Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Conscientious Objectors

Walk on Ithaca Commons, and this is the kind of thing you'll learn about: Naval Petty Officer Pablo Paredes and U.S. Army Sgt. Kevin Benderman are both enduring military court martials and public prosecution for refusing to serve in the war. Paredes refused to board his ship in Dec. 2004 on its way to Iraq, and Benderman, having already served one tour of duty in the 3rd Infantry Division, balked at orders to return for a second tour. The stories and ongoing legal cases of both men are worth reading, discussing, and, if you can afford it, supporting with a donation. Paredes and his lawyers have mounted a powerful argument that the war itself is illegal, and that refusing to serve is in fact the duty of law-abiding citizens. The site for Benderman, who seems to be having a much harder time of it in court, allows you to write a letter of encouragement, which can either remain private or be entered in the Congressional Record as an official statement of solidarity.



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