December 21, 2008

Stop the deportation of US Iraq War Resister Cliff Cornell

Cliff Cornell, from Arkansas, was stationed at Fort Stewart, Georgia. He joined the Army with the promise from a military recruiter that he would receive a $9,000 sign up bonus and job training.
“Ninety per cent of what the recruiters tell you is a pack of lies,” said Cliff. Army recruitment techniques amount to entrapment, targeting young men from poor families, said Cornell. His unit was to be deployed to Iraq just after Christmas. On January 8 2005, Cliff arrived in Toronto seeking asylum. He now lives in British Columbia.

The Canadian government has ordered US war resister Cliff Cornell to leave Canada by December 24 or he will be deported to the US. He faces punishment by the US military for refusing to participate in the illegal war on Iraq.

URGENT ACTION - please take a few minutes to show your support for Cliff and the other war resisters threatened with deportation. Call or email Minister of Immigration and Citizenship Jason Kenney today and ask him to:

STOP deportation proceedings against U.S. Iraq war resister Cliff Cornell; and
IMPLEMENT the motion adopted by Canada's Parliament to allow U.S. Iraq war resisters to apply for permanent resident status.

Here are the numbers to call:

Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney
Call 613.954.1064

MP Jason Kenney's Parliamentary office:

Or email him at:

Please cc the opposition party critics if you email Jason Kenney:
Liberal party immigration critic Borys Wrzesnewskyj:
NDP immigration critic Olivia Chow:
Bloc Québécois immigration critic Thierry St-Cyr:

Thanks to War Resisters Support Campaign for this information and for helping Cliff.

December 19, 2008

MFSO-NYC Fundraiser for IVAW members Mattis Chiroux & Nick Morgan

Sunday, December 21, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

UPPER WEST SIDE, NYC. St. Paul & St. Andrew’s Church,
263 West 86th Street between Broadway and West End Avenue.


Proceeds will support IVAW members 

Donations accepted. 
For further info contact Elaine Brower at 917-520-0767.

December 18, 2008

U.S. Iraq and Afghanistan war resisters' solidarity with young Israeli "shministim" refusers

                     Israeli "shministim" refusers

Initiated by Courage to Resist, this statement was signed by over two dozen U.S. military resisters. It was reprinted today by AlterNet, Democracy Now, The Progressive, Common Dreams, Indymedia, Daily Kos, and elsewhere as part of the December 18th international day of solidarity.

December 18, 2008

We are U.S. military servicemembers and veterans who have refused or are currently refusing to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We stand in solidarity with the Israeli Shministim (Hebrew for "12th graders") who are also resisting military service. About 100 Israeli high school students have signed an open letter declaring their refusal to serve in the Israeli army and their opposition to "Israeli occupation and oppression policy in the occupied territories and the territories of Israel." In Israel, military service is mandatory for all graduating high school seniors, and resisters face the possibility of years in prison.

We have also refused to participate in unjust acts of military aggression, and many of us have gone to prison or currently live with that possibility as a result. We believe that resistance to unjust war is a bold assertion of humanity in the face of overwhelming violence.

The Global War on Terror, like the Israeli occupation, is propped up by racism and dehumanization and sets the stage for never-ending war and occupation. We are inspired by the brave refusal of our brothers and sisters in Israel to take part in these destructive policies, and we want to let them know today, December 18th—the day of international solidarity with the Shministim—that they have our deepest respect and support.

In Solidarity,

Stephanie Atkinson
Specialist, US Army Reserve. Went AWOL October 1990 to resist Gulf War deployment. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Chris Capps-Schubert
Specialist, US Army, communications. Went AWOL March 2007 to resist Afghanistan deployment. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Eugene Cherry
Specialist, US Army, medic. Went AWOL June 2005 to resist Iraq redeployment, later won honorable discharge.

Matthis Chiroux
Sergeant, US Army, journalist. Currently refusing Inactive Ready Reserve recall.

