GI SPECIAL 3B28:
Judge Says: “Any Seaman Recruit Has Reasonable Cause” To
Believe Iraq War Illegal:
Claim No Confinement, No Punitive Discharge A Victory
May 12, 2005 San Diego
Military Counseling Project & May 11, 2005 By Seth Hettena,
officer Pablo Paredes was sentenced today to for missing
movement stemming from his refusal to board the Iraq-bound
ship USS Bonhomme Richard last December 6. The sentence
included two months restriction, three months hard labor
without confinement, and reduction in rank to E-1.
The sentencing came the day
after his conviction by a judge trial in a special court
martial held May 11, 2005, at the 32nd Street Naval Station
in San Diego.
Paredes had based his defense
on his belief that the war in Iraq is illegal, and that he
had a duty to avoid participating in it. He said that he
wanted to “put the war on trial.” This defense was not
accepted by the judge.
during the sentencing portion of the hearing, the judge did
allow testimony about the legality of the war, about the
“reasonableness” of Paredes’ opinion in that regard, and
about his sincerity as a conscientious objector to war.
Paredes’ lawyer, Jeremy
Warren, called Prof. Marjorie Cohn as an expert witness on
international law. Cohn testified that the war in Iraq is
illegal because it meets neither of the two standards
incorporated into the United Nations Charter. The two
standards are self-defense, collective or individual, and
authorization by the Security Council. The U.N. Charter has
been ratified by Congress and, thus, is the “law of the
land,” Cohn testified. She testified further that the
overwhelming preponderance of opinion among international
law experts is that the war in Iraq is illegal.
lengthy and testy cross-examination, Cohn was repeatedly
asked by the prosecutor whether it was her opinion that “any
seaman recruit” could decide for themselves whether such
wars as Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal and,
thus, have a duty not to serve in them.
responded that none of those wars met either of the
standards in the U.N. Charter that would confer legality
upon them, and, so, were illegal. Since they were illegal
under the Charter ratified by Congress, participation in
them would constitute a violation of the “law of the land.”
conclusion of Cohn’s testimony, the judge, exasperated
by the prosecutor’s efforts, said, “I think the
government has successfully proved that any seaman
recruit has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in
Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal.
supporters in the courtroom were astounded at the judge’s
remarks and left the courtroom elated.
re-convened today, the previous day’s elation had turned
sober in anticipation of Paredes’ sentencing. During the
sentencing portion of the court martial, the prosecution had
proposed 9 months confinement, maximum forfeiture of pay,
reduction in rank to the lowest pay grade, and a bad conduct
discharge. But when, after an hour of deliberation, the
judge returned and pronounced the sentence, Paredes’
supporters’ joy re-emerged.
to Paredes’ attorney Jeremy Warren, the sentence was an
“affirmation” of the right of members of the military to
speak out publicly on issues like the war in Iraq.
Larry Christian, who testified
on Paredes’ behalf, said, “This is a huge victory. It
recognizes, even if only by implication, the legitimacy of
acting against an illegal war based on sincere and
The sentences of restriction
and hard labor are to run concurrently and will begin when
appropriate paperwork is completed, which is expected to
take up to a month. Until then, Paredes will operate on a
normal schedule at the Temporary Processing Unit to which he
attorney Jeremy Warren said Paredes passed up deals that
would have minimized his punishment in exchange for a guilty
backing down from what he did or why he did it," Warren
On Wednesday, the courtroom
was packed with reporters and anti-war activists. Paredes'
supporters included Fernando Suarez del Solar of Escondido
and Cindy Sheehan of Vacaville, who both have spoken out
against the war since their sons were killed in Iraq.
In the days
before the court-martial, Paredes seemed unfazed by the
prospect of a conviction following the military equivalent
of a civilian misdemeanor trial.
president of the United States has a DUI under his belt,"
Paredes said, referring to the president's 1976 drunken
driving arrest in Maine. "I think I'll make it with a
Paredes statement to the court, see the Troops News section
have a friend or relative in the service? Forward this
E-MAIL along, or send us the address if you wish and
we’ll send it regularly.
Whether in Iraq or stuck on a base in the USA, this is
extra important for your service friend, too often cut
off from access to encouraging news of growing
resistance to the war, at home and inside the armed
Send requests to address up top.
KILLED NEAR MUSAYIB
05/12/05 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS
Release Number: 05-05-15C
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq --
A Soldier assigned to the
155th Brigade Combat Team, II Marine Expeditionary Force
(Forward), died May 12 when an improvised explosive device
detonated near the soldier's vehicle. The incident took
place during combat operations about nine miles east of
BAGHDAD SOLDIER KILLED IN BOMB ATTACK
05/12/05 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS
Release Number: 05-05-17C
BAGHDAD, Iraq --
A Task Force Baghdad Soldier
died from wounds suffered when his vehicle struck a roadside
bomb in east Baghdad at approximately 1:00 p.m.,
LIBERTY SOLDIER KILLED, ONE WOUNDED BY IED NEAR SAMARRA
05/12/05 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS
Release Number: 05-05-16C
TIKRIT, Iraq --
One Task Force Liberty
Soldier was killed and another wounded when an improvised
explosive device detonated next to their combat patrol near
Samarra at about 2:45 p.m., May 12.
The wounded Soldiers were
evacuated to a Coalition Forces medical facility, where one
Soldier died of wounds sustained in the attack.
