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 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 3
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier Page 1 of 9    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Thank you for posting that fine letter from the Soldier who has served our country and seen firsthand what the war in Iraq is really all about. Well said, and well written. I salute the soldier for being a true patriot--dissent is patriotic! Freedom of expression is something that must be protected, and he is now fighting a different, but just as important, war. Bravo!!
 Mike72801
Joined: 10/28/2007
Msg: 4
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/12/2007 4:37:47 AM
The letter does not describe the personal reasons for going AWOL. He hit all the liberal talking points, but I want to know what did he see that he found was so abhorant that he broke his contract?

It is an all volunteer Army. If you don't want to serve then don't enlist.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 5
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/12/2007 6:56:56 AM
I am against going AWOL too.

Fight, or refuse to fight. Running away isn't a solution, especially for a soldier.

Another letter, in the same tone, is far more valid - imho.


After Pat’s Birthday

Posted on Oct 19, 2006
Pat and Kevin Tillman
Courtesy of the Tillman Family

By Kevin Tillman

Editor’s note: Kevin Tillman joined the Army with his brother Pat in 2002, and they served together in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pat was killed in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004. Kevin, who was discharged in 2005, has written a powerful, must-read document.

It is Pat’s birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice… until we got out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can’t be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few “bad apples” in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It’s interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don’t be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that “somehow” was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat’s birthday.



Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman


Pat Tillman is a true hero, and perhaps this war's only aristocrat to ever fall in battle.

He gave up a pro football career, and great riches, to serve his country, and asked for no favors in return.

That letter from his brother , who also served, is FAR more valid than a deserter's one is.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 7
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/12/2007 9:49:23 AM
I am not a fan of AWOL soldiers for the most part, but this man was eloquent in his reasoning for doing so. It seems he's more of a conscientious objector than anything else.

Bush went AWOL for less scrupulous reasons, and that is a complete turn-off to me. Going AWOL is a crime, and should be tried in court. If there's no conscientious objection situation, then the book should be thrown at the AWOL coward.

This soldier should be court martialed, and then the court can decide if he really should be considered a conscientious objector. They can consider his reasoning as to why he went AWOL.

Sometimes people start a career, only to find that it is completely different than expected. I think this is the case with this soldier. Change of heart can happen in people when they have life-altering experiences.

I do think that he could have tried for an early release as a conscientious objector. That would have been a better way to deal with this situation. However, we don't know what this man's thought process was when he made the decision or what his emotional state was.
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 8
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/13/2007 5:59:34 AM
We do know the country was at war.

In that case, the war is either legal or illegal. Morally, fence sitting is not an option. The military is more that a "job". You swear an oath to serve the country, and you become part of a select band of brothers by performing that act, one that goes off into the past in a line to the first days of your country's freedom.

This leaves you with two choices, if not a coward - or perhaps psychologically damaged after a tour in country (another possible option).

You fight, either way.

You either pick up a weapon and join your brethren - or you (if you think it's an illegal war) fight the system without fear. Others will go in your place, and perhaps be injured or killed filling your slot in combat.

Morally, you are obliged to defend your convictions to the maximum - without middle ground, because of the enormity of that decision and it's implications.

In my view you have to take a position somewhat like Gandhi did at his 1929 trial. You proclaim your moral duty, go to trial , and then defend yourself to the maximum as per your beliefs.

When the time comes, before the sentence is about to be determined, you stand up and address the court, with total moral certainty that you are right and they are wrong.

If you are not at that point, then you should never have made this choice to begin with.

At that point, it's black and white.


Court : Mr. Gandhi, do you wish to make any statement on the question of sentence?

Gandhiji : I would like to make a statement.

