Military Families Speak Out Washington State Chapter

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Bring Them Home Now!

One of the features of military families in this war that differs from previous wars is that there are more young married soldiers.

Here are some statistics:

-- in Iraq war, soldiers often married, with children

-- 55% of military personnel are married. 56% of those married are between 22 and 29.

-- One million military children are under 11.

-- 40% are 5 or younger.

-- 63% of spouses work, including 87% of junior-enlisted spouses.

Source: Department of Defense and National Military Family Association.



Dissent is loyalty Robert Taft, the conservative Ohio senator who is a hero to many of today's conservatives, gave a speech at the Executive Club of Chicago in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor.

There are a number of paragraphs that are just grand, but here's the best one, which is worth quoting in full:

As a matter of general principle, I believe there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government

... too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think that it will give some comfort to the enemy to know that there is such criticism.

If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned, because
the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country maintaining it a great deal more good than it will do the enemy,
and will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur.

Drink in those words.

That's not William Fulbright two years into the Vietnam War.

It's not Ted Kennedy last week.

It's Mr. Republican, speaking -- when? Not mid-1943, or even March 1942

Taft delivered this speech ... on December 19, 1941!

That's right: Twelve days after the worst attack on American soil in the country's history,

perhaps with bodies still floating in the harbor,

the leader of the congressional opposition said to the president, 'we will question, we will probe, we will debate.'

By Michael Tomasky,
The AMERICAN Prospect online


Order and send postcards to Congress - Fund our Troops, Defund the

Bring Them Home Now postage stamps


For more information see Appeal for Redress website.


For more information go to dvd 'The Ground Truth' website.


Some Past Campaigns - Washington state chapter MFSO members participation

2007

(photo - Daniel Ellsberg, Lt. Ehren Watada)

(photo - Organizing Team; Lietta Ruger - MFSO - WA chapter introduces the Panelists)

(photo - on the Panel - Elizabeth Falzone - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA chapter and Rich Moniak - MFSO - Alaska chapter listen to two days of testimony)

(photo - close up of Panelists Elizabeth Falzone - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA chapter and Rich Moniak - MFSO - Alaska chapter)

(photo - rRetired Diplomat Col. Ann Wright gives her testimony)

(photo - Organizing Team - Lietta Ruger - MFSO - WA chapter with retired Col. Ann Wright - Testifier)

(photo - Stacy Bannerma, wife of returning Iraq veteran - WA Natl Guard, gives testimony)

(photo - close up Stacy Bannerman, author of 'When The War Came Home' gives her testimony. Formerly MFSO - WA chapter. For more on Stacy, her book, media archives, see her website at www.stacybannerman.com)

(photo - IVAW veterans Geoffrey Millard and former Lt. Harvey Tharp give their testimony)

See website; 'Citizens' Hearing on Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq';

Jan 20-21- 2007, Tacoma, WA.

A 2 day citizens' tribunal support action in defense of Lt. Ehren Watada court martial at Fort Lewis.

(Organizing Team from MFSO - WA chapter; Lietta Ruger, Judy Linehan)

2006


(photo Lietta Ruger, MFSO- WA, in support Lt. Ehren Watada, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Jenny Keesey, Judy Linehan, Lietta Ruger - from MFSO-WA in support of Lt. Ehren Watada June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Lietta Ruger, Judy Linehan, Jenny Keesey - from MFSO - WA chapter, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

(photo - Judy Linehan, MFSO - WA at support rally for Lt. Watada, June 2006, Tacoma, WA)

June 2006 ongoing through court martial Feb 2007

For more information, see 'Thank You Lt. Ehren Watada' website.


(photo - right is Stacy Bannerman, MFSO -WA; organizing team)

Representative Brian Baird, Washington state 3rd Congressional District, in blue shirt comes out to talk with MFSO members at 'Operation House Call')

'Operation House Call' June thru August 2006 in Washington DC.

MFSO members make individual calls on Senators and Representatives advocating to Bring Them Home Now.

For more information go to 'Operation House Call' website.

postcards sent to Congress - summer 2006, 'Operation House Call'


2005


(photo - Lietta Ruger, MFSO-WA on central tour. Not pictured - Stacy Bannerman, MFSO -WA on northern tour)

Bring Them Home Now tour - Sept 1 thru Sept 25 2005. From Crawford, Texas to Washington DC. see Bring Them Home Now tour website


(photo - left Lietta Ruger, MFSO -WA with center Cindy Sheehan and right Juan Torres at Crawford, Texas, Camp Casey, Aug 9, 2005


2004

photos from Newshour with Jim Lehrer; segment 'Homefront Battles' aired Oct 2004.

Online video, audio and article still available at Newshour website. photo - Sue Niederer, MFSO. Her son U.S. Army 2nd Lt.Seth Dvorin, 24 yrs old was killed in Iraq Feb 3, 2004.

photo - Nancy Lessin, MFSO Co-Founder

photo - Lietta Ruger, MFSO - WA

photo - Stacy Bannerman, MFSO - WA


See at Seattle PI; List of casualties with Washington state ties

This is one of WA state casualties; Army Spc. Jonathan J. Santos, Whatcom County, Washington died Oct 15, 2004

Watch a slide show of family photos and listen to audio recordings of Army Cpl. Jonathan Santos' mother, brother and the woman who's documenting his life.

See the trailer for the documentary "The Corporal's Boots." (QuickTime 7 required).

A special thank you to mother, Doris Kent - GSFSO/ MFSO - WA for her generous sharing and contribution in speaking of her son's life and death in Iraq


Title 17 disclaimer In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.
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mfso@mfso.org




Military Families Speak Out
is an organization of people who are opposed to war in Iraq and who have relatives or loved ones in the military. We were formed in November of 2002 and have contacts with military families throughout the United States, and in other countries around the world.

As people with family members and loved ones in the military, we have both a special need and a unique role to play in speaking out against war in Iraq. It is our loved ones who are, or have been, or will be on the battlefront. It is our loved ones who are risking injury and death. It is our loved ones who are returning scarred from their experiences. It is our loved ones who will have to live with the injuries and deaths among innocent Iraqi civilians.