KILLED IN AL QA’IM
05/12/05 HEADQUARTERS UNITED
STATES CENTRAL COMMAND NEWS
Release Number: 05-05-14C & May 12, 2005 (CNN)
CAMP FALLUJAH, Iraq –
Two Marines assigned to
Regimental Combat Team 2, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine
Expeditionary Force (Forward), were killed 11 May when their
amphibious assault vehicle struck an explosive device in Al
Qa’im during Operation Matador. Operation
Matador is a combat operation in northwestern Iraq.
others were wounded when a bomb struck their armored vehicle
five Marines have been reported killed in the operation.
Marine From Ohio Latest Combat Victim
May 12, 2005 AP, CAMP LEJEUNE,
Lejeune-based Marine from Ohio was killed by a roadside bomb
in Iraq, the fifth death related to the base this week.
Staff Sgt. Kendall Ivy II, 29,
of Galion, Ohio, died in western Iraq from a severe leg
wound he received when the vehicle he was in struck the
bomb, according to a military report given to his family.
Treasure Valley Marines Seriously Wounded
May 11, 2005 By Scott Logan,
The call on
Sunday left Bob Brumpton of Eagle in a state of shock.
knew it could happen," he said, "that my son could be
wounded or killed. But to actually hear that he had been
wounded, it left my wife and I just hanging on."
The call came from the United
States Marines Corps, and informed the Brumptons that their
31-year-old son, Staff Sgt. Chad Brumpton, had been
seriously wounded near the Syria-Iraq border.
"He has multiple fractures in
both legs and his left hand is broken," Brumpton said. "He's
in pretty bad shape and in a lot of pain. They have him
Two other local Marines, Lance
Cpls. Joseph Lowe and Mitch Ehlke, were also seriously
injured when their M1-A1 Abrams tank, commanded by Staff
Sgt. Brumpton, hit a huge land mine Sunday, according to
Marine Corps spokesmen.
Brumpton said another Marine
risked his life to pull his three wounded comrades from the
"My son and I are very close,"
said Brumpton, who spoke quietly and calmly, but conceded he
was torn up inside. "It's a terrible feeling when your son
is hurt bad and you can't be there, can't help, can't reach
out for him."
Brumpton said his son is now
at a military hospital in Germany where he spoke to him on
the phone last night. "But he was pretty drugged up. They
don't want him to move because he's in so much pain."
The three Marines are
reservists with Charlie Company, 4th Tank Battalion, based
at Gowen Field in Boise. They have been attached to the 2nd
Marine Division while serving in Iraq.
05/12/2005 WNDU-TV South Bend
A Michiana soldier has been
seriously injured in the war in Iraq.
Nineteen-year-old Private First Class Jonathan Replogle was
hurt Wednesday in a Humvee accident. He and another soldier
were airlifted to the U.S. army hospital in Germany.
couple of weeks ago, NewsCenter 16 did a story about
Jonathan. Students at Muessel Elementary in South Bend,
where Jonathan's mom is a teacher, put on a special musical
program in honor of our troops.
Replogle is expected to be
flown Friday to Walter Reed Hospital in Maryland, where he
will undergo further evaluation and surgery.
Hits U.S. Convoy:
May 12, 2005 (CNN)
A car bomber targeted a U.S. military convoy along a highway
in western Baghdad. There was no word on American
Last Of The Squad"
Hours Of Fighting And Ambushes The Squad Had Just Ceased To
May. 12, 2005 By Ellen
Knickmeyer, The Washington Post
- The explosion enveloped the armored vehicle in flames,
sending orange balls of fire bubbling above the trees along
the Euphrates River near the Syrian border.
surrounding vehicles threw open their hatches and took off
running across the plowed fields, toward the already
blackening metal of the destroyed vehicle. Shouting, they
pulled to safety those they could, as the flames ignited the
bullets, mortar rounds, flares and grenades inside,
rocketing them into the sky and across pastures.
Gunnery Sgt. Chuck Hurley
emerged from the smoke and turmoil around the vehicle,
circling toward the spot where helicopters would later land
to pick up casualties. As he passed one group of Marines,
he uttered just one sentence: "That was the same squad."
Among the four Marines killed
and 10 wounded when a bomb exploded under their amtrac on
Wednesday were the last battle-ready members of a squad that
four days earlier had battled foreign fighters holed up in a
house in the town of Ubaydi. In that fight, two squad
members were killed and five wounded.
In 96 hours
of fighting and ambushes in far western Iraq, the squad had
just ceased to be.
member of the unit -- one of three squads that make up
the 1st Platoon of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th
Regiment -- had been killed or wounded, Marines here
said. All told, the 1st Platoon, which Hurley commands,
had sustained 60 percent casualties, demolishing it as a
used to call it Lucky Lima," said Maj. Steve Lawson,
commander of the company. "That turned around and bit
Wednesday was the fourth day
of fighting in far western Iraq, as the U.S. military
continued an assault that has sent more than 1,000 Marines
down the ungoverned north bank of the Euphrates River. Of
seven Marines killed so far in Operation Matador, six came
come from Lima Company, 1st Platoon.
Company drew Marine reservists from across Ohio into the
conflict in Iraq. Some were still too young to be bothered
much by shaving, or even stubble. They rode to war on a
Marine amtrac, an armored vehicle that travels on tank-like
On Monday, when the Marine
assault on foreign fighters formally began, the young
Marines of the squad from 1st Platoon were already
exhausted. Their encounter at the house in Ubaydi that
morning and the previous night had been the unintended first
clash of the operation, pitting them against insurgents who
fired armor-piercing bullets up through the floor. It took
12 hours and five assaults by the squad -- plus grenades,
bombing by an F/A-18 attack plane, tank rounds and rockets
at 20 yards -- to kill the insurgents and permit recovery of
the dead Marines' bodies.
