Is it the same?

A soldier who deserted from the US Army in Iraq because he found the war morally objectionable – partly because of the treatment of prisoners – faces the same punishment as those who abused the prisoners at Abu Ghuraib. I turn to those more knowledgeable: Can he plead that he deserted because the orders were illegal?

2 thoughts on “Is it the same?

  1. With the caveat that I’m not familiar with the military code of conduct, I don’t think his claims are a defense to a charge of desertion. If he was given an illegal order,then there probably is a process to object to that order and refuse to carry it out. Deserting isn’t a legitimate option to an unlawful order and can cause serious consequences to military discipline.
    The article also indicates that he now claims conscientious objector status against an ‘oil-driven’ war. To my understanding, that claim doesn’t give him conscientious objector status. To gain that status, one must object to war on any basis, and not pick and choose based on one’s view of the the political reasons for the war. In other words, one cannot be a conscientious objector only to this war, and perhaps not others.
    Obviously you can’t have soldiers decide which wars they want to fight.

  2. Thank you. That’s what I thought. It seems bad form on the part of the defense attorney to let his client run at the mouth. The story has been buried pretty far on most of the cable news outlets, so I wonder how much we’ll hear about it in the future.

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