GI SPECIAL 4E22:
[DAILY WAR NEWS FOR FRIDAY, May 19, 2006]
Timmons Wrote That He Didn't Understand Why U.S. Soldiers
Were In Afghanistan"
Believed That The People Of Afghanistan Could Take Care Of
May 20, 2006 By Paul Garber,
JOURNAL REPORTER, The Winston-Salem Journal
May 20, 2006 By Paul Garber,
JOURNAL REPORTER, The Winston-Salem Journal
he buried his soldier son, David Timmons Sr. said yesterday
that people should ask questions about the war efforts in
Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I think I
need answers," he said. "We ask questions, that's what
America's all about."
Army Spc. David "J.R." Timmons
Jr., 23, of Lewisville was one of 10 soldiers killed May 5
in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan.
The soldiers were conducting
combat operations in a mountainous area as part of a search
for al-Qaida and Taliban militants.
The Army is still
investigating the crash. Timmons said that Army officials
told the family that the helicopter crashed during a
The elder Timmons said that
his family supports the troops on the ground and their
efforts to carry out the missions given to them.
But Timmons said he feels that
it is his duty to ask questions of the leaders who are
making the policy decisions.
parent, you want war to be the last thing you do, not the
that the leaders must define the missions and lay out an
exit strategy. If the mission changes, the leaders should
let the citizens know.
they owe that much to the American people," he said. "We
just want to know what's going on."
Although most people direct
their questions about the war to President Bush, Timmons
said, more answers should come from leaders in Congress.
"It's up to
the American people to push the legislative branch to hold
them accountable," he said. "You can't go to war without
money, and the money comes from the legislative branch."
In his last
letter home, J.R. Timmons wrote that he didn't understand
why U.S. soldiers were in Afghanistan and said he believed
that the people of Afghanistan could take care of
themselves, David Timmons said.
arrived after J.R. Timmons was killed.
Although he was saddened by
the loss of his son, Timmons said he was proud that his son
died performing his mission as best as he could. "He's an
American hero," he said. "You can put that with an
J.R. Timmons, a 2001 graduate
of West Forsyth High School, entered basic training in
January 2004 and was sent to Afghanistan in February 2006
for a planned 18-month tour of duty.
He is one of 234 U.S. soldiers
who have died in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring
Freedom, according to statistics from the Defense
Department. More than 2,400 U.S. troops have died in Iraq.
J.R. Timmons was buried in
Salisbury National Cemetery, where the Army presented
several medals to the family, including the Bronze Star.
About 50 motorcyclists with the Patriot Guard escorted the
funeral procession from Winston-Salem to Salisbury. David
Timmons said he was grateful for the presence of the
flag-bearing riders. "They reaffirmed my faith that we have
a truly great democracy," he said.
At Morning Star Missionary
Baptist Church, more than 200 people packed the sanctuary
during an emotional, sometimes joyful, funeral service that
celebrated his life.
J.R. Timmons is survived by
his father; his mother, Cynthia; a sister, Shalanta; and a
grandfather, James Timmons.
From The Pentagon Stated That Latimer Died In A Roadside
Me They Found His Body In A Bunker,’ Latimer Said"
May 12, 2006 By SANDRA
McINTOSH, Daily Light Features Editor
When two uniformed military
men come to the door in the middle of the night, it can only
mean one thing.
For Richard Latimer of Ennis,
it meant receiving the news that his son, Spec. Aaron P.
Latimer, 26, had been killed in the line of duty earlier
that same day.
"They knocked on my door
Tuesday night," Latimer said. "I just knew something bad
had happened. The military doesn’t make visits in person
unless something’s gone wrong."
On Thursday evening, Latimer’s
overwhelming loss still found him in a state of shock and
disbelief. But, he was eager to talk about his son, the
last R&R visit home and the great strides his son had made
while he’d been away.
"He had a bit of trouble while
he was in high school. As a young adult, he found it hard
to understand the idea of getting up for work every day,"
Latimer said. "He finally decided to join the Army, hoping
to get some skills that he could use when his tour of duty
was over. When he was home in February, everyone commented
on the difference. The Army matured him and made him a good
from the Pentagon stated that Latimer died Tuesday, May 9,
in a roadside bombing in the city of Mosul in Iraq while he
was assigned to the 562nd Engineer Company, 172nd Striker
Brigade Combat Team from Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
The story that was explained
to Latimer on Tuesday evening was a bit different, but the
outcome remained the same.
me they found his body in a bunker," Latimer said, followed
by a few minutes of complete silence.
The manner in which his son’s
life was taken isn’t the primary concern on Latimer’s mind
at this particular moment. His priority is to get his son
home - back on American soil - for a hero’s welcome and a
"He lost his life over there,"
Latimer said, his voice breaking. "I want him to get as
much recognition as possible. I want him to be remembered
and honored for his sacrifice."
hopeful the investigation into his son’s death will come to
a conclusion soon.
his boy home and he said he won’t rest until he gets here.
