In 1969, four years after US troops began arriving in Vietnam in large numbers, 1,300 active-duty service members wrote an "open letter" in the New York Times decrying the war. Today, nearly four years into the Iraq War, nearly 1,100 service members have signed a petition to Congress calling for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
The Appeal for Redress movement, begun by 29-year-old Navy seaman Jonathan Hutto, provides military personnel a way to use the Military Whistleblower Protection Act to officially register their dissent; as long as each individual is speaking out of uniform and off-duty, there can be no reprisals against them from Congress or their commanders.
When the campaign started a few months ago, White House press secretary dismissed it as "65 people who are going to be able to get more press than the hundreds of thousands who have come back and said they're proud of their service." Yesterday, Appeal for Redress presented more than 1,000 signatures to Rep. Dennis Kucinich in Washington, D.C.
(Via Free Speech Radio News.)
Above: Cartoon by RJ Matson for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 11, 2007.