If you have family members or loved ones in the military and you are opposed to this war join us.

Send us an e-mail at
mfso@mfso.org
.
You can call us at 617-522-9323
or Send us mail at:
MFSO
P.O. Box 549
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

click here - MFSO Membership Form – to join Military Families Speak Out or

JOIN us by sending an e-mail to mfso@mfso.org.


MFSO - Become a Member

Membership in MFSO is open to anyone who has a family member or loved one serving, since August 2002, in any branch of our Armed Forces

* The Reserves

* The National Guard

* Returned from serving but still eligible for redeployment under stop loss.

There is no membership fee. Donations are welcome.

People who are not eligible for MFSO membership may join our Supporter Group. You are welcome to attend meetings that are open to the public, volunteer to help with event preparation and participate in our community actions and events. Supporters may purchase MFSO t-shirts and wear them with the "Proud Supporter of MFSO" button. Buttons may also be worn without the t-shirt.

Our Supporters provide emotional encouragement and physical help to our MFSO military families who are under extreme stress, especially if their loved one is in Iraq or Afghanistan

We welcome your involvement, please contact us.


click to see the list MFSO chapters other than Washington state forming around the country.


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CHRONOLOGICAL ARCHIVES
into our 3rd year of speaking out
20 Oct, 08 > 26 Oct, 08
7 Jan, 08 > 13 Jan, 08
29 Oct, 07 > 4 Nov, 07
10 Sep, 07 > 16 Sep, 07
16 Jul, 07 > 22 Jul, 07
2 Jul, 07 > 8 Jul, 07
4 Jun, 07 > 10 Jun, 07
28 May, 07 > 3 Jun, 07
14 May, 07 > 20 May, 07
7 May, 07 > 13 May, 07
30 Apr, 07 > 6 May, 07
23 Apr, 07 > 29 Apr, 07
16 Apr, 07 > 22 Apr, 07
9 Apr, 07 > 15 Apr, 07
2 Apr, 07 > 8 Apr, 07
26 Mar, 07 > 1 Apr, 07
19 Mar, 07 > 25 Mar, 07
12 Mar, 07 > 18 Mar, 07
5 Mar, 07 > 11 Mar, 07
26 Feb, 07 > 4 Mar, 07
19 Feb, 07 > 25 Feb, 07
12 Feb, 07 > 18 Feb, 07
5 Feb, 07 > 11 Feb, 07
29 Jan, 07 > 4 Feb, 07
22 Jan, 07 > 28 Jan, 07
15 Jan, 07 > 21 Jan, 07
8 Jan, 07 > 14 Jan, 07
1 Jan, 07 > 7 Jan, 07
25 Dec, 06 > 31 Dec, 06
20 Nov, 06 > 26 Nov, 06
13 Nov, 06 > 19 Nov, 06
6 Nov, 06 > 12 Nov, 06
23 Oct, 06 > 29 Oct, 06
16 Oct, 06 > 22 Oct, 06
25 Sep, 06 > 1 Oct, 06
4 Sep, 06 > 10 Sep, 06
28 Aug, 06 > 3 Sep, 06
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14 Aug, 06 > 20 Aug, 06
31 Jul, 06 > 6 Aug, 06
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10 Jul, 06 > 16 Jul, 06
3 Jul, 06 > 9 Jul, 06
26 Jun, 06 > 2 Jul, 06
19 Jun, 06 > 25 Jun, 06
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5 Jun, 06 > 11 Jun, 06
29 May, 06 > 4 Jun, 06
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8 May, 06 > 14 May, 06
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24 Apr, 06 > 30 Apr, 06
3 Apr, 06 > 9 Apr, 06
27 Mar, 06 > 2 Apr, 06
20 Mar, 06 > 26 Mar, 06
13 Mar, 06 > 19 Mar, 06
6 Mar, 06 > 12 Mar, 06
27 Feb, 06 > 5 Mar, 06
20 Feb, 06 > 26 Feb, 06
13 Feb, 06 > 19 Feb, 06
30 Jan, 06 > 5 Feb, 06
23 Jan, 06 > 29 Jan, 06
16 Jan, 06 > 22 Jan, 06
9 Jan, 06 > 15 Jan, 06
14 Nov, 05 > 20 Nov, 05
24 Oct, 05 > 30 Oct, 05
26 Sep, 05 > 2 Oct, 05
15 Aug, 05 > 21 Aug, 05
8 Aug, 05 > 14 Aug, 05
25 Jul, 05 > 31 Jul, 05
11 Jul, 05 > 17 Jul, 05
4 Jul, 05 > 10 Jul, 05
30 May, 05 > 5 Jun, 05
4 Apr, 05 > 10 Apr, 05
7 Mar, 05 > 13 Mar, 05
28 Feb, 05 > 6 Mar, 05
24 Jan, 05 > 30 Jan, 05
1 Nov, 04 > 7 Nov, 04
18 Oct, 04 > 24 Oct, 04
11 Oct, 04 > 17 Oct, 04
4 Oct, 04 > 10 Oct, 04

Sunday, 13 May 2007
Memorial Day Holiday; Days of Self-Examination
Topic: Remembrances

Link:  Veteran says Memorial Day not a day of celebration, rather a day of self examination

excerpts:
“On Memorial Day, and all these holidays where we take a few seconds out and pause, I don’t think they’re days of celebration. I think they’re days of self-examination,” Mr. Paul Bucha said.

Mr. Bucha, a Ridgefielder today, received the Medal of Honor “for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of this life above and beyond the call of duty” in Vietnam in 1968, when the company he commanded was helicoptered into the midst of an enemy stronghold and spent the night fending off a battalion-sized force.

“I believe, systematically, the soldiers and their families have been ignored in the worst case, and poorly managed and administrated in the most charitable case, since this war began,” Mr. Bucha said recently.

“I’ve attended funerals to see public officials fall asleep in the middle of eulogies. I’ve been to Brooke Army Medical Center, where I saw literally hundreds of young men and women without arms and legs, and some without faces, who were kept out of sight and out of mind.”



