Iraq War resister Robin Long
jailed, facing three years in
Free Robin Long now!
Support GI resistance!
By Courage to Resist
August 7, 2008
Last month 25-year-old U.S. Army PFC Robin Long became the
first war resister since the Vietnam War to be forcefully deported from
Canadian soil and handed over to military authorities. Robin is currently
held in the El Paso County Jail, near Colorado Springs,
Colorado, awaiting a military court martial for
resisting the unjust and illegal war against and occupation of Iraq.
Robin will be court martialed for desertion
“with intent to remain away permanently”—Article 85 of
the Uniform Code of
Military Justice—in early September. The maximum allowable
penalty for a guilty
verdict on this charge is three years confinement, forfeiture of pay, and
dishonorable discharge from the Army.
In order to expedite Robin’s trial, it appears that his unit
command, the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, Fourth Infantry Division is
not charge Robin with speech-related violations of military discipline;
to try and convict Robin as fast as possible.
Jennifer Johnson, Ryan Johnson, and Dale Landry
rally for Robin Long in Toronto, Canada
Robin went absent without leave (AWOL) from the Army in
2005, realizing that he had significant moral opposition to the war and
lies he had been told regarding the reason for invasion and occupation of
Iraq. After being transferred to an Iraq bound combat unit, Robin
went to Boise, Id. (his home
town) where he stayed for several months, before traveling to Canada.
Robin recently talked to Courage to Resist about why he enlisted.
“When the U.S. first attacked Iraq, I was told by my president
that it was because of direct ties to Al-Qaida and weapons of mass
destruction.” Robin explained that while he was uneasy about his
in fighting, the Iraq War seemed justified. So when his recruiter promised
a non-combat position within the U.S., he took it. Regarding his
decision to resist later, Robin explained, “I made the best
Regardless of what hardships I go through, I could have put Iraqi families
through more hardships. I have no regrets.”
When asked by the Boise Weekly,
in May of 2006, if he was prepared to go to jail, Robin replied,
if it came down to that, I'd be willing to go to prison because I know I
the right thing and I can sleep at night and my conscience is still
Garrett Reppenhagen of IVAW speaks to a reporter
about Robin Long, Pioneer Park, Colorado Springs 7/27/08
On July 27th, 2008 Garrett Reppenhagen of Iraq
Veterans Against the War, Lee Zaslofsky of the War Resisters Support
Campaign (Canada), members of the Springs Action Alliance
and more joined James Branum, Robin Long’s civilian lawyer in
to demand Robin Long’s freedom. Garrett praised Robin,
declaring “I support Robin Long because he is a
Soldier of Conscience. There is a huge
propaganda campaign in this country to get young men to join the
military. He bought the hype. He signed up for a promised
but it turned out not to be so. He
decided to go to Canada
and follow his conscience instead.”
As Robin awaits trial by military tribunal, a general court
martial, he sits in the El Paso County Jail – surrounded by other
inmates, as well as civilians serving time on convictions or awaiting
prosecution. In the past Robin would
have been held in pretrial confinement in an Army stockade, but with
level needs, the Army has chosen to shut down many stockades and outsource
confinement of soldiers to civilian authorities. With the exception
of Robin’s Lawyer, James
Branum, all of Robin’s visitors must communicate with him via a
camera and real
time video screen. Robin is allowed out
of doors for only one hour a day, and even then cannot see anything but a
strip of sky, directly overhead.
Robin's lawyer James Branum (right) rallies for his
client., Pioneer Park, Colorado Springs. 7/27/08
Despite the deprivations of the El Paso county jail, Mr. Branum reports
Robin is “…in considerably good spirits, especially
considering all that he is
going through.” In a recent phone
interview with Courage to Resist Robin reported that he was very happy
Branum calling him “awesome” as well as his military assigned
defense lawyer “a
smart cookie” in Robin’s words. He has
received many visitors – pastors and members of local congregations,
the IVAW among them. He wants everyone
to know that the cards and the letters of support he receives are most
and give him of true sense of the support that is swelling for him,
confines of his cell. Lee Zaslofsky, of
the Canadian WRSC reports that Robin is “..aware of what he might
have to face,
and is prepared to face it with courage and without bitterness.”
The fact remains, however, that the Iraq War is unjust and illegal.
Charter, the Geneva Convention and the Nuremberg
principles all bar wars of aggression. The U.S. Constitution makes such
treaties part of American law as well. Robin Long is a hero for not only
these truths, but putting his future on the line to courageously resist
participating in an immoral occupation. The least we can do is support
and demand his immediate freedom.
What you can do now to support Robin
1. Donate to Robin's legal defense
By mail: Make checks out to “Courage to Resist /
note “Robin Long” in the memo field. Mail
Courage to Resist
484 Lake Park
Oakland CA 94610
Courage to Resist is committed to covering Robin’s legal and
related defense expenses. Thank you for helping make that possible.
Also: You are also welcome to contribute directly to Robin’s
legal expenses via his civilian lawyer James Branum.
Visit girightslawyer.com, select
"Pay Online via PayPal" (lower left), and in the comments field
Long”. Note that this type of donation is not tax-deductible.
2. Send letters of
support to Robin
Robin Long, CJC
2739 East Las Vegas
Robin’s pre-trial confinement has been outsourced by Fort Carson
military authorities to the local county jail.
Robin is allowed to receive hand-written or typed letters
only. Do NOT include postage stamps, drawings, stickers, copied photos or
articles. Robin cannot receive packages of any type (with the book
3. Send Robin a money
order for commissary items
Anything Robin gets (postage stamps, toothbrush, shirts,
paper, snacks, supplements, etc.) must be ordered through the commissary.
inmate has an account to which friends may make deposits. To do so, a
order in U.S.
funds must be sent to the address above made out to "Robin Long,
EPSO". The sender’s name must be written on the money
4. Send Robin a book
Robin is allowed to receive books which are ordered online
and sent directly to him at the county jail from Amazon.com or Barnes
Noble. These two companies know the procedure to follow for delivering