Afterward, they slept in the
moving amtrac, heads back and mouths open. One stood up to
stretch his legs. He fell asleep again standing up, leaning
against the metal walls.
Squad members spoke only to
compare their knowledge of the condition of their wounded.
Getting the latest news, they fell silent again. After one
such half-hour of silence, a Marine offered a terse
commendation for one of the squad members shot at Ubaydi:
"Bunker's a good man."
Everyone had plenty of warning that the Marines were
time the squad from Lima Company crossed north of the
Euphrates, whole villages consisted of little more than
abandoned houses with fresh tire tracks leading off into
pastures, or homes occupied only by prepubescent boys or
After a day of uneventful
house searches, this correspondent had just gotten
off the Amtrac and the reconstructed squad from 1st Platoon
was rolling toward the Euphrates in a row of armored
vehicles, headed for more house searches, when the vehicle
rolled over the explosive.
Marines initially said they
believed the blast was caused by two mines stacked on top of
each other. But reports from Marines that they had seen an
artillery round and two hand-held radios near the blast site
raised suspicions that the explosion was caused by a bomb
that had been activated remotely, Lawson said.
Hurley and others pulled their
comrades out of the Amtrac as flames detonated - or "cooked
off," in military jargon - its ammunition. As Marines
carrying stretchers ran to the Amtrac, bullets snapped out
of the burning hulk and traveled hundreds of feet. The
Marines ran back through the fusillade, carrying out the
wounded. "C'mon, c'mon, c'mon," some shouted, desperate to
get the wounded out.
"We passed right over it. We
passed right over it," one of many Marines in the convoy
ahead of the burning Amtrac said of the explosive, puzzling
over why he was still alive.
The four dead were trapped
inside the vehicle, Lawson said.
last of the squad," Cpl. Craig Miller, whose reassignment
last month had taken him out of the unit, said as he
surveyed the scene. "Three weeks ago, that would have been
Late Wednesday, helicopters
flew out Hurley and the remaining members of 1st Platoon for
time off. They are to return after the platoon is remade,
Lima Company platoon commander ordered his men to bed early,
in preparation for the next day's operations.
Mourning could wait. "We don't have time," the commander
Fighting An Invisible Enemy"
Like The … CIA."
took constant mortar fire from over here. Anybody who
comes over that bridge gets lit up," said 3rd Platoon
commander Lt. Joseph Clemmey, 26, of Worcester, Mass.
"This was supposed to be the mission from God, and so
far we've been out here and we haven't seen nothing.
This was the climactic moment we were all waiting for,
and no one is here."
May 12, 2005 By Solomon Moore.
L.A. Times Staff Writer
of Kilo Company were on the fourth day of an offensive
against insurgents in western Iraq, but they had seen little
action Wednesday until a loud boom rocked this Euphrates
River village, followed by the frantic screams of young
They stopped their convoy and
looked back to see an amphibious vehicle engulfed in flames.
They knew that about 18 Marines from Lima Company of the
3rd Battalion, 25th Regiment, were in the vehicle.
Within minutes, the vehicle's
gas tanks exploded, setting off mortar shells, grenades,
bars of C-4 plastic explosives and thousands of machine-gun
rounds inside. Rockets randomly shot out of the vehicle.
The explosives would crackle and thunder for the next hour.
Some troops ran through thick,
black smoke and pulled out wounded men, lining up some of
them within feet of the fire.
Some of the
wounded suffered third-degree burns. Seared flesh hung from
their bodies. Most of the wounded had severe burns on their
arms and faces. Others had shrapnel wounds. A 3-inch shard
of metal protruded from one Marine's abdomen.
McAmis, who commanded a Marine platoon in the operation,
recounted trying to pull a wounded sergeant from the fire,
but the man's ammunition pouch was stuck in the vehicle's
hatch. McAmis said he yanked him out.
came out, my hand was inside his leg, inside his muscle," he
wounded man inside was not as lucky.
"One of my
lance corporals went in to try to get some more people, but
there was too much fire," McAmis said. "One Marine had
burns over his face. The last thing he did was reach his
hand out and an explosion went off" — killing him.
Sgt. Dennis Wollard of Biloxi,
Miss., who survived the explosion, sat glassy-eyed and
bare-chested against a building on the edge of the field.
He lamented that he couldn't save all the men inside.
"I was at the back door,"
Wollard said. "I couldn't get 'em all. There had to be six
still in there. I don't know how they could've gotten out."
Another Marine, speaking with
a senior officer, held back tears. "I couldn't get to them
all, sir. It was just too hot," he said, shaking his head.
Marines treated their wounded comrades, retired Marine Lt.
Col. Oliver North, the Iran-Contra scandal figure, filmed
the operation with a digital video recorder issued by his
employer, Fox News. North, who was dressed in Marine
camouflage, is traveling with Kilo Company.
About half an hour after the
explosion, two Black Hawk helicopters swooped down to take
the wounded to the base at Al Qaim near the Syrian border.
The Marines in Abu Hardan
stood near the blast scene. Some appeared stunned. Others
"It was my
fault, it was my fault!" shouted a Marine who identified
himself as the driver of the amphibious vehicle. He
appeared to be uninjured.
Kilo Company had spent most of
Wednesday sweeping through this village of farms and
two-story stone houses along the Euphrates.
