Friday, August 31, 2012

Kimberly Rivera and threats to burn Abu Ghraib prison

Yesterday, Iraq War veteran and war resister Kimberly Rivera learned the government of Canada had ordered her to be deported.  She went to Canada in 2007 seeking asylum after deciding she could not return to Iraq.   Alyssa Manning is Kim's attorney.  Krystalline Kraus (Rabble) reports:

“In the humanitarian application they have to consider the best interests of the Rivera children, which is not a consideration in the assessment by the immigration officer,” Manning said. “There are four minor children here, two of which are Canadian. Those interests haven’t been considered yet.”
Manning has argued in federal court that Rivera would likely face a court martial and the possibly up to five years if she is deported back to the United States.
According to Michelle Robidoux, a spokesperson for the War Resisters Support Campaign (WRSC), “(Kim) faces a court martial and jail sentence, which, based on what other people have gotten, is a harsh jail sentence,” Robidoux said. “She will be separated from her family. Her husband suffers from a disability and he’s going to have four kids on his hands.”

The always fact challenged editorial board of the Calgary Herald weighs in with, "Rivera’s situation stands in sharp contrast to those who fled to Canada to avoid U.S. military service during the Vietnam War. Those individuals had been drafted against their will. Rivera chose to enlist in the U.S.’s all-volunteer army."  No, it's not.  It's a shame so many stupid people end up editorial boards.

During Vietnam, Elaine and I gladly helped many men get into Canada.  We raised funds, a few we even drove in.  I damn well know what the mindless idiots of the Calgary Herald don't.  War resisters -- those who went to Canada to avoid being drafted and those who went to Canada after they'd been inducted -- were not asked, "Did you enlist?"  And, sorry mindless zombies of the Calgary Herald, some had enlisted.  It didn't matter than and it shouldn't matter now.

If you are exposed to a war and that awakens something in you, be it horror or spiritual or whatever, you can become a war resister and it doesn't matter if you enlisted or you were drafted.

The Calgary Herald has repeatedly distorted history and has repeatedly attacked war resisters of the current war.  At some point, you'd think they'd be sick of their own lies.  But that's crediting them with a consciousness that their writing has never indicated they possess.

Kimberly Rivera will now be extradited to the US by September 20 following a CIC ruling announced on Thursday, Reuters reported.
The 30-year-old had gone to Canada on leave and later applied for refugee status.
Rivera, who lives in Toronto with her husband and four children, will face imprisonment in the US if deported, said Michelle Robidoux, spokeswoman for the War Resisters Support Campaign, which backs the US military personnel refusing to join the US-led war in Iraq.  

The War Resisters Support Campaign notes:


On Thursday, August 30th the Canadian government ordered U.S. Iraq war resister Kimberly Rivera, her husband Mario and their four young children deported to the United States. Kimberly served in Iraq in 2006, and sought refuge in Canada in 2007 after making the decision that she could no longer participate in the Iraq War.

Kimberly was the first woman US Iraq War resister to come to Canada. She and her family live in Toronto. If deported, she faces harsh punishment. War resisters Robin Long and Clifford Cornell, two Iraq war resisters deported by the Harper government, were court-martialed and sentenced to 15 months and 12 months respectively for speaking out against the Iraq War.
Canada’s Parliament has adopted two motions calling on the federal government to allow war resisters to stay in Canada. But Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Jason Kenney has publicly labelled Iraq War resisters as “bogus refugee claimants”. In July 2010, he issued a bulletin to all Immigration Officers requiring them to red-flag applications that involve US war resisters, labeling them as ‘criminally inadmissible’.
Amnesty International Canada and former Immigration and Refugee Board Chair Peter Showler have called for Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Operational Bulletin 202 to be rescinded because it “fails to recognize that military desertion for reasons of conscience is in fact clearly recognized as a legitimate ground for refugee protection” and it “misstates the law and seeks to intrude on the independence of both IRB members and Immigration Officers.”

In Iraq, the issue of passing an amnesty law gets a little more heated.  Dropping back to yesterday's snapshot:

On the disappeared, all this time later, there is still no amnesty law.  Currently in Mosul and Baghdad, inmates in two prisons are on hunger-strikes (more prisons may have joined this) calling for the passage of an amnesty law.  Nouri's been accused of rushing through executions to ensure that they take place before any amnesty law might stop them.  Al Rafidayn reports that Nouri's State of Law is insisting that people are wrong when they say State of Law is stalling on the amnesty law.   And possibly State of Law is telling the truth?  This could be just another example of how State of Law lacks the ability to lead on any issue.

Hunger-strikes and sit-ins (the Mosul prison has also staged sit-ins) are no longer the only thing the inmates are doing.  Al Mada reports today that inmates of the Baghdad prison, Abu Ghrab,  have announced their intent to set fire to prison if the bill is not passed by Thursday.

It's really amazing the stories the US press doesn't even bother to cover from Iraq -- while lecturing about who did or did not mention Iraq at a political convention this week.  The prison story has gone from one to two prisons, from hunger-strikes to hunger-strikes and sit-ins and now to the threat of burning down a prison.

I would call the threat to burn down a prison "news."  Maybe we can have a citizens convention after the DNC finishes their own?  And at the citizens convention we can discuss all the ways the press fails us day after day?

That would include the writers who continue to express momentary outrage over Iraq to attack the GOP this week but still can't tell you a thing about what's going on in Iraq today because they just don't give a damn.  They only care about Iraq as a club with which to bludgeon their political opponents.  And you wonder how Nouri gets away with executing almost 100 people so far this year?

The following community sites -- plus Adam Kokesh,, Watching America and On The Wilder Side --  updated last night and this morning:

  • Plus Mike's "Drones and party" which is not showing up.

    The e-mail address for this site is