Ali was standing with his arms outstretched when shot
  • Lt. Behenna is convicted of unpremeditated murder and assault by a military panel of seven officers, none of whom had combat experience.
  • Dr. MacDonnell contacts prosecution requesting that the information provided in his demonstration be given to the defense.
  • Prosecutors provide such information after a verdict was rendered, but prior to sentencing.
  • At the request of the presiding judge, Dr. MacDonnell provides his information to the court via telephone
  • The judge orders both sides in the case to file briefs relating to a possible mistrial
  • After reading the briefs the judge set an additional hearing and ordered additional briefs, including one from the defense requesting a new trial.
  • On March 20, the judge denied defense motions to declare a mistrial and to order a new trial
  • Lt. Behenna was paraded in handcuffs through the Nashville airport, the Milwaukee airport, and the Kansas City airport enroute to Fort Leavenworth Prison
  • Lt. Behenna’s attorneys are appealing the verdict
  • Lt. Behenna is currently serving a 15-year sentence  (the 25 year sentence was reduced five years by the commanding general of 101st Airborne and reduced another five years by the Army Clemency Board.  The earliest he would be eligible for parole is after serving a third of his sentence.  Without parole or a new trial Lt. Behenna will get out of prison for the shooting an Al Qaeda terrorist in self defense when he is 40 years old.

1st Lieutenant Michael Behenna was an excellent officer. He received his call to serve his country while attending the University of Central Oklahoma. He is from a family of public servants, his mother being an Assistant United States Attorney and his father a retired Special Agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. He has served the Army and the United States with honor and dignity. To sacrifice the life of this Oklahoma soldier over the death of a known terrorist, is a breech of faith with all who are serving our country.

For more information on how to show your support for Michael Behenna, hit the link above.

Matthew McCabe To Attend Rohrabacher/Burton Press Conference (UPDATED VIDEO)

Matthew McCabe To Attend Rohrabacher/Burton Press Conference (UPDATED VIDEO)

Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe

The continuing saga of the court-martial of Navy SEALS who brought a terrorist to justice gets a boost today when Reps. Rohrabacher and Burton hold a press conference calling for exoneration of the SEALs.  If and when video is posted of the event, I will find it and post it.

From Rep. Rohrabacher’s site:

[UPDATE: location change] ***MEDIA ADVISORY*** PRESS CONFERENCE*** Reps. Rohrabacher, Burton Renew Call For Exoneration of Navy SEAL “3”

Joined by Accused SEAL Matthew McCabe

Washington, Mar 3

Thursday, March 4, 2010
3:00pm EST

The House Triangle

Reps. Rohrabacher and Burton will be joined by accused Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe, over a dozen retired Navy SEALs and other special forces personnel, to renew calls for exoneration of the “Navy SEAL 3” charged with mistreating al-Qaeda leader, Ahmed Hashim Abed, mastermind behind the 2004 killing, burning and mutilation of four American contractors in Fallujah, Iraq.

In September 2009, SEALs Matthew McCabe, Julio Huertas, and Jonathan Keefe, were part of the SEAL team that captured Abed, considered the most wanted terrorist in Iraq. In December 2009 and January 2010, the SEALs were arraigned in military court on charges of giving false statements to investigators and abusing Abed after the detainee claimed he had been punched by his captors.

With the trials set to begin for SEALs Huertas and Keefe next month, Reps. Burton and Rohrabacher will again call for their exoneration and present signed petitions of support from over 100,000 Americans calling for the same. The petitions will then be delivered to Maj. Gen Cleveland and Admiral Gary Roughead, Chief of Naval Operations.

Neal Puckett, attorney for Matthew McCabe, will also be on hand to provide an update on the case.

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN)
Petty Officer 2nd Class, Matthew McCabe (Accused Navy SEAL)
Neal Puckett, Attorney
Capt. Larry Bailey, Retired Navy SEAL
Former Special Forces personnel

For those that are still out of the loop on this case, go here for the details.

