How one sentence changed my opinion

| September 3, 2010

Yes, I shouldn’t be blogging before my wedding, well, rust never sleeps or something like that.

So what has me fired up enough to write this post? Well, the story about the Muslim GI who wants out on a CO. Now, the first article I read I was totally down with him. As I have said before, I don’t have any grave issues with COs, and believe that some, like Logan Laituri, come by that honestly. They have a crisis of faith and can’t go on. Let’s be honest, no one wants a trigger puller next to them who can’t pull a trigger.

Well, Fox has a follow on story that is rather lengthy, that at first blush I disagreed with the Muslim group saying this guy should basically be hung by his short and curlies.

An American Muslim organization is asking the U.S. Army to deny a Muslim soldier’s request for conscientious objector status, accusing him of treason and urging the military to punish him to the full extent of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Pfc. Naser Abdo, a 20-year-old infantryman who joined the Army one year ago, filed for conscientious objector status in June, saying his faith and the military don’t mix. “As a Muslim, we stand against injustice, we stand against discrimination, and I feel it’s my duty as an individual to do this,” Abdo told

It goes on in this vein (vain?) for quite a while, and I was still down with this cat trying to get out. Then I saw this:

Abdo’s attorney, James Branum, says if Abdo’s claim is denied, he can re-file with new evidence, seek to take the matter to a federal civilian court, refuse to deploy or drop the matter altogether. He acknowledged that Abdo could go to jail if he refuses to obey orders to deploy.

“We’re trying to avoid that kind of showdown,” Branum told “At this moment, Abdo is in a place where he’s not going to violate his conscience.”

Now, not to put too fine a point on this, but BULL SHIT. No one hires Branum who isn’t trying to make a political point. First off, as I have stated previously, a CO application is not a legal mechanism. It’s not a legal proceeding. You don’t need a lawyer.

If this douchetool hired Branum he is ever a complete fahkin idiot, or he’s full of shit. I’m betting on the latter.

Category: Politics

Comments (23)

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  1. AW1 Tim says:

    Agreed. And if he HAS indeed hired this tool, or even got him to work pro-bono (which I can’t ever imagine Branum doing. Ever), then he’s pretty much guaranteed himself a jail term.

    Hiring Branum as your lawyer is like hiring Jack Kevorkian as your doctor, IMHO.

  2. Nexxius says:

    He joined the Army one year ago…if he opposes the war he sould have never joined. Its not like Iraq or Afgan suddenly came up in the last year. Hang the fool.

  3. Siggurdsson says:


  4. Chuck Z says:

    No issues with CO’s either. We should send them to the most remote shitholes in the world, no phone, internet, tv, etc, have them guarding a box of grid squares. Make sure the place is hotter than Iraq, and colder than Afghanistan.

    Of course, due to the remote location, I don’t think their families will be able to visit, and mail will be limited to letters, and even then, only monthly. Chow will be in the form of MREs, 3/365. Also, leave may be taken, but only on-site.

    They will stay there, guarding the widget until their enlistments are up.

    No problem. You don’t want to fight, fine. But you don’t get to hang out back in the world while your betters go forward. That’s what civilians do.

  5. Anonymous says:

    “Lawfare” subversion versus America. (Otherwise, the little sh*t, would be at a loss the explain 9/11. the Taliban or just Jihad in the Koran in general by his logic.)

  6. NHSparky says:

    “If this douchetool hired Branum he is ever a complete fahkin idiot, or he’s full of shit. I’m betting on the latter.”

    Why not both?

  7. From the Free Nasser Abdo website:

    “If deployed, PFC Abdo will be at danger of harassment and even death from his fellow soldiers, many of whom will be resentful of PFC Abdo’s religious beliefs and his desire to be discharged from the military.”

    Once again Branum and Co. demonizing Soldiers. Will he get harassed? Perhaps, but killed? That is just ridiculous. But then again, Soldiers must be a pack of brainwashed robots who can’t get enough killing.

  8. UpNorth says:

    How about, “If deployed, PFC Abdo will be at danger from jihadists”? Last I checked, when the Jihadists open fire on US Troops, they don’t check their program to see who’s who, or set their weapons on “don’t fire on Muslims”.
    This is just another stunt by the media whore, Branum and the rest of his ilk. And a douChe who enlisted for the bennies, but saw that he might deploy and just had to get out, anyway, any how.

  9. Old Trooper says:

    I agree with Nexxius; if he joined up a year ago and all of a sudden he now finds a conscience, then his ass should have to serve as Chuck suggested.

  10. Virtual Insanity says:

    I guess you’re right, Carl! MAJ Nidal Hasan was in the Army when he killed all those people! So was SGT Hasan Akbar!

  11. spockgirl says:

    Hmm…So… this kid Naser Abdo joins the army, gets military training, learns how to disassemble a weapon, reassemble it, fire it, reload it, knowing full well that he might be deployed and actually have to use it… on people, er… terrorists… who share his faith?
    In other words: Here son, would you like a piece of apple pie? Sure, thank you. May I have a taste? No sir. Sorry, I ate it all.
    I am an outsider looking in, so I have no clue if my comment will make sense. The story itself, and that of Nadal Hasan are very thought provoking on many levels.

