Thursday, August 14, 2008

Jeremy Hinzman

Jeremy Hinzman, a deserter from the United States Army, was ordered Wednesday to leave Canada by Sept. 23. Mr. Hinzman, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, left the Army for Canada in January 2004 and later became the first deserter to formally seek refuge there from the war in Iraq. He has been unable to obtain permanent immigrant status, and in November, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear an appeal of his case. Vanessa Barrasa, a spokeswoman for the Canada Border Services Agency, said Mr. Hinzman, above, had been ordered to leave voluntarily. In July, another American deserter was removed from Canada by border officials after being arrested. Although the Conservative government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has not backed the Iraq war, it has shown little sympathy for American deserters, a significant change from the Vietnam War era.

That's Ian Austen buried inside the New York Times and in "World Briefing." Nothing on Iraq in the paper. You learn Sabrina Tavernise is now in Georgia (and filing two stories -- one front page and co-written) and you learn that Carlotta Gall remains a one-woman news division (she produces two stories from Afghanistan). You learn nothing on Iraq and the above is buried in the paper's "briefs." Garbage. The Los Angeles Times also reduces it to World Briefing. Utah's Daily Herald includes it in briefings as does Tulsa World. Radio Netherlands files a brief as well. All Headline News also presents a brief while BBC teases out a brief with padding and Canwest News Services settles for a brief. Sindh Today's "American war resister told to leave Canada" actually goes beyond brief:

Hinzman, who fled to Toronto with his wife Nga Nguyen and his son Liam (now six), sought refugee status in Canada on grounds of his conscientious objection to the Iraq war.
But the Canadian immigration and refugee board rejected his plea in March 2005 despite pressure from the War Resisters Support Campaign.
Later when the federal court of appeal also upheld the decision of the refugee board, Hinzman moved the supreme court of Canada.
But the country's apex court refused to entertain his petition.
After this, he filed a petition with the refugee board for permanent residence on compassionate grounds, citing that he could face torture if sent back to the US. But the board was not moved by his plea.
Reacting to the Canadian government's decision to throw him and his family out of the country, the American said: "We're disappointed. Life goes on and we'll make the most of it wherever we end up."
Hinzman, whose wife gave birth to their daughter Meghan three weeks ago, made light of his predicament by saying that he could be back in Canada when his daughter (being a Canadian because of her birth here) grew up.

Sarah notes this from Courage to Resist:

Jeremy Hinzman ordered deported from Canada PDF Print E-mail


By Courage to Resist and War Resisters Support Campaign (Canada). August 13, 2008

The first U.S. war resister to apply for refuge in Canada has been ordered deported by September 23rd. Jeremy is in Canada with his wife Nga Nuyen, and their two young children. This decision flies in the face of the motion adopted by Parliament on June 3, 2008 which calls on the government to allow US war resisters to apply for Permanent Resident status in Canada. Supporters are calling on Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to intervene. Phone 613.996.4974 or email

And this is the War Resisters Support Campaign:

Jeremy Hinzman ordered deported

The first U.S. war resister to apply for refuge in Canada has been ordered deported by September 23rd. Jeremy is in Canada with his wife Nga Nuyen, and their two young children.

This decision flies in the face of the motion adopted by Parliament on June 3, 2008 which calls on the government to allow US war resisters to apply for Permanent Resident status in Canada. It also rejects the will of Canadians who have demonstrated in various polls that they want war resisters to stay.

The War Resisters Support Campaign is calling on the federal government and the Hon. Diane Finley, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, to intervene to prevent the Hinzman family from being sent to the U.S. to be punished.

Both organizations are calling for action. Jeremy Hinzman and other war resisters in Canada need support and to pressure the Stephen Harper government to honor the House of Commons vote, Gerry Condon, War Resisters Support Campaign and Courage to Resist all encourage contacting the Diane Finley (Minister of Citizenship and Immigration -- 613.996.4974, phone; 613.996.9749, fax; e-mail -- that's "finley.d" at "") and Stephen Harper (Prime Minister, 613.992.4211, phone; 613.941.6900, fax; e-mail -- that's "pm" at ""). Courage to Resist collected more than 10,000 letters to send before the vote. Now they've started a new letter you can use online here. The War Resisters Support Campaign's petition can be found here. Long expulsion does not change the need for action and the War Resisters Support Campaign explains: "The War Resisters Support Campaign is calling on supporters across Canada to urgently continue to put pressure on the minority conservative government to immediately cease deportation proceedings against other US war resisters and to respect the will of Canadians and their elected representatives by implementing the motion adopted by Parliament on June 3rd. Please see the take action page for what you can do."

