“Terror Plot” Soldier Naser Abdo Defiant, Weinstein Equivocates
Abdo…refused to stand up during Friday’s hearing when everyone in the court was asked to rise for the judge.
As he was being led out of the courtroom, he yelled out “Iraq 2006” and the name of the 14-year-old Iraqi girl who was raped and murdered in 2006 by a U.S. soldier. He then shouted: “Nidal Hasan Fort Hood 2009.”
Organizations that had previously supported Abdo in his objector application have now disavowed him:
“If any of these allegations are true, any sort of violence toward anyone goes completely against what a conscientious objector believes,” said Jose Vasquez, executive director of Iraq Veterans Against the War.
Another group, Courage to Resist, said in a statement that it had removed Abdo’s profile from its website. It said it has paid $800 of Abdo’s legal fees in the conscientious objector case.
Courage to Resist appears to have been the group that helped pay for Abdo’s attorney, James Branum, who is also apparently a fan of Zachari Klawonn.
Which brings up an interesting point. It appears Chris Rodda’s previous posturing about the connection between Abdo and Klawonn was precisely that — posturing. The Jawa Report indicates Klawonn was a “person of interest” in the Abdo case, which, while completely unverified, also isn’t unreasonable given the parallel paths of the Abdo and Klawonn stories over the past year and their recent coverage in the media. Being a “person of interest” means little, of course, except that law enforcement is interested in talking to the person.
So while Rodda feigned offense, it seems a foregone conclusion Zachari Klawonn — and thus Michael Weinstein — would have ultimately been in the press in this incident. It is now public knowledge that Weinstein personally talked to Abdo — who even then was widely known to have been claiming his Islamic beliefs were inconsistent with US military service. To be clear, Abdo repeatedly said the US military, not service in war. Thus, he was not a true conscientious objector, as has been pointed out before. His statements were consistent with those made by Maj Nidal Malik Hasan, who advised another Muslim not to join the military not because of an objection to war, but because of an objection to Muslims serving in the US military:
[Hasan] said Muslims shouldn’t be in the U.S. military, because obviously Muslims shouldn’t kill Muslims. He told me not to join the Army.
When Weinstein finally spoke on Hasan’s case, he took Hasan to task for this attitude:
If it is proven true that Hasan was advocating for Muslims to be excused from combat operations and other U.S. military service, then he should have been aggressively and immediately court-martialed…
Any Muslim who knows his religion or maybe takes into account what his religion says can find out very clearly why he should not participate in the U.S. military.
When Weinstein found out Abdo was claiming the same thing as Hasan, instead of demanding his court-martial, Weinstein said nothing. Of course, when he spoke about Hasan, Weinstein couldn’t pass on the opportunity to imply Christians were somehow responsible for his actions. Perhaps Weinstein hadn’t yet figured out a way to blame Christians for Abdo’s angst.
Nearly a year later, with an apparent terror attack nearly come to fruition, Weinstein can do no more than mutter “We just never felt good about him.” Of course, it would sound self-indicting to now say Abdo should have been “aggressively and immediately court-martialed.”
As an interesting aside, all recent references to the relationship between the MRFF and Klawonn, including those by Rodda, have been in the past tense.