They wanted to take control of
the Ramana Bridge, where Marines this week took heavy fire
from insurgents. Immediately after entering the town, they
found a house with a red van parked in a carport. Wires
hung out of the gas tank, often a sign of a vehicle bomb.
constant mortar fire from over here. Anybody who comes over
that bridge gets lit up," said 3rd Platoon commander Lt.
Joseph Clemmey, 26, of Worcester, Mass. "This was supposed
to be the mission from God, and so far we've been out here
and we haven't seen nothing. This was the climactic moment
we were all waiting for, and no one is here."
Two eight-wheeled light
armored vehicles broke out of the convoy to train their
heavy guns on the vehicle.
"Yeah!" one eager Marine
A few moments later, the guns
pounded the van into flames. The rounds burst holes through
the front of a nearby house.
A few blocks to the south,
rebel fighters fired on Marines. Troops manning tank-mounted
machine guns fired back. The rounds blasted holes through a
house on the far side of a field.
Clemmey ordered his men to
search the people and put them in a walled-off garden.
Clemmey's platoon was followed
by a tank. Its main barrel bore its moniker: Stink Fist.
Clemmey shouted to his troops in a New England accent,
"anyone who has not left the city can be considered
fanned through waist-high wheat fields looking for mines and
bombs. Locked doors were kicked in or blown through with
explosive charges. Cabinets were opened and clothes bags
emptied in the search for weapons and bomb-making equipment.
city was deserted.
fighting an invisible enemy," said Sgt. Jeffrey
Swartzentruber of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. "They're like the …
Notes From A Lost War:
Routinely Tipped To U.S. Occupation Moves
12 May 2005 By Ian Simpson
In a war
where intelligence is as important as guns, leaks of
information from Iraqi soldiers are undermining the battle
against insurgents, senior U.S. and Iraqi officers say.
told Reuters it was almost impossible to keep secrets among
soldiers who have members of their family or tribe on the
is operations that turn up mounds of weapons and explosives
but few suspects, because tipped-off rebels flee before
raids even begin.
"We still don't have secure
operations. When we go on a mission, this gets leaked out
to the people," said Colonel Thaier Dhia Ismail Abid
al-Tamimi, who heads an Iraqi battalion in Diyala province.
meetings among his fellow battalion commanders cannot stay
secret in his area near the city of Muqdadiya,
about 110 km (70 miles) northeast of Baghdad,
said Tamimi, whose unit has been praised by U.S. officers
for its professionalism.
An example of the damage from
a likely tip-off came last week when Tamimi's U.S.-trained
205th Battalion helped sweep a date palm grove used as an
Soldiers found artillery
shells, an anti-aircraft gun and other munitions, but caught
only one suspected rebel.
Mark Borowski, a U.S. operations officer who accompanied
Tamimi's unit on the raid, said it was hard to surprise
insurgents because they knew about missions as soon as
U.S. or Iraqi security forces left their bases.
tough to get the people, it's very hard to keep the word
from getting out. Everybody knows each other," he said.
"There is no doubt there is
corruption in units. When the information gets out there is
no stopping it," said Major Dean Wollan, intelligence
officer for the 3rd Infantry Division's 3rd Brigade, which
oversees part of Diyala province.
hard-case insurgents and foreign fighters, they are really
good," he said, adding the United States
had studied such groups as the Irish Republican Army to see
how to break up guerrilla networks.
[Try studying Vietnam. Or
Afghanistan during the Russian occupation disaster. Then
run, do not walk, to the nearest exist, while still
breathing. Game over.]
Command Caught In Another Criminal Act:
Hospital Attacked, Patients Killed
12 May 2005 IRIN
Families are fleeing the Iraqi
town of al-Qaim following the start of an offensive on 2 May
by US troops.
hospital in al-Qaim was reportedly attacked during the
fighting, according to local doctors. Eight people were
reported to have been killed inside the building by the
hospital's deputy director.
hospital was the main place for us to receive our patients
and now we have set up mobile medical posts between houses
to treat injured civilians that have been increasing since
the fighting started. We don't have any medical supplies,
as the ones we had were in the hospital," Mustafa al-Alousi,
deputy director of the hospital, told IRIN.
WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
ALL HOME NOW!
May 6, Mosul (AFP/Cris Bouroncle)
Statement To The Court-Martial:
Myself In Solidarity With All Service Members”
followed my conscience, and I will not, under any
circumstances, become weary of doing what is right.
statement is Pablo Paredes’ statement read to the court.
Your Honor, and to all
I'd like to
state first and foremost that it has never been my intent or
motivation to create a mockery of the navy or it's judicial
system. I do not consider military members adversaries. I
consider myself in solidarity with all service members.
It is this feeling of
solidarity that was at the root of my actions.
I don't pretend to be in a
position to lecture anyone on what I perceive as facts
concerning our current political state of affairs. I accept
that it is very possible that my political perspective on
this war could be wrong. I don't think rational people can
ever engage in debate if neither is willing to accept the
possibility that their assertions, no matter how researched,
can be tainted with inaccuracy and falsehoods.
I do believe that accepting
this, in no way takes away from one's confidence in their
I am convinced that the
current War on Iraq is illegal.
also convinced that the true causality for it lacked any
high ground in the topography of morality. I believe as
a member of the armed forces beyond having a duty to my
chain of command and my President, I have a higher duty
to my conscience and to the supreme Law of the land.
Both of these higher duties dictate that I must not
participate in any way, hands on or indirect, in the
current Aggression that has been unleashed on Iraq.
In the past, few months I have
been continually asked if I regret my decision to refuse to
board my ship and to do so publicly. I have spent hour upon
hour reflecting on my decision, and I can tell you with
every fiber of certitude that I posses, that I feel in my
heart I did the right thing.
