Saturday, July 23, 2005

The Army Has Arrested the Wife of an Active-Duty War Resister

Three weeks ago, on July 1st I posted the story of a woman’s aunt and uncle that were carted away by agents of the Bush & Co forces: Who Will Be Next? You, Me, Your Neighbor—Who Will BE Next? Now, along with arbitray civilian arrests, wives of active duty war resisters are also being arrested. Read the following story about Dale and Amy Bartell. Dale was tried and convicted by a military court for “desertion” and sentanced to 4 months in a military prison. His real crime was to protest being sent to a war that was and is being driven by lies and deceptions. The Army not being satisfied with Dales arrest, conviction and incarceration, has arrested his wife, Amy, on the charge of “enticing, abetting a deserter.”

Recently congress established a “national ID; created a “secret police” comprised of FBI, CIA and the military; the courts said Bush could declare anyone he wants an “enemy combatant” and hold them forever; and now all of that is being unleashed against the citizens of this nation. Sinclare Lewis was wrong in the title of his book, “It Can’t Happen Here” because it has happened here.

Also see: Morphing the Gestapo by Doris Colmes. Pay heed to her warnings!

Welcome to the New World Order and the death of any semblance of democracy thanks to the Theocratic/Fascist/Oligarchy ideologues running this Twilight Zone episode—Bush & Co. This is but one more of the mounting reasons for all of us that are able to be in
Washington, D.C. this Sept 24-26 for the mass rally to be held there.--Jack
…………………………………
Welcome to Tom's place -for those who seek Peace and Justice—By “Tom Joad”

Spc. Dale Bartell, U.S. Army and his wife, Amy Bertell:

This is a first that I know of, a spouse has been charged in the case of a military resister. A felony charge has been filed against the wife of a man who fled the military rather than go to Iraq where he had done a previous tour of duty. Amy was charged with “enticing, abetting a deserter”. Given the moral bankruptcy of this war, I believe this is a badge of honor. Though I have not seen the indictment, it sounds like Amy Bartell was charged under this Federal Law. If so, Amy, mother of four children, (the military, in its compassion, has not charged any of the children) is faced with a maximum term of three years.

Free the Dale and Amy Bartell!

July 22 Update: According to Amy's attorney Bill Durland, the military wrongfully charged a civilian wife of a AWOL soldier with the crime of “enticing, abetting a deserter” (see link). This may be the first time the statute has been used, and it was not done properly (military police issued the warrant without a U.S. Attorney's approval, but as you can see below, Ft Carson plays fast and loose with the law). There is a hearing for Amy on August 17th.

Read the following ...Story from the Colorado Springs Gazette---

Ft. Carson GI convicted of dodging duty By DENNIS HUSPENI

A Fort Carson soldier has been convicted of intent to avoid hazardous duty — what amounts to desertion — and is serving time in a military prison after trying to declare himself a conscientious objector.

Army officials also have filed a felony charge against his wife, alleging she was “enticing, abetting a deserter,” her attorney said.

Spc. Dale Bartell, assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, didn’t always oppose war. He enlisted almost three years ago and served a tour in Iraq.

But Bartell and his wife, Amy Bartell, joined a Mennonite church, and their philosophies changed, she said Wednesday outside a U.S. District courtroom in Colorado Springs where she was scheduled for a hearing.

“He’s changed since joining. If he knew the teachings then that we know now, he never would have joined,” Amy Bartell said. “He knew there was going to be consequences for his stance.

“I didn’t know I’d get into trouble for being a housewife.”

As his unit was preparing to go back to Iraq, Bartell’s commanding officers would not help him — and even hindered him — in filing the paperwork to become a conscientious objector, said Amy Bartell’s attorney, Bill Durland.

“He knew that once they got him over there, they would have their way,” Amy Bartell said, noting officers offered to let him use “non-lethal” ammunition in Iraq. “He would have to ignore his religious convictions. What choice did he have? He went AWOL.”

Soldiers have filed about 150 conscientious-objector applications since 2002; the Los Angeles Times reported [Story link] recently using Pentagon figures [The actual number is probably much higher. Soldiers fill these long forms out and then it sits on his/her commanding officers desk for months at a time. --Tom]. About 71 of those applications were approved. During the Vietnam War — where many soldiers were drafted — there were some 17,000 applications from active-duty soldiers, according to the Times report.

Bartell, who has been transferred to a military prison in Fort Sill, Okla., was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

The first time Bartell went absent without leave was from March 7 through April 8, according to Durland. During that time, Bartell never left Fort Carson, where the couple lived on base with their four children, ages 1 to 11.
Amy Bartell received a letter saying all pay and benefits were being cut off.

The second time Bartell went AWOL was on the day he thought his unit was to ship out, April 17. He met with a military defense attorney May 12 and turned himself in.

By that time, the couple had moved to the Cañon City area to be near their church, the Skyline Mennonite Church. Military police showed up in early May and served Amy Bartell with the felony charge of “enticing, abetting a deserter,” Durland said.

That charge could result in punishment of up to three years in prison, Durland said.

Prosecutors charged Spc. Bartell with “intent to avoid hazardous duty,” which is basically the same as desertion, Durland said. On advice from his military attorney, Bartell pleaded guilty to the charge in hopes his conscientious objector position could mitigate a harsh prison sentence.

“He pleaded guilty because he accepted responsibility for what he had done,” Bartell said. “It was his only option. He was not going to say ‘no’ to God.”

Bartell’s military attorney told a Fort Carson public affairs officer Wednesday she would have to get permission from her client before answering any questions.

The spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver declined comment on the case Wednesday.

On July 12, Spc. Bartell was sentenced to four months in prison, after which he will be dishonorably discharged.

Rev. Loren Miller, of Skyline Mennonite, said the church is for pacifist Christians. Church officials and volunteers have helped the Bartells, and were at the hearing Wednesday — which was postponed until Aug. 17.

“We are harmless, peace-loving people,” Miller said, noting Mennonites take the Scriptures literally.

Amy Bartell is worried about the felony charge she faces. And she’s worried about her husband.

“He’s going through a lot,” she said. “It does affect him. He’s sitting in prison knowing I’m getting into trouble for what we believe.”

Ft. Carson Bans the Denver Post
The same military base that attacks the wife of a soldier whose religious beliefs forbid him from participating in combat was in the news last December, when it temporarily banned the Denver Post from covering its activities, after it printed an article it did not like. Cutting ties to the outside world is the modus operandi of religious cults and/or dictatorships. Read two stories below.
http://www.tomjoad.org/warheroes6.htm#bertell

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