To the troops: Do not collaborate with the illegal immigrant detention camps
With your help, we’ll spend one penny per military service member-$20,000-on a strategic outreach campaign. Our stretch goal is two cents.
This summer, what might have been the defining low point of previous administrations, was simply the outrage of the moment: A plan to have the military host massive concentration camps of upward of 200,000 immigrant detainees across the United States, as we reported to you in July.
These camps do not appear to be going up as quickly nor on such a massive scale as first announced (quite possibly due to the resistance on many levels), but they do appear to be moving forward. On the Texas border at Tornillo Port of Entry, a tent city that first detained a couple hundred children a few months ago will hold nearly 4,000 kids by the end of the year.
Few people actually join the military to travel to distant lands to kill people. Fewer still join to help run concentration camps. Under both US and international law, military personnel have a moral and legal obligation to refuse to comply with any order that involves collaboration with these camps, but unfortunately few are aware of this fact.
That’s why we need your help. Together, we’re going to launch a strategically targeted communications project to reach service members across the country with this message:
- These camps are illegal and immoral.
- You have a responsibility to refuse and expose these orders.
- Direct military resistance is powerful.
Our initial goal is to raise $20,000 to spend approximately one penny per member of the US military with this challenge. Of course, we believe that service members deserve two cents worth of encouragement if we can raise $40,000!
Just the idea of these massive military-hosted immigrant detention camps brings back memories of the forced relocation and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. Many of us thought something like that could never happen again, and yet, here we are. Along with everything else you can do to resist this affront to humanity, please support our challenge to military personnel to refuse these illegal orders. Your tax-deductible donation of $50 or $100 will make a huge difference.
I support the call for resistance but what exactly do you want military personnel to do and what CAN they do? What support, legal and otherwise, are we prepared to give them when they face court marshal for refusing to carry out orders? I’m just wondering if you’ve thought this far in advance. Keep up the good work!
Bravo Ann Wright! You are a welcome voice of courage, reason, and virtue in the wilderness.
You are very right that resistance in the military is powerful, however difficult.
I do not know the exact issues of federal and international law: ACLU could advise.
It is important that you urge them to follow legal as well as moral obligations.
It’s easy for retired officer to make a broad statement like this -because she is retired and is no longer bound by the same laws that active-duty soldiers are. For her to encourage this is a horrible future for a soldier of the United States military. Anyone who is an active-duty soldier with United States military will be court-martialed and possibly even sentenced to Fort Leavenworth USDB if they refuse an order!!!!
You’re right to underscore the seriousness of what we’re talking about. Col. Ann Wright has been with us a number of times sitting in military courtrooms while military service members faced significant repercussions for taking stands based on their conscious. Some military judges have entertained arguments based on international law and illegal orders more than others, resulting in varying outcomes for the people that we support.
What is the basis to state unequivocally the orders are illegal?
The clearest example is Trump’s suggestion that troops shot migrants if they are thought to be throwing rocks. The Nigerian Army quoted Trump after killing protesters a couple of weeks ago. We’re encouraging troops to refuse to go down that road. Generally speaking, the law most likely be broken in that The Posse Comitatus Act — United States federal law (18 U.S.C. § 1385, original at 20 Stat. 152) signed on June 18, 1878 by President Rutherford B. Hayes (updated 1956 and 1981). The point of the law is to limit the powers of the federal government in using federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States.