News Release

* U.S. Soldier, Following Conscience, in Prison * “Operation Withdrawal Scam”


Monica Benderman is the wife of Kevin Benderman. She said today: “The Army has found Sgt. Kevin Benderman not guilty of Desertion, but guilty of Missing Movement, and has sentenced him to 15 months confinement, reduction in rank, loss of pay and dishonorable discharge. Sgt. Kevin Benderman will serve his time, but he will do it knowing that he has done nothing wrong — that his is a stand, not only for Conscientious Objection and a non-violent resolution to our problems, but also for the right of soldiers to be treated with respect, to be given the honor they deserve, and to have the sacrifice that they have made in their service to this country met with equal sacrifice by those they have volunteered to defend.

“War is dehumanizing in all aspects. There is nothing about war that can bring lasting peace. It is not until we learn to lay down our weapons and face our differences with rational conflict resolution, confident strength in not backing down from our principles, and a strong stand for what we truly believe, that we will ever have the freedom we desire. Sgt. Kevin Benderman maintains his integrity by showing others how to handle the greatest adversity with dignity and honor, and in doing so, he represents the very values laid down in the Constitution of our country that he continues to defend with his current actions. I am proud of my husband — and I stand with him in his conviction that, as human beings, we must rise above violence and reach for a better way.”
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Author of the book War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death, Solomon is executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He wrote today: “A few days ago, the White House launched a new phase of its propaganda siege for the Iraq war. The opening salvo came on July 27, when the commander of American forces in Iraq said that continuation of recent trends would make possible ‘some fairly substantial reductions’ of U.S. troop levels in the spring and summer of 2006. Those reductions, Gen. George Casey proclaimed, will happen ‘if the political process continues to go positively and if the development of the security forces continues to go as it is going.’ Gen. Casey’s statement, which made big news, was the start of a media offensive likely to last for the next 15 months, until the congressional elections. We might call it Operation Withdrawal Scam. Overall, the strategy is double-barreled: Keep killing in Iraq while hyping scenarios for withdrawal of U.S. troops.”
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Zappala’s oldest son, Pennsylvania National Guardsman Sgt. Sherwood Baker, was killed in Baghdad on April 26, 2004, in an explosion while providing security detail for the Iraq Survey Group, which was looking for weapons of mass destruction. She is now active with the groups Military Families Speak Out and Gold Star Families for Peace. She said today: “The current suggestion of withdrawal from the administration is predicated on too many unlikely things happening simultaneously; it’s a way of pacifying people and a way of getting them not to think about what the administration is continuing to do day in and day out in Iraq. Things are getting worse, largely because of our presence. We are not repairing the country and injustices are continuing to fester. Besides the Iraqis getting killed, we are losing, on average, two U.S. soldiers every day. So, who are those two soldiers who will die every day between now and when this alleged withdrawal takes place? I think we need honest Congressional hearings so that everyone can understand what will be involved in an exit strategy. We can truly honor the fallen by dealing in the truth.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167