This does not mean I have no
regrets. I regret dearly exposing the families of Marines
and Sailors to my protest. While I do not feel my message
was wrong, I know that those families were facing a
difficult moment. This moment was made in some ways more
difficult by my actions and this pains me. That day on the
pier I restrained myself from answering the calls of coward
and even some harsher variations of the same term.
I did so because I knew this
wasn't the time to engage these families in debate. I felt
that I became in many ways a forum in which to vent their
fears and sadness and I did not want to turn that into a
combative situation, in which the families were distracted
more by our debate, than simply empowered by their ability
to chastise my actions. All that being said I still feel my
actions made some people very unhappy, and made others feel
that I was taking away from their child's or their husband's
goodbye. I regret this.
I also regret the pain and
stress I have caused those near and dear to me. I will not
go into detail as I do not seek the pity of the court.
I know that my lawyers feel it
is ill-advised for me to say these things and I am aware of
have had a difficult time with me.
felt it was ill advised for me to plead not guilty.
It is this I truly want to
explain, both to them and to the court. I realize I did not
board the Bon Homme Richard on December 6th and that I left
after ship personnel and pier Master At Arms refused to
arrest me. Given these confessions one may find it hard to
understand why would anyone admit to the action but not
plead guilty to the crime.
It is this question that has
also been the topic of much reflection for me. I never
denied my actions nor do I run from their consequences, but
pleading guilty is more than admission of an action, it is
also acceptance that that action was wrong and illegal.
These are two things I do not
even with all the regrets and difficulties that have come as
a result of my actions that they were in fact, my duty as a
human being and as a service member.
I feel in my mind and heart
that this war is illegal and immoral. The moral argument is
one that courts have little room for and has been
articulated in my CO application, it is an argument that
encompasses all wars as intolerable in my system of morals.
The Legal argument is quite
relevant, although motions filled and approved have
discriminated against it to the point it was not allowed
into this trial.
I have long now, been an
ardent reader of independent and in my opinion less
corrupted forms of media, such as truthout.org,
Democracynow, books from folks like Stephen Zunnes and
Chalmers Johnson, articles from people like Noam Chomsky and
Naomi Klein. These folks are very educated in matters of
politics and are not on the payroll of any major corporate
news programming, such as CNN or Fox News Network.
They all do what they do for
reasons other than money, as they could earn much more if
they joined the corporate controlled ranks. I have come to
trust their research and value their convictions, in
assisting to form my own. They have all unanimously
condemned this war as illegal, as well as, made resources
available for me to draw my own conclusions.
Resources like Kofi Annan's
statements on how under the UN charter the Iraq War is
illegal, resources like Marjorie Cohn's countless articles
providing numerous sources and reasons why the war is
illegal under international as well as domestic law.
I could speak on countless
sources and their arguments as to the illegality of the War
on Iraq quite extensively but again, I don't presume to be
in a position to lecture anyone here on law. I mean only to
provide insight on my actions on Dec. 6th. I understood
before that date very well what the precedent was for
service members participating in illegal Wars.
I read extensively on the
arguments and results of Nazi German Soldiers as well as
Imperial Japanese Soldiers in the Nuremburg and Tokyo
In all I read I came to an
overwhelming conclusion supported by countless examples:
that any soldier who knowingly participates in an illegal
War can find no haven in the fact that they were following
orders, in the eyes of International Law. Nazi aggression
and Imperialist Japan are very charged moments of history
and evoking them evokes many emotions and atrocities, so I
want to be very clear that I am in no way comparing our
current government to any of the historical counterparts, I
am not comparing the leaders or the acts of their
militaries. I am only citing the trials because they are the
best example of judicial precedent for what a soldier/sailor
is expected to do when faced with the decision to
participate or refuse to participate in what he perceives is
an illegal war.
I think we would all agree
that a service member must not participate in random
unprovoked illegitimate violence, simply because he is
What I submit to you is that I
am convinced that the current War is exactly that.
So if there is anything I
could be guilty of, it is my beliefs. I am guilty of
believing this war is illegal. I am guilty of believing war
in all forms is immoral and useless, and I am guilty of
believing that as a service member I have a duty to refuse
to participate in this War because it is Illegal.
I do not
expect the court to rule on the legality of this War, nor do
I expect the court to agree with me, I only wish to express
my reasons and convictions surrounding my actions.
merit, the fullest extent of punishment that military law
provides then I will accept this and live in peace with the
fact that whether or not military law was on board with my
actions I followed my conscience, and I will not, under any
circumstances, become weary of doing what is right.
Spread Across USA To Defend Benderman And Paredes
May 11, 2005 By Charles Jenks
May 10th was a national day of
action on behalf of Kevin Benderman and Pablo Paredes.
actions are being organized in 20 cities, including San
Diego, Baltimore, Buffalo, Burlington, Charlotte, Deerfield,
Helena, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New Haven, New York City,
Orlando, Ventura, Providence, Rochester, San Francisco,
Springfield, and other cities and towns across the country.
Four demonstrations of support
are being organized in western Massachusetts.
On January 5th, 2005, Sgt.
Benderman refused to deploy for a second tour of duty with
his Third Infantry Army Division in Iraq. "U.S. military
personnel," Benderman said, "are increasingly killing
non-combatants. On my last deployment in Iraq, elements of
my unit were instructed by a Captain to fire on children
throwing rocks at us."