British Army Is Being Severely Defeated" In Basra
A burning British military
vehicle in the southern city of Basra. Two British soldiers
were wounded when their military vehicle was destroyed in a
roadside bomb, a military spokesman. (AFP/Nawfal Hashem)
May 20, 2006 By Sami Moubayed,
Asia Times [Excerpt]
Alarms are ringing in London that the British army is being
severely defeated in Iraq, as the city of Basra (where its
7th Armored Brigade has been based since 2003) slips rapidly
into uncontrollable sectarian violence. [Oh please. Cut
the pro-occupation bullshit. "Slips uncontrollably" into
anti-occupation violence is what’s happening. But then,
that wouldn’t fit the script written in the Pentagon, would
it? Check the photo. Does that look like "sectarian
British troops can no longer
travel on foot, for fear of ambushes, and have to use
helicopters as taxis.
Basra, a predominantly Shi'ite
city, has been won over from the British by the rebel-cleric
Muqtada al-Sadr. The young rebel gained the minds and hearts
of the inhabitants of Basra when he began his rebellion
against the Americans, and then-prime minister Iyad Allawi,
Muqtada found an excited crowd
willing to listen to his anti-Anglo-American rhetoric in
2004-05 and was able to recruit members of the
British-trained Iraqi police force in Basra into his Mehdi
Army, where they now serve as undercover agents for Muqtada.
Americans are speechless about Basra. [Rumsfeld is never
"speechless" about anything, so where did this crap come
from? And it’s not "the Americans" because "the Americans"
are now opposed to this evil war. So, for the sake of
describing the real world, as distinct from this reporters’
babbling: "The U.S. occupation regime and military command
are pissing their pants about Basra." T]
there was a conviction in the occupying forces that Basra
was a relatively quiet and safe part of Iraq, because of the
efficiency of the British in keeping control.
impression has been destroyed, yet the Americans cannot send
troops to Basra. This is too difficult because of their
concentration in other parts of Iraq where the Sunni
insurgency is raging, and because the people of Basra would
not allow it.
ABSOLUTELY NO COMPREHENSIBLE REASON TO BE IN THIS EXTREMELY
HIGH RISK LOCATION AT THIS TIME, EXCEPT THAT A CROOKED
POLITICIAN WHO LIVES IN THE WHITE HOUSE WANTS YOU THERE, SO
HE WILL LOOK GOOD.
That is not
a good enough reason.
U.S. soldier in Baghdad, May 8, 2006 at scene of car bomb
attack. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim)
French Troops Killed,
May 21 AP & by Sardar Ahmad,
battle in Helmand province, 13 Afghan soldiers were killed
and 15 injured in an eight-hour firefight Saturday, said
Gen. Zahir Azimi, the Defense Ministry spokesman.
In a second
firefight in the same district of Helmand on Saturday, one
French and three Afghan soldiers were killed, the U.S.-led
injured were a French and an American soldier, said Capt.
Drew Gibson, a spokesman for the British military.
three French soldiers were killed on Saturday. The French
Defense Ministry earlier announced the deaths of two special
forces troops killed in neighboring Kandahar province.
France has had 200 special
forces officers in southeast Afghanistan since 2003 as part
of the U.S.-led coalition.
The car bomb exploded as the
convoy was passing by on a main road about 100 metres
(yards) from a coalition military base used to train Afghan
security forces, US military spokesman Major Chris Miller
soldier was wounded Sunday. The attack was aimed at the
Soldier Killed In Afghanistan
May 11, 2006 by Cerise
Merritt, The Uvalde Leader-News
The stark realities of war
officially touched the normally safe enclave of Utopia at 2
a.m. Sunday, when representatives of the U.S. Army knocked
on the front door of Randy and Kathy Wiekamp.
Under the circumstances, the
Wiekamps must have known they were about to hear tragic
news, but with three of their four sons in the Army, they
couldn't be sure just what it was.
They had to wait a moment to
learn that it their oldest son, Jeff, who was dead.
Sergeant Jeffery Scott
Wiekamp, 23, was one of the 10 soldiers killed Friday in the
crash of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan. He was
crew chief of the combat operation, part of campaign
Operation Mountain Lion in Kunar Province.
Wiekamp graduated from Utopia
High School in 2001.
Sgt. Josh Wiekamp, 22, and
Specialist Jared Wiekamp, 20, also graduated from Utopia
High. Each of the three brothers joined the Army shortly
after completing high school. Joey, 18, will graduate from
Utopia High School in three weeks, and he's undecided about
his future plans.
Jeff's wife, Ashley Brown, is
a sergeant in the Army. His mother, Kathy, also has one
brother, Sgt. Stephen Triner, and one brother-in-law, Staff
Sgt. Rollie Snow, in the Army.