Michael Futch continues his reporting on the news with "Canada deports deserter" (Fayetteville Observer):

In a telephone interview from his Toronto apartment, Hinzman said he was tremendously disappointed in the decision. "In June, the Canadian Parliament had passed a motion that (war resisters) should be able to stay in Canada. It was a non-binding motion, but it expressed the will of parliament and the Canadian people."
"I don't regret what we've done," he said. "I've had the opportunity to speak out against the war. No offense to the soldiers over there -- I have respect for them as soldiers -- but it was a bogus war based on false pretenses ... and I'm happy to have not taken part in it."
Hinzman has talked to his lawyer about other legal steps, but he is prepared to be sent back to the United States.
"We don't have any other option," he said. "That's fine. I'll end up with whatever they want to give me."

Don Jorgensen's "South Dakota Army Deserter Ordered To Return Home" (South Dakota's KELOLAND TV):

That deserter is Jeremy Hinzman, a graduate from Rapid City Stevens High School. He went A.W.O.L. in 2004 when he learned his unit was to go to Iraq. He sought refugee status in Canada.
But today the Canadian Border Services agency ordered him out of the country by September 23rd. KEOLAND News talked with Hinzman by phone today at his home in Toronto, Canada and he told me he'll likely go to prison now.

Canada's CBC notes, "Federal NDP citizenship and immigration critic Olivia Chow, who put forward the June motion, called Wednesday's decision "mean-spirited," and called on Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley to halt the deportation of Hinzman and other war resisters immediately." Liam Lahey's "PARKDALE: Resident ordered out of Canada" (Inside Toronto) is an actual article:

Dale Landry, spokesperson for the Toronto-based War Resisters Support Campaign and himself a deserter of the U.S. Air Force, said action is being planned nationwide to try to sway the federal Conservative government from deporting Hinzman next month.
"We're going to try everything we can do legally to keep him in the country," he said. "If Jeremy is sent back, his wife is left as a single mom raising two small children and that's not an easy thing to do while he's in jail for God knows how long."
Landry acknowledged Hinzman's deportation order has sent shock waves through the hearts of other American war resisters residing in Toronto – many of whom chose to come to Canada after reading about Hinzman's situation on various websites.
"It definitely is a cage-rattler," Landry said. "Jeremy has lived here for the last four years. This is his home now."
NDP MP Peggy Nash (Parkdale-High Park) told the war resisters ought to be welcomed into Canada.
"There's a lot of support (for the war resisters) in the Parkdale area," she said. "We need to keep the pressure on to get an indefinite postponement (of all deportation orders against U.S. military personnel) so Jeremy and his family can stay."

Others doing actual reporting include Brett Clarkson and this is from "Canada orders U.S. deserter to leave" (Edmonton Sun) notes:

Outside the CBSA offices near Pearson International Airport yesterday, Hinzman said he still believes he and other deserters did the right thing by coming to Canada rather than fighting in Iraq.
"Iraq was an unjust war based on false pretences, and every soldier who refused to fight probably saved a lot of lives," said Hinzman, who was joined by his wife Nga Nguyen, son Liam, 6, and the couple's newborn daughter.

Jessica McDiarmid (Canadian Press) continues, "The 29-year-old was stoic as he walked out, holding the glass door open for his son Liam, 6, and his wife Nga Nguyen, who cradled a newborn daughter in her arms." And David Hutton (Globe and Mail) observes:

The decision also puts at risk similar applications filed by other U.S. deserters, which will be decided in the coming weeks, said Gordon Maynard, a prominent Vancouver immigration lawyer. Each appeal is decided on a case-by-case basis, and this isn't precedent-setting, but the decision sends a message that U.S. deserters are going to find it impossible to stay without political support, he said. "There's not a whole lot of options left for these guys," Mr. Maynard said. "There are clearly political considerations here. ... The law doesn't offer protection to these guys. It will take a discretionary political decision to save them."

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader posted another audio message yesterday and we will note it in full in today's snapshot.

Last night was 'movie night' for many community sites. Rebecca offered "breakfast club," Ruth went with "Betrayed," Kat offered "Pretty in Pink and Reckless," Marcia explored "Outrageous Fortune," Elaine examined "Broadway Danny Rose" and Mike went with "Die Hard and Baby Boom." Cedric's "The battered syndrome is what Bambi works" and Wally's "THIS JUST IN! BARACK SPITS ON WOMEN AGAIN!" covered the latest disgusting insult to women from Team Obama. And if you missed Betty's "Testing out The Obama Playbook" and Trina's "Garlic Pasta in the Kitchen" over the weekend, please check them out.

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