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Found Defective, Returned

Oh, my. I find myself positively verkempt and absolutely gobsmacked at the inhumanity of the plight of Jeremy Hinzman.

For those of you unfamiliar with this persecuted martyr, Mr. Hinzman is a US Army deserter currently living in Canada.

Mr. Hinzman enlisted in the Army early in 2001, well before 9/11. He volunteered for the infantry, and later for airborne training. Then, later, he decided that he didn't think the war in Iraq was legal and didn't want to take part. He filed for conscientious objector status, but it was denied. So he chose to take his wife and head for Canada, where he applied for refugee status.

Well, it's taken a few years, but the Canadian court system has decided that he doesn't qualify to be treated as a refugee or potential victim of political persecution should he return to the US. Instead, he will simply be held to the contract he voluntarily signed back in 2001, and held accountable for his willful violations of the laws regarding desertion. He has until September 23 to get the hell out of Canada.

I'm not so sure how I feel about that. On the one hand, he did make the commitment and he did break the law, and he ought to be held accountable for his misdeeds. People like him need to be held responsible for their actions.

On the other hand, he's a weaselly scumbag, and both the Army and the nation are better off without him.

Here's my compromise: he's facing up to five years in prison. Offer him three, plus a free one-way ticket for him to any other country in the world, under the condition that he not come back for at least ten years. (If he wants to take his family with him, let him pony up for them -- or get his legions of supporters to kick in.)

He made a commitment, of his own free will. It's no "violation of human rights" to insist that he abide by his commitment, like millions of other Americans have done over the last 35+ years since the draft ended. And it's no "violation of human rights" to invoke the laws and rules he agreed to abide by when he signed his enlistment papers.

Jeremy Hinzman.is no hero. He is no victim. He is no martyr.

He's a whiny asshole, and he's about to be held accountable for his deeds.

Cry me a freaking river.


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Comments (40)

I think he should have to p... (Below threshold)

I think he should have to pay the full penalty under law for his actions. If you want to offer a 'deal', then be sure he pays for the training and any enlistment bonuses. Those are sunk costs that he essentially stole from the US government (aka us taxpayers).

Jay, there is one flaw in y... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Jay, there is one flaw in your plan. Your plan involves making an agreement with him, a contract if you will. You are making a second contract with him to make up for his not abiding by the original contract. Since he didn't live up to the first contract what makes you sure he will abide by the second? What will be the punishment is he doesn't abide by contract #2? Create contract #3?

His original contract stated the terms and conditions quite plainly. He signed that contract. He needs to abide by the terms of that contract. If he feels the contract is unfair, then sue the government and take it all the way to the Supreme Court. Let's see how well that will work.

It should be national polic... (Below threshold)

It should be national policy to allow anyone who hates the US as a democratic nation to denounce their citizenship and move to the socialist paradise of their choice, be it Cuba, North Korea or The Sudan.

This way they can prove their devotion to making Marxism work as advertised. Otherwise they're Chicken-Commies.

I agree with Eric--if he br... (Below threshold)
Joel:

I agree with Eric--if he broke one commitment what's to stop him from breaking another? But I also agree that he should leave and not come back. Take away his citizenship, his passport and his right to vote.

This will sort itself out. ... (Below threshold)
kbiel Author Profile Page:

This will sort itself out. Mr. Hinzman will either return to the U.S. and spend some time visiting lovely Leavenworth, Kansas or he will leave Canada for yet another country. (I hear the smog in China is lovely in the Winter.) Either way, we win.

Obviously, he needs a bailo... (Below threshold)
Not Tony:

Obviously, he needs a bailout plan. People can't be held responsible for things they sign!

Cuba is close................. (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Cuba is close...............

This scum should be liab... (Below threshold)
irongrampa:

This scum should be liable for any and all consequences for his action.

When you take the oath, you FULFIL the oath, to the best of your ability--NO exceptions.

On the idea of sending him ... (Below threshold)

On the idea of sending him to Cuba, I wonder if the coast guard has any of the rafts used by people escaping Cuba? Its good to recycle and cost effective.

Dude volunteered for a job ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Dude volunteered for a job that possibly entails killing people in a conflict he may or may not approve of--please take him back, take care of his wife and kids, and give him a few years in a confined space to read up on the nature of contractual obligations. Maybe he'll write a great essay when he gets out!

If he were conscripted, it would be a different story, obviously. It's grotesque that in order for one to be a "conscientious objector" during a draft, one must have religious reasons, and not merely moral ones. But I digress.

Hypie -"If he w... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Hypie -

"If he were conscripted, it would be a different story, obviously."

Some, to be sure. But it's really hard for this guy to argue he 'got religion' so to speak, AFTER he'd finished infantry training and Airborne school. I mean, it's not like the Army's tried to hide its purpose for the last 200+ years!