Link: 
My Patriotism Has Been Used and Exploited

Army Sgt. John Bruhns will talk about his tour in Iraq and his opinion of the war.
He concludes: "My patriotism has been used and exploited. I am very proud of my military service, but I'm very disappointed in the civilian leadership and administration for sending us needlessly into combat."




Link: 
Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estés sends Open Letter to Laura Bush

Words That Fall Short of the Soul’s Bar “No one suffers more than their president and I do…”



Link: Treating Trauma

      O
ne in three veterans of the war in Iraq, and one in nine of the military operation in Afghanistan, face mental health problems, including depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.




Link: 
Author  Deanna Mills blogs; another Military Family speaking out

 

Deanie Francis Mills is the author of 10 suspense thrillers, including ORDEAL and TIGHTROPE, and one true-crime, FACES OF EVIL, (which she co-authored with Houston PD forensic sketch artist Lois Gibson.) Her work has also appeared in numerous national magazines, and she is an experienced public speaker.

In 2004, when her son, Dustin, deployed to Iraq with the United States Marine Corps, Mills found she could no longer sit on the sidelines and watch a war she opposed, not when three close family members deployed, between them, six times to Iraq with the Marine Corps and the army.

In 2006, when her son deployed to Iraq a second time, Deanie started the political blog, "Deanie's Blue Inkblots" (formerly "Blue Inkblots").

 


Link:  Debra Morgan Pardee blogs; Another Military Family speaking out on 6 killed in her son's unit; her own son injured by IED

excerpts:
Six members of my son's company died yesterday in Diyala Province, Iraq, killed in a massive explosion that entirely destroyed a Stryker vehicle. Only one person survived. My daughter-in-law spent the whole day with her best friend and was with her when she received word that her fiancé had been killed.
Mothers Day is a very sad day for many, many military families, and six more mothers will be grieving this Sunday.
However, the beat goes on. Just when my daughter-in-law and I and all the families who lost loved ones on Sunday were preparing ourselves to attend the memorial service next Tuesday, our near miss became a direct hit this morning. I received a phone call from the Army informing me my son was injured in an IED blast that destroyed his Stryker vehicle.




Link; John Fenton, Another Military Family speaking out on one year anniversary of his son's death in Iraq

excerpt

On the first anniversary of his son's death in Iraq, John Fenton spoke out against the war Wednesday during a rally in front of the National Guard Armory.

"I just find it frightening," Fenton said. "We're going nowhere and we're going nowhere fast. And it's mostly young kids dying, I just don't understand it."

Matthew Fenton, a 24-year-old Marine Corps sergeant from Little Ferry, was wounded by shrapnel while conducting combat operations in Al Anbar province on April 26, 2006. He died at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., less than two weeks later, a day after receiving a Purple Heart.





Link: Military Families Speak Out - NANCY LESSIN -  April Exceedingly Violent month with 104 U.S. Troops killed

Lessin is co-founder of Military Families Speak Out. She said today: "April has been an exceedingly violent month with at least 104 U.S. troops killed and we don't know how many Iraqis. This is almost as high as during the offensives against Fallujah. Contrary to the White House line that we need to give their latest escalation more time, it's clear that the occupation is not calming down the violence, it's helping to cause the violence." Lessin is in contact with numerous families of U.S. troops who are in Iraq.


posted by Lietta Ruger

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 1:34 PM PDT
Sunday, 6 May 2007
Deployed Troops Battle for Child Custody
Now Playing: Huffington Post Blog by Pauline Arrillaga

Deployed Troops Battle for Child Custody

 

 

Lt. Eva Crouch holds a 2004 photo of her daughter, Sara, at her home in Lawrenceburg, Ky., in this June 29, 2005, file photo. A member of the Kentucky National Guard, Crouch was deployed in 2003. Soon after her return, a judge would decide that Sara should stay with her dad. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

 

— She had raised her daughter for six years following the divorce, handled the shuttling to soccer practice and cheerleading, made sure schoolwork was done. Hardly a day went by when the two weren't together. Then Lt. Eva Crouch was mobilized with the Kentucky National Guard, and Sara went to stay with Dad.

A year and a half later, her assignment up, Crouch pulled into her driveway with one thing in mind _ bringing home the little girl who shared her smile and blue eyes. She dialed her ex and said she'd be there the next day to pick Sara up, but his response sent her reeling.

"Not without a court order you won't."

Within a month, a judge would decide that Sara should stay with her dad. It was, he said, in "the best interests of the child."

What happened? Crouch was the legal residential caretaker; this was only supposed to be temporary. What had changed? She wasn't a drug addict, or an alcoholic, or an abusive mother.

Her only misstep, it seems, was answering the call to serve her country.

Crouch and an unknown number of others among the 140,000-plus single parents in uniform fight a war on two fronts: For the nation they are sworn to defend, and for the children they are losing because of that duty.

A federal law called the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act is meant to protect them by staying civil court actions and administrative proceedings during military activation. They can't be evicted. Creditors can't seize their property. Civilian health benefits, if suspended during deployment, must be reinstated.

And yet service members' children can be _ and are being _ taken from them after they are deployed.

Some family court judges say that determining what's best for a child in a custody case is simply not comparable to deciding civil property disputes and the like; they have ruled that family law trumps the federal law protecting servicemembers. And so, in many cases when a soldier deploys, the ex-spouse seeks custody, and temporary changes become lasting.

Even some supporters of the federal law say it should be changed _ that soldiers should be assured that they can regain custody of children after they return.

"Now, they've got a great argument when Johnny comes marching home that the child should remain where they are, even though it was a temporary order," says Lt. Col. Steve Elliott, a judge advocate with the Oklahoma National Guard, referring to non-deployed parents.

Military mothers and fathers, meanwhile, speak of birthdays missed. Bonds, once strong, weakened. Returning from duty not to joyful reunions but to endless hearings.

They are people like Marine Cpl. Levi Bradley, helping to fight the insurgency in Fallujah, Iraq, at the same time he battles for custody of his son in a Kansas family court.

Like Sgt. Mike Grantham of the Iowa National Guard, whose two kids lived with him until he was mobilized to train troops after 9/11.