Services for Jeff Wiekamp are
pending, as family members await the arrival of his body.
In the meantime, community members are showing their support
by wrapping trees with yellow ribbons and displaying U.S.
flags across the town.
"Jeff started here when he was
in third grade," said teacher Lucille Wise. "He and my
daughter, Kristi, were in the same class. He was such a
sweet, shy kid.
"They were a very tight class,
and everyone used to just try to draw him out and get him to
talk. We're all going to miss him so much," she added.
Taliban Never Really Went Away"
May 18, 2006 CBS Broadcasting
Taliban never really went away," CBS News Consultant Jere
Van Dyk says.
happened was the Americans felt, and a lot of observers felt
throughout the world, the Taliban were defeated very
easily. But, in fact, what they did was move back into the
country side, they took off their black turbans, went and
became farmers, and they observed."
Taliban wants, ideally, Logan reports, is to fill the void
in each village as U.S. forces pull out of southern
Afghanistan later this year and hand over operations to
ALL HOME NOW
U.S. soldier at a car bomb site in Kabul, Afghanistan May
21, 2006. (Ahmad Masood/Reuters)
Increasing U.S. Forces In Iraq
21/05/2006 Telegraph Group
The Pentagon is sending extra
troops to Iraq amid fears of an offensive by insurgents who
want to destabilise the new Iraqi government.
of 650 soldiers from the United States Army's 1st Armoured
Division will be moved from Kuwait as a "temporary measure."
Kuwait-based battalion from the same division, deployed in
March, will remain, despite earlier assurances that it would
leave, bringing total troop strength to 133,000.
THIS IS HOW
BUSH BRINGS THE TROOPS HOME:
ALL HOME NOW, ALIVE
The casket of Cpl. Stephen
Bixler at Sacred Heart Church in Suffield, Conn., May 17,
2006. Bixler, 20, a member of the 2nd Reconnaissance
Battalion, 2nd Marine Division, 2nd Marine Expeditionary
Force, was killed in action in Iraq on May 4. (AP
New York City Memorial Day Service
May 28, 1 PM:
"We Need To
Get Out On The Streets And Say BRING THEM HOME NOW"
Please join us for a memorial service in NYC area: on
Memorial Day, May 28, MFSO, IVAW and VFP, along with
others will be holding a Memorial Day Ceremony at the
NYC Vietnam Veterans Memorial (55 Water Street in
Manhattan) at 1 PM. The ceremony will be followed by a
procession through Battery Park, with flowers to the
waterfront in honor of ALL who have died in war.
May 17, 2006
Subject: Eyes Wide Open, DC
Letter To The Editors
Staten Island Advance
weekend I attended the American Friends Service Committee's
Eyes Wide Open Exhibit on the National Mall in Washington,
DC. Sponsored by Military Families Speak Out (MFSO), Iraq
Veterans Against the War (IVAW), Veterans for Peace (VFP),
and others, exhibit is of boots and shoes commemorating the
casualties of the Iraq war.
It was a
very moving and emotional experience for me; it was very
painful to see the boots of 19 of my husband's comrades and
of all the soldiers who were killed in this war and it was
very painful to see the shoes of innocent Iraqi citizens
also killed by the hands of what they call an
I listened to the broken
hearts of families who have lost loved ones as a result of
this senseless, illegal war.
I heard the speeches of
veterans, scarred and hurting from loosing friends, and I
listened to the Iraqis talking about the suffering that
civilians there go through every day.
I feel we need to do more to
stop these senseless deaths.
We need to
get out on the streets and say BRING THEM HOME NOW.
Memorial Day is just around
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS means
bringing them home now, not being made to fight unjust
wars. Real support means that they are taken care of
properly when they return home.
This Memorial Day, we must
mourn the loss of our soldiers and innocent citizens who
have died as a result of this war.
us for a memorial service in NYC area: on Memorial Day, May
28, MFSO, IVAW and VFP, along with others will be holding a
Memorial Day Ceremony at the NYC Vietnam Veterans Memorial
(55 Water Street in Manhattan) at 1 PM.
ceremony will be followed by a procession through Battery
Park, with flowers to the waterfront in honor of ALL who
have died in war.
Families Speak Out,
Veterans For Peace, Chapter 034, NYC
Action Staten Island.
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.
Traitors Attack Plan For Tiny Increase In Troops’ Pay:
House Officials Said Lawmakers Were Too Good To The Troops"
raise the Bush scum oppose doesn’t even keep up with
inflation, which means even if the Bush regime loses, and
troops get the 2.7%, they still take a pay cut in purchasing
power. There is no enemy in Iraq. Here is the enemy, at
home, running the Imperial government, fucking over the
troops (those that survive their stupid Imperial war that
is) and laughing all the way to the bank. Somebody has to
pay the price as the politicians and their super-rich
backers loot the treasury to stuff their own bank accounts.
