John Stebbins -- War Hero to Convict

Originally published at: https://brian.carnell.com/articles/2001/john-stebbins-war-hero-to-convict/

The film Black Hawk Down–based on Mark Bowden’s excellent book about the deadly standoff between American troops and thousands of Somali militiamen in Mogadishu–opens soon. One of the odd differences between the book and the movie is that the soldiers were given fictional names for the movie. To my knowledge, USA Today is the first to suggest that the reason for doing so may have been due to issues beyond creative and legal ones. It turns out that one of the outstanding heroes of the Somalia engagement, Spec. John Stebbins was court-martialed by the Army and plead guilty to raping and molesting his teenage 6-year-old daughter. He is currently serving a 30-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, but is appealing the case (USA Today does not say what part of his case he is appealing). Stebbins received the Silver Star for his incredible act of heroism that day–he was shot several…