Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Monday, June 04, 2007
What are we fighting for?
Why is the military going after Adam Kokesh? From RawStory:

A veteran of the Iraq war is accusing the military of trying to stifle the freedom of speech he volunteered to fight to protect.

After serving his country in Iraq, former Marine Sgt. Adam Kokesh grew disillusioned with US involvement there and became an anti-war activist. He participated in demonstrations around Washington, including Operation First Casualty, which was organized by Iraq Veterans Against the War in March.

Kokesh's anti-war activity and his correspondence with Marine investigators has rankled the military enough that it is working to revoke the veteran's "honorable discharge" designation. Kokesh will appear before a military hearing in Kansas City, Mo., Monday to fight the military's attempt to change his discharge status to "other than honorable."
As Kokesh explained on CNN last Thursday:

"This was a very unique demonstration. It was called Operation First Casualty. And it's called that because the first casualty of war is the truth. And the purpose of this was to bring a small part of the truth of the occupation of Iraq home to the American people. And we did that by simulating a combat patrol through the streets of Washington, D.C. We did it again just this past weekend in New York City. And we had civilians who were playing occupied people. ... We treat them as a combat patrol in Iraq might treat Iraqi civilians."
But the military objected to the protesters, including Kokesh, wearing their real uniforms. More on the protest here. Kokesh's blog is here.

Is it just me, or aren't we supposed to be fighting for "freedom" in Iraq, and doesn't the military defend our freedoms at home, including the right to protest? Hm???

The VFW has now weighed in on Kokesh's plight. From ThinkP:

“The nation’s largest combat veterans group on Friday urged the military to ‘exercise a little common sense’ and call off its investigation of Iraq war veterans who wore their uniforms during war protests. ‘Trying to hush up and punish fellow Americans for exercising the same democratic right we’re trying to instill in Iraq is not what we’re all about,’ said Gary Kurpius, national commander of the 2.4-million-member Veterans of Foreign Wars.”
I'm going to reach out to Kokesh this afternoon, and hopefully have him on the radio show this week. I believe there are hearings scheduled in his case today.

Update: Sgt. Kokesh has already rejected a Pentagon-offered plea bargain. And CBS News asks, is Adam Kokesh the new Cindy Sheehan? I'd like to see the wingers attack him, given that he is a Marine and a veteran of the Iraq war...

Update 2: NewsBusters gives it a whirl.

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posted by JReid @ 7:25 AM  
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