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Army Deserters '04

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by <KEY3>, Jun 28, 2004.

  1. <KEY3>

    <KEY3> 12oz Veteran Member

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    Army Deserters '04

    Discussion started by <KEY3> - Jun 28, 2004

    from Newsday AP

    Soldier speaks about decision that led him to Canada

    ST. CATHARINES, Ontario -- It wasn't the prospect of fighting in a war that drove Brandon Hughey to desert the Army and take refuge in the basement of a Canadian home, Hughey says. It was the prospect of fighting this war.

    "From a soldier's perspective, if I was going to fall in combat, I'd want the peace of mind that I was doing it for the right reasons and that it would cause some good," said the 19-year-old, who had been stationed in Fort Hood, Texas.

    Hughey is one of three known U.S. soldiers who have fled to Canada. His attorney has applied for refugee status for him.

    The San Angelo, Texas, native said he had already promised himself he would not go to Iraq by the time his First Cavalry Division received its orders in February to ship out. He'd had doubts about his decision to join the Army before finishing basic training last November, bothered that no weapons of mass destruction had been found in Iraq, nor a strong link between Iraq and al-Qaida.

    The night before his unit left, Hughey drove away from his base in his silver 2000 Mustang, taking his clothes, Sony PlayStation 2 and about $300.

    Accompanied by Carl Rising-Moore, an Indianapolis peace activist who had agreed to meet him along the way, Hughey crossed the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls on the afternoon of March 5. The men told a Canadian Customs inspector they were bound for a Knicks-Raptors game in Toronto.

    Although he faces prosecution that could lead to a jail term, a dishonorable discharge or both, Hughey said he is not a criminal.

    "The criminals are the ones who started this immoral war," he said in the living room of Don Alexander and Rose Marie Cipryk, the couple who took him into their St. Catharines home, 30 miles from the border.

    "This occupation was not backed by the international community," Hughey said. "This was a crime against humanity, going into a country that was no threat to us and basically destroying it."

    Last month, seven activists and scholars launched the War Resisters Support Campaign to help Hughey and a second soldier, Jeremy Hinzman, who is now living in Toronto. The third soldier, a woman who went to Vancouver, British Columbia, has not gone public.

    The supporters argue the soldiers would be subject to persecution in the United States if they returned. A hearing on Hinzman's request for refugee status is scheduled for July 7. A hearing for Hughey is expected in the fall.

    Charles Hawkins, a spokesman for Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board in Toronto, said Americans deserting the Army they joined voluntarily must prove, like other refugee applicants, that they have reason to believe they would be persecuted if returned home.

    "They have to show that they fear persecution, not prosecution," Hawkins said.

    Hughey argues that being prosecuted for objecting to an illegal war is persecution.

    Five years is the maximum prison sentence for desertion, according to the Army, though execution is permitted in wartime. One soldier who recently faced trial for deserting his unit in Iraq, Staff Sgt. Camilo Mejia, was given one year in jail and a bad-conduct discharge.

    Hughey said the dishonorable discharge is what he is hoping to avoid.

    "It would make it much more difficult to go to school, get a job and live my life," he said.

    Lt. Col. Pamela Hart, an Army spokeswoman, warned against comparing cases, saying each case of desertion is evaluated on its own merits.


    Here's another good story:

    He is one of three known U.S. soldiers who have fled to Canada. The other two are Jeremy Hinzman, now living in Toronto, and a woman who went to Vancouver, British Columbia, but has not gone public.

    Hughey's attorney applied for refugee status for him. A hearing may be held in the fall, and Canadian officials say the average application takes 14 months to resolve. After that, there could be an appeal.

    The issue is complicated in Canada, once a haven for about 60,000 Americans who opposed the Vietnam War. There no longer is a draft to dodge. Americans deserting an Army they have joined voluntarily must prove, like other refugee applicants, that they have solid reasons to believe they would be persecuted if returned to their home nation.

    "Persecuted" is the key word.

    "They have to show that they fear persecution, not prosecution," said Charles Hawkins, a spokesman for Canada's Immigration and Refugee Board in Toronto.

    Hughey, who speaks with a hint of his Texas drawl, gave a quick reply:

    "Being prosecuted for following a higher standard and objecting to an illegal war is persecution."

    Observers say that this is a complex legal argument that might be difficult for Hughey to win.

    What if he loses his Canadian legal battle and is returned to the United States?

    He no doubt would face a court-martial.

    Five years is the maximum prison sentence for desertion, according to the Army, though execution is permitted in wartime.


    wait.... did you see that???????

    oh shit..... a US soldier can be executed?
    You think Bush would do that? Execute someone?

    :scowl:
     
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  2. Dr. Dazzle

    Dr. Dazzle 12oz Veteran Member

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    Dr. Dazzle - Replied Jun 28, 2004

    Well if Harper wins, it won't matter where he hides......

    Nervous times :shook:
     
    Dr. Dazzle - Rank: 12oz Veteran Member - Messages:
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  3. mindvapors

    mindvapors 12oz Veteran Member

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    mindvapors - Replied Jun 28, 2004

    wtf. anyone got any back up/more info on this??
     
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  4. GLIK$

    GLIK$ Dirty Dozen Crew

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    GLIK$ - Replied Jun 28, 2004

    Bush would never have him executed.
     
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  5. Milton

    Milton 12oz Senior Member

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    Milton - Replied Jun 28, 2004

    We've been in wartimes since 1976 when the martians first landed in Slovakia...


    Milton
    BeeepBeep BEEEEEPBEEEEEEEEP!
     
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  6. Abracadabra

    Abracadabra Dirty Dozen Crew

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    Abracadabra - Replied Jun 28, 2004

    although he may disappear in the middle of the night without a trace........
     
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