May 22, 2006 By Rick Maze,
Army Times staff writer [Excerpts]
administration is balking at the 2.7 percent all-ranks pay
raise approved by the House in its version of the $512.9
billion defense authorization bill for 2007.
officials said lawmakers were too good to the troops and not
good enough to weapons programs in approving a raise that
would be half a percentage point higher than the
administration’s proposed 2.2 percent increase.
But in a sign of independence,
the House bill increases Army and Marine Corps personnel,
expands health benefits for drilling reservists, rejects an
administration proposal to raise fees for retirees using the
military medical system and retains the 2.7 percent pay
raise instead of the 2.2 percent proposed by the
"The administration proposed
the 2.2 percent increase because that is what is necessary
to recruit high-quality people to the armed forces," the
statement said, calling the bigger increase "unnecessary."
Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., the House Armed Services Committee
chairman, praised the approval of the higher raise and noted
that it will help to reduce the remaining gap between
military and private-sector wages, which stands at about 4.5
bombing attack inside a crowded restaurant popular with the
police in Baghdad May 21, 2006. REUTERS/Ceerwan Aziz
May 21 (AP) & AFP & (Reuters)
killed at least 12 people and injured 14 after detonating
his explosive vest inside a downtown Baghdad restaurant
popular with police officers, police said.
The 12 dead included three
police officers, said Police Col. Abbas Mohammed. The
restaurant was located in a two-story building Baghdad's
mixed Karada neighborhood. The explosion occurred at 1:20
p.m. during the crowded lunch hour.
In Tikrit, insurgents killed
two oil pipeline guards in a drive-by shooting, the interior
ministry source said.
Police found the body of a
policeman on Saturday near Falluja, 50 km west of Baghdad,
police said. He was captured hours earlier.
soldier was killed and 10 wounded when guerrillas attacked
checkpoints around their army base in Dhuluiya, 60 km (40
miles) north of Baghdad. Local police, describing the army
unit as made up largely of ethnic Kurds, put the army's
casualty toll higher.
One Iraqi policeman and one
insurgent died in clashes that erupted near the town of
Iskandariya, south of Baghdad, when insurgents tried to blow
up a pipeline feeding a power station, police said.
Two policemen and a civilian
were wounded when two roadside bombs went off in quick
succession targeting a police patrol in the northern oil
city of Kirkuk, 250 miles north of Baghdad, police said.
DON’T LIKE THE RESISTANCE
Sense In One Email Than Can Be Found In The Entire Pentagon
Chiarelli’s Silly Babbling Nailed Again
like the occupiers of Iraq, and their collaborators, are
in a state of self-denial... that they just won't admit
that the only reason why there are so many people
fighting in the armed resistance IS BECAUSE THEY ARE
From: Anonymous One
To: GI Special
Sent: May 21, 2006
you have heard how some US Army Generals in Iraq right now,
along with some other people in the Bush administration are
saying that unemployment, among other things, was one of the
reasons a huge number of young Iraqis have decided to join
the armed resistance, like the last lines of this article:
Gen Peter Chiarelli] added that "disillusionment, poverty
and hopelessness are the breeding grounds for violence" and
that it was important 'to take the angry young men off the
street’". 21/05/2006 Telegraph Group
doesn't make any sense. It's as if they're saying anybody
who has a job in Iraq would have no time to fight against
the coalition troops, as if anyone who has a job couldn't
possibly be a resistance fighter.
anything, giving the Iraqi people jobs would actually
benefit the armed resistance. More jobs mean they would
get more income, that is, more money.
more money they could buy better weapons, more food,
more clothes, more vehicles, black market body armor,
anything that would benefit their cause. Even if that
job took up much of their free time, that doesn't mean
they won't use whatever time they have left for
training, planning and executing their attacks.
They could just work in the
day, and later fight in the night, or vice-versa if they're
working night shifts. Hell, they could spend an entire
month's 'vacation' fighting their enemies non-stop.
suggested reason as to why there are so many members in the
armed resistance is that because of Iraq's now-poor
As most of us already know,
after Iraq was invaded and occupied, clean water and
electricity (for example) have been harder to find than an
Inuit in the Sahara.
those who support the occupation claim that fixing Iraq's
infrastructure would somehow solve their 'insurgency
coalition forces hadn't destroyed so much of Iraq, the
resistance would be a lot more effective.
more water for them to clean their clothes and weapons with;
more electricity for recording their anti-occupation videos
and repairing vehicles; more materials for making their
traps with; more useable clinics and hospitals for them to
treat their wounded with; and so on.
the occupiers of Iraq, and their collaborators, are in a
state of self-denial... that they just won't admit that the
only reason why there are so many people fighting in the
armed resistance IS BECAUSE THEY ARE THERE.
matter how much good an occupier has done for the nation it
occupies and controls, the people who live under an unwanted
occupation will always see them as enemies of their
occupation really did fix Iraq's infrastructure, if it
really gave back all of Iraq's electricity, roads, water,
hospitals, schools and whatever else the coalition took away
from the Iraqi people, do you know what the resistance
fighters would say to them?
for supporting our cause in regaining our sovereignty. Can
you take the next step and just leave already?"
