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With even the Pentagon wondering how Obama will get 40,000 more soldiers to put into Afghanistan, it is critical for the government to prevent the kinds of mass mutinies and defections among soldiers that hastened the end of the Vietnam War.  The burgeoning movement of soldiers refusing to deploy to Afghanistan presents just such a threat, as war-resister coffee houses are opened outside key military installations as Ft. Lewis in Washington and Ft. Hood (the nation's largest military base) in Killeen, Texas.  Now a report has come out of Ft. Lewis that war-resisters may be having Abu Ghraib-like techniques applied to them to discourage other resisters.  

This is not the first time Ft.Lewis has been the center of this kind of attention.  Other attorneys have commented on reports of human rights abuses, including the use of female guards to sexually humiliate prisoners. There is also the 2005 case of Michael Levitt, who was chained to a "stress-chair" (with metal frames but not seat) for 109 hours.

Iraq Veteran Sgt. Travis Bishop's lawyer says his clients:

have been strip-searched while being possibly filmed...also been watched by female guards during strip searches, while using the restroom and in the showers. The prisoners were denied one in-person visit by counsel and all phone calls with their attorneys have been illegally monitored by guards.

Seth Manzel, a Fort Lewis Stryker Brigade veteran and executive director of G.I. Voice, said:

"These techniques of sexual humiliation are far too similar to those practiced on foreign prisoners at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and Bagram in Afghanistan. Is the Army at Fort Lewis using enhanced interrogation techniques to break down American soldiers here at home?"

Bishop has written in a statement:

I am a Patriot. I love my country, but I believe that this particular war is unjust, unconstitutional and a total abuse of our nation’s power and influence. And so, in the next few days, I will be speaking with my lawyer, and taking actions that will more than likely result in my discharge from the military, and possible jail time...and I am prepared to live with that. My father said, ‘Do only what you can live with, because every morning you have to look at your face in the mirror when you shave.  Ten years from now, you’ll still be shaving the same face.’ If I had deployed to Afghanistan, I don’t think I would have been able to look into another mirror again. Pray for me.

For information on the growing war resisters movement, including moving video of an Iraq veteran, witness and participant in atrocities declaring that "I am no longer the monster I once was," go to the site for the film "Sir! No Sir!"  A hidden history of the Vietnam war resister movement which forced policy makers to abandon a war which could have gone on much longer is revealed.  Also visit CourageToResist.org

CONTACT YOUR CONGRESSMEBERS AND SENATORS HERE, "NO TROOP ESCALATION"

"Sir! No, Sir!" trailer

Originally posted to Ralph Lopez on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 01:47 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Dude, I'm calling bullshit on this (6+ / 0-)

      Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

      by aaraujo on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:23:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  hey wow, productive comment (0+ / 0-)
        •  dude, i'm in the military (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Samulayo, Catte Nappe, buddabelly, lazybum

          i will be deploying

          and never, ever had I ever heard even a whisper of anything like this

          Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

          by aaraujo on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 03:24:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, yes I'm sure they keep you in the loop (3+ / 0-)

            of EVERYTHING the military has ever done, yes?  And we all know the military is the most transparent, forthcoming, open and honest group to a man.
            Puh. Leeze.

            We respect your service, but it's just a little bit ridiculous to claim that something has never happened just because YOU haven't heard of it.

            Do you know everything that went on at Abu Ghraib before the whistleblowing & photos?  Did every member of the military?  If not, I guess it never happened, huh?

            "I think if aliens came down from space and killed everybody, they would spare Radiohead and make them play every night" - stevethemod87

            by DemandTruth on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 04:00:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let me say sorry - (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              StrayCat, Lujane, 207wickedgood

              that sounded unnecessarily harsh.  I'm just in a shitty mood today & have been reading a lot of depressing news, culminating in the post about the KBR gang rape.  I'm tired of war and I'm tired of violence and I'm tired of fighting against all the ignorance and hatred and bigotry out there, and I'm tired of feeling like I have to fight even my own party get them to do what we voted them in to do!  I shouldn't be commenting at all in this state and if anyone wants to falme, I guess I deserve it.