Like Army Reserve Capt. Brad Carlson, fighting for custody of his American-born children in a foreign land after his marriage crumbled while he was deployed to the Middle East and his European wife refused to return to the States.

And like Eva Crouch, who spent two years and some $25,000 pushing her case through the Kentucky courts.

"I'd have spent a million," she says. "My child was my life ... I go serve my country, and I come back and have to go through hell and high water."

In the midst of World War II, back in 1943, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the soldiers' relief law should be "liberally construed to protect those who have been obliged to drop their own affairs to take up the burdens of the nation."

Shielding soldiers, after all, would allow them "to devote their entire energy" to the nation's defense, as the law itself states.

But in child custody cases, the opposite often happens.

"The minute these guys are getting deployed, the other parent is going, `I can do whatever I want now,'" says Jean Ann Uvodich, an attorney who represented Bradley. "If you have an ex who wants to take advantage, they can and will. The obstacle is that the judge needs to respect the law."

Bradley had already joined the Marines, and his young wife, Amber, was a junior in high school when their son Tyler came along in September 2003. With Bradley in training, Amber and the baby lived with Bradley's mother, Starleen, in Ottawa, Kan.

When the marriage fell apart two years later, Bradley filed for divorce and Amber signed a parenting plan granting him sole custody of Tyler and agreeing that the boy would live with Starleen while Bradley was on duty.

In August 2005, Bradley deployed to Iraq. A month later, Amber sought to void the agreement and obtain residential custody of Tyler. She didn't fully understand what she had signed, she said later.

Bradley learned of the petition in Fallujah, after calling his mom's house one night to say hello to his son. He was infuriated.

He worked during the day as a mechanic with the 8th Communications Battalion, then headed back to the barracks and, because of the time difference, waited until midnight to call his mother to hear the latest from court.

"My mind wasn't where it was supposed to be," he says. And the distraction cost him. One day he rolled a Humvee he was test-driving. Though he wasn't injured, Bradley was reprimanded.

Uvodich sought a stay under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which provides for a minimum 90-day delay in proceedings upon application by an active duty service member. She argued that Bradley had a right to be present to testify.

But the judge refused to postpone the case, saying he didn't believe it was subject to the federal law because "this Court has a continuing obligation to consider what's in the best interest of the child," court records show.

After a November 2005 hearing, the judge awarded temporary physical custody to Amber. Last summer, that order was made permanent.

Bradley, now 22, is stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C., awaiting his second deployment to Iraq later this year. He gets to Kansas on leave for about two weeks every six months, and sees Tyler for four days at a time.

"I fought the best I could," he says. "The act states: Everything will be put on hold until I'm able to get back. It doesn't happen. I found out the hard way."

Oregon Circuit Court Judge Dale Koch, president of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, said that as state court judges, those deciding custody cases are obligated to follow their family codes _ and "in most states there is language that says the primary interest is the best interest of the child."

"We recognize the competing interests," he says. "You don't want to penalize a parent because they've served their country. On the other hand ... you don't want to penalize the child."

But what does "best interest" really mean? Koch mentions factors such as stability and considering who has been the child's main emotional provider, parameters that conflict directly with military service. So how do you balance those things against upholding a deployed parent's civil rights? When, too, should a temporary change mean just that?

Iowa Guardsman Mike Grantham thought he was serving the best interests of his children when he arranged for his son and daughter to stay with his mother before reporting for duty in August 2002. She lived a few blocks from the kids' school in Clarksville, Iowa, and he figured, "There wouldn't be much disruption."

He had raised Brianna and Jeremy since his 2000 divorce, when ex-wife Tammara turned physical custody over to him.

After mobilizing, Grantham was served with a custody petition from Tammara, delivered to his unit's armory. His lawyer tried twice to request a stay under the federal law. His commanding officer even wrote a letter stating that Grantham's battalion was charged with protecting U.S. facilities deemed national security interests and that his case would cause the entire command structure "to refocus away from the military mission."

The trial judge nevertheless held hearings without Grantham and temporarily placed the children with Tammara. A year later, though Grantham had returned from duty, the judge made Tammara the primary physical custodian.

An appeals court later sided with Grantham, saying: "A soldier, who answered our Nation's call to defend, lost physical care of his children ... offending our intrinsic sense of right and wrong."

But the Iowa Supreme Court disagreed, saying Tammara was "presently the most effective parent."

Now, Grantham says, his visitation rights mirror those that his ex-wife once had: every other weekend, Wednesdays, and certain holidays _ Father's Day, for example.

"There ain't nothing you can do," he says. "Being deployed, you lose your armor."

Military and family law experts don't know how big the problem is, but 5.4 percent of active duty members _ more than 74,000 _ are single parents, the Department of Defense reports. More than 68,000 Guard and reserve members are also single parents.

Divorce among military men and women also has risen some in recent years, with more than 23,000 enlisted members and officers divorcing in 2005.

Army reservist Brad Carlson lived in Phoenix with his wife, Bianca, and three kids when he volunteered to deploy to Kuwait in 2003. His wife and children were spending that summer with her parents in Luxembourg and expected to remain there until he returned from duty.

A year later, after his wife indicated she wanted to end the marriage and remain in Luxembourg, Carlson filed for divorce in an Arizona court, seeking custody of Dirk, Sven and Phoebe, all American citizens.

The Arizona court dismissed the custody case after Bianca's lawyer argued that jurisdiction belonged in Luxembourg because the children had resided there for at least six months.

Again citing the Servicemembers Act, Carlson's attorney argued that the time the kids spent in Luxembourg shouldn't count toward residency because it came during Carlson's deployment.

A Luxembourg court awarded custody to Bianca, and the kids remain there to this day.

They call him "Bradley" now, he says, instead of "Daddy." They converse in German in stilted long-distance phone calls that provide few precious minutes for a father to absorb missed moments _ soccer games, kindergarten, birthdays. On Dirk's 9th, Carlson stood beneath a rainbow-colored birthday banner and had a friend take a digital photo of him holding a sign: "Happy 9th Birthday Dirk!"