James Circello
Sergeant, US Army, airborne infantry. Went AWOL April 2007 following Iraq deployment. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Carl Davison
US Army, security. Refused Iraq deployment in 2008. Served one month in the brig.

Matthew Edwards
US Marine Corps. Resisted Iraq deployment and was discharged March 2003.

Stephen Funk
Lance Corporal, US Marine Corps, logistical support. Went AWOL February 2003 to resist Iraq deployment. Served six months in the brig.

Andrew Gorby
Second Lieutenant, US Army, infantry. Discharged May 2007 as a conscientious objector.

Patrick Hart
Sergeant, US Army. Went AWOL in 2005 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Ryan Johnson
Private Second Class, US Army. Went AWOL January 2005 to resist Iraq deployment and currently lives in Canada.

Dale Landry
Senior Airman, US Air Force. Went AWOL in 2007 following Afghanistan deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Benjamin Lewis
US Marine Corps, mortar man. After two Iraq deployments, now refusing Inactive Ready Reserve recall.

Robin Long
Specialist, US Army. Went AWOL in June 2005 to resist Iraq deployment and lived in Canada until being deported July 2008. Currently serving a 14 month sentence at the Miramar Naval Brig near San Diego, California.

Christopher Magaoay
Lance Corporal, US Marine Corps. Went AWOL in 2006 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Camilo Mejia
Staff Sergeant, Army National Guard. Refused to redeploy to Iraq in 2004. Served nine months in the stockade.

Geoff Millard
Sergeant, Army National Guard. Went AWOL and later discharged following 2005 Iraq deployment.

Brandon Neely
US Army, military police. Refused recall from the Inactive Ready Reserve in 2007.

Perry O'Brien
US Army, medic. Discharged as a conscientious objector November 2004 following Afghanistan deployment.

Jeff Paterson
Corporal, US Marine Corps, artillery control. Refused Desert Storm deployment August 1990. Served two months pre-trial confinement. Discharged in lieu of courts martial.

Ryan Souza
Senior Airman, US Air Force, crew chief. Applied for conscientious objector discharge July 2008. Awaiting decision on his application by the military.

Chanan Suarezdiaz
Hospital Corpsman, Third Class, US Navy. Discharged following 2004 Iraq deployment.

Benjamin Viges
US Army, airborne infantry. Discharged as a conscientious objector following 2003 Iraq deployment.

Dean Walcott
US Marine Corps, military police. Went AWOL in 2007 following Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

David Wiggins MD
Captain, US Army, doctor. Resigned commission near the Iraq border during Desert Storm 1991.

Steve Yoczik
Private, US Army. Went AWOL November 2006 to resist Iraq deployment and has lived in Canada since.

Please contact Courage to Resist for more information about this statement.

Support the resisters and the organizations that support them.

Take some time this holiday season to share your support for the courageous men and women who are resisting war. If you know of a family in your neighborhood, at your work, church, social group - wherever - that needs help while their soldier is in prison or living in Canada or underground in America, see if there is any way you can help them. Moral support, phone cards to contact their soldier, childcare, transportation, and housing are just a few of the possibilities.  Make a commitment - make a commitment you can keep.

If you can help the organizations that help these people, please do.

 Courage to Resist makes the following suggestion and some addresses to write some of the people they are helping.

Write holiday greetings to war resisters

The holidays are a difficult time for many folks, especially when separated from family and friends. Now imagine you’re a war resisters imprisoned for refusing to fight in Iraq.

Please take a few moments this holiday season to write a letter of support to a imprisoned objector. Better yet, organize your social club to collectively write letters to these brave men with the courage to resist.

Tony Anderson, Robin Long, and Daniel Sandate are currently jailed and are not expecting release until well into 2009. Benji Lewis, Blake Ivey and André Shepherd are publicly taking bold stands against war that may result in their eventual courts martial.

