Updated: Naser Abdo, who now sullies the name of dissent.

I wasn’t the only one sunk when we read through this piece about the guy who almost tried another Fort Hood massacre.  Because he was AWOL, and one of us – someone who could have been me – helped him fill out a conscientious-objector application: Like the soldier charged with killing 13 people in theContinue reading “Updated: Naser Abdo, who now sullies the name of dissent.”

Bradley Manning: WIRED folds, and my dilemma is moot.

WIRED has just released the full transcripts of the conversations between Manning and that snake Adrian Lamo – meaning that everyone that cares about Manning, thinks him hero or traitor, has no way of not knowing about the gender issues. They’re mesmerizing reading, though I agree with Gawker that Lamo turns out to be evenContinue reading “Bradley Manning: WIRED folds, and my dilemma is moot.”

Operation Recovery’s Oleo Strut

About a year ago, Iraq Veterans Against the Wars began a campaign that sounded almost conservative: Operation Recovery, against the deployment of traumatized troops. The celebrated Camilo Mejia, when he and I talked in Philadelphia, was skeptical : “Sounds like the VFW.” Actually, it’s a sign that IVAW gets it, in a very deep way. ByContinue reading “Operation Recovery’s Oleo Strut”

Leave no FNG behind: thoughts on Kelly Kennedy’s They Fought for Each Other 

I’ve hoped to grow up to be Kelly Kennedy ever since my friend, rockstar author Alia Malek, profiled the Military Times reporter for Columbia Journalism Review. I knew it was impossible, of course, as the very first line of Kennedy’s author bio makes clear: “Kelly Kennedy served as a soldier in Desert Storm and Mogadishu,Continue reading “Leave no FNG behind: thoughts on Kelly Kennedy’s They Fought for Each Other 

For black soldiers, the wound goes that far back

The photo is of Sgt. Major Lewis H. Douglass, survivor of the battle of Fort Wagner, who never complained about  his pension but did observe,long before he became outspoken against the next war, that the supposed unity of the “Grand Army of the Republic” —given the differing treatment of black and white veterans groups —Continue reading “For black soldiers, the wound goes that far back”

Facebook blooper (UPDATED, with the regs: Speaking of the First Amendment…

“What are the rules regarding free speech for GIs on Facebook?  Two are being brought up on charges for saying that Navy sucks.” This from a GI Rights Hotline list I’m on. That threat both seems to belie and kind of explains why Facebook is permitted but MySpace banned on bases, at least according toContinue reading “Facebook blooper (UPDATED, with the regs: Speaking of the First Amendment…”

People who Died: Now Murtha, too (UPDATE Two)

Three obituaries inside a week or so: first the World War II-vet peers Howard Zinn and J.D. Salinger, only one of whom became a dissenter. Now Murtha, of the Vietnam generation but only a dissenter much later, who I sort of pre-eulogized last week when he went into hospital. Respect to CBS News for notContinue reading “People who Died: Now Murtha, too (UPDATE Two)”

the right to seek redress: now more of it for soldiers

Wow. Here’s a piece of news that snuck by many of us, at least me. From Legal Times: The House Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would expand the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, allowing it to review petitions filed by military service members challenging courts-martial decisions. Under current law, a service member isContinue reading “the right to seek redress: now more of it for soldiers”

Howard Zinn, part two

One of the things that makes me personally sad about Zinn leaving us when he did is that I’d hoped to, when Ain’t Marchin’ finally came out, introduce him to Garett Reppenhagen (left), president of Veterans Green Jobs and former president of Iraq Veterans Against the War. The latter had told me, when I interviewedContinue reading “Howard Zinn, part two”

get well soon, Rep. Murtha.

Slightly buried yesterday under the DADT news was this: “Murtha hospitalized after gallbladder surgery complications.”  The news about the 77-year-old chairman of the Armed Services Committee, whose spokespeople were by this morning refusing to give updates, was regarded mostly as (sigh) political news, exemplified by the head given by Chris Cilizza at The Fix: JohnContinue reading “get well soon, Rep. Murtha.”