I am here, therefore, to invite and submit cheerfully to the highest penalty that can be inflicted upon me for what in law is deliberate crime, and what appears to me to be the highest duty of a citizen. The only course open to you, the Judge and the assessors, is either to resign your posts and thus dissociate yourselves from evil, if you feel that the law you are called upon to administer is an evil, and that in reality I am innocent, or to inflict on me the severest penalty, if you believe that the system and the law you are assisting to administer are good for the people of this country, and that my activity is, therefore, injurious to the common weal.

http://www.mkgandhi.org/speeches/gto1922.htm


Quit your job, and stop assisting the immoral act - or sentence me to the maximum penalty possible that the court can impose, because I am totally in opposition to this immoral act, and deserve and expect that penalty totally.
 Mike72801
Joined: 10/28/2007
Msg: 9
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/13/2007 3:50:29 PM

Bush went AWOL for less scrupulous reasons, and that is a complete turn-off to me. Going AWOL is a crime, and should be tried in court.


People who are caught going AWOL are tried in court by the military. President Bush did not go AWOL. The phoney documents and recanted accusations aren't enough to convince the Bush haters, but the President has been tried in the Press and vindicated. He was not tried in a military court, because he was never AWOL.
 HalftimeDad
Joined: 5/29/2005
Msg: 10
Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/13/2007 4:20:04 PM
He was not tried in a military court because his Daddy was a congressman, and his Granddaddy had been a Senator.

There was one phony document, provided by the propoganda arm of the Rove White House. No recanted accusations. No explanations for the clear evidence that he went AWOL.
 Mike72801
Joined: 10/28/2007
Msg: 12
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/13/2007 6:51:16 PM

There was one phony document, provided by the propoganda arm of the Rove White House. No recanted accusations. No explanations for the clear evidence that he went AWOL.


There were at least four fake documents; none were provided by Karl Rove. We also have statements of Ben Barnes, proven to be false. Brigadier General William Turnipseed recanted his statement that he had no recollection of the President appearing at his unit. There is no clear evidence that he was AWOL.

Your statements are so factually inaccurate they are absurd.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 13
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/13/2007 7:58:02 PM
There's no clear evidence that he served that time, either.

Bush was a "fortunate son" who got away with going AWOL because his daddy was a congressman and his granddaddy a senator. He should have been court martialled and sent to Leavenworth Prison.

We don't know all of the facts with this soldier until he goes on trial, so I will not comment on this soldier until a verdict has been decided.
 Republiman
Joined: 10/15/2007
Msg: 14
Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/13/2007 8:12:04 PM
First of all, as a father with a son in Afghanistan, and a very proud parent of him, the letter from this so called soldier makes me laugh...First of all did he sign up for the military of too go too camp at Walt Disney...He knew full well that when he signed that dotted line that there was a chance that he would be in harms way not shaking mickey mouses hand....He deserves no respect he deserves a firing squad... There are kids like mine and millions of others in this country fighting that fight over there proudly, cause they were not forced into the military they freely joined.... Yeah i know tell me my son is blindly following a bad leader, but my son unlike many of you in here that do nothing but criticize everything about America, puts his ass on the line so you can say what you want too say....
 Mike72801
Joined: 10/28/2007
Msg: 15
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/14/2007 2:31:12 AM

There's no clear evidence that he served that time, either.


LOL, So no evidence implies guilt. There are a lot of situations where this would be fun to play out. Toss out the Bill of Rights, there is a new standard for Republican guilt.

We have the fact that he was never charged with going AWOL. We have his pay records. We have dental records, we have witnesses who said he was there. We also have discredited statements and false documents from Democrats who put politics above the law and treat the Constitution like a door mat. Dan Rather is the one who should be charged with a crime, not the President.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 16
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/14/2007 11:29:18 AM
Bush should have been charged with going AWOL> before all the proof was destroyed!! Alot of those records were faked. Neocon Republicans put themselves above the law, which is far worse in my book!!
 Montreal_Guy
Joined: 3/8/2004
Msg: 18
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/14/2007 11:56:51 AM
Service to the country involves taking orders and following them without question.