Anthony Michael Anderson
PO Box 305
Fort Sill OK 73503-5305

Robin Long
PO Box 452136
San Diego CA 92145-2136

Benji Lewis,
Blake Ivey, and
Daniel Sandate
c/o Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park Ave #41
Oakland CA 94610

André Shepherd
c/o Military Counseling Network (MCN)
Hauptstrasse 1, D-69245 Bammental
($.94 USPS postage req.)

December 15, 2008

The peace symbol -50 years old

The CND or Peace symbol (see other peace symbols atWikipedia)

This symbol (☮) was originally used for the Direct Action Committee Against Nuclear War (DAC) and was adopted as its badge by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) in Britain, and originally was used by the British nuclear disarmament movement. It was subsequently adopted as an international emblem for the 1960s anti-war movement, and was also adopted by the counterculture of the time. It was designed and completed February 21, 1958 by Gerald Holtom, a professional designer and artist in Britain for the April 4 march planned by DAC from Trafalgar Square, London to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment at Aldermaston in England. The symbol itself is a combination of the semaphoric signals for the letters "N" and "D," standing for Nuclear Disarmament. In semaphore the letter "N" is formed by a person holding two flags in an upside-down "V," and the letter "D" is formed by holding one flag pointed straight up and the other pointed straight down. These two signals imposed over each other form the shape of the peace symbol. In the first official CND version (preceded by a ceramic pin version that had straight lines, but was short lived) the spokes curved out to be wider at the edge of the circle which was white on black. 

                                                                         Semaphore 'D'

                                                                         Semaphore 'N'

Holtom later wrote to Hugh Brock, editor of Peace News, explaining the genesis of his idea in greater depth: "I was in despair. Deep despair. I drew myself: the representative of an individual in despair, with hands palm outstretched outwards and downwards in the manner of Goya's peasant before the firing squad. I formalised the drawing into a line and put a circle round it."

December 14, 2008

December 12, 2008

AWOL US Soldier Seeks Asylum in Germany Over Returning to “Illegal” War in Iraq

Democracy Now interview with Specialist Andre Shepherd
Amy's interview adds to our earlier posting on the 9th.

A US soldier who went absent without leave a year and a half ago to avoid returning to Iraq has applied for asylum in Germany. Specialist Andre Shepherd served in Iraq between September 2004 and February 2005 as an Apache helicopter mechanic. When his unit was called up to return to Iraq in early 2007, he went AWOL to avoid redeployment, calling the war “illegal.” He lived underground in Germany for a year and a half before applying for asylum two weeks ago. We speak with Shepherd in his first international broadcast interview. [includes rush transcript]

December 10, 2008


-the following was posted by Brian Casler on the Rochester IVAW website on 12/10

Bruce Springsteen recorded this song with The Seeger Sessions Band in Jan 2005 during the third of the 3 "Seeger Sessions", but he did not include it on his 2006 cover album, We Shall Overcome - The Seeger Sessions.

War resister Dean Walcott ordered to leave Canada

War resister Dean Walcott ordered to leave Canada

U.S. Iraq war resister Dean Walcott was told on December 3rd that he must leave Canada by January 6th or face deportation to the United States. The decision follows similar ones in the cases of war resisters Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman and family, Patrick Hart and family, and Matt Lowell.

If deported, Dean will face a court martial, jail time and a felony conviction, all because of his refusal to participate in the immoral and illegal war in Iraq. This decision goes against the expressed wishes of the Canadian Parliament which passed a motion on June 3rd calling on the government to allow war resisters to stay in Canada, and it goes against the will of Canadians who have consistently demonstrated in polls that they want war resisters to stay.

The Federal Court stayed the removal orders of Corey Glass, Jeremy Hinzman and Matt Lowell. The Hart family faces deportation January 15th and will be asking the Court for a similar stay.