I'm not saying they shouldn't
fix it though.
They should be responsible for
what they did to Iraq, and repair whatever they can. The
Coalition doesn't have to occupy Iraq to fix the country's
infrastructure problems after the fall of Saddam; if they
really cared about the well-being of the Iraqis, they would
have sent more aid-workers than soldiers and mercenaries to
also that claim... that misconception that Al-Qaeda = Iraqi
Al-Qaeda is very despised by many of the Iraqis, fighter or
not. No one invited them to come.
reason why Al-Qaeda started to appear in Iraq was because
their main enemy's there. American troops are like Al-Qaeda
magnets, and unfortunately for everyone, Al-Qaeda wouldn't
miss such an opportunity to kill more Americans and at the
same time try to spread their influence in Iraq (remember,
Saddam Hussein hated Al-Qaeda and actually banned them in
If the occupiers leave,
Al-Qaeda will eventually leave too, not only because their
targets have left, but also because Iraqis hate Al-Qaeda for
what they've done to the locals during the occupation
(Al-Qaeda attacks on Americans and other Coalition forces
leave many civilian deaths, which certainly sounds like
Keep up the good work, Mister
Barton. You're helping more people open their eyes to
what's really happening in Iraq and the USA, resisting all
the misguided 'patriotism' and misleading propaganda. You
are as brave as any Iraqi or anybody else who is fighting
for the future of their homeland.
[Up to this
point we are in agreement. However, it requires less
courage to sit at a computer keyboard than to risk ones’
life fighting for the liberation of one’s nation from a
predatory Imperial invasion. If these newsletters are
useful, that’s good to know, but greater courage is required
of people who resist, whether in Iraq, or the growing number
of U.S. troops who are turning against this evil war. T]
please forgive me for remaining anonymous.
prefer to express my opinions with my identity kept secret.
Make no mistake though; I am on your side, along with
everyone else who wants this insane and illegal war to end.
Muslim reader in Brunei.
What do you think?
Comments from service men and women, and veterans, are
especially welcome. Send to
firstname.lastname@example.org. Name, I.D., address
withheld unless publication requested. Replies
"It Is My
Desire To Prevent Other Soldiers From Having To Deal With
Corrupt And Unethical Individuals Like These Commanders"
General Court Martial Convening Authority blatantly
abused his position of authority when he told the Ft.
Stewart JAG office and the prosecuting attorneys how
long my sentence would be prior to an investigation into
charges they were considering against me."
From: Monica Benderman
To: GI Special
Sent: May 19, 2006
May 16, 2006 – Congressional
Briefing for Conscientious Objection
Statement made by Monica
for giving me this time today.
I would like to preface my comments to Congressional
representatives by reading a statement from my husband,
Kevin Benderman, a US Army Sgt. who is currently serving a
15-month sentence at the Regional Corrections Facility, Ft.
I have prepared this statement
to address the injustice I have been dealt by the US Army
after I made the decision to apply for Conscientious
I made this
decision after my return from Iraq where I witnessed and
experienced for myself the insanity of war. What I learned
from my experience is that war is a waste of humanity. We
kill many people in the name of keeping the peace – an
oxymoron if there ever was one. After many months of
contemplation I reached the conclusion that I no longer
wanted to contribute to the ultimate violence toward other
human beings that war is.
to discuss my feelings with a chaplain assigned to my
military unit, but I got the sense that talking with him
would be a less than worthwhile way to cope with these
my initial impression of him proved correct when I received
an email from him stating how ashamed of me he felt, and
that I had displayed little moral fortitude in my decision.
structure of my unit was hostile towards me in their zealous
need to have me prosecuted for having developed a desire to
live a more peaceful, humane existence. I was ridiculed
publicly, called a coward, subjected to a farce of a general
court martial, and falsely imprisoned.
commander refused to follow military regulations in regard
to my Conscientious Objector application and the battalion
commander blatantly disregarded a request from a
congressional representative to examine my application in an
General Court Martial Convening Authority blatantly
abused his position of authority when he told the Ft.
Stewart JAG office and the prosecuting attorneys how
long my sentence would be prior to an investigation into
charges they were considering against me.
is a flagrant violation of my right to a fair and unbiased
hearing accorded me by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
The Rear Detachment commander
also tried to dredge up any other groundless charges to
press against me that he could.
of Larceny were brought in to try to further tarnish my
reputation, which eventually proved groundless, but not
before they were used as a threat to encourage me to plead
guilty to an act I did not commit.