A concept that found a few Germans who believed as you do swinging from ropes, after being tried, convicted, and hung as war criminals.

The Nuremberg Trials started almost exactly fifty two years ago today, let's not forget their importance to the matter at hand.
 Mike72801
Joined: 10/28/2007
Msg: 20
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/14/2007 2:52:46 PM

Bush should have been charged with going AWOL> before all the proof was destroyed!! Alot of those records were faked. Neocon Republicans put themselves above the law, which is far worse in my book!!


The proof was destroyed the records are fake??? I would like to see credible reference for that. As far as Republicans considering themselves above the law I don't know what you can be referring to. Bill Clinton on the other had certainly put himself above the law and certainly did use political favors to escape the draft. There is no refuting these facts. I like to deal in facts and verifiable evidence.
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 21
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/14/2007 4:29:20 PM
Clinton didn't use any favors to get his deferrals during the time he was a Rhodes Scholar, and when he graduated, he registered but the draft number never came up, through no action on anyone's part. I agree that what Clinton did was wrong as far as the lying under oath about sex, but I also feel that the investigation was a waste of taxpayers' money. Forty million dollars that could have been spent building a new school instead of chasing after Clinton for what? Personal matters? Come on!

There are plenty of websites that discuss Bush being AWOL. I don't know how to paste and copy articles, but also feel that people are intelligent enough to look on their own to check out these sites to get another perspective on the issue rather than the one that the person is used to reading to the point of believing it to be fact. People need to read BOTH perspectives THEN make a decision. People who only listen to Fox News aren't getting the full picture. Listening to a variety of media sources, and studying the issues on the Internet give people a chance to have more informed opinions. And yes, I do read George Will, William Buckley and William Safire to pick up the more conservative perspective. I don't generally agree, but then again at least I look to see what they are saying--and I like George Will's commentary about movies and sports too.

The Bush and Cheney team are guilty of far worse than lying about sex. Their actions have caused us to lose standing in the global community, and that's not a good thing! Mind you I didn't like the lying about sex, and I dislike Hillary Clinton, so I am basically saying that what Bush and Cheney are up to is far worse!!
 Mike72801
Joined: 10/28/2007
Msg: 23
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/14/2007 5:53:33 PM

Clinton didn't use any favors to get his deferrals during the time he was a Rhodes Scholar, and when he graduated, he registered but the draft number never came up, through no action on anyone's part.


This is unbelievable. I thought everyone knew about Clinton's famous letter to Colonel Eugene Holmes. Google 'Colonel Eugene Holmes'. Clinton used political influence to avoid the draft and then went back on his word. He has the morals of a rapist. Google 'Anita Broderick'.

There are plenty of websites that discuss President Bush being AWOL. Most of them are wrong. You might try Factcheck.org. It is your opinion that the President is guilty of crimes, but you present no evidence. There is none.

As far as the investigation of Clinton, it pales in comparison to the amount of time and money spent investigating the Bush Administration.
 Mike72801
Joined: 10/28/2007
Msg: 24
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/15/2007 3:25:07 AM

^^^ You sir, are full of sh!t.

Independent counsel probes of the Clinton Administration cost just shy of $80 million. The Bush Administration, on the other hand, refuses objective investigations, examines itself and decides it's done nothing wrong. Case closed!

I suppose I could feign indignation at such an insult, but I laugh when Liberals crack under pressure.

Okie Dokie, We had the 9/11 Commision investigation, Pre-war intelligence investigation, Katrina investigation, Valery Plame investigation, the Attorney General investigation, investigation into suppressing global warming data, Jack Abramoff investigation. The list goes on, but so far President Bush has been cleared :-)
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 26
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/15/2007 10:46:19 AM
Good point, stayconnected!! You are right about the Constitution that should be upheld as it has not been of late.

Exactly, military personnel should be able to have the ability to exit as a conscientious objector. It's only fair.
 Mike72801
Joined: 10/28/2007
Msg: 28
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/15/2007 2:45:39 PM

At least 6,256 US veterans took their lives in 2005, at an average of 17 a day, according to figures broadcast last night.