Corey Glass has since been granted a new application to stay on Humanitarian & Compassionate grounds. Jeremy Hinzman's appeal date for his negative decision has been set for February 10th 2009, and Matt Lowell is waiting to hear whether his appeal will be heard.

It is time for Minister of Citizenship & Immigration Jason Kenney to put an end to this case-by-case approach to the situation of war resisters in Canada. He must implement a political solution in line with what Canadians and Parliament are calling for and allow Dean, and all of the other courageous young men and women who have said no to participating in the war which even Stephen Harper has admitted was "absolutely a mistake", to stay in Canada.

December 9, 2008

IVAW member André Shepherd

-from the IVAW website:

IVAW member and war resister applies for asylum in Germany

IVAW member André Shepherd has applied for political asylum in Germany. Shepherd, a 31-year-old Army helicopter mechanic from Ohio, served for six months in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. While serving in Germany in the spring of 2007, Shepherd received orders to redeploy to Iraq. Instead, he chose to go into hiding.

Shepherd submitted his petition for asylum based on Germany's opposition to the illegal war in Iraq. "If I carried out my orders, it would make me a criminal. But I swore my oath on the American Constitution, which prohibits wars of aggression of any nature, such as the one in Iraq,"

After 19 months living with friends and supporters, Shepherd is now staying at an asylum facility in Karlsruhe, Germany while he waits for a decision on his asylum application.

A Crisis of Conscience: Conscientious Objection, Law and Morality

The following article is from the excellent online journal, truthout.  

Tuesday 09 December 2008
by: Camillo "Mac" Bica, Ph.D., t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Based on moral convictions, soldiers can decide to be discharged as Conscientious Objectors. 

Upon the realization that their primary function is to wage war and kill other human beings, some soldiers [1], pursuant to the dictates of their consciences, refuse to fight and apply for discharge from military service as a Conscientious Objector. That is, following a religious and/or moral "awakening," the soldier determines that war is either always morally wrong and a violation of conscience - General Conscientious Objection (GCO) - or, if not always wrong, it is wrong and a violation of conscience in the particular circumstance in which the soldier is required to fight and kill - Selective Conscientious Objection (SCO). Conscientious Objector (CO) status may be granted, however, only to soldiers who are able to demonstrate a "firm, fixed and sincere objection to participation in war in any form or the bearing of arms," [2] based upon "religious training and belief," to include strong moral and ethical convictions, that has "crystallized" since enlisting in the military. Consequently, Selective Conscientious Objectors are not eligible for CO status.

This distinction between General and Selective Conscientious Objection and the military's refusal to acknowledge the latter presents the soldier with a crisis of conscience regarding whether to follow orders and participate in what he determines to be an immoral and illegal war or to follow the dictates of his conscience, disobey orders, refuse to fight and face serious disciplinary action. Upon analysis, it is clear that the military's position on CO status is morally and legally untenable - inconsistent with the demands both of morality and of law.

Inalienable Human Rights and Conscientious Objection

Religion and the rule of law teach us that life is sacred and inviolable That is, that human beings possess an inalienable right to life. Correlative to this right is the moral and legal obligation not to kill another human being, i.e., not to violate this right in others. This inalienable right to life is the basis of the Just War principle that requires innocents to be discriminated and afforded immunity, that they not be attacked, injured or killed in war. In the view of the GCO, this right and immunity can never be overridden or forfeited. Hence, war is never a moral option. For others, however, rights are not absolute, but prima facie. That is, under some conditions, rights and immunity can be forfeited, rendering the individual liable to be justifiably injured and/or killed in war. Hence, some wars, wars against aggression for example, may be morally justifiable and provoke no objection of conscience even should the use of deadly force be required. What soldiers with either perspective have in common is the conviction that should they be required to participate in an illegal and immoral war and to kill innocents, given the sanctity and inviolability of human life, they have a moral obligation to refuse to fight, an obligation to become a CO.

