Archive | September, 2009

Army Prisoners Isolated, Denied Right to Legal Counsel

The military's treatment of Army prisoners is "part of a broader pattern the military has of just throwing people in jail and not letting them talk to their attorneys, not let visitors come, and this is outrageous. In the civilian world even murderers get visits from their friends," according to civil defense attorney James Branum. (Photo: <a href=

The military's treatment of Army prisoners is "part of a broader pattern the military has of just throwing people in jail and not letting them talk to their attorneys, not let visitors come, and this is outrageous. In the civilian world even murderers get visits from their friends," according to civil defense attorney James Branum. (Photo: hiro chang / flickr)

Afghanistan war resister Travis Bishop has been held largely “incommunicado” in the Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Lewis, Washington.

Bishop, who is being held by the military as a “prisoner of conscience,” according to Amnesty International, was transported to Fort Lewis on September 9 to serve a 12-month sentence in the Regional Correctional Facility. He had refused orders to deploy to Afghanistan based on his religious beliefs, and had filed for Conscientious Objector (CO) status.

Bishop, who served a 13-month deployment to Iraq and was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, was court marshaled by the Army for his refusal to deploy to Afghanistan. Given that he had already filed for CO status, many local observers called his sentencing a “politically driven prosecution.”

By holding Bishop incommunicado, the military violated Bishop’s legal right to counsel, a violation of the Sixth Amendment to the US Constitution, according to his civil defense attorney James Branum.

The Sixth Amendment is the part of the Bill of Rights that sets forth rights related to criminal prosecutions in federal courts, and reads, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

Attorney LeGrande Jones, who practices in Olympia and was designated by Branum as the local counsel for Bishop, was also denied access to Bishop, on the grounds that Jones was on an unnamed and unobtainable “watch-list,” which constitutes deprivation of counsel.

Continue Reading →

Continue Reading

Fresno, CA

88.1 KFCF, Free Speech Radio for Central California presents…

Dahr Jamail

The Will to Resist: Soldiers who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan

Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno
2672 E Alluvial (just E of Willow)

Tickets available at brownpapertickets.com or by calling (559) 233-2221

Continue Reading

Olympia, WA

The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan

Evergreen State College, Lecture Hall 1

Sponsored by: Amnesty International
Contact:  Erin Genia, emgenia@comcast.net
Zoltan Grossman, grossmaz@evergreen.edu

Continue Reading

BNet Reviews ‘Will to Resist’

Praising The Will to Resist as “an eminently readable account that, once started, cannot be put down,” online business journal BNet provides a short write-up:

Award-winning independent journalist Dahr Jamail’s The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan is the true story of those within the U.S. military service whose consciences prompt them to resist the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. From battalions that refuse orders, to active-duty soldiers who sign antiwar petitions, individual soldiers who refuse redeployment, those who dare to take a public stand against the occupation, and more, The Will to Resist is a fascinating examination of what motivates such opposition amid the United States’ loyal defending force. The Will to Resist is not a politically neutral book; chapters reflect a decidedly negative and critical view of the American occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the heart of The Will to Resist is not its politics, but rather the true stories of the men and women who serve–and who choose to resist what they perceive as unjust, whether it be sexism, discrimination, or apparent crimes of war. An eminently readable account that, once started, cannot be put down.

Order the book from Amazon.

Continue Reading