May 10th gathering in downtown Greenfield, MA organized by
Traprock Peace Center. (photo © 2005 Charles Jenks)
New York Stands Up For Paredes And Benderman
May 11, 2005 Rochester (New
York) Democrat & Chronicle
members of local antiwar groups, such as Rochester Against
War and Metro Justice, showed their support of National Day
of Action outside East High School on Tuesday.
The local protest was offered
in support of two servicemen who refused to go back on
active duty in Iraq, Pablo Paredes and Kevin Benderman. The
men, from the Navy and Army, respectively, face military
jail and forfeiture of pay and benefits if they are found
guilty in courts today in San Diego and Fort Stewart, Ga.
the country, people are expressing solidarity," said Jessica
Carmona-Baez, an organizer with Rochester Against War.
In Command File Silly New Charges Against Sgt. Benderman
After Court-Martial Found To Be Prejudiced Against Him
May 12, 2005 By Russ Bynum,
FORT STEWART, Ga. — An Army
Sgt. who refused to deploy to Iraq while he sought
conscientious objector status faced new charges Thursday for
collecting combat pay while he remained in the United
Army prosecutors added two
counts of larceny against Sgt. Kevin Benderman.
charges came as Army prosecutors had to start over Thursday
in seeking a court-martial for Benderman. A military judge
halted his court-martial Wednesday after ruling previous
proceedings may have been prejudiced against the soldier.
Cassara, Benderman’s civilian defense attorney, called the
charges “silly.” He said the payments were caused by an
administrative error and Benderman had reported it to the
Spread, Recruiters Ordered To Stand Down
May 12, 2005 By Joseph R.
Chenelly, Army Times staff writer
Michael Rochelle has ordered a one-day stand-down for all
Army recruiters May 20 to address the stressful recruiting
environment, a spike in recruiting improprieties and to
reaffirm the oath they took as soldiers.
All three components of the
Army are well short of their year-to-date goals. Most
recently, the active duty Army reached just 58 percent of
its goal for April.
On top of
the shortfalls, several allegations of recruiter misconduct
have recently garnered media attention nationally.
Rochelle also ordered every
recruiter to “reaffirm” the Army oath of enlistment or oath
Recruiter Scum Threatens To Arrest Local Man If He Doesn’t
5.12.05 Channel 11, Houston
The Army will set aside a full
day on May 20 as the day to have every recruiter across
America review Army recruiting policies and standards. It's
an effort to stop overly aggressive recruiting tactics.
Nationwide, the Army wants to make sure men and women who
become soldiers do so without being threatened.
announcement comes just one day after the 11 News Defenders
exposed a Houston Army recruiter threatening to arrest a
local young man if he didn't report that day to the army
Sgt. Thomas Kelt left this
message on that young man's cell phone: "Hey Chris, this is
Sgt. Kelt with the Army man. I think we got disconnected.
Okay, I know you were on your cell probably and just had a
bad connection or something like that. I know you didn't
hang up on me. Anyway,
by federal law you got an appointment with me at 2 o'clock
this afternoon at Greenspoint Mall, okay? That's
the Greenspoint Mall Army Recruiting Station at 2 o'clock.
You fail to appear and
we'll have a warrant. Okay? So give me a call back." [OK,
but bring 10 or 15 friends along and do what the situation
calls for. Time to teach this piece of shit an enduring
TRUTH? CHECK OUT THE NEW TRAVELING SOLDIER
the truth - about the occupation or the criminals
running the government in Washington - is the first
reason for Traveling Soldier. But we want to do more
than tell the truth; we want to report on the resistance
- whether it's in the streets of Baghdad, New York, or
inside the armed forces. Our goal is for Traveling
Soldier to become the thread that ties working-class
people inside the armed services together. We want this
newsletter to be a weapon to help you organize
resistance within the armed forces. If you like what
you've read, we hope that you'll join with us in
building a network of active duty organizers.
with Iraq War vets in the call to end the occupation and
bring our troops home now! (www.ivaw.net)
Just Voted Won’t Be Enough For War:
Another $50 Billion By August Or Before
soaring wartime costs may raise eyebrows, but
Congress will have to
foot the bill unless
lawmakers want to force an end to the U.S. military
operation in Iraq simply by cutting off funds.
May 12, 2005 By Rick Maze,
Army Times staff writer
billion in wartime supplemental funding that was approved
May 10 by Congress still won’t be enough to pay for military
operations through the rest of this fiscal year, which ends
Congressional aides report that the services have indicated
they will need even more money by August — possibly even
earlier —to cover rising operational and maintenance costs
of the protracted war in Iraq.
The exact amount is unknown
because defense and service officials have just started
their review, but lawmakers expect a request for about
another $50 billion, aides said.
wartime costs may raise eyebrows, but
Congress will have to foot
the bill unless
lawmakers want to force an end to the U.S. military
operation in Iraq simply by cutting off funds.
Really Pissed As Gun Running, Drug Dealing U.S. Soldiers
May 12, 2005 By Kim Housego,
BOGOTA, Colombia —
Colombian lawmakers angered
over the arrests of U.S. soldiers in drug- and
arms-smuggling plots said Wednesday they want Washington’s
ambassador to appear before the country’s national congress
“We are obviously very
concerned about the allegations and want the ambassador to
keep us updated,” he told The Associated Press. “Let’s not
forget that these soldiers are accused of very grave crimes.