The Legal Concern

Military theorists, at least sincere and knowledgeable ones, realize that wars can be just or unjust. Further, they understand that, despite being subjected to rather sophisticated Pavlovian conditioning techniques during basic training intended to prepare soldiers for battle and to overcome what Gen. S.L.A. Marshall identified as an aversion to kill, soldiers must maintain an ability to make moral and legal judgments. That is, the military does not want robots, programmed automata that respond unquestioningly to superior orders. By law, soldiers are not required to obey all orders.

"The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him." [3]
In fact, at least since the United States Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT), soldiers are legally obligated to sometimes disobey superior orders. US chief prosecutor Robert K. Jackson at the NMT declared in 1948:

"[T]he very essence of the [Nuremberg] Charter is that individuals have intentional duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience imposed by the individual state." [4]
United States Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) 809.ART.90 (20) makes it clear as well that a soldier is required only to obey the "lawful command of his superior officer." The obvious implication of this is that military personnel should, in fact they are required, under threat of legal sanction, to disobey an unlawful command or order. Clearly, then, under International and US Military Law, the individual soldier is empowered to make critical legal judgments, many times under very stressful and coercive conditions, regarding whether to obey or disobey an order.

The Order to Fight in an Unjust War Is an Illegal Order

To wage an unjust war is a crime of aggression. Aggressors, because they violate the rights and immunity of their victims, are acting illegally and immorally. They are Unjustifiable Combatants. Consequently, Unjustifiable Combatants suffer the sanction of forfeiture of their rights and immunity and become liable to be harmed and killed, all things being equal, in self and national defense. The victims of aggression, however, have done nothing to warrant forfeiture of their rights and immunity. They are innocent and maintain their right, their privilege, to war against the aggressor in self and national defense. They are Justifiable Combatants. In war, then, all combatants are not moral or legal equals.

The order to participate in a war of aggression and to kill innocents (Justifiable Combatants or noncombatants) violates the sanctity and inviolability of human life and the tenets of international and United States military law. Consequently, the order to fight an unjust war is an immoral and illegal order and an affront to conscience. Because leaders may be incompetent or corrupt, and because human beings remain responsible for their actions despite becoming members of the military, soldiers must not unquestioningly obey orders and presume the war to be just. Rather, before participating in war, they are morally and legally required to make the important, though oftentimes difficult judgment regarding whether the "enemy" maintains or forfeits his immunity, i.e., whether the war is just or unjust. Further, should their determination be that it is unjust, not only can soldiers refuse an order to fight, they are legally and morally obligated to do so. That is, they are legally and morally required to become Selective Conscientious Objectors.

A False Distinction

Inalienable human rights are values we hold sacred in this nation. In granting CO status, the military is recognizing and accepting the validity of these values and indicating a respect for the religious belief and/or moral imperative of soldiers to act in accordance with the dictates of conscience pursuant to these rights, i.e., to refuse to kill innocent human beings. Theoretical ethical variations in the scope of application of this right, whether the soldier accepts rights and immunity as absolute - killing is always immoral (GCO) - or prima facie - killing is sometimes permissible (SCO) - while, perhaps, of interest to ethicists and philosophers, should have no relevance to determinations of CO status since in either case; morality and law demands that soldiers respect the rights and immunity of innocent human beings and refuse to kill.

Consequently, there is no moral or legal basis for the military to distinguish between GCO and SCO, accepting the former and rejecting the later. This is particularly important in a society that, while not condemning all war, does recognize the very real possibility that some war may be immoral and unjust. Finally, the failure to recognize SCO is inconsistent with the accepted legal obligations of soldiers as established by the Nuremberg Principles and the Uniform Code of Military Justice to obey only legal orders.


