By Jeff Paterson, Courage to Resist. November 15, 2010
It’s been quite a ride the last four months since we took up the defense of accused WikiLeaks whistle-blower Bradley Manning. Since then, we helped form the Bradley Manning Support Network, established a defense fund, and have already paid over half of Bradley’s total $100,000 in estimated legal expenses.
Now, I’m asking for your support of Courage to Resist so that we can continue to support not only Bradley, but the scores of other troops who are coming into conﬂict with military authorities due to reasons of conscience.
“Soldiers sworn oath is to defend and support the Constitution. Bradley Manning has been defending and supporting our Constitution.”
—Dan Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistle-blower
Iraq War over? Afghanistan occupation winding down? Not from what we see. Please take a look at, “Soldier Jeff Hanks refuses deployment, seeks PTSD help” in the enclosed newsletter. Jeff’s situation is not isolated. Actually, his story is only unique in that he has chosen to share it with us in the hopes that it may result in some change. Jeff’s case also illustrates the importance of Iraq Veterans Against the War’s new “Operation Recovery” campaign which calls for an end to the deployment of traumatized troops.
Most of the folks who call us for help continue to be effected by Stoploss, a program that involuntarily extends enlistments (despite Army promises of its demise), or the Individual Ready Reserve which recalls thousands of former Soldiers and Marines quarterly from civilian life.
Another example of our efforts is Kyle Wesolowski. After returning from Iraq, Kyle submitted an application for a conscientious objector discharge based on his Buddhist faith. Kyle explains, “My experience of physical threats, religious persecution, and general abuse seems to speak of a system that appears to be broken…. It appears that I have no other recourse but to now refuse all duties that prepare myself for war or aid in any way shape or form to other soldiers in conditioning them to go to war.” We believe he shouldn’t have to walk this path alone.
Project Director, Courage to Resist
First US military service member to refuse to ﬁght in Iraq
P.S. I’m asking that you consider a contribution of $50 or more, or possibly becoming a sustainer at $15 a month. Of course, now is also a perfect time to make a end of year tax-deductible donation. Thanks again for your support!