Sunday, November 05, 2006

US war resister Joshua Key denied refugee status

A U.S. military deserter who allegedly saw an Iraqi soldier's severed head get kicked around by his comrades has been denied refugee status in Canada.
Joshua Key, 27, a father of four, is the third high-profile deserter to be refused asylum by the Immigration and Refugee Board.
"I am sure he will be terribly disappointed," Jeffrey House, Key's lawyer, said yesterday. "I thought we had an invincible case."
Key was shipped to Iraq in April 2003 and left 240 days later, disillusioned by the war and shaken by the actions of fellow soldiers.

The above, noted by Vic, is from Tom Godfrey's "Military deserter denied refugee status" (Toronto Sun via CNEWS). Where this leaves Joshua Key is in the appeal limbo that Brandon Hughey and Jeremy Hinzman have been all year. (Joshua Key's case is different in that he deployed to Iraq and self-checked out while on leave in the US. Already self-checked out, he learned about Hinzman online and decided to move to Canada.) The Canadian government, which is not and has not been part of the so-called coalition of the willing, continues to refuse to live up to the judgement that led to their non-participation in the Iraq war.

As they continue to be opposed to the Iraq war but refuse to grant asylum to war resisters, you begin to wonder if the government of Canada is also running the US independent print media? In the Vietnam era, the Canadian government did welcome war resisters. By all accounts, there was no crime spree as a result. Why they refuse to recognize war resisters of this illegal war is a question that needs answering. Or possibly, there are no Pierre Trudeau's today, just sucks ups to the Bully Boy?

In Michelle Mason's documentary Breaking Ranks, Johsua Key states: "As we got down the Euphrates River and we took a sharp right turn , all we seen was heads and bodies. And American troops in the middle of them saying 'we lost it' As soon as I stepped and I walked out the back of my APC, I seen two American soldier kicking the head around like a soccer ball.I stepped right back inside the tank and I told my squad leader . . . 'I won't have no part of this'." When he was serving in Iraq, another soldier passed on the book Sleeping with the Devil: How America Sold it’s Soul for Saudi Crude by Robert Baer. Back in the States in December of 2003 on leave, Key, his wife and his children moved underground to Philadelphia and then to Canada in March of 2005.

Joshua Key is from Oklahoma. When his wife, Brandi, was pregnant with their third child, he enlisted in the military. (He'd been a welder up to that point.) He is the author of The Deserter's Tale to be released in the US in February of 2007.

In this morning's New York Times, Kirk Semple has two pieces. One we wouldn't cover. We don't cover show trials. We're not the Nancy Grace community. The other seems ridiculous. (What he's reporting on, not what the reporting itself.) It's entiteld "U.S. Backs Hot Line in Iraq to Solicit Tips About Trouble." Apparently McGruff the crime dog is being deployed to Iraq. Whether it will 'help take a bite out of crime' is doubtful. If you're an Iraqi who doesn't trust the foreign forces (including the US) and you are also intimidated by local groups, the idea of trusting that your tip will be an anonymous seems a big step to take -- too big.

What it will probably result in is what the snitch program already in plcase in Iraq (and Afghanistan) has. Those with personal axes to grind will hide behind anonymity and drop a dime on someone who's not guilty of the asserted crime but who will be lost for some time in the prison system.

How dopey is the program? Semple quotes US Lt. Col. David Robles and his counterpart in Iraq. What's his name?

If he gave it, we'd note it. But he "requested anonymity" from Semple. Yes, even the Iraqi military needs anonymity when talking to the press. Don't you just know that the 'hotline' will be a huge success?

(That was sarcasm.)

Now, the item a visitor noted yesterday. It's an event we've noted before, but it's write up. The visitor asks that everyone in the area of the University of Michigan "please show up." From "In Brief" (The Ann Arbor News):

The father of the first commissioned U.S. Army officer to refuse to fight in Iraq will visit Ann Arbor on Monday to discuss his son's plight as he awaits court martial.
Bob Watada, father of Lt.
Ehren Watada, will give a presentation at 8 p.m. at Angell Hall on the University of Michigan campus. It will coincide with a viewing of "The Ground Truth,'' an hour-long documentary depicting the impact of the Iraq war on U.S. troops.
Watada, a 28-year-old Hawaii native, in June refused to deploy to Iraq because he believes the war is illegal.
The event is sponsored by Michigan Peaceworks, the Residential College, MSA Peace and Justice Commission, Veterans for Peace, Military Families Speak Out and Pax Christi. Call 734-761-5922 for more information.

New content is finally up at The Third Estate Sunday Review:

Editorial: The lack of passion in independent media (print division)
TV Review: Shadowing the Dick Wolf
The never ending book discussion
Death of the Press
The Life of the Independent Press
Variety ad we'd like to see this winter
Meet the Donkaphant Harold Ford Jr.
Hurry Candidate
Here's what's going on

Somewhere, around four in the morning, I think, the decision was made to a print version and an online version. The online version is up. (The book discussion is an expanded version of the cutting that appeared in print.) That's it for me this morning, (or 'morning'), no other posts.

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