headlinesPTSD Soldier refusing deployment
"I am just trying to get help," insists Jeff Hanks, US Army infantryman who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is expected to surrender to the Army next week.

Bradley Manning legal overview
We expect the pre-trial hearing of accused Wikileaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning to take place early 2011, followed by trial about four months later.

Naser Abdo, Muslim peacemaker
On the anniversary of the shooting at Fort Hood, Naser Abdo, a Muslim servicemember seeking Conscientious Objector status based on the principles of Islam tells the missing story of Muslim peacemaking.

SF Bay Area event: Mailing / pizza party this Wednesday
Help Courage to Resist mail our tri-annual newsletter and fund appeal to supporters around the world. Join us at 55 Santa Clara Ave, Oakland CA 94610 this Wednesday evening, November 10, from 5pm-10pm.


AWOL Soldier Jeff Hanks refusing deployment due to PTSD

hanksPlease consider a donation to Jeff's defense fund hosted by Courage to Resist. Est. need is approx. $1,500.

By Sarah Lazare, Truthout.
November 5, 2010

"I am just trying to get help," insisted Jeff Hanks (photo right), active duty US Army infantryman, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. "My goal in this situation is to simply heal. And they wonder why there are so many suicides." Jeff spoke rapidly over the phone from Virginia, where he, his wife and his two young daughters are staying while he is AWOL from the military. Days earlier, Jeff had walked out of an airport, refusing to board a plane headed for Kuwait, which was to be his first stop on his way back to Afghanistan.

During his mid-September leave from his second combat tour with the 101st Airborne Division, Jeff sought help from Fort Bragg and Fort Campbell military doctors for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and physical wounds sustained in battle. Yet, just as his treatment was getting started, his command interfered, insisting that his military health care providers grant him clearance for immediate deployment. His providers acquiesced, even though they had not completed preliminary testing.

Jeff, who has trouble being in large crowds of people and difficulty controlling his anger, says he is in no state to deploy back to the war from which he is still struggling to heal. The 30 year-old soldier decided that his only choice was to go AWOL. Jeff plans to turn himself into his command at Fort Campbell on Veterans Day, November 11. He will be accompanied by supporters, including members of Iraq Veterans Against the War.


Bradley Manning legal update and overview

coombsWe expect the pre-trial hearing of accused Wikileaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning to take place early 2011, followed by trial about four months later. Both hearings should be open to the public and media in the Washington DC area. Supporters will be encouraged to attend. - Courage to Resist

By David Coombs, attorney for Bradley Manning. November 1, 2010

I. The Military Process: The basic structure of the military process is similar to any criminal trial in a civilian court. Once allegations are made, the government begins to investigate the alleged crime. The government’s investigators are usually either Military Police Investigators (MPI) or Criminal Investigation Division (CID) officers. These individuals interview the key witnesses, secure all available evidence, and create a report that details the nature of their investigation.

Based upon the investigation by MPI or CID, the government prosecutor (Trial Counsel) then discusses the case with the soldier’s chain of command. The trial counsel will typically recommend to the command the possible charges that could be preferred against the individual soldier and discuss the likelihood of success at trial.

II. Charges have been Preferred: Once charges are preferred against a soldier, each level in the chain of command will make a recommendation as to what level of court-martial should hear the soldier’s case. The command can recommend a Summary Court-Martial, a Bad Conduct Discharge Court-Martial, or a General Court-Martial. Each level of court-martial has different maximum punishments that it is authorized to impose.

If the charges against a soldier are serious, such as in this case, then they will be most likely be heard by a General Court-Martial. In any case where the command has recommended trial by General Court-Martial, the Brigade Commander will direct that the case be first investigated by an Article 32 Investigating Officer.


Naser Abdo: The missing story of Muslim peacemaking

abdoOn the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Fort Hood, TX, Naser Abdo (photo right), a Muslim servicemember seeking Conscientious Objector status based on the principles of Islam tells the missing story of Muslim peacemaking. Please consider a donation to Naser's defense fund hosted by Courage to Resist.

By Kimber Heinz, War Resisters League. November 5, 2010

Today, November 5, 2010, marks the one-year anniversary of the Fort Hood shooting, in which former Army psychiatrist Major Nadal Halik Hasan shot and killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, wounding 42 others. As U.S. servicemembers and the families of the victims of this shooting grieved for those who were killed and Americans mourned the loss of life, reports on these crimes riveted the mainstream media. The shootings were certainly newsworthy. The problem is that almost the only time Muslims are featured in the U.S. news media is when a Muslim engages in an act of violence. A one-sided focus on violence committed by some Muslims fuels the racist narrative that “Islam is a religion of violence"—which underwrites the so-called “Global War on Terror.”

In spite of ongoing efforts by many in the Muslim religious community and Muslim-American organizations, the long and vital history of Muslim peacemaking has been lost in the avalanche of reports on Muslims where the mainstream media connects them only with violent extremism. The lack of acknowledgment and recognition in the U.S. of Muslim peacemakers continues to have grave effects on Muslims all over the world as well as those at home in the U.S.

Additionally, the ongoing hyper-focus by the U.S. state and mainstream media on Islamic militants to the exclusion of those Muslims whose peacemaking efforts oppose militarism of all kinds continues to prop up and justify ongoing U.S.-backed military occupations, including those of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine.

Private First Class Naser Abdo, a 20-year-old Muslim servicemember currently serving in the U.S. Army and seeking Conscientious Objector (C.O.) status on the grounds of Islam, is a Muslim peacemaker.


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