Their actions endanger the Colombian people.”
act underscores the seething anger many Colombians feel over
the arrests of five U.S. soldiers for allegedly smuggling
cocaine on U.S. military aircraft from Colombia and the
arrests last week of two Green Berets accused of selling
thousands of rounds of ammunition to right-wing death
All the soldiers have
diplomatic immunity and were flown to the United States.
lawmakers, in addition to seeking updates and details on the
suspects’ legal proceedings in the United States, want Wood
to explain Washington’s refusal to lift their immunity and
allow them to face charges in Colombia, according to
committee documents obtained by the AP.
In the same
hearing, they plan to ask Interior and Justice Minister
Sabas Pretelt whether the government should review the 1974
treaty between the two nations that grants immunity to
American troops in Colombia.
Hundreds of American troops
are based in Colombia.
May 11, 2005 Newport News
U.S. authorities are investigating how an intruder from West
Africa managed to sneak about the Norfolk-based aircraft
carrier USS Harry S. Truman in England last month.
Ranking Collaborator Officers Killed
May 12, 2005 (CNN)
Iyad Imad Mahdi with the Ministry of Defense was on his way
to work when he was killed in a western neighborhood, police
Ahmed Hussein was killed in the al-Amin neighborhood as he
headed to the Interior Ministry.
5.10.05 Anatolia.com Inc. &
Anadolu News Agency & Associated Press
policemen and a civilian were killed in clashes between
Iraqi security forces and insurgents late Wednesday near
Sharkat, some 35 kilometres (20 miles)
north of Baghdad.
soldiers were wounded,
the security sources said,
without giving a toll for the rebels.
four soldiers were killed in
overnight fighting with rebels near Baiji,
further north, the sources said.
May 10, 2005 Energy Security
reports an attack on an oil pipeline complex near Kirkuk.
A series of
large explosions have been reported near the Japanese
headquarters in the Iraqi city of Samava. Six hundred
Japanese soldiers are stationed there.
According to the Japanese
Kyodo news agency, blasts were heard last night near the
base, but no official announcement has been made.
A car bomb exploded near a
busy local market and cinema in eastern Baghdad on Thursday,
killing at least 17 people and wounding 65, police said.
tried to close the area, about 150 angry young men
demonstrated against what they regard as poor security in
the area, prompting police to fire in the air to disperse
them, Aboud said.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
Knock . . . guess who? G.W. Bush
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
What Will They Say, 30 Years From Now?
Federal Prosecutor Goes After Anti-War 4 After Local D.A.
Ben Chitty, Vietnam Veterans Against The War: NOTE: All of
the St. Patrick's Four are children of long-time friends of
Vietnam Veterans Against the War.]
May 8, 2005 by David Rossie,
Binghamton (New York) Press & Sun-Bulletin
War comes home in a number of
ways. We see it in the joyous return of veterans whose
lives have been spared, and in the funerals of those who
were less fortunate. We see it in the Memorial Day and
Veterans Day parades. And we see it in our friends and
loved ones who forever bear the scars -- some visible, some
unseen but no less real -- that war leaves.
sometimes war causes casualties without ever leaving home.
what has happened to four young people whose friends and
supporters have dubbed them The Saint Patrick's Four,
because their protest was staged March 17, 2003 -- St.
The four were among a group of
about 20 anti-war activists who gathered outside a military
recruiting office at the Cayuga Mall in Lansing, near
Ithaca, days before the Bush administration launched its
invasion of Iraq. The four: Clare Grady, Daniel Burns,
Teresa Grady and Peter De Mott, then entered the office
where they sprinkled a small amount of blood, which they
said was their own, and were consequently arrested.
charged with third-degree criminal mischief, but not
convicted. Their trial in Tompkins County Court ended in a
mistrial when the jury was unable to reach a verdict.
district attorney then dropped the charges, but for reasons
best known to himself persuaded a U.S. attorney to charge
the four under federal statutes.
four face a September trial in U.S. District Court in
Binghamton. The charges: Injury and damage to government
property; entering a military station for unlawful purposes,
and then re-entering the property after being removed. If
convicted, they could face prison time and fines. The
federal judge should toss the case after opening arguments.
The defendants have said they
acted out of conscience in opposition to an unjust and
illegal war, and it would be unfair, it says here, to doubt
their motives. They certainly had nothing to gain from what
of our misadventure in Iraq bridle at comparisons with
Vietnam, but they are becoming impossible to ignore.
protest is but one example. Homefront protests against our
involvement in Vietnam were far more explosive and
widespread, and they helped bring that sorry episode in our
history to an end. That may not happen
this time, given Americans' sheep-like acceptance of this
administration's lies and deceptions that led up to the war
and the lies and deceptions that continue.
So acts of protests such as
that staged by the St. Patrick's Four, while understandable,
probably will prove unproductive. A government that
condones torture and lies about the human toll that has
resulted from its actions is not going to be swayed by
Saturday, on the 30th anniversary of the fall of Saigon,
NPR's Scott Simon interviewed Holley Watts, a Red Cross
volunteer and author of a book, Who Knew? Reflections on
Vietnam, based on her experiences during the war there.
It was a
poignant interview and at the end Simon asked Watts if she
thought the loss of all those men and women whose names
appear on the memorial in Washington, and the deaths of
countless Vietnamese was worth it. After a long pause Watts
replied, almost in a whisper, "No."
here is that 30 years from now someone will ask another
author if the blood sacrifice of Americans and Iraqis was
worth it. I won't be here to hear it, but I think I know
what the answer will be.
What do you think?
Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are
especially welcome. Send to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Name, I.D., withheld on
request. Replies confidential.
And We All
Know How It Ended For The Crusaders….
