Sunday, September 03, 2006

Change of course? Troops resisting deployments Iraq invasion/occupation

Who else is refusing deployment to Iraq now? Timeline of troops refusing deployment since the June 7, 2006 press conference of Lt. Ehren Watada in which he announced his intention to refuse what he discerned to be illegal orders to deploy to the illegal Iraq invasion/occupation with his Stryker unit.

June 2006 - Lt. Watada refuses to board plane to deploy to Iraq with his Stryker unit, Fort Lewis, WA.

June 2006 - Spc Suzanne Swift, served a year deployment in Iraq, decided to go awol rather than return to Iraq. Arrested June 11 in Eugene, Oregon and taken to Fort Lewis, WA where she is now confined to the base. She cites sexual harrasment and assault on her person by her 'superiors' (I'd hardly call them superior in matters of integrity).

August 2006 - Sgt Ricky Clousing, an Army interrogator who served in Iraq from December 2004 until April 2005; went awol for a year; press conference at Veterans for Peace conference in Seattle, WA, August 11, 2006 and from there turns himself in at Fort Lewis, WA.

August 2006 - Specialist Agustín Aguayo, 35, U.S. Army, stationed in Germany, filed for Conscientious Objector status refuses to deploy to Iraq a second time goes awol;
turned himself in to the Military Police on the base in Schweinfurt saying that he would not deploy to Iraq and would accept a court martial after several Article 15s (non-judicial punishment) for refusing to pick up his weapon. Instead, MPs followed him to his home to get his gear and prepare to deploy. Aguayo escaped and is currently Absent without Leave (AWOL) in Germany. He is originally from Los Angeles, where his family still lives.

August 2006 - Army Specialist Mark Wilkerson, served in a year deployment in Iraq invasion March 2003 - 2004; applied for conscientious objector status a few months before finding out his unit would return to Iraq; His request was denied and he was told his appeal would not be considered until his unit came back. He said he then fled during a two-week leave before the January 2005 deployment; went awol for a year and a half; turned himself in at Fort Hood, Texas August 2006.

August 2006 - on a different note; (get our troops out of there Now before we see more of this type of news reports) recommendation of execution (death penalty), if convicted, for 4 U.S. Army soldiers charged with murder in Iraq. In a report summarizing the military equivalent of a grand jury investigation, Lt. Col. James P. Daniel Jr. concluded that four members of the 101st Airborne Division deliberately killed the detainees and then tried to cover up by making it look as if the prisoners had attempted to escape. The four soldiers, Staff Sgt. Raymond L. Girouard, Spc. William B. Hunsaker, Pfc. Corey R. Clagett and Spc. Juston R. Graber. At least 20 U.S. service members have been charged in connection with the deaths of Iraqis in the war. Most cases have resulted in acquittals or conviction on lesser charges. Military executions are rare. The last soldier to be put to death — for rape and attempted murder of a child while the soldier was stationed in Europe — was hanged in 1961.

The killing of the three detainees has raised questions that go beyond the four accused soldiers. The military is also investigating whether Col. Michael Steele, commander of the 101st Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade, encouraged unrestrained violence and condoned a culture of racism among his troops. Investigators have said that Steele handed out knives to his soldiers as rewards for killing insurgents. All four of the accused were members of his brigade.

At least 20 U.S. service members have been charged in connection with the deaths of Iraqis in the war. Most cases have resulted in acquittals or conviction on lesser charges.

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President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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