It is my
desire to prevent other soldiers from having to deal with
corrupt and unethical individuals like these commanders.
I would like to see
legislation passed that would prevent any type of abuses
from those serving in positions of authority within the
The people who voluntarily
decide to wear this nation’s uniform already sacrifice far
more than the average citizen. Their basic civil rights
should not be sacrificed as well to the unethical whims of
corrupt individuals who may hold a higher rank, but exhibit
far less humanity.
Any assistance in rectifying
this situation would be greatly appreciated, and I would
like to thank those who made it possible for me to present
my remarks here today. I would also like to thank those of
you who have taken time to hear what I have had to say.
Violated No Regulations"
Command Violated Many"
Made By Monica Benderman
May 16, 2006 – Congressional
Briefing for Conscientious Objection
husband was scheduled for a parole hearing in February
2006. The parole board denied my husband’s request for
parole. The reason cited – my husband had not been
"sufficiently rehabilitated." My husband is a
Conscientious Objector. What is the rehabilitation
needed for someone who says he no longer will
participate in war?
I will address my comments to
the Members of Congress:
Each one of you is in office
having been elected on the basis of promises you made. In
taking that office, each one of you took an oath to honor
the Constitution of this country, and you did so by swearing
to your God.
An American soldier, a
volunteer, takes the same oath. His commitment to that oath
is based on the promises of our elected leaders. But a true
leader is not someone who blindly follows laws written by
men. A true leader is someone who leads with adherence to
his own obligation to humanity.
If you, during your tenure and
contract to serve as Congressional leaders, were asked to
participate in an action that violated your own conscience
and your own principles of humanity, would you take a stand
against that action?
If you were to step down, no
longer willing to participate in an immoral, illegal action,
would you have charges brought against you?
Would you be sent to jail for
your beliefs? Would you go willingly?
Would you allow this to happen
to any member who serves with you who also acted on their
volunteer, an American soldier has every right to question
the purpose of his sacrifice, and to expect that sacrifice
to be honored with integrity and honesty, and to be allowed
to follow his conscience when orders given violate his own
principles of humanity.
Freedom of Choice is one of
the most significant principles on which our country was
founded. Conscientious Objection is the true exercise of a
soldier’s right to choose.
Do you understand what it
takes to publicly declare yourself a Conscientious Objector
Are you aware of the process
an American soldier must go through to be granted
Conscientious Objector status in today’s volunteer army?
My husband, Sgt. Kevin
Benderman, is a ten year veteran of the US Army, and has
served with distinction. He served a combat tour in Iraq
and was awarded two commendation medals for his service
there. While in Iraq, my husband’s firsthand experiences
went to war. He saw mass graves filled with dead bodies of
old people, women and children. He watched dogs feeding on
their bodies. How would that affect you?
He saw a
young girl badly burned because of the actions of war and
rather than stop to help her, war dictated that he must
drive on by. How would that tear at your heart?
helped set up camp, his commander gave his unit an order to
shoot small children if they continued to return to the top
of a retaining wall to watch what the soldiers were doing.
At what point would you draw the line?
What he saw
and experienced appalled him, and he was angry. My husband
left Iraq cold and furious at what he had been asked to do
for an unjust, undefined cause, and a dedicated soldier
turned against war for moral and ethical reasons as his
conscience would not allow him to violate his own principles
When he returned home, my
husband and I wrote publicly about our feelings for this and
all war. We spoke of the horrors, the senseless inhumanity,
and the disrespect shown to the sacrifice our soldiers had
My husband took the course
available to him and filed a Conscientious Objector
application as his legal show of refusal to participate
further in an immoral, inhumane action.
His command, in an effort to
punish him for his humanity, and because they could not do
so for the public comments that he and I had made, chose to
disregard his application, and in the confusion their
incompetence created found a way to put him in prison for
Kevin was found guilty of
missing movement, or not getting on a plane, and sentenced
to 15 months in jail, loss of all pay, reduction in rank and
to the lead prosecutor, the military spokesperson, and my
husband’s commander – "a stiff sentence was called for to
send a message to other soldiers that they could not use
Conscientious Objection to get out of going to war."
violated no regulations.
The command’s flagrant
disregard for military regulations and laws of humanity sent
my husband to jail as a prisoner of conscience.
Times have changed – and so
has Conscientious Objection. What has not changed is the
constitution, the oath our volunteer soldiers take to defend
it, and every American citizen’s right to Freedom of Choice.
This Conscientious Objection
goes beyond religious teaching. It is not dramatic. There
is no epiphany. There is reality. Death is final, whether
it is your own, or you cause the death of another.
of field training can make up for the sights, sounds, tastes
and smells of a real battlefield, and no amount of threats,
intimidation and abuse from a command can change a soldier’s
mind when the cold hard truth of an immoral, unethical
justification for war is coupled with real life sensations.
us has the authority to sit in judgment of another man’s
conscious decision to no longer participate in killing when
he has been on the frontlines of death and destruction?
