US Army PFC Naser Abdo, arrested in July 2011 while allegedly collecting supplies to bomb and shoot Fort Hood soldiers, reportedly confessed shortly after he was arrested. His lawyers unsuccessfully tried to get the confession ruled inadmissible.
[U.S. District Judge Walter Smith] rejected a defense motion to throw out a confession from the soldier accused of planning to bomb a Texas restaurant filled with Fort Hood troops…
Prior to this point, Abdo had been fairly defiant, and he didn’t seem to shy telling the police what his plans were:
“So I’m AWOL … and I was planning an attack here in the Fort Hood community,” Abdo says in the recording… Read more
A few websites have noted Tennessee State Representative Rick Womick’s statement to ThinkProgress interviewers that Muslims should be removed from the US military. The video is available on YouTube.
It’s worth noting Womick’s political position has been somewhat inflated in a few reports. For example, ThinkProgress suffixed his name with (R-TN), as did some others, which is inaccurate. The “party-state” designation is used for members of the US House; it is redundant to say “Tennessee state rep (R-TN).” The more accurate description is (R-34) or R-Rockvale, as Womick represents District 34 in the Tennessee State House. As a state representative, Womick has no influence over the US military. (As an aside, Rep Womick was an F-15 fighter pilot during Operation Desert Storm.)
That said, his comments were widely reported and not well received (with one exception). He’s been described as un-American and said to be “defaming all members of the military.”
Womick uses US Army Major Nidal Malik Hasan and PFC Naser Abdo (though he forgets his name) as support for his position, saying they are examples of the Islamic inconsistency with military service.
Ironically, it seems Rep Womick agrees with religious freedom critic Michael Read more
The public affairs office at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst recently put out an article that extensively discussed the role of Chaplains in the military, though not necessarily perfectly.
“We are accepting of everybody, regardless of their faith,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Raphael Berdugo. “We’re here to help everyone.”
The chaplain’s mission is to promote comprehensive and agile spiritual readiness for America’s most combat ready, mobility and expeditionary warfighters. The chaplains also provide spiritual guidance to the community members such as: spouses, children and retirees.
On the presence of specific faith Chaplains: Read more
US Army PFC Naser Abdo, arrested last week on charges he was planning to blow up a restaurant and kill Soldiers near Fort Hood, Texas, was defiant at his court appearance.
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, Read more
Private First Class Naser Abdo has reportedly been arrested by Texas police near Fort Hood, Texas. Abdo wasn’t assigned to Fort Hood; he was assigned to Fort Campbell in Kentucky. The Army said Abdo was AWOL from Fort Campbell.
Local police indicated they had interrupted a “terror plot” in their arrest of PFC Abdo. He was reportedly found with guns, gunpowder, and the makings of a backpack bomb. The arrest was made possible by a tip from local gundealer Guns Galore. Clerk Greg Ebert said the staff of the store was concerned because Abdo was purchasing large quantities of gunpowder — while asking questions about how to use it. Guns Galore is reportedly the same store where Maj Nidal Malik Hasan purchased his firearm.
According to AP reports, Abdo has admitted to planning an attack at Read more
According to a variety of websites (including his own Facebook page), US Army PFC Nasser Abdo was granted status as a conscientious objector. (His case was previously noted.)
Two days later, his discharge was put on hold as he was charged with possession of child pornography as a result of 34 images on his government-issued computer. The criminal investigation has reportedly been going on for months; Abdo claims the charges are part of a continuing pattern of discrimination.
As discussed previously, Michael Weinstein has remained silent during Abdo’s application for discharge (even after Abdo became his “fan” on Facebook) — despite the Read more
The Independent (UK) carries an interesting story about Michael Lyons, a member of the British Navy who has apparently applied for status as a conscientious objector:
Lyons became disillusioned with the Afghanistan war after attending a training session where he was told that saving military lives would take priority over those of civilians. His view strengthened after revelations about high losses of civilian lives reported on the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks.
The article seems to imply the UK military hasn’t seen as many CO applications as the US military has: Read more
Ensign Michael Izbicki, a 2008 US Naval Academy graduate, previously sued the US Navy to gain status as a conscientious objector.
A Connecticut news outlet reports Izbicki has been granted an honorable discharge; he, in turn, is dropping his lawsuit.
He’s not getting out of the Navy scot-free. As part of his honorable discharge, Izbicki will have to reimburse the Navy for his education at the Naval Academy. Normally men and women attend the service academies free of charge.
Update: Also covered and with background at the Christian Post and GetReligion.org.
Via the ADF.