              I'm not trying to denigrate the troops or their service or the military in general.  I'm just saying nobody is perfect, and nobody knows everything, including me.

              "I think if aliens came down from space and killed everybody, they would spare Radiohead and make them play every night" - stevethemod87

              by DemandTruth on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 04:33:40 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  did you go to the links? (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            StrayCat, jim d, Lujane, Situational Lefty

            Coffee Strong Cafe outside Ft. Lewis, Under The Hood Cafe at Ft. Hood. Many active duty like you, many just back from either Iraq or 'Stan, at these very busy ant-war coffee houses which include a full schedule of study sessions and support groups, soldiers rights workshops (including free speech as governed by DoD directive, including war protest off-base as long as you are not in uniform or saying you represent the government), resister's rights and legal help.

            They have a facebook page check it out.



            Get up!  Get down!  There's an anti-war movement in this town!
             (soldiers from Under the Hood Cafe in KILLEEN TEXAAS!

          •  one more thing. fukin take care of yourself, ok? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aaraujo, StrayCat, Situational Lefty
  •  Don't know what movement your talking about. (11+ / 0-)

    Since Obama got elected, ALL military branches have exceeded recruitment goals, one of them far surpassed it.  I'd say soldiers enlisting trust Obama to do the right thing.  And I'm sure those in already appreciate President Obama over Bush any day!

    "A lie repeated may be accepted as fact, but the truth repeated becomes self evident." -elonifer skyhawk

    by Fireshadow on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:00:07 PM PDT

    •  I trust my commander-in-chief (17+ / 0-)

      and I'm getting ready for deployment in the next few months

      Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

      by aaraujo on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:06:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  2.6 million lost jobs might have something to do (9+ / 0-)

      with that, not "trust" in Obama.
      Military recruitment surges as jobs disappear

      The military acknowledged that weakness in the U.S. economy, which lost 2.6 million jobs in 2008 and another 598,000 in January, has made the armed services more appealing to potential recruits.

      •  There is NO movement afoot (6+ / 0-)

        to resist deployment and soldiers are not being tortured who do resist. And while many join simply to be employed, they do realize that it is not a normal job and that they may be ordered to do things they don't agree with.

        I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

        by doc2 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:10:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  lol...actually, there is. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, neroden, esquimaux, jim d, Lujane

          It's not as big (yet) as it was during Viet Nam, but it's out there.

          Obstreperous and subjective denial of reality seriously detracts from any other perspectives one might hold.

          There are a number of cases working their way through the courts now, at various levels.  There are speaking engagements and teach-ins going on all over the country.

          There is a substantial grassroots movement to do anti-recruitment intervention, especially when the military shows up on campuses, to try to sign up youth.

          anti-recruitment

          Some towns have even barred military recruiters from trying to enlist their youth.

          You might scoff, about this "movement" being so small (and largely ignored by MSM) that you haven't heard about it, yet, and you wouldn't be "wrong" about that, per se...

          This definitely includes outreach to people already in the military, as well, to provide information and referral...

          GI Rights Network

          "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

          by Radical def on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 03:04:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yo. This diary is about a movement (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Samulayo, lazybum

            WITHIN the military. you are talking about the age-old resistance of some elements of society to any and every war, and to, in some cases, the existence of the military itself. Apart from the "Obama is not a US citizen crowd", there is no movement amongst soldiers to disobey orders.

            I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

            by doc2 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 04:50:56 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I think this is more about refusing... (0+ / 0-)

              rather than disobeying orders.

              In fact there are several individuals, and their number are growing, who have refused deployment, or to continue deployment, on moral and legal grounds.

