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DANGER - Calling on soldiers to rebel is a crime!

Hello again.

I forwarded a message a few days ago encouraging
people to call press
conferences to call on British and American
soldiers to refuse orders
to bomb Iraq. I did not realize at the time the
potentially very
serious consequences, or I would have made it
known. The consequences
for soldiers refusing to follow orders is
obviously very serious, but,
as I've learned, so is advocating such refusal.
In Britain, there is a
specific law against inciting mutiny, and a law
against conspiring to
break the law. From my correspondence with
someone who is familiar
with British law, I was left with the impression
that these are
considered serious crimes. It is also a crime in
the United States,
falling under "sedition", and not protected by
First Amendment rights.
I presume the consequences are potentially
serious as well.  

Having said that, one correspondent argued that
because the appeal was
phrased so that it encouraged refusal to
cooperate in violations of
international law (citing Nuremburg), it might be
difficult for a
prosecution to make sedition charges stick -
after all, soldiers have
the obligation to refuse orders under certain
circumstances, which
means charges may not stick when the case is
borderline. I also note
that prosecuting rebellious soldiers or people
who incite them would
probably be a really bad move for the States or
Britain, given that
they need to keep a low profile if the public is
to allow the bombing
to continue.

Nonetheless, I urge everyone to take the legal
reality very seriously.
I still think that if soldiers started to refuse
orders it might
hasten the end of the war, as it did in Vietnam.
But please weigh the
potential benefits against the potential
consequences before you or
your organization do anything.


PS Please forward this message as widely as you
feel is appropriate.

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