A Letter from LTC Allen West: Let’s Not Leave 1SG Hatley Behind

Updated: Aug 4

Dear Fellow American,

As a combat veteran, I never left a man behind.


That’s why I’m asking you to sign your urgent PRESIDENTIAL PARDON PETITION FOR FIRST SERGEANT (1SG) JOHN HATLEY.

When you hear the outrageous ordeal that 1SG John Hatley has endured, you’ll be shaking with rage to sign your Petition to free this American hero.

1SG John Hatley was a scapegoat victim of the Obama Administration’s “war on soldiers.” He’s currently serving in his 12th year in prison for a crime that never happened.

President Obama should have overruled his out-of-control military prosecutors, done the right thing, and pardoned 1SG Hatley. But, he didn’t.

Now, you and I must get justice for 1SG John Hatley.

The first thing you should know is that 1SG Hatley is a very brave man.

Indeed, 1SG Hatley served in Iraq from 2004 to 2008 and participated in more multiple hostile engagements with enemy combatants.

But, tragically, the one engagement that’s seared into his mind is the one that never happened.

Yes, 1SG John Hatley was placed in prison with a life sentence for a crime that never happened.

And he was convicted because military courts are not like civilian courts: Soldiers often are not afforded the same protections as civilians.

Here’s the false allegation against 1SG John Hatley.

In 2007, while on patrol in the al Rashid district of Baghdad, Hatley and his men exchanged fire with four Iraqis who he then took into custody. Later, when Hatley was ordered to release the men, he allegedly drove the four Iraqis to a canal outside of town. He lined them up, shot them, and left their bodies in the canal.

That’s the story -- it’s horrible -- and it’s completely false.

In fact, 1SG Hatley’s conviction is based on testimony from a few troubled witnesses and NO FORENSIC EVIDENCE.

This is key -- there is no hard evidence that this crime ever happened. None.

After the allegations were made against 1SG Hatley, the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) did a thorough, year-long, investigation into this alleged crime.

The results were shocking.

The Army CID sent a seven-man dive team to search the canal for the bodies of these Iraqis...

They found NOTHING.

The Army CID scoured the banks of the canal for blood, spent shells or other evidence of the shooting...

They found NOTHING.

A purported “eye witness” took the Army CID to all the other critical areas where this crime supposedly happened...

They found NOTHING.

The Army CID talked to the farmer who owned the land and asked if anything happened on his property...

He said NOTHING happened.

Then the Army CID went door to door in the local village asking if anyone was missing...

The whole town said NO ONE was missing.

This last bit of evidence is especially important, because, at that time, the U.S. Government was financially compensating Iraqis killed by our military personnel. That’s a strong incentive for someone to step forward and say four men died.

But, no Iraqis did.

So, how was 1SG John Hatley found guilty and sentenced to life?

Unfortunately, a big factor is that military courts don’t have the same standards of evidence as civilian courts.

The lack of hard facts and evidence that a crime was committed, doesn’t matter as much in a military tribunal.

It’s also a fact that the witnesses against 1SG John Hatley had either issues in their military history that could be used against them or an ax to grind with Hatley.

And because 1SG Hatley was the senior non-commissioned officer, the Army CID told those witnesses that they were after 1SG Hatley, and that if they confessed, they’d get a low-level punishment.

So with no bodies, no corroborating evidence, no outside witnesses, no real proof that a crime was even committed, 1SG Hatley was convicted on the words of a few troubled military witnesses who were told to “play ball” or else they’d rot in prison.

1SG John Hatley was sentenced to life in prison. However, with the support of United American Patriots (UAP) and people like you and me, 1SG Hatley received clemency and a reduction in sentence to 40 years, then again to 25 years.

However, that still is not good enough. 1SG John Hatley deserves justice – and, we must help!

I think you see now why signing your PRESIDENTIAL PARDON PETITION is so important.

As a combat veteran, who proudly wore our Nation’s uniform for 22 years, I feel we owe a debt of gratitude to men like 1SG John Hatley who risked their lives for us.

I hope you agree. Because 1SG Hatley needs patriots like you to stand up for him, especially now after he’s stood up and volunteered to defend us for so long.

That’s why I’m proud to support my friends at UAP.

UAP was founded by another combat veteran, Major Bill Donahue of the U.S. Marine Corps, who knows, like I do, that our men in uniform deserve justice and the rule of law.

The team at UAP funds crucial legal assistance for Warriors like 1SG Hatley who are unfairly railroaded by the military’s justice system.

UAP has been critical in helping a number of wrongfully accused Warriors receive justice, including 1LT Clint Lorance (Presidential Pardon), MAJ Matt Golsteyn (charges dropped by the President), 1LT Michael Behenna (Presidential Pardon, SGT Derrick Miller (Parole), LT Jason Webb (charges dropped), among many others.

Factor out UAP’s help, and these patriots might not have received justice. And right now, UAP is actively helping 19 Warriors get the justice they deserve.

Even though UAP fights for our Warriors’ Constitutional Rights, it doesn’t get a dime of taxpayer funding. Instead, they rely on patriotic Americans like you to support their work.

1SG Hatley risked his life on Iraqi battlefields for us...

...and we should not leave him behind.

Your generous support will help pay for much-needed legal services for innocent Warriors as well as UAP’s nationwide petition campaign to get a presidential pardon for 1SG Hatley.

If you’re especially blessed, and can make a larger donation of $100, $250, $500, $1,000 or more, you’d truly be going above and beyond the call of duty for our Warriors.

1SG Hatley voluntarily swore to support and defend our Rights and went into harm’s way on multiple occasions on our behalf.

And yet, he’s behind bars for a crime which, not only did he not commit, DID NOT HAPPEN!

Please help me get justice for 1SG Hatley.

Let’s not leave 1SG Hatley behind. We owe it to him.

Steadfast and loyal,

LTC(R) Allen West

Congressman (2011-2013)

P.S. President Trump will do the right thing -- if he sees that a tidal wave of Americans support freeing 1SG John Hatley for his wrongful conviction. That’s why it’s so important you do two things right now.



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