              Might seem a small difference, between refusing or disobeying, but I think there's some technical distinction between saying "Sir, No Sir", refusing an order, and saying "Yes Sir", accepting, but then just not carrying out the order.  

              In the former case, the superior issuing the order at least knows where they stand, in terms of troop strength, morale, etc. and can take that into account in planning and deployment of resources.  

              It's a much less treacherous act than accepting the order, and then just not carrying out what's expected of you, which could seriously put others at risk.

              The first is considered more honorable, and has some legal protections, even if it may ultimately be punished, while the second is more along the lines of desertion, cowardice, etc., which are considered much less honorable, and subject to harsher punishment.

              Refusal takes a lot more courage than disobedience.

              I suppose it might be somewhat hyperbolic to imply that it's some burgeoning "movement" sweeping the military, in terms of the small numbers of cases, thus far...but it is happening, and the numbers of cases are growing.

              And several of those individuals have been doing speaking tours around the country, and organizing support for others who might want to make that move.

              The GI Rights Network provides support to those who want to refuse deployment, resign from the service, or who have gone awol, or whatever....digging down into that link should provide some perspective.

              Actual organizing within the military is highly illegal, and thus pretty underground and clandestine...but there are people in there, passing information around, referring people to the resources available, for sure.

              Oh, and you're quite right, I think, that the problem of disobeying orders is much more substantial among those extreme right wing elements who have enlisted for training and experience in killing people of color, and to steal weapons and supplies for their stockpiles back home.

              "...a printing press is worth 10,000 rifles..." Ho Chi Minh

              by Radical def on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 05:56:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  A shitty job market helped meet recruiting goals (4+ / 0-)

      'We risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe' -Barack Obama on Global Warming

      by Lefty Coaster on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:15:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  war resistance movement (5+ / 0-)

      Ft Hood

      Monday, August 17, 2009
      War Resistance in Killeen, Texas
      An article published in truthout tells the story of soldiers from Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas, who have found one another through their mutual conviction that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are morally wrong and unjustifiable. They are part of a newly connected group of people in Killeen who have determined that they must take a stand against the war. Two soldiers, Spc. Victor Agosto and Sgt. Travis Bishop, have faced court martial for their refusal to deploy.

      One of the outgrowths of this developing community of war resistance has been a coffee shop just down the street from Fort Hood, called Under the Hood. Members of the Iraq Veterans Against the War, soldiers, and families of Fort Hood military personnel have found refuge and strength for their convictions in this new gathering place.

      Port Militarization Resistance

      Newly declassified documents reveal that an active member of Students for a Democratic Society and Port Militarization Resistance in Washington state was actually an informant for the US military. The man everyone knew as "John Jacob" was in fact John Towery, a member of the Force Protection Service at Fort Lewis. The military’s role in the spying raises questions about possibly illegal activity. The Posse Comitatus law bars the use of the armed forces for law enforcement inside the United States. The Fort Lewis military base denied our request for an interview. But in a statement to Democracy Now!, the base’s Public Affairs office publicly acknowledged for the first time that Towery is a military operative. "This could be one of the key revelations of this era," said Eileen Clancy, who has closely tracked government spying on activist organizations. [includes rush transcript]

      Soldier Say No

      To avoid serving in Iraq, 300 American soldiers have left their homes and families and fled to Canada, 75 of them to Toronto. Many assumed they’d get a visa, settle down and live a normal life. But the federal government has rejected their refugee claims and ordered them deported. Some go into hiding; others wait for appeals and judicial reviews of their cases. In the meantime, they’ve put down roots, taking temp jobs and raising children, nostalgic for a time when Canada was a haven for conscientious objectors.

    •  I'm supposing that the increase.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      207wickedgood

      ...seen in military recruitment must have absolutely nothing to do with the fact that there aren't any jobs to be had. It's definitely about patriotism and nothing else.