Whenever a soldier refuses to obey an order to fight in what he deems an immoral war by virtue of a decision of conscience, it is not only appropriate, but morally and legally required to "put the war on trial" as well. While it may be the case, that individual determinations regarding the morality and legality of a war may be mistaken, since national leaders make mistakes as well, the soldier's decision of conscience must be taken seriously and given credence through a fair and legitimate hearing or trial that does not accept the war's justness as given. Consequently, such proceedings must go well beyond the two questions that have typified courts marshals to date: "Were you given a command to fight in Iraq?" "Did you obey this command?" and must include a third and most important and relevant question, "Is the Iraq War just?"

I have argued that the act of fighting in an unjust war is illegal and immoral. I caution the reader, however, to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past (a mistake, I fear, that is again gaining acceptance among a frustrated activist community) of moving from the illegality of the war to the criminality of the warriors. There is a profound moral and legal difference between condemning the act and blaming the actor. Determining moral and legal culpability is a complex process that goes well beyond a determination that the war is unjust. It must involve as well an evaluation of individual motivation, intention, whether the soldier has the information necessary to make such profound moral judgments, and, as stated in the Nuremberg Principles, whether "... a moral choice was in fact possible to him." While we admire and praise those who are capable of making such judgments and possess the moral courage to act in accordance with the dictates of their consciences, given the severity of the legal and social sanctions the soldier must suffer, it is not at all certain whether refusing to fight under the threat of such sanctions is obligatory or supererogatory - "above and beyond" what we can morally require a person to do. What is even less warranted is to blame the warrior for the war as though his not refusing to fight is the cause and the reason the war continues. Rather, we must understand that ultimately the responsibility and blame is with those who manipulate, deceive and use war as a means of acquiring wealth or power. We must understand that in a democracy all citizens bear responsibility for the actions of their government, and that there is blood on all our hands. We must understand that rather than to condemn and vilify the soldiers, we must educate and help them comprehend the true moral and legal nature of war. Most importantly, we must strive to create an environment in which adolescents and young adults feel empowered to act upon their moral convictions and refuse to fight. Finally, we must ensure that refusers and deserters are supported and provided protection either through SCO laws, legal defense funds, or, more drastically, by providing sanctuaries from military apprehension and prosecution.



[1] For purposes of convenience, I will use the generic term "soldier" to refer to all members of the military regardless of branch of service or gender.

[2] DoD Directive 1300.6; AR 600-43 §2-10; MILPERSMAN §1900-020; MCO 1306.16 E; AFI 36-3204; Gillette v. United States, 401 US 437 [91 S.Ct. 828, 28 L.Ed.2d 168 (1971)].

[3] Article Four, Nuremberg Principles.



Camillo "Mac" Bica, Ph.D., is a professor of philosophy at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. He is a former United States Marine Corps Officer with service in Vietnam and a long-time activist for peace and justice.

December 8, 2008


FREE THE SHMINISTIM – ISRAEL'S YOUNG CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS. The Shministim are Israeli high school students who have been imprisoned for refusing to serve in an army that occupies the Palestinian Territories. Show your support by contacting the Israeli Minister of Defense using the form below. Israeli peace activists will hand-deliver your message on December 18th, the Shministim Day of Action. 9,000 LETTERS AND COUNTING!

Who are the Shministim?
Shministim means “twelfth-graders” in Hebrew. Military service is mandatory after high school for young Jewish Israelis. The Shministim are Israeli youth who refuse to serve in the army because it enforces Israel’s 40-year occupation of the Palestinians.
While a number of Shministim letters have been written in the past (read about the first letter sent to Prime Minister Golda Meir here ), about one hundred youth have signed the current 2008 Shministim letter which articulates the basis for refusal.
Because of their principled refusal to serve in an occupying army, youth who sign the letter face jail terms in Israeli military prisons. Terms range from 21 to 28 days; those who refuse to wear a military uniform while in jail are sent to solitary confinement for the duration of their term.
After completing their sentence, they are then drafted again and if they refuse a second time, as most do, they face the same sentence. This can be a repeated process in which Shministim return home for a few days or longer and are then drafted and then imprisoned. Even through they refuse to serve, they still in a sense ‘belong’ to the military until they receive their discharge papers. A Shministi may never receive these papers, and although the Israeli military may tire of re-calling objectors into prison regularly, without these papers, an objector’s fate is always uncertain. There is literally no end to the number of times youth might be sent back to jail.