He volunteered, he volunteered for AIRBORNE school, for crying out loud... and he decided to back out instead of just toughing it out until his enlistment was up.

Well, it sucks to be him - but he brought it all on himself.

I didn't disagree with any ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I didn't disagree with any of that, JL. I think that if someone joins the military and then converts to Quakerism--or some sort of secular pacifism, which is equally valid--that they should still have to honour his or her contract.

I'm not making excuses. The bit about conscription and conscientious objection was off-topic, and so can be disregarded, as this guy wasn't conscripted.

No mistaking which way the ... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

No mistaking which way the wind is blowing on this thread, but I have to ask - if you were in an infantry unit, would you want a guy next to you whose heart isn't in what he's doing? Who thinks the war is illegal from the get-go and doesn't want to be there? Who's essentially saying 'this isn't what I signed up for?'

Because, I gotta tell ya, if I'm in that unit, I'm saying 'get this guy out of here and give me somebody who wants to cover my ass.'

No snark. Genuinely curious... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

No snark. Genuinely curious.

There are official ways to ... (Below threshold)
epador:

There are official ways to handle inquiry in #13. None of them entail hi-tailing it off to Canada or Switzerland. Going AWOL and coming back is one thing. Desertion another.

if I was in a infantry unit... (Below threshold)
1903A3:

if I was in a infantry unit or any other unit,and they changed their mind ,send to the rear w/the gear and all those REMF,s.we had a guy like that in my unit,we sent his a-- packing to a supply outfit macht scnell.dont want to be here,fine,dont want to cover me,fine too,but he took an oath just like me...honor IT!

that first sentence was for... (Below threshold)
1903A3:

that first sentence was for Parthenon,sorry,long day.

It is not religion that mak... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

It is not religion that makes one dishonor his family and his country. It is politics, become a democrat and become a traitor. Congress has dozens of good examples (all democrats) of what a 'traitor' is.

It's easy to call people na... (Below threshold)
Mike:

It's easy to call people names like "coward", "loser", etc. But personally I believe that an individual in the armed forces can re-evaluate warfare from a spiritual and moral perspective and conclude that he cannot, in good conscience, kill another human being. A friend of mine (who also served as a commissioned officer in the Air Force) recently resigned from Northrup Grumman because in re-evaluating his faith he decided that he could not, in good conscience, work in an industry that built machines designed to kill people.

A crucial point that Jay Tea and others repeatedly ignore is that Hinzman applied for CO status but for various reasons he was rejected. He only deserted the Army after they denied his CO status. He tried to play by the system, but the system said "no."

I don't know the details of Hinzman's case, but in another case I am familiar with, the soldier applied for CO status yet requested to serve out his term, just not in a war zone. The Army denied his request, and he was given a dishonorable discharge.

The military is in a tough position, because they cannot create a CO policy that encourages people who really are just lazy or who want an easy out. Yet there is no reason to treat CO's as criminals or traitors or Communists. This is just about as juvenile as I can imagine.

It would seem that some type of a reasonable, serious evaluation would be in order, and if a solder can truly be classified as a CO, then they should be given the option of being reassigned to non-combat duties (with perhaps a few years tacked on to their tour) or given an other-than-honorable discharge with the option to do some kind of other service that would then convert their discharge to honorable.

Mike, and those others who ... (Below threshold)

Mike, and those others who want to discuss the status of CO, I beg of you to Google up the name "Desmond Doss."

Mr. Hinzman has not the slightest fraction of conviction or strength of character that Doss had.

J.

Parthenon, I've heard many ... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Parthenon, I've heard many say exactly what you've expressed here. I don't know how these things are handled when an application for conscientious objection is denied, but if it were me, I'd give a guy like Hinzman the worst possible jobs I could think of so as not to subject guys like you to his weasel-ishness. My reason is that guys like him don't suddenly turn weasely. They've always been weasels. And if there's one thing servicemen can spot, it's a weasel in their ranks.

Did I say Hinzman was a weasel? Well, he is.

Although, I'm sure a number of people have applied, been turned down, and still served honorably.

I think Jay has already tou... (Below threshold)

I think Jay has already touched on this, but in previous times, pacifists and others who objected to killing were able to meet their military obligation by serving as medics and chaplains, some of them with great distinction and courage. My hat is off to these brave men.

Hyper is right, conscription (or the lack thereof) makes a difference. The fact that Hinzman volunteered has contractual implications, and he should be punished for backing out on his commitments.

I do not think he should be... (Below threshold)
David:

I do not think he should be punished. Oh no, I understand that we have a mighty probelm with big rocks. Perhaps he can make little rocks out of big rocks for the balance of his commitment.