  12. Smorgasbord says:

    Getting married is like taking a hot bath. It ain’t so hot once you get in. Ha Ha.

    Was Abdo a Muslim when he joined? If so, why did he go into the infantry? Something doesn’t sound right here. If all of what they are saying is true, then no Muslims should join ANY military since all branches of the military are there to destroy our enemies.

  13. Spockgirl:
    You may feel that you are on the outside looking in, but your comment is spot on.
    I would have no problem sympathizing with Conscientious Objectors if there were a draft, and if they made their claim upon first showing up. This coward, like the cowards of IVAW, et al, volunteered his service.
    Chuck Z says it best!

  14. I can’t believe I’m arguing this with you on the internet from my phone while waiting for the plane to unload, but this has to be said:

    I don’t know the whole situation, but not everyone who hires a lawyer for their CO process is trying to be political. Hell, they encourage people medboarding to see a medboard lawyer. It is not inconceivable that someone might get or think they need a CO lawyer.

    Also, people get lawyers based on who they know, who they’re recommended, or who they google. Not everyone defended by Branum shares his politics.

  15. ROS says:

    No, he just allows his non-political lawyer to make grandiose statements to FoxNews.

    Open your eyes.

  16. The only time I’ve ever heard anyone getting a lawyer for CO is when Branum gets involved. I know a few CO’s and they never got a lawyer and all got good discharges. They never did it the IVAW/anti-war movement way. Even if some of them at the time where in IVAW. Also, some of those same people advise not getting a lawyer because it doesn’t help. If you have legal questions, hit up JAG, IG, etc etc.

    AS, as far as med board lawyer, they have those on post and that is their specific job. So that would eliminate the need for Branum in that case as well.

    It doesn’t matter if they do or do not share his views, it matters that he is a disaster as a lawyer. He was at that last Ft. Hood “action” as a legal observer, he’s talking about a showdown in this case, which is so bizarre to even bring up, and the legal community and the Army look down on him, and rightfully so. He’s botched things up so bad in the past that he has solidified his reputation and that is what brings his clients down.

    Getting Branum for a lawyer is like like race car driving with out a harness and wearing a blindfold. You’re going to hit the wall and go SPLAT!

  17. Sporkmaster says:

    Also considering that just because the Defense Attorneys are also Military does not mean that they will have it out for you. I have seen a JAG Lawyer get a Bad Conduct Discharged reduced to a General, even trying for a General under Honorable Conditions.

    Branum is a bad lawyer regardless of politics and it seems that his Clients are more then happy to go along with his politics. So considering this what is there to assume differently about those who hire him?

  18. Kanani says:

    This case sounds politically motivated. I give it a bogus rating.

    I think Conscientious Objectors are rare. I know two who went through the process during Vietnam, prior to getting their number called in the draft. It was a laborious process, involved an incredible amount of counseling from independent sources –psychologists, ministers, and going before a review board. It was a grilling. He had been raised this way, as his parents were religious pacifists. And so it was that they raised all six of their kids to think this way. He could intelligently argue as to why he was a C.O., and unlike this guy -there wasn’t a partisan bent to it. He never had a lawyer, either. It was spiritually who he was. He was 19 when he passed through the hurdles. The other was raised a Buddhist. Same thing. He went through a rigorous set of interviews too.

    I greatly admire people like this. But like I said, I think they’re rare.

    The people I take issue with are those who join the military and a few years down the line discover that the C.O. bill seems to fit them best. Fine. But the world will not stop on a dime for this. They should fulfill the promise they made to the military because the essence of being a C.O. is understanding your actions and your word means everything. One cannot be a CO when it suits you best. Real pacifism doesn’t work this way. In yoga we say, “Use actions and words deliberately.”

    Nor do I understand C.O.’s who get out of the military and commit what I would consider acts that do not bring peace to themselves or others. Caterwaul they may, but don’t burn flags to make a fleeting point, don’t align themselves with politically partisan organizations, don’t become apologists.

    That first C.O. I wrote about? Flash forward decades later. After working in the busiest area of the country saving lives of the indigent, he decided to do the same thing somewhere else. Times change, history marches forward and people do too. Where will you find him today? Well, the U.S. Army, in the combat zones, saving lives as a surgeon. Yeah, I married him. He carries bugs out of the house. I grab a can of Raid. I guess we are Yin and Yang.

  19. Daniel says:

    Military Defense Attorney’s are required to do everything possible to defend their client even though they are in the military. The military court system reviews every case that occurs and if they find the defense attorney negligent, they disbar. Every JAG that I have worked with has been a complete professional and understand their duty to their client. Due to this, there is no reason to hire a civilian attorney and waste your money.

    Second, the fact the he hired a lawyer who then held a press conference for an administrative action shows that he and Branum are both idiots. He might as well get ready for the prison sentnce now.

  20. UpNorth says:

    AS, as Daniel said so succinctly, Abdo should probably just go out and buy an orange jumpsuit, then he won’t have to worry about a brand new one chafing him when he ends up in a stockade somewhere or other. Branum is fully capable of turning a traffic ticket or disorderly complaint into a felony, as any of his victims, er, clients can attest to.