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Soros Front Can’t Validate Anti-War Petition

From the Sun Herald:

Activists can’t validate soldiers’ names

Sat, Oct. 28, 2006

By DAVID GIALANELLA
SUN HERALD WASHINGTON BUREAU

WASHINGTON – A group claiming earlier this week to represent 65 "active-duty" troops opposed to the war in Iraq acknowledged Thursday it cannot validate the number or the authenticity of all the names it claims to have gathered.

The group attracted widespread media attention on Tuesday after it put out a statement claiming that "for the first time" since the war began, "active-duty members are asking" Congress to end the "occupation of Iraq."

The following day the group said the number of soldiers signing on had risen to 219. Organizers have thus far declined to provide a list of names.

"We’re trying to figure out a validation process," said David Cortright, an organizer of the Appeal for Redress movement and president of Indiana-based peace-activism group Fourth Freedom Forum. The group is operating the Web site appealforredress.org, where soldiers can go to electronically "sign" the petition to Congress, which legally they are entitled to do as long as they speak only for themselves and not the U.S. military.

"I’m quite convinced that it (the tally) is legitimate," Cortright told the Sun Herald on Thursday after several news outlets reported as fact the numbers provided during a telephone news conference Wednesday with three individuals who said they were participating soldiers.

The name of the Indiana-based group was not given in the initial press statements. The Sun Herald turned up the group by researching the registry of Web site domain names.

A spokesman from Fenton Communications, the firm handling the public relations for appealforredress.org and also for the liberal MoveOn.org, said during a telephone conference call Wednesday that the initial 65 entries had jumped to 219 in 48 hours, with 125 of those being active-duty soldiers.

The unconfirmed count was up to 713 by midday Thursday, according to Cortright.

Cortright said that the entries are being validated "by hand," with less than 10 percent that "look fishy" so far, and said a more accurate report should be available in a day or two.

He estimated that the number of valid entries must be at 500 or 600, if not all of the 713 signatures are legitimate. When filling out the form online, signatories are able to provide ranks and service branches, but are only required to provide a name, nonmilitary e-mail address and a home zip code.

"It’s a protected site," Cortright said, adding that Fourth Freedom Forum may be legally required to protect the names per a nondisclosure statement on the electronic form. Some involved said promising this kind of privacy is the only way to get members of the military to come forward.

"Its culture is that you don’t get involved (in politics)," said a servicewoman who called in to Wednesday’s news conference, wishing to remain anonymous for concerns of reprisal. "Anyone who’s served in the military knows there are informal punitive measures," she said. "It’s not just paranoia."

Members of the U.S. military are legally allowed to appeal to their congressmen and speak about doing so under the Military Whistle-Blower Protection Act, as long as they are off-duty and off-base at the time. But those who have spoken out have been criticized.

"To me, these folks are completely out of order," said retired Army Lt. Gen. Emmett "Mickey" Walker. Walker was the first and only National Guard Bureau Chief to hail from Mississippi, holding that post from 1982 to 1986. "I grew up under the instruction of my daddy to respect my president."

Walker said that the last war the United States military truly won and did not walk away from early was World War II.

"That gives us a hell of a name," he said.

Other military sources have called publicizing the movement so close to Election Day a political maneuver.

According to an organizer, the list of names will be made public when it is given to Congress on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January.

How come this interesting fact about George Soros’s latest efforts to undermine our war effort has to come to us from an Australian news outlet?

(Of course that’s a rhetorical question. We know why.)

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, October 30th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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