Simply by being born we each
have an obligation to respect the authority of life; as
individual human beings with an allegiance to what is RIGHT,
not an allegiance to a flag, a country, or another human
being elected to a temporary position of leadership they may
not have earned.
When a soldier realizes that
his conscience no longer supports the oath he gave to serve
in the military, it is because he has learned that what he
was asked to do as a soldier violates his obligation to
himself and his humanity.
was scheduled for a parole hearing in February 2006. The
parole board denied my husband’s request for parole. The
reason cited – my husband had not been "sufficiently
rehabilitated." My husband is a Conscientious Objector.
What is the rehabilitation needed for someone who says he no
longer will participate in war?
The right to choose life over
the taking of life is every man’s right. Regardless if that
man has volunteered to defend his country in time of war, he
did not volunteer to participate in wanton, irreverent
killing at the whim of a government whose leadership is
quick to "pull the trigger" without giving thought to the
authority of the sanctity of life.
A true American leader will
stand up to laws and orders given that violate the sanctity
of life and call the principles of our Constitution into
question. A true American leader will let his conscience be
his guide when asked to participate in actions that violate
his own high standards of morality. When this leader is a
soldier who has made a choice to stand against the
inhumanity he has seen firsthand in a combat zone, it is up
to those in Congress to see that laws are in place which
give his right to conscience the respect it deserves.
I am here
on behalf of my husband, Sgt. Kevin Benderman; American
soldier, Prisoner of Conscience, someone I am very proud
and others like him are in prison because our country’s
leaders have refused to acknowledge their responsibility to
act as human beings first. My husband, a volunteer soldier,
after a combat tour in Iraq, chose to put his humanity
first. It is beyond my comprehension why, in this great
country, my husband is in jail for simply exercising his
It is time
for each of you to remember your obligation to humanity and
act in a manner that is truly worthy of my husband’s
strongly encouraging each of you to reflect on your
responsibility and your conscience, and in doing so, I am
advocating that my husband, Sgt. Kevin Benderman, be given
the respect he deserves as a Conscientious Objector and an
American leader who has taken a stand to defend the
principles this country was founded on.
Wife Says Stop Ignoring Huge Anti-War Demonstrations
the wife of a recently returned Iraq veteran, who served
his country dutifully, only to realize he was lied to.
I am also a member of Military Families Speak Out, who
along with Gold Star Families and over 1,000 veterans,
including over 100 Iraq and Afghan war veterans, marched
in opposition to the war and to the corrupt policies set
forth by this administration.
From: Debbie Anderson
Sent: May 15, 2006
to the editor of the SI Advance in regards to the close to
nothing media coverage on the April 29th march was
published. I don't think the one I sent out to the NY Times
was published, they usually call you when they do, unless of
course I missed it.
who do not know, the only reason we had any coverage at all
in the Advance was due to the fact that a dear friend of
mine placed a call in to the paper to report on the March,
otherwise they would have never mentioned it.
shouldn't have to report the story too!
SHOULD HAVE HAD BETTER COVERAGE OF ANTI-WAR MARCH
Saturday, May 13, 2006
appalled by the lack of appropriate news coverage of the
April 29 March and Demonstration in New York City where not
tens of thousands, but hundreds of thousands of citizens
from all over the United States came together to demand an
end to this unjust, illegal, immoral war.
We veterans, Gold Star and
military families have suffered so much at the hands of this
administration, some by losing loved ones and our veterans
and families never being the same again.
I am the
wife of a recently returned Iraq veteran, who served his
country dutifully, only to realize he was lied to. I am also
a member of Military Families Speak Out, who along with Gold
Star Families and over 1,000 veterans, including over 100
Iraq and Afghan war veterans, marched in opposition to the
war and to the corrupt policies set forth by this
masses of U.S. citizens come out together to address the
government, I think it most certainly deserves more than a
few comments, minus any pictures and downplaying of the size
of the event.
Maybe if we
had a reporter from our newspaper, the truth would have been
known. There were well over 350,000 citizens voicing their
disgust in where this country is heading and how this
country doesn't support our troops in the way that it
there are more Staten Islanders who are not in support of
the war and would have liked to hear a more detailed
description of this march.
TRUTH? CHECK OUT 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)
So Much For That Silly "Sovereignty" Bullshit:
"Government" Made In The USA & Run By U.S. Occupation
Military Dictatorship "Advisers"
May 21, 2006 By JOHN F. BURNS,
The New York Times Company [Excerpts]
Dismayed at what they have
described as the Jaafari government's incompetence, American
officials reversed the hands-off approach that characterized
American policy as Mr. Jaafari formed his cabinet in early
During these negotiations,
diplomatic sensitivities were played down as the envoy who
succeeded Mr. Negroponte last summer, Zalmay Khalilzad,
acted as a tireless midwife in the birthing of the new
Afghan-born scholar who worked on Iraq policy in Washington
prior to the invasion, Mr. Khalilzad worked closely with Mr.