Thank you for the excellent post 'Stay Connected'. I get a better sense of the Liberal point of view from your posts. Your numbers are so inaccurate that it is clear your zest for Bush hating completely destroys rational thought.

Did you just pull a number out of the air? Credibility falls to zero. Incredible.
 hagstrom
Joined: 11/10/2007
Msg: 29
Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/15/2007 6:50:23 PM

Thank you for the excellent post 'Stay Connected'. I get a better sense of the Liberal point of view from your posts. Your numbers are so inaccurate that it is clear your zest for Bush hating completely destroys rational thought.

Did you just pull a number out of the air? Credibility falls to zero. Incredible.


The reverse is easily said at you neocon poster child.

Remember something bush and cheney's ship has already sunk in history and the worlds eyes. YOU were on that ship and what's worse is your proud of it.

what do you feel when you see the bumper stickers with bush's face on it saying "a village in texas has lost it's idiot"

Owned
 designingwoman
Joined: 9/4/2005
Msg: 30
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/15/2007 6:57:14 PM
It breaks my heart to learn of veterans suffering from PTSD and not getting treatment for that, or for war related injuries. Our men and women in uniform deserve better than that.
 Mike72801
Joined: 10/28/2007
Msg: 31
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Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 11/15/2007 7:25:43 PM

The reverse is easily said at you neocon poster child.

And you certainly said it. Owned? Now that is funny!
 VolcanoBoy
Joined: 12/4/2007
Msg: 35
Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 12/9/2007 11:16:58 PM
Everyone has mostly been talking about the AWOL aspect and ignoring the real issue- which certainly isn't what the writer of the letter in the OP wanted, but certainly something anticipated. Why people mention Bush maybe having gone AWOL or not at all is beyond me.

Sad.
 VolcanoBoy
Joined: 12/4/2007
Msg: 38
Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 12/10/2007 4:47:53 PM
Nona who are you to call him a traitor?
Why should anyone value your two cents?
He said his true reasons. I suppose you expected something like "My CO was forcing me to join in a gang-rape of a 'towel head'" Accuse those against the war of not supporting the troops, and accuse an actual soldier of being a traitor?

What do you know about being a soldier? What do you know about anything beyond spoon-fed rhetoric? Many War Vets agree with this man, and you say he should be shot? A man can only be respected when he is killed, shot by friendly fire? People do not have to die to be heroes. People to not have to die to be respected, gain support, or to be right. Your values weigh so much on INSIGNIFICANT differences in situation.

You do not support of anyone who runs- and I imagine as GWB taught you to think- pull-out from Iraq is equally wrong? Someone like you should not start their post with "I respect anyone"


I know of many military member who did not believe in the war or wars before us, they went anyways, and it wasn't even because of our country they chose to do so, they did it for their buddies


"I do not believe in an illegal invasion and killing and murdering innocents and subjugating a sovereign nation, but hey Im going to go anyway because some of my friends did!"
Such a person is the complete opposite of strong. Many were tricked into the war under false pretenses and this was often realized too late.

A traitor?
Bleat Bleat Bleat.
The only true traitor, a traitor of the people, the soldiers, and a traitor of the foundation of your country, is one who agrees with you.
 VolcanoBoy
Joined: 12/4/2007
Msg: 40
Open Letter to the Government from an AWOL Soldier
Posted: 12/10/2007 5:46:39 PM
So until I serve in an unjust war by choice I can not possibly be right?
Encouraging people to further this farce to "earn" an opinion is very unwise.

If the wars now were not promoted by lies and soldiers could choose to enlist based on the facts this war would not have gotten off the ground. Case and point.
The only logical reason for leaving a war after finding it to be corrupt and being fought for all the wrong reasons TO BE WRONG is the cost of training. The word traitor does not fit there.
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