Tears fill his eyes when it hits him: "That's how I celebrate."

"I feel really betrayed," Carlson says. "To be able to send me into harm's way ... and my own country can't protect my child custody rights. Why aren't they looking out for me, when I'm looking out for the country?"

The solution, some say, lies in amending the federal law to specify that it does apply in custody cases, and to spell out that jurisdiction should rest with the state where the child resided before a soldier deployed.

Some states aren't waiting for congressional action.

In 2005, California enacted a law saying a parent's absence due to military activation cannot be used to justify permanent changes in custody or visitation. Michigan and Kentucky followed suit, requiring that temporary changes made because of deployment revert back to the original agreement once deployment ends.

Similar legislation has been proposed in Arizona, Florida, Oklahoma, Texas and North Carolina.

"These men and women need to know that when we deploy them, they don't have to worry about being ambushed in our family law court system," says Michael Robinson, a lobbyist who helped write the California and Michigan laws. "The insurgents are doing enough ambushing over there. The only difference between what's occurring there and here is ... it's an emotional bomb."

Crouch knows that all too well.

When she was mobilized back in 2003, Crouch considered having her mother come live in her Frankfort, Ky., home to care for 9-year-old Sara. But her ex-husband, Charles, wanted Sara with him, and Crouch agreed.

"You have to promise me you won't try anything funny," Crouch told him.

He promised.

They drew up a temporary order, moved Sara's belongings 2 1/2 hours east to her dad's place near Ashland, and Crouch headed out _ to Iraq, she thought, although she wound up stateside at Fort Knox, providing personnel support to units shipping out.

The fortunate assignment allowed her to visit Sara most weekends, but no one ever brought up the idea of making the temporary situation permanent until Crouch returned.

"Right up until the day I came home there was every indication that I was picking her up," she says.

Charles Crouch says that's true, and acknowledges their agreement was supposed to be temporary. But when the time came for Sara to return to her mom, Charles says his daughter expressed a desire to stay with him. She liked her school, had made new friends.

"I had no intention of trying to talk her into staying or anything," he says. "All I wanted was what was best for my daughter."

Eva Crouch helped fight for the new Kentucky law. Last year, the state Supreme Court cited it in overturning the trial judge's decision granting custody to Charles.

Last September, she got Sara back.

Crouch knows she's one of the lucky few whose cases have happy endings. She's remarried now, and expecting another baby this August. But with 18 years in the military, she knows she could be mobilized again after she gives birth. One thing is clear to her now: Serving her country isn't worth losing her daughter.

"I can't leave my child again _ regardless of whether or not I know when I come home, she comes home.

"Still," she says, "I can't."


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 10:16 AM PDT
Thursday, 3 May 2007
Military bans soldiers blogs - emails, online activity on threat of disciplinary action, even court martial
Topic: Breaking News

Read the complete article at; link - Wired News.

Army Squeezes Soldier Blogs, Maybe to Death 

Noah Shachtman, May 2, 2007

The U.S. Army has ordered soldiers to stop posting to blogs or sending personal e-mail messages, without first clearing the content with a superior officer, Wired News has learned. The directive, issued April 19, is the sharpest restriction on troops' online activities since the start of the Iraq war. And it could mean the end of military blogs, observers say.

Military officials have been wrestling for years with how to handle troops who publish blogs. Officers have weighed the need for wartime discretion against the opportunities for the public to personally connect with some of the most effective advocates for the operations in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the troops themselves. The secret-keepers have generally won the argument, and the once-permissive atmosphere has slowly grown more tightly regulated. Soldier-bloggers have dropped offline as a result.

The new rules (.pdf) obtained by Wired News require a commander be consulted before every blog update.

"This is the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging," said retired paratrooper Matthew Burden, editor of The Blog of War anthology. "No more military bloggers writing about their experiences in the combat zone. This is the best PR the military has -- it's most honest voice out of the war zone. And it's being silenced."

Army Regulation 530--1: Operations Security (OPSEC) (.pdf) restricts more than just blogs, however. Previous editions of the rules asked Army personnel to "consult with their immediate supervisor" before posting a document "that might contain sensitive and/or critical information in a public forum." The new version, in contrast, requires "an OPSEC review prior to publishing" anything -- from "web log (blog) postings" to comments on internet message boards, from resumes to letters home.

Failure to do so, the document adds, could result in a court-martial, or "administrative, disciplinary, contractual, or criminal action."

Despite the absolutist language, the guidelines' author, Major Ray Ceralde, said there is some leeway in enforcement of the rules. "It is not practical to check all communication, especially private communication," he noted in an e-mail. "Some units may require that soldiers register their blog with the unit for identification purposes with occasional spot checks after an initial review. Other units may require a review before every posting."

But with the regulations drawn so tightly, "many commanders will feel like they have no choice but to forbid their soldiers from blogging -- or even using e-mail," said Jeff Nuding, who won the bronze star for his service in Iraq. "If I'm a commander, and think that any slip-up gets me screwed, I'm making it easy: No blogs," added Nuding, writer of the "pro-victory" Dadmanly site. "I think this means the end of my blogging."

Active-duty troops aren't the only ones affected by the new guidelines. Civilians working for the military, Army contractors -- even soldiers' families -- are all subject to the directive as well.  

Read rest of the article at the link

(posted by Lietta Ruger)


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 2:27 PM PDT
MFSO -WA at weekly vigil, Federal Building, Seattle, WA
Topic: Events

MFSO member, David Kannas, at the Tuesday 11 AM - 1 PM weekly vigil, Federal Building, Seattle, WA.

MFSO member, David Kannas in yellow bicycling attire stands with Abe Oshercroff, Abraham Lincoln Brigade veteran.

 

Joe Colgan, a veteran, and father of Army 2nd Lt. Benjamin J. Colgan, 1st Armorded Division, 30, of Kent, WA who was killed in Baghdad, Iraq November 1, 2003.   Joe has been holding weekly vigils since summer 2006 at the Federal Building, Seattle, WA every Tuesday 11AM - 1 PM.  On 2nd Avenue, between Madison and Marion Streets.