Video: Ithaca Common Council members support Trevor Loope

thanks to Cris McConkey for the following video 

Cris also had this criticism for an AP article earlier in the week: 

The AP article is outrageous. Trevor Loope never “asked the city of Ithaca to give him sanctuary”. In the very first line of the story! He was going to turn himself in to Ft. Drum the next day and he came to Council looking for support. This should be an embarrassment to AP, but what makes me mad is the many, many local papers across the nation that carried this false article.

December 6, 2008

Trevor returns to Fort Drum

Stories from sources around the country

    (Pay attention to this site and support them if you can; they are wonderful people who do a lot of good work for resisters.)

Trevor Loope addresses Ithaca Common Council

This link is to an article in the Ithaca Journal. It takes place at the Ithaca Common Council meeting earlier this week. Trevor came to ask them to write or sign a letter of support that he would bring with him to Fort Drum the next morning when he would be returning to the base. He came to Ithaca because they unanimously passed a resolution declaring themselves a "community of sanctuary" that would "respect and not interfere with the lawful activities of military personnel, veterans, and all others who are opposed to the immoral wars in and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan" back on October 1st.

He made his request and several other people spoke in support of the issue. The chamber was filled with supporters.

All but one of the council members said they would write or sign a supportive statement for him by the morning. The other member made no statement regarding the issue.
Trevor's lawyer, Tod Ensign from Citizen Soldier in NYC, asked that people call the base commander, Major General Oates, to check on the status of Trevor. There is a concern for Trevor's well-being if he gets lost in the system.

Trevor Loope

November 23, 2008


NYSAVETHEGUARD is part of a national campaign ( to defederalize the National Guard, bring them home now and stop deploying our state militia to Iraq. The New York State National Guard must be at home to protect its residents in a time of local disaster. We need our National Guard at home and the equipment that has been needlessly sent overseas.

We, the undersigned, petition the New York State Legislature and Governor to stop the deployment of
the New York State National Guard Units, and we urge the President to withdraw all New York State National
Guard units from Iraq.
In 2002 Congress passed the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq (AUMF), and in
March 2003 the President, in reliance on the AUMF, ordered U.S. Armed Forces, including units of the
National Guard, to invade and occupy Iraq.
The AUMF had two clearly defined and limited goals: (1) To “defend the national security of the United
States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq,” which the Administration warned had weapons of mass
destruction (WMDs), and (2) “to enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions regarding
It has long been undisputed that there were no WMDs in Iraq, and there are no relevant UN Security
Council Resolutions remaining to be enforced, within the meaning of the AUMF.
Therefore, the legal basis for federalizing and deploying the National Guard has expired and no longer
provides a tenable basis for calling up the New York National Guard to serve in Iraq.
We the undersigned support the Resolution currently before the New York Senate and Assembly (1)
urging the President to return units of the New York National Guard for service in our State, where they are
needed for national security and to aid in the event of natural disasters and to, and (2) petitioning the Governor
to decline calls to federalize units of the New York National Guard for service in Iraq until and unless he is
presented with an order to do so based on a valid and subsisting Act of Congress.
1. Name _______________________________________________________________________
(signature) (print)
Address _____________________________________________County:____________________
2. Name _______________________________________________________________________
(signature) (print)
Address _____________________________________________County:____________________
3. Name _______________________________________________________________________
(signature) (print)
Address _____________________________________________County:____________________
4. Name _______________________________________________________________________
(signature) (print)
Address ____________________________________________County:____________________
5. Name ______________________________________________________________________
(signature) (print)
Address ____________________________________________County:____________________
6. Name ______________________________________________________________________
(signature) (print)
Address ___________________________________________County:____________________
7. Name _____________________________________________________________________
(signature) (print)
Address ___________________________________________County:____________________
Please mail completed petition to: Elaine Brower, 7 Sandalwood Drive, SI, NY 10308 MFSO NYC 8/18/2008