May 11, 2005 Jay H, The
strategy is a classic Medieval Crusader/colonial one: invade
a hostile land and build a series of seemingly impregnable
fortresses/outposts that are defended by superior weaponry.
"knights" will make occasional raiding forays out into the
provinces to chastise the unruly populace to force them to
kowtow to the foreign occupation. The occupiers necessarily
utilize local mercenaries to supplant their occupation
Anti-Occupation Demonstrations Spreading:
Our Enemy And We Don’t Want Them In Afghanistan”
two dozen students clambered onto the roof of nearby
building and burned an American flag to applause and
cries of “God is great!” from the crowd below. Dozens
of police — some armed with sticks, others with assault
rifles — looked on.
May 12, 2005 By Stephen
Graham, Associated Press, KABUL, Afghanistan
three more anti-U.S. protesters were killed Thursday in
clashes with police, officials said.
capital, Kabul, students burned an American flag, while
crowds attacked a government outpost and the offices of two
international relief organizations just to the south,
injuring one aid worker and leaving a trail of destruction,
came a day after riots in the eastern city of Jalalabad left
four people dead — the worst anti-American protests in
Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.
While most of the protesters
appeared to be students, officials have suggested that
elements opposed to the country’s U.S.-backed re-emergence
were stirring the violence, which has also targeted the
United Nations and American troops.
Barker, director of CARE International, one of the largest
international relief groups in Afghanistan, “There are
probably people around the country inciting this.” [Right.
Afghans who hate being occupied and ruled by the USA, for
example. Again the old Imperial elitist arrogance that
people can’t act for their own liberation unless somebody
“incites” them. Fuck this stooge for Bush and the horse he
rode in on.]
bloodiest incident, police fired on hundreds of anti-U.S.
demonstrators in the town of Khogyani to prevent them from
departing toward Jalalabad, about 20 miles to the north,
local police chief Maj. Gul Wali said.
three of the protesters died and one was injured. He
claimed many at the gathering were armed. [If so, the time
to use their arms on the occupation cops is long overdue.]
Agha district of neighboring Logar province, Barker said a
group of high school students assailed the CARE office early
Thursday morning, beating one staff member and destroying
equipment. The office of another foreign group next door
was set on fire, he said.
Amanullah Hamimi said protesters also broke the windows of
the district mayor’s office and that unidentified men had
destroyed a nearby mobile phone mast during the night with
more than 200 young men marched from a dormitory block near
Kabul University chanting “Death to America!” and carrying
banners including one stating: “Those who insult the Quran
(Koran) should be brought to justice.”
entrance to the university, a man with a clipped beard and
spectacles read a resolution calling on U.S. President
George W. Bush to apologize and opposing long-term U.S.
military bases in Afghanistan.
dozen students clambered onto the roof of nearby building
and burned an American flag to applause and cries of “God is
great!” from the crowd below. Dozens of police — some armed
with sticks, others with assault rifles — looked on.
Shah, a political sciences undergraduate, said the
students had decided to protest after hearing of the
deaths in Jalalabad on Wednesday.
“America is our enemy and we don’t want them in
Afghanistan,” Shah said as the students ended their
protest and returned to classes on Thursday morning.
“When they insult our holy book they have insulted us.”
Police said 150 students
staged a similar brief demonstration at another high school
in the city, but reported no violence.
demonstrations have been reported in at least five other
at least one protest in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday,
which passed off peacefully, and Islamic parties have called
for demonstrations across the country on Friday.
President Humid Kara,
[that’s what the story says,
this is not a satire] who is currently on a visit
to Europe and travels to Washington later this month to seek
long-term American military and economic aid, has called
repeatedly for all the Afghan prisoners to be sent home.
12, 2005 4:29 PM
named 'Operation Matador' correctly but, missed the fact
that they were the bull.
To: GI Special
Sent: May 11, 2005
dog with a long history of eccentric behavior was shot down
today by F-16 fighter jets as he piloted an antiquated
aircraft three miles from the White House. According to
eyewitnesses, the dog jumped or fell out of the aircraft
just before it crashed in a Virginia suburb and is presumed
to be dead.
"Good riddance to the
terrorist menace," commented President Bush from a safe
location, interrupting a vigorous exercise session with his
Secretary of State. Thrusting resolutely into the air, the
President declared: "No freedom-hating hellhound can stop my
divine mission! Our corporations will prevail!"
The authorities are working
around the clock to locate the deranged dog's remains.
According to unnamed sources, the dog is now thought to be
the revenge-maddened brother of Saddam's dog Fuckbush, a
bewhiskered beagle recently captured after a fierce battle
and currently being interrogated at an undisclosed location.
gradually returning to Washington, along with the countless
government officials who are trickling back from the
neighboring states where they initially fled in terror for
their lives. Many have tearfully gathered around the
Capitol to raise their voices in a moving rendition of "Home
of the brave."
disturbing event, anonymous government officials have
asserted, underscores the fact that courage in the highest
circles is only one among many virtues that make the US
government the envy of the world. "It's all in a day's
work," said an official modestly, "it shows we are delighted
to share risks with our troops, and sets them a shining
a visibly shaken Vice President Cheney was overheard
muttering, "The son of a bitch nearly got us!" as he emerged
from a men's room deep within the bowels of the
doomsday-proof presidential bunker . Defense Secretary
Rumsfeld, standing rock-solid and wearing no body armor at
all, shrugged off the danger and cheerfully quipped,
"Corporate freedom isn't free!"
The latest unconfirmed reports
from Virginia suggest that the terrorist suspect has just
been whisked away by a gang of midgets. The FBI is
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