(posted by Lietta Ruger)


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 2:05 PM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2007 9:18 AM PDT
MFSO - WA at NW Conference, WSU, Pullman, WA April 19-21, 2007
Topic: Events

Military Families Speak Out - Washington state chapter was invited to give a presententation at 2007 NW Progressive Conference held at Washington State University in Pullman, WA.

David Kannas, Arthur Ruger and Lietta Ruger headed out on a sunny Friday, April 20, from Western Washington to Eastern Washington to introduce Military Families Speak Out to Eastern Washington. David got within 150 miles of Pullman when his vehicle decided it would go no further.

David spent the rest of Friday making arrangements for vehicle repairs. He had a great introduction presentation prepared, and even if he didn't get a chance to give it, I'd like to include the text here.

Arthur and Lietta gave the presentations at WSU, and followed up with meeting people at the MFSO merchandising table. Photos below.

               2007 Northwest Progressive Conference

                   Washington State University

                            Pullman, WA

                          April 19-21, 2007

Bios as they appeared in the program for Military Families Speak Out;

 David Kannas:  

 
His son is career Security Police serving TDYs in Kuwait, Kyrgistan, and two in Iraq (Balad and Kirkuk). During his last tour he worked with the Army doing convoy security from Balad to FOBs. Trained by the U.S. Army in heavy weapons and field medical treatment. He was responsible for a medical kit that included equipment to treat traumatic amputation and IV insertion.  He is going to return to Iraq some time this summer.

David is a Vietnam veteran as Security Police with the U.S. Air Force. Masters in Speech Communication. Taught public speaking at College of Marin in CA while a graduate student.  Taught Criminal Law at Shoreline Community College; Intro to Criminal Investigation at Washington State Police Academy. Invited guest speaker at several colleges on various issues related to Criminal Justice.  Retired from the Seattle Police Department; Detective - Homicide/Assault Unit.

"I am proud of my service and remain a patriot to this day and strongly support the military but not the abuse of the military  as is now the case."


   Lietta Ruger

She has two returing Iraq veterans in her famil, her son-in-law and her nephew.  Both are active U.S. Army and served in a 15 month extended (stop-lossed) deployments, 1st Armored, Operation Iraq Freedom, March 2003 through July 2004. Her son-in-law is in training now for second deployment to Iraq in 2007, which will be another extended (stop-lossed) 15 month deployment.  Her nephew believes he will also face second deployment to Iraq this year, 2007.

Lietta was a young military wife to husband drafted and deployed to Vietnam.  She was was raised in the military life in an Air Force family where home was numerous military installations abroad and in U.S..
 
Lietta has had 16 year career in social work specification with state of Washingtn. She began training to become a licensed Episcopal lay preacher in 2003. She began her activism in speaking out against the Iraq war with her sermons in 2003, then joined Military Families Speak Out where her first public media interview was with Newshour with Jim Lehrer, which aired October 2004. 

She is now the Military Families Speak Out, Washington state chapter coordinator, and over the years of activism, she has participated in delegation meetings with many U.S. Congress Senators and  Representatives in supporting our our military troops by advocating to bring them home now and take care of them when they get home. She has spent time camping in a ditch in Crawford, Texas in the first week August 2005 in support of Cindy Sheehan's month long Camp Casey Vigil. She spent four weeks on the Bring Them Home Now bus tour from Crawford, Texas to Washington DC in September 2005.


She was one of the organizers for 8 months of support campaigns leading up to the court martial of Lt. Ehren Watada, the first U.S. Army Officer to refuse orders to deploy to Iraq in June 2006 based on his discernment of Iraq as an illegal war, therefore illegal orders to deploy to Iraq.

Military Families Speak Out  -   www.mfso.org

website - Military Families Speak Out - Washington state chapter 

Lietta's blog - Dying to Preserve the Lies  http://dyingwarriors.blogspot.com/
 

    Arthur Ruger:


    Arthur is a Viet Nam Era Veteran having served 6 years in the USAF and 2 years in the Army Reserves. Arthur is also a member of The Prop Wash Gang, an online group of veterans who all served a somewhat unique airborne duty. See Silent Warriors.com   http://www.silent-warriors.com

    Arthur Ruger is a social worker employed by the State of Washington, past president of Local 970 of the Washington Federation of State Employees and serves currently as the union shop steward for DSHS offices in South Bend, Long Beach and Aberdeen, Washington. Arthur is also certified as a Spanish and Russian interpreter for DSHS.

    Born in Idaho in 1946, he is a charter member of the Baby Boomers who - after classes at six institutions of higher learning - managed to graduate with a B.A. in Russian Studies from the University of Houston, Texas.

    Originally trained for priesthood and ministry in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Arthur more recently has labored at St. Johns Episcopal Parish in South Bend, Washington as a lay preacher, organist and Senior Warden.

    In addition to an intense interest in the American political and regious scene, Arthur's is actively concerned with leigitmate family values and priorities and not the pretend issues of those seeking political power and wealth.

    "Family issues and values are important as we are parents of a blended family with 8 children and 15 grandchildren."

    An adamant believer in the power of the internet and need for an online citizen's sharing community, Arthur writes and publishes following blogs:

Willapa Magazine : (General Interest) http://www.swandeer.com/willapa/

The American Choice: (Politics and Civics)   http://www.swandeer.com

The American Christian: (Religion) http://arthur-ruger.blogspot.com/

 


Arthur Ruger, MFSO member stands beside the banner at Todd Hall, WSU, Pullman, WA.


Lietta Ruger, MFSO member stands beside the banner at Todd Hall, WSU, Pullman, WA.


Arthur Ruger at MFSO table points to our message 'Bring Them Home Now'


Just in case you didn't get a good enough look at our new Washington state chapter MFSO banner.

 

MFSO member, David Kannas, prepared speech:

NW Progressive Conference (MFSO) 

By way of introduction, let me say that I am not an anti-military, unpatriotic wacko as some on the other side of my politics would have you believe. 