November 20, 2008

Prisoner of conscience Robin Long's letter to Obama

By Robin Long, prisoner of conscience. November 6, 2008Dear President-elect Obama,
My name is Robin Long. I am currently serving a 15-month sentence at a Naval brig in California. I am locked up for refusing to participate in the invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq, a military action I felt was wrong and an action condemned by most of the international community.
It was illegal and immoral.
My sentence also includes dishonorable discharge. I was no doubt made an example, because not only did I refuse to deploy by going AWOL but I spoke out. I spoke out about the atrocities that are going on over there and also the extensive web of lies the Bush administration told us and Congress, to go over there. I did all of this very openly while AWOL in Canada, where I was making a life for myself.
When I joined the Army in 2003 I felt honored to be serving my country. I was behind the President. I thought it was an honorable venture to be in Iraq. I was convinced by the lies of the Bush administration just like Congress and a majority of Americans. But just because I joined the Army doesn’t mean I abdicated my ability to evolve intellectually and morally. When I realized the war in Iraq was a mistake, I saw refusing to fight as my only option. My conscience was screaming at me not to participate.
I feel, like many others, that a government that punishes its citizens for taking a moral stand for humanity and against injustices will lose the faith of its people. The war in Iraq was a Bush administration mistake and my punishment is a product of that mistake and failed policy. Please see that I am being punished for my ideals and morals and for standing up to a giant so my voice could be heard. People can’t be afraid to stand up and say “This is wrong, we need change.”
You may say I signed a contract. I’d like to quote from a letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to George Washington in April of 1793 on his thoughts of contracts and the French Treaties. And I quote “When performance, for instance, becomes impossible, non-performance is not immoral. So if performance becomes self destructive for the party, the law of self preservation overrules the laws of obligations to others. For the reality of these principals I appeal to the true fountains of evidence, the heart and head of every rational honest man.”
For me to continue to participate in my military contract would have been self-destructive to me at my deepest levels of self. It goes against everything I believe in, my ideals and morals. In the case of the invasion of Iraq, international law was broken, as well as violating our own Constitution. Article VI of the Constitution states that any treaty the US is signatory shall be the supreme law of the land. The invasion broke the rules set out for declaring war in the Geneva Convention. And according to the Nuremburg Principles laid out at the Nuremburg Tribunals, I had a higher international duty supported by our Constitution to refuse service in Iraq.
While I was in Canada I had a child. This sentence will have a lasting impact not only on my life but also on the life of my son. My son and his mother are Canadian (not duel citizenship). With a felony conviction (a year plus a day), it will be very difficult for me to re-enter Canada. I would like to live there so I can be in my son’s life. Every child needs a father. I want to return to my responsibilities as a father.
This sentence is a great hardship because it has an impact on my life that could last well into the future. This would successfully separate a family. My family needs me, to be a father figure and a financial supporter. My son was born after the fact of me deserting. Please don’t punish him more than I already have by being gone now. I love and miss him and the thought of being reunited with him is helping me get through my time here. I feel I made the right decision by refusing and am more than willing to sit in the brig for my ideals. But I worry about the effect this has on my family.
I ask you to please consider granting me presidential clemency or a pardon. I have given this to many different organizations and people to ensure that you receive a copy. I am so happy that you were elected President. I feel real change coming. You are the light after the storm, “Hurricane Bush” if you will.
If you would like more information on me you can listen to an audio interview on (below) or read more at,,
-Robin Long
Write to Robin in the brig at: Robin Long; PO Box 452136; San Diego, CA 92145-2136