Thursday, 23 June 2011
Gillette v. U.S. And The Case Of Nasser Abdo

Nasser Abdo is a Muslim who  is serving in the American army. . When his unit received orders to deploy to Afghanisetan, Nasser Abdo  refused to go.

As Patrick Poole writes:

"A shocking decision made by the secretary of the Army last month — in the case of an U.S. Army soldier with the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell who refused to deploy to Afghanistan claiming that Islamic law prevented him from killing other Muslims — vindicates Fort Hood killer Major Nidal Hasan. He made identical claims and threatened that “adverse events” would occur if military officials didn’t accede to shariah principles.

The subject of the Fort Campbell case is PFC Nasser Abdo, who was granted conscientious objector status last month, only to be brought up on charges last week — two days after being informed of the secretary of the Army’s decision — after child pornography was found on his government-issued computer. The news reports about Abdo’s arrest were the first to mention the Army recognizing him as a conscientious objector. After his arrest, Abdo is now claiming that the child porn charges are the Army’s way of retaliating against him."

In deciding that Nasser Abdo could declare himself to be a conscientious objector selectively -- that is, only refusing to serve when he might have to kill fellow Muslims, the Secretary of the Army has shown either ignorance of, or indifference to, the opinion of the Supreme Court s in Gillette v. United States (1971), in which the Court stated clearly that "the exemption for those who oppose "participation in war in any form" applies to those who oppose participating in all war and not to those who object to participation in a particular war only."

Will this flouting of the Constitution -- that is, of the Supreme Court's determination of what constitutes "conscientious objection" entitled to exemption from service -- stand?

One hopes scholars of the Constitution -- such as Bruce Ackerman, who has already taken the Obama Administration, (not sparing his former colleague Harold Koh), to task for the absurd attempt to evade, by illogical logic-chopping, the requirements of the War Powers Resolution -- will not only take note but make much of, this attempt to ignore the ropinion in Gillette v. U.S.

Posted on 06/23/2011 7:35 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
23 Jun 2011
Send an emailRebecca Bynum

The army is between a rock and a hard place. They are forbidden from disqualifying Muslims on the basis of religion, so when a recruit starts making the same points as Nidal Hassan, their only option is to let him go if they want to avoid another massacre. They need to be disqualified (at least for combat and sensitive intelligence roles) to start with, but that will take a lot of political will.