Not to worry. Hinzman will... (Below threshold)
newton:

Not to worry. Hinzman will receive a pardon from Barack Obama. He can consider himself home free.

Do not be surprised if Obama as President declares a blanket amnesty for soldiers who defected the Iraq and Afghanistan wars... just as Jimmy Carter did back in the 70s.

As said by OregonMuse, Many... (Below threshold)
Codekeyguy Author Profile Page:

As said by OregonMuse, Many CO's have served honorably as medics and chaplains. Also, FWIW, Muhammad Ali claimed CO status, and refused induction. He didn't run away, he took jail. That is principle, this dude is a schmuck.

He should of just told them... (Below threshold)
Matt:

He should of just told them he was gay. That would of got him out in a heart beat.

In my unit we had replaceme... (Below threshold)
Ran56:

In my unit we had replacements who decided they were CO's. Most were either sent to the rear, or put on permanent $hit burning detail for their entire tour! As was said above, bottom line was NOBODY wanted a guy with them that wasn't gonna cover their butts!

Hang him. Then send his co... (Below threshold)
LenS:

Hang him. Then send his corpse to Saudi Arabia where he can be honored as a martyr to Allah.

Well Newton it is highly un... (Below threshold)
Michael:

Well Newton it is highly unlikely that President McCain will pardon this little worm.

Shortly before crossing the... (Below threshold)

Shortly before crossing the border in Desert Storm, we had a guy decide he couldn't in good conscience fight. Not that he couldn't be in the war, just that he couldn't fight. Good guy up till then, but a little overwhelmed. Company commander said "no problem" stuck him on his track and made him his bitch boy/runner. Didn't mistreat him, but didn't cut him any slack. No punishment, no lawyers. But the guy didn't bitch about it either.

Hyper tells us that it is different if there is a draft. Nope. Codekeyguy gives us an example of your options if you refuse inductions. I've always respected CC/MA for having the stones to pay the price for what he believed in. Mr. Hinzman wants to weasel out without paying a price. That's just wrong.

"Well Newton it is highly u... (Below threshold)
newton:

"Well Newton it is highly unlikely that President McCain will pardon this little worm.

29. Posted by Michael | August 15, 2008 9:25 PM "

Didn't you get it? That's what I was saying!

It's verkLempt, you moron. ... (Below threshold)
Notnowjohn:

It's verkLempt, you moron. Don't pretend to be a Jew if you're not one. Dickhead.

Surely someone here can rep... (Below threshold)
MyPetGloat:

Surely someone here can replace Hinzman's vacancy in the military ranks.

Anytime today, folks...

notnowjohn - It's verkL... (Below threshold)
marc:

notnowjohn - It's verkLempt, you moron. Don't pretend to be a Jew if you're not one. Dickhead.

Really? Better inform dictionary.com

And I quote: " verklempt
Part of Speech: adj
Definition: overcome with emotion; clenched; also written ferklempt
Etymology: Yiddish

Dickhead.

MyPetGloat - "Surely so... (Below threshold)
marc:

MyPetGloat - "Surely someone here can replace Hinzman's vacancy in the military ranks.

Anytime today, folks...

You're here, wants tied to your ass holding you back?

My fellow Oregonian, Oregon... (Below threshold)
Parthenon:

My fellow Oregonian, OregonMuse, above makes the point that Hinzman could serve in a non-combat role if he had an issue with the fighting. If it truly is as easy as saying "Boss, I don't have the stomach for this, get me out" then yes, that's what he ought to have done. For any military (wo)men here - would there be a shame associated with such a request? Would everyone know and treat him worse, exact a little extrajudicial military justice?

"Surely someone here can re... (Below threshold)

"Surely someone here can replace Hinzman's vacancy in the military ranks.

Anytime today, folks..."

I joined two years ago at the age of 41. I'm here in Iraq serving proudly. Convict him and send his worthless "WHOOAA-WHOOAA" ass to prison where it belongs!

Surely someone her... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
Surely someone here can replace Hinzman's vacancy in the military ranks.

Anytime today, folks...

And what are you waiting for?

I joined two year... (Below threshold)
maggie:
I joined two years ago at the age of 41. I'm here in Iraq serving proudly. Convict him and send his worthless "WHOOAA-WHOOAA" ass to prison where it belongs!

rick13

Thank you for your service.

I have no sympathy for the ... (Below threshold)
GM Cassel AMH1(AW) USN Retired:

I have no sympathy for the little scumbag. I enlisted in September of 1973 and I had a lottery number in the last draft. Good for me, I got to stay in for 20 years and draw retired pay. And his mommy and daddy help pay for healthcare for both me and my wife.




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