  •  never heard of this before (8+ / 0-)

    and I'm in the military

    Certainly from our standpoint, this gives us a sense of momentum -- when the United States has accolades tossed its way, rather than shoes.

    by aaraujo on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:04:07 PM PDT

  •  This is all bullshit. (9+ / 0-)

    I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

    by doc2 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:05:36 PM PDT

  •  You probably shouldn't be in the military... (9+ / 0-)

    ...if you want to exercise a veto over your deployments.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:07:10 PM PDT

    •  Really. Join the all-volunteer military (7+ / 0-)

      on the basis that you'll follow only orders that you like? But this is all a joke, there is no war resister "movement" going on in today's military.

      I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

      by doc2 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:08:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And... (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aaraujo, neroden, VClib, bugscuffle

        Sir! No Sir! is not a new film!

        Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

        by reflectionsv37 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:13:12 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you're right, thanks, fixed that, (6+ / 0-)

          and wish I had heard of the film sooner.  Another piece or erased history is that some black GIs refused to deploy to Chicago during the '68 Democratic Convention in order to engage in repression of protests.  The result was the less than professional Mayor Daley's police head-busting party which further turned the nation against the war.  

          http://underthehoodcafe.org/...

          Soldiers were coming in at night to tell us of riot control training they were taking part in during the day. They'd been told they were going to Chicago to "fight the hippies and the commies" who were going to show up for the Democratic Convention the next month. They were terribly upset at the thought of having to possibly open fire on Americans who they agreed with about the war and the need for change here in America. Soldiers were talking about deserting, about running away to Mexico, about "doing something."  Our response was a little yellow sticker, two inches by two inches. On it was a white hand flashing the "peace sign," backed by a black fist.

          We printed up 1,000 of them and passed them out. GIs said they would put these on their helmets if they were called into the streets, to identify themselves to the protestors. At this point, the Army got very upset with us.  

          The Monday of the convention, 5,000 troops were ordered to board the transports. They were headed for the Great Lakes Naval Training Center in Chicago, as backup for the Chicago Police Department.  As the soldiers were preparing to board the airplanes, the bravest act of antiwar protest I ever knew of happened.  43 Black soldiers, all combat veterans, refused to board the airplanes. Due to the self-separation of the races on the base, we had no idea this was going to happen. The Black troops had organized themselves. They knew what they were going to get for this.

          The minimum qualification to be one of those who would refuse was the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, so the Army wouldn't be able to call them cowards.  

           The world knows what happened in Chicago. A government cannot put soldiers on the street without the prior knowledge that if they are ordered to crack heads, they all will. No one knew how many of the GIs would carry out their threat of resistance if put in the streets, so all were held back. Deprived of their military backup, the Chicago Police Department staged their historic "police riot." The GI antiwar movement had inflicted its first major blow against the government.

          •  How about fixing this: (0+ / 0-)

            Instead of a headline saying "soldiers refusing to deploy being tortured" changing it to "soldier alleges abuse"? After all, that is what actually happened.

            I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

            by doc2 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:30:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  write your own diary if you don't like the (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              esquimaux, jim d

              headline.  Backseat driver.

              •  But your headline was a bit dishonest, in its (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                buddabelly

                wording. I don't normally crap on other people's diaries, but this is a matter that the military will ultimately decide, and it's not up to you to ascertain from the facts presented to you, that his claims are valid beyond a shadow of a doubt.

                "...And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy." --G.W. Bush (1999 First Gore-Bush debate.)

                by caseyaaronsmith on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 03:42:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Or to exaggerate a single case into (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  caseyaaronsmith

                  a national movement. More than a "bit" dishonest.

                  I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

                  by doc2 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 04:51:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  You are a fool. There are dozens of war resisters (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jim d, Lujane, Faeya Wingmother

                    who have gone public, and we don't know how many have not.  In an important case, Lt. Ehren Watada just became the first commissioned officer to be allowed to resign from the Army based on his contention that he was lied to and the wars are illegal and unjust.
                    http://www.couragetoresist.org/...