Court Martial Date Set For Navy SEALs (UPDATED)

Court Martial Date Set For Navy SEALs (UPDATED)

UPDATE: 5.6.2010: Matthew McCabe found NOT GUILTY – go here for the rest of the story.

No speedy trial for these SEALs.

Neil Puckett is Matthew McCabe’s lawyer, and the following press release is from his site:

McCabe Court-Martial Set for May 2010

Press  Release:  The trial of SO2 Matthew McCabe has been moved from January 19, 2010 to May 3, 2010 in Norfolk, VA.  The Military Judge ruled that the government request for a delay was approved.  However, she did not move the court-martial to Iraq as did the Military Judge in the cases of the other two Navy SEALs charged in the case.

A different Military Judge in the cases of SO2 Keefe and SO1 Huertas ordered the cases be tried in Iraq to accommodate the defense requests for the detainee to be present after declining to accept a deposition.  The SO2 Keefe Case is scheduled to begin on 5 April 2010 and SO1 Heurtas is scheduled to begin on 19 April 2010.

Go here to donate to the SEALS defense fund.

Navy SEAL Matthew McCabe Arraigned, 12.07.09

Sean Hannity has coverage of the rally for the Navy SEALs that were arraigned in Norfolk, VA today, and follows up with an interview with Matthew McCabe’s attorney, Neal Puckett.

(This video was made private by the creator (FoxNews) after it was posted, so I have added another video from CNN on 1.11.2010 while I search for another copy.)

See Related Links at the bottom of this post for more information.

December 7th, Attack On Pearl Harbor And Navy SEALs Arraignment

Today is a date that will forever go down in history, just as 9.11 will never be forgotten.    I will forever remember this day, 12.07.09, as the epitome of the attack on us from within as 2 of the 3 Navy SEALs are arraigned for their court-martials on charges of gut-punching a terrorist and then lying about it.

Unbelievable….inexcusable….our government is pathetically hamstrung by their own political correctness, and more than a few of us are deeply disturbed by it, and looking for the way to end the chaotic delusions of this administration.

(Go here for the details if you just pulled your head out of the sand.)


Navy SEALs Defense Fund & Rally (UPDATED)

Navy SEALs Defense Fund & Rally (UPDATED)

(Update at bottom)

I just received an email stating that the defense fund for the Navy SEALs that are currently being prosecuted for allegedly “gut-punching” a known terrorist after his capture is up and running.  Check out the related links at the bottom of the post if you need to catch up on the story.


is ready to accept donations.

Please send donations to U.S. Navy SEAL/Warrior Defense Fund,
Acct. #435020290711 c/o Bank of America P.O. Box F Ft. Eustis, VA 23604

DONATIONS CAN ALSO BE MADE AT ANY BANK OF AMERICA with the Fund name and account number.

Donations will be used to defray legal costs and expenses of the 3 Navy SEALs charged with abusing the mastermind of the March 2004 torture and mutilation of the security guards (former SEALs and Army Rangers) in Falluja. We will continue to maintain this fund and accept donations to be used for any SEAL or special operator charged with combat-related infractions of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

(201) 803-1374

Elyse A. Buongiorno
Eagles UP!
President/Board Member

Here is the information on the rally for the SEALs on 12.07.09:

Dec 7 Navy SEALs Courts-Martial PROTEST – Norfolk Virginia
Type: Causes – Protest
Network: Global
Date: Monday, December 7, 2009
Time: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Location: Naval Station Norfolk
City/Town: Norfolk, VA