I am a person with a personal stake in this illegal and immoral invasion and occupation of Iraq. My son, Dylan, a former student at WSU, has been in Iraq twice and will return some time this summer. My daughter, Rachel, was until recently in the Army Reserve and was activated when she was a senior in nursing at PLU. She was active for a year in Texas then returned to college to make up that year. She is now an RN. Rachel was recently informed that although she served her eight years in the reserve, she is still eligible for recall because of stop loss. She is five months pregnant with our grandchild, so may be deferred like Cheney was during Vietnam. In short, my family has a long history of military service and I am proud of that. 

The point here is that my views about this “war” can’t be questioned on patriotic grounds. I just don’t think that blindly following bad leadership is patriotic. My views certainly can’t be judged as unpatriotic by a president who took a reserve slot during Vietnam that assured that he would never go there and who did not complete that commitment. A vice president who took multiple deferments while in college because he was “otherwise occupied” most certainly can’t question it.  

All that aside, why am I unwilling to sit by while this illegal and immoral occupation continues? There are multiple reasons, but primarily I don’t want to see my country drug any further down by this administration. I don’t want to see any more names of the military dead who gave the last measure when those who sent them there did not have the guts to do the same. I don’t want to see the carnage that Iraq has experienced continued in my name. I want to be proud of my country. I want my son, who has chosen a military career, to be able to do that in good conscience and with the knowledge that he and his comrades are not being thrown away by an administration that thinks that power and politics trump honor and decency.  

So, what am I doing to make my voice heard? There are some fairly mundane things that I do.         

Becoming a part of MFSO is one of those.        

Every Tuesday from eleven to one I march in front of the Federal Building in Seattle with a group of like-minded people. One of these people is Joe Colgan whose son was killed in Iraq in 2003. We carry placards, hand out flyers, talk to passers by, wave at cars that pass and blow their horns in support. We also visit Senator Murray’s office periodically and let them know that we are still thinking of them. Joe and another one of our group sat in at her office for 28 hours at one point waiting for an answer to a question. They weren’t arrested or forced out. Basically, we forced people to notice us and the purpose for our being there.         

I also marched in the parade in Seattle that marked the fourth anniversary of this invasion. We were a huge voice for change that could not be ignored. The marched stopped an orderly commute for many people that day, but I did not here one bad word from anyone. Many who were just walking along the sidewalk joined us and made the voice louder. Such a voice can’t be ignored.             

I talk then talk some more.          

I write poetry. Not great poetry, but poetry none-the-less, and I spread it around unashamedly. You may be subjected to some of that today.  

And I seek out like-minded people for support and a sense that there are others who think you I do.  

I recall Vietnam and how I went into it full of piss and vinegar, to use an old phrase. Then I woke up from that nightmare. What brought me around? Time and distance for certain. But also the deafening roar of voices against it. Voices of people like you and me, but mostly of people like you, students and young people in general.  

On Tuesday when our little group is marching in front of the Federal Building in Seattle, I notice one thing that stands out in our group: gray hair. We are mostly codgers, gray beards. One man comes in a wheel chair when he comes. One man can only stay for an hour because he has cancer and can’t stand for long, but he comes. There are some Vietnam Vets like me.  

Is my voice a call to arms? You better believe it is! I am asking you all to join us in voicing your opposition to this illegal invasion and occupation of a country that did not present a security threat to us and whose people don’t deserve what they’re being dealt.  

So, I ask that you support the troops by bringing them home and by taking care of them when they return.

 

 

 


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 1:28 PM PDT
Tuesday, 24 April 2007
Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, awarded for her opposition to troop surge in Iraq.
Topic: Politicians in Action

 We, the military families of Military Families Speak Out - Washington state chapter  thank you, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles for having our backs with initiating your Petition to Congress from Washington state opposing sending more troops to Iraq.   Respect to you Senator.

                            

“Our state has lost 67 sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brother and sisters there. We’ve spent more than $8.6 billion since the outbreak of hostilities. In very painful and very direct ways, Iraq is close to us.”

 (from her website) April 20, 2007

Kohl-Welles receives legislator of the year honor

OLYMPIA – For her state-level work against the Iraq War and her introduction of Senate Joint Memorial 8003, requesting the U.S. Congress to refrain from funding an escalation of the American presence in Iraq and to require the president to seek congressional approval prior to any escalation, Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles, D-Seattle, was one of three state legislators in the country to receive the “Legislator of the Year” award from the Progressive States Network at its April 19 gala in Washington, D.C.

Also honored were U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., and Democratic Party activist Deborah Rappaport for their efforts at the national level.

Kohl-Welles also participated in a news conference with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and U.S. Sens. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, on efforts by state legislatures requesting Congress and the president to end the war in Iraq.

According to the Progressive States Network, Kohl-Welles is being recognized for her courageous leadership in bringing forward her petition to Congress from Washington state opposing sending more troops to Iraq.

“During the past four years, it has become quite clear that the president’s schoolyard bully approach to foreign policy is an abysmal failure,” Kohl-Welles said. “The war in Iraq has cost us too much, in lives and dollars, and I stand with the majority of Washingtonians and my constituents in the 36th Legislative District who have been outspoken in their opposition to the war and in calling for an end to this debacle.”

SJM 8003 received a public hearing in the Senate Government Operations & Elections Committee last month. Families of service members who died in action and former soldiers joined representatives from several organizations in testifying in support of the memorial.

In her testimony, Kohl-Welles spoke to the nexus between the state of Washington and the war effort.

“Our state has lost 67 sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brother and sisters there. We’ve spent more than $8.6 billion since the outbreak of hostilities. In very painful and very direct ways, Iraq is close to us.”

 

 more on Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles and also note the 29 other states that have joined an Anti-Escalation Campaign  

excerpt is from David Sirota's blog

I’m finally back home in Montana from a week-long trip on the East Coast where, among other things, I attended the Progressive States Network’s first annual gala (you may have seen it replayed on C-SPAN this weekend).