                    It's significant because the Army blinked in its desire to make an example of him, and this could open the floodgates for hundreds more soldiers to take the same path.  As far as the argument I see here often, they signed a contract, you can't pick and choose your wars, that contract works both ways.  Just to take one example, stop-loss is only supposed to be in the event of a national emergency.  Some of these soldiers have been stop-lossed 3 or 4 times, and these wars of choice are not national emergency.  So the government breached its contract.  In America a soldier is not just a slave  who has given up his rights when he signs the dotted line.  

                    •  Don't call people "fools" (0+ / 0-)

                      because they disagree with you. I'm sorry, but this was a diary that was not well-researched and not well-worded in its headline. As I said, I'm not one to make critiques of people's diaries. There is a whole industry dedicated to that. What I was saying was that your diary does not represent a majority of military personnel, who DO know what they are signing up for...like my brother. You can ask for his name, rank, and serial number all you want, but that matter is private, and I'll ask you to respect that.

                      "...And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy." --G.W. Bush (1999 First Gore-Bush debate.)

                      by caseyaaronsmith on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 11:25:28 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

          •  It is a very good film (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden, jim d, Lujane

            Even though I grew up during Vietnam there was mkuch in that movie that I didn't know!

            Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

            by reflectionsv37 on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:53:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Many recruiters lie too (4+ / 0-)

      Some of them tell recruits what they want to hear "you'll be stationed Stateside" being their favorite one.

      'We risk consigning future generations to an irreversible catastrophe' -Barack Obama on Global Warming

      by Lefty Coaster on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:18:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Sgt." Travis Bishop? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sherijr

    I mean, his legal obligations as a member of the U.S. military can hardly be a surprise to him, for pete's sake.

    Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These are a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day.

    by bugscuffle on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:14:18 PM PDT

  •  Oh Freaking Come On (12+ / 0-)
    The ONE example in this diary which has ANY correlation to "Abu Ghraib-like techniques" is the stress chair used on Michael Levitt. There is a bit of a backstory to the Levitt case however. He complained of sexual harrassment, was placed into solitary, plugged up his toilet so it flooded his cell block, was given a bucket to conduct his business in, and then threw a handful of shit in the face of a guard. I don't agree with the use of stress positions in this, or any case, but to act like Levitt is just some concientous objector who is being abused as an example, and that he bears no fault for his lot in life is plain wrong. Both sides have less than stellar records in this case, from my humble point of view. Beyond that one example, to compare what is going on with Abu Ghraib is completely wrong headed. Are they torturing service members to death for not deploying? Are they stacking them in naked pyramids, subjecting them to extremes of heat and cold, siccing military dogs on them, shoving stuff up their ying yangs and generally terrorizing the entire population? While sexual humiliation is bad enough, to equate this to Abu Ghraib is to denigrate the horror that was Abu Ghraib, but again this is just my humble opinion.

    I am the neo-con nightmare, I am a liberal with the facts.

    by bhfrik on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:37:16 PM PDT

  •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mr crabby

    A hidden history of the Vietnam war resister movement which forced policy makers to abandon a war which could have gone on much longer is revealed.

    Discussion of resistance within the uniformed ranks during the latter stages of the American War in Vietnam is standard fare for American History textbooks and college lecture classes. It's not hidden at all.

    Is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears' poncho? - Frank Zappa

    by JoesGarage on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:40:28 PM PDT

  •  Left out The First One (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, esquimaux, jim d, alstradamus

    The Different Drummer Internet Cafe in Watertown NY outside of Ft Drum, the first off base cafe to open shortly after the Iraq invasion and based on the offbase coffee shops around the country and world during our day.

    At AFL/CIO Convention:"We've been fighting for reform for so long that if health reform was a person, it would be eligible for Medicare!"

    by jimstaro on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 02:45:26 PM PDT

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