It has been relayed to me that the best location for us to assemble would be outside of the Norfolk Naval Base Gate 5 at the intersection of Hampton Blvd 337 & B Avenue. From all indications it looks like this is where most of the protests / rallies take place. The other gate that was an option is Gate 3A at the intersection of 1st Avenue & Bellinger Blvd just off where Admiral Taussig Blvd intersects with 564. Right now, I’m going forward with Gate 5 on our permit along the sidewalk right in front of the blue Naval Station sign; however, if anyone out there has a better suggestion, let me know right now because we’ll have it set in stone fairly. Also, we are trying to nail down the parking situation, but if you have input, please let me know. Looks like there are several large public lots close to the area. Once again, thanks for your support. Josh


UPDATE: 12.03.09

There are many different individuals attending this rally – from every day Americans to various organizations and groups.
Below please find the finalized information regarding time, date and place that everyone has been looking for.
Why: Show your support for our Navy SEALs, their families and our military serving throughout the globe

When: Dec 7th, 2009 Pearl Harbor Day

Where: Gate 5 of the Base, Norfolk, Va Hampton Blvd and B Street.

Time: 7 am until noonish? Depending on how many citizens show up…. a PEACEFUL RALLY for support is the optimal goal.  The media will be there to share with those that can not make it.

NOTE: All that wish to attend and show their support:

You have chosen to attend this event in support of our Navy Seals.  Please do so in a peaceful manner. History has proven that our local Norfolk Police Dept has been very happy with any civil rally, specially when supporting our military.  Remember to thank the Police Officers for being there and for the hard work that they do for us as citizens as well.  Simply, put a smile on their face.
You must provide your own transportation.  Several shopping centers have bus lines up and down Hampton Blvd. There is even a large parking lot on Hampton Blvd so car pooling might not be a bad idea, they will likely fill up quickly.
Before leaving, please take a look around you for garbage and be sure clean up your signs & trash when you leave.
We are looking forward to Monday being a PEACEFUL, SUPPORTIVE message for our Military, specially these three young men and their families.

Navy Seal, Matthew McCabe’s Lawyer Speaks With Fox News

Navy Seal, Matthew McCabe’s Lawyer Speaks With Fox News

Matthew McCabe’s lawyer, Neal Puckett, speaking with Fox News about his client’s innocence, the unknown events surrounding the “assault” and the current lack of discovery to prepare for McCabe’s upcoming arraignment for court-martial on December 7th, 2009, (of all days).

Neil Puckett states that McCabe “has a completely clean record.  In fact, he was onto a sterling career as a SEAL, as were his other two SEALs.”  Puckett also wants to know “if the service is going to bring this terrorist to the courtroom in Norfolk so that we can have our 6th Amendment rights to confrontation of his accuser?”

There will be a rally to support these SEALs on December 7th in Norfolk, Virginia.

From an email I received this morning from a reader:

This is a complete outrage and mockery of our US Military. As Americans, we CANNOT stand for this and MUST show our support for our troops who are constantly being put in harms way to protect the country that is now bringing them under fire. We must send a message that “political correctness” has reached a boiling point and that these service men will not be hung out to dry.

I ask everyone, within reason, to take to Norfolk, VA on Dec 7 and send a message loud and clear that we stand behind them.

And PLEASE, even if you cannot make it because it’s just too far or you have other commitments, invite everyone on your friend list and encourage them to do the same. We have one week to get the word out and we need this to reach the right people.

Voice your opinion by contacting the following:

To file a citizen complaint regarding the treatment of these Navy Seals, please call 813-828-4976 on Monday… or send emails now to

US Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps : The Office of the Judge
Advocate General : Public Affairs : 1322 Patterson Ave., Suite 3000 :
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5066
Comm: (202) 685-5493 : Phone Numbers: Washington Navy Yard: (202) 685-5190 : Pentagon, Room 4C642: (703) 614-7420 :
AJAG, Military Law : 1254 Charles Morris St., SE
Washington Navy Yard, DC 20374-5047
Comm: (202) 685-7053

(201) 803-1374
Elyse A. Buongiorno

(Note to SEAL McCabe: From one ginger to another, you go man!  Do not take any crap from these cowards!)

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