Maliki, the new prime minister, in reviewing candidates for
crucial ministries, and shuttling between rival Iraqi party
leaders in an effort to sign them up to the American vision
of a national unity government.
In recent months, new efforts have been made to assign
American advisers to key ministries, and American commanders
have scoured their own ranks for officers with appropriate
skills, seconding them to the ministries.
OCCUPATION ISN’T LIBERATION
ALL THE TROOPS HOME NOW!
Production Down, Down, Down
May 21, 2006 By JOHN F. BURNS,
The New York Times Company [Excerpt]
failures has been plunging electricity production, down to
little more than 4,000 megawatts, lower than it was when Mr.
Hussein was toppled, and a sharp drop from the 5,300
megawatts achieved as the Jaafari government took office,
despite a multibillion American investment in generating
Massacre By Occupation Troops Marks And Launches Preval's
May 14, 2006 Ezili Danto,
Haitian Lawyers Leadership Network via Karen Lee Wald by way
of Tom Condit email@example.com [Excerpts]
There was a demonstration
inside the National Penitentiary prison earlier today (May
14, 2006) and the families on the outside where supporting
the prisoners' demands.
It seems that many of the
prisoners had gotten out of their prison cells, but where
still within the prison walls. Many of the prisoners
climbed on top of the wall-fence that surrounds the jail and
where raising the bodies of some of their friends.
7 to 12 (we've even been told 22) detainees were killed
inside the prison at the National Penitentiary today. While
CIMO (Haitian police) was inside putting down the prisoner
riot. There are reports of the Jordanian soldiers entering
the prison and shooting the unarmed prisoners (some say
Chinese soldiers were also taking part in the shooting)
along with the Haitian police and guards.
throughout the past week, the prisoners have been receiving
more brutal beatings than usual from their guards because of
their hopes, anticipation of liberation because of the
Many of the
injured were being transported to the hospital all week or
simply came up disappeared, according to family members.
The families demonstrating on
the outside all week are beside themselves with worry and
prisoners suddenly found the cell doors open. No one knows
how all the cell doors got open at around the same time, but
everyone remembers the December 1, 2005 inside job where up
to 107 unarmed Haitian prisoners were slaughtered by the
guards while US Secretary of State Colin Powell was visiting
the de factos the US imposed on Haiti.
prisoners came out of their cells and some went on top of
the guard fence singing: "Ohhh, Preval, se ou menm nou t ap
tan", -"Ohh, Preval you are what we were waiting for.." and
while they were singing the guards started shooting them.
They continued to sing,
lifting the bodies of their fallen comrades.
Some of the
wounded were lifted up, so mothers and relatives who were
outside starting screaming, wailing, as they recognized
their sons or husbands who were among the dead and wounded
bodies being lifted up by the prisoners.
outside became louder than the prisoners' singing or the
sustained UN/cimo soldiers shooting of the detainees. The
situation outside the National Penitentiary is still not
calm as of the writing of this briefing.
After the swearing-in ceremony
of Rene Preval earlier today, the poor majority gathered
outside, who had fought so hard to stop the UN/US occupation
and Latortue's dictatorship, started chanting loudly and
drowning everything else: "vle pa vle fٍ li tounen" -
demanding Aristide's return.
is, the Haitian folks demonstrating, waited until after
Preval was sworn in and then drowned out everything else
It's been a long day.
Haitians we talked to
indicated that the de factos purposely discouraged and
prevented the people who had elected Preval, especially
members of the Lavalas party and those who led the
resistance to the Boca Raton regime and UN occupation from
attending and participating at the three official
people say they will not be UNINVITED in their own country
and will not be prevented from participating in the
governance of their own country by foreigners and their
Haitian technocrats and that if the de facto regime and
MINUSTHA prevent the people from peacefully demonstrating to
demand release of the political prisoners, return of
President Aristide, and the arrest of Boniface and Latortue,
many more will die before the day is over.
man outside demonstrating told us, he'd rather die standing
up than live on his knees or as a zombie puppet like
Boniface, Latortue and the other Haitian Group 184
POLITICIANS AT WORK
Of Americans Oppose Bush Phone Records Spying
5.15.06 USA Today
of Americans disapprove of a massive Pentagon database
containing the records of billions of phone calls made by
ordinary citizens, according to a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll.
two-thirds are concerned that the program may signal other,
not-yet-disclosed efforts to gather information on the
[Thanks to Phil Gasper, who sent this in.]
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