 The event followed a press conference with state legislators and U.S. Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) Ted Kennedy (D-MA) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) to trumpet the 29 states that have joined the Progressive States Network’s Anti-Escalation Campaign by introducing or passing resolutions demanding President Bush stop escalating the war in Iraq.                          

           photo is of Washington State Sen. Jeanne Kohl-Welles accepts Progressive States Network award for her Iraq resolution

 

  Click on this link to go to this page and send message to your Legislator    

     Tell Your Legislator: Stop the Escalation

We have only a matter of time to prevent this escalation. Fortunately, brave state legislators across the country are leading the charge — demanding that Congress take strong action to prevent President Bush from escalating this war.

Fortunately, here in Washington, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles has introduced a resolution demanding a change in policy. Now we just need more support.

Use the form below to ask your legislators to join Senator Kohl-Welles in this act of courage. A resolution passing the legislature will send an incredibly strong signal to our members of Congress that they have a responsibility to our troops and to the American people to prevent this rash action.

Please, feel free to customize the message.

 

April 24, 2007

Subject:

States have a unique role to play in the escalation debate. Any attempt to escalate the war poses grave dangers to the National Guard -- a key emergency responder to natural diasters for state governments.

This proposed escalation is opposed by military experts who know it threatens our military and will do nothing to end the civil war in Iraq.

Here in Washington, Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles is introducing a resolution opposing the escalation. As a constituent, I’d encourage you to sign on with this resolution.

We can make a difference.

Thank you,

Tracking State Action; Iraq  

 


above entry posted by Lietta Ruger


Posted by SwanDeer Project at 12:26 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007 2:02 PM PDT
Monday, 23 April 2007
a memorial edition for the News Tribune featuring all of those young men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq.
Now Playing: Letter to The Olympian from MFSO member, Jessie
Topic: Members Speak Out
  Dear Editor,

 I am a member of MFSO (Military Families Speak Out).  My neighbor just left for his 3rd tour in Iraq a few weeks ago.  While my neighbor and I are not exceptionally close, I did take the opportunity to telephone him before he left and thanked him for his service to our country even though I am thoroughly against this war, I fully support him and will pray for his safe return for his wife and family's sake.  He is now  stationed just north of Bagdad.

 Today's news reports that we have just lost another 9 U. S. soldiers.  Given your proximity to the Ft. Lewis army base, I ask whether your newspaper keeps a list of those Ft. Lewis soldiers who have lost their lives in Iraq?  Given the fact that President Bush calls for a national day of mourning for the Virginia Tech mass shooting and then consider our soldiers whose lives are sacrificed each and every day as this war rages on.  Yet they are just a mere ticker tape mention on CNN.  I suggest a memorial edition for the Olympian that features all of those young men and women who have lost their lives in Iraq.  Make their lives more meaningful than a mere tickertape mention on CNN. Please consider this.
-Jessie

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 10:04 PM PDT
Updated: Wednesday, 25 April 2007 7:06 AM PDT
Sundance channel airing 'Ground Truth' and 'Sir! No Sir!' May 7
Now Playing: Lietta Ruger
Topic: Soldiers Speak Out
Hi chapters,

   My 'find' this morning;   Sundance channel airing two great dvds - one we know about =
'Ground Truth' and if you haven't yet seen 'Sir! No Sir!' then I'd like to recommend it - highly.    Best to you all  -  Lietta - WA state chapter

             http://www.sundancechannel.com/schedule/

On Monday May 7th 2007...there will be an historic night of GI resistance on national television as the Sundance Channel presents the U.S. broadcast premiere of both

Sir! No Sir!
Monday, May 7
The Sundance Channel
9 pm Eastern
8 pm Central
7 pm Mountain
6 pm Pacific

The Ground Truth
Monday, May 7
The Sundance Channel
10:30 pm Eastern
9:30 pm Central
8:30 pm Mountain
7:30 pm Pacific

*******************

This is a wonderful chance for millions of people to see these films that, together, link the tremendous movement of American soldiers against the Vietnam war with the growing opposition
among soldiers to the Iraq war today.

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 9:05 AM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 24 April 2007 12:57 PM PDT
Monday, 16 April 2007
Air Force fills out Army ranks in Iraq
Now Playing: By MICHELLE ROBERTS, Associated Press Writer Sun Apr 15, 7:08 PM ET
Topic: News - troop rotations
 
AP Photo: Air Force Tech
Sgt. Shawn Foust and other
members of the 424 Medium
Truck Division...


CAMP BULLIS, Texas - A row of rumbling flatbed trucks and Humvees outfitted with gun turrets lurches toward a mock village of cinderblock buildings where instructors posing as insurgents wait to test the trainees' convoy protection skills.

The training range is Army, as is the duty itself — one of the most dangerous in Iraq these days. But the young men and women clad in camouflage and helmets training to run and protect convoys are not Army; they're Air Force. They are part of a small but steady stream of airmen being trained to do Army duty under the Army chain of command, a tangible sign the Pentagon was scouring the military to aid an Iraq force that was stretched long before President Bush ordered 21,500 additional U.S. troops there.
"What we've seen is the Department of Defense continues to find ways to meet the
AP Photo: Air Force Tech Sgt.
Shawn Foust and other members
of the 424 Medium Truck Division...

 requirements imposed by the commander in chief," said retired Brig. Gen. Kevin Ryan, a senior fellow at Harvard University's Belfer Center in the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

No plans to expand the Air Force's role in convoy operations have been announced since Bush ordered the troop surge in Iraq, but Ryan said the Army and other branches of service have been looking at every possible job that can be shifted — from the Air Force performing convoy duty to the Navy setting up medical facilities far from waterfronts.

"I can't imagine there are any jobs that they could be doing that they aren't doing, but certainly, that doesn't mean they're not continuing to look to find every possible instance where we can use the full military to solve this problem and not just have this be an Army and Marine Corps issue," he said.

Read the entire article at Yahoo News

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 6:30 AM PDT
Sunday, 15 April 2007
3 More Months
Now Playing: Cartoonist is Tony Auth and site is www.slate.com

 Cartoonist is Tony Auth at site Slate.com

Posted by SwanDeer Project at 8:30 AM PDT

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Criticism of the President is Patriotic

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile.

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else.

But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

Theodore Roosevelt, 1918, Lincoln and Free Speech