Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter
  9
Share on Facebook
  201
Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend
  1
211 Shares     
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
11 comments

Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Local Police Harass Iraq Veteran Turned Anti-War Activist Ethan McCord

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 9   Supported 4   Well Said 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

Headlined to H3 1/23/13

opednews.com

Saying that at least 28 other recreational vehicles (RVs) in his town of Bel Aire, Kansas have been parked in yards or driveways for longer than local ordinance allows, Iraq veteran-turned-anti-war activist Ethan McCord has been ordered to court to explain why he has not moved his RV off his property. McCord is the former US soldier who was catapulted to national prominence after a video allegedly leaked by PFC Bradley Manning to Wikileaks was broadcast on national television.

McCord wrote on his Facebook page for his friends last week:

"I've got court tomorrow in Bel Aire, KS. I was cited by the police for my "recreational vehicle" parked on my property. Why it took the entire Bel aire police department to come out and cite me? Intimidation maybe? I Have taken photos of at least 6 other homeowners with rec vehicles on their property within a 7 block radius."

McCord has since found many more RVs parked against ordinance.

McCord's RV has been out for about a month, while other RV owners have had their vehicles out for over a year, and as long as four years, says McCord. He is faced with a steep fine or jail time if he does not comply with an order to move the RV. The citation was served by what McCord says seemed like "the entire Bel Aire police department."

At his first court appearance this month on the RV citation, in which McCord requested, and was granted, a continuance, McCord noted that "when the prosecution pulled my file it was quite thicker than all the others. I noticed typed pages that other defendants didn't have in theirs." In the course of fighting city hall, McCord discovered that the police chief of Bel Aire is "prior [military] service." McCord said "Boy did he know way too much about my service when we've never met."

The Wikileaks video in which McCord suddenly saw himself on national TV showed two controversial helicopter attacks in East Baghdad in 2007.  The second attack killed two men evacuating a wounded man, and wounded two children who were unseen inside of a van. McCord was part of an American ground unit sent to investigate the aftermath of the attack.

Through the helicopter's gun camera, he is seen discovering two children still alive and running with them in his arms to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle, so they can be taken for help. The event is the subject of a short documentary entitled "Incident in New Baghdad," which won the award for Best Documentary Short at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.

McCord has become outspoken in his opposition to the US military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now participates in "counter-recruiting" efforts organized by various peace organizations.  In these, former soldiers speak at high schools as a counterpoint to military recruitment pitches, and relate the realities of war.

McCord says he is inclined not to move his RV or pay the fine, as he feels he is being "singled out." To comply, says McCord, would be to submit to intimidation.

The Wikileaks video in which McCord's actions are captured came to the attention of PFC Bradley Manning when he was a member of Army intelligence in Iraq, as he reviewed the attack on the van in which the children were wounded. Manning called the incident "the van thing."

Manning wrote in an email to a friend:

"At first glance it was just a bunch of guys getting shot up by a helicopter...No big deal ... about two dozen more where that came from, right? But something struck me as odd with the van thing, and also the fact it was being stored in a JAG officer's directory. So I looked into it."

The JAG is the Judge Advocate General's Office, the military's equivalent of a prosecutor. Article 12 of the Geneva Convention prohibits attacks on wounded in a combat zone and on those attempting to evacuate them. Violations of Article 2 are considered war crimes.

In pondering the possibility of going to jail for his refusal to submit to the intimidation, McCord, who is recovering from post traumatic stress syndrome, says dryly "I've got more time than money." He notes that the matter is being pursued in a criminal court rather than a civil, as zoning issues would ordinarily seem to be pursued.

Next Page  1  |  2

 

Ralph Lopez majored in Economics and Political Science at Yale University. He writes for Truth Out, Alternet, Consortium News, Op-Ed News, and other Internet media. He reported from Afghanistan in 2009 and produced a short documentary film on the (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Wikileaks Soldier Reveals Orders for "360 Rotational Fire" Against Civilians in Iraq

Why Obama Will Not Veto NDAA Military Detention of Americans: He Requested It.

McChrystal Trying to Tell Us Something? "We're F%^*king Losing This Thing"

BoA Dumps $75 Trillion In Derivatives On Taxpayers, Super Committee Looks Away. Seize BoA Now.

Arrests at White House Over NDAA Military Detention of Americans, Occupy Wall Street Joins Fight.

Obama Lied: Taliban Did Not Refuse to Hand Over Bin Laden

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
7 people are discussing this page, with 11 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Bradley Manning as well.  Both these men dese... by James Suggs on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 1:31:52 PM
... by intotheabyss on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 3:07:12 PM
it explains how our troops are used and abused to ... by Mark Adams JD/MBA on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 7:10:54 PM
To make them kill, and then they punish them for t... by Kim Cassidy on Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 at 8:42:15 PM
creates encourages soldiers to view the "enemy," w... by Ralph Lopez on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 2:38:12 PM
But the oppressor brings it on himself, and on to ... by Kim Cassidy on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 3:30:30 PM
Those who follow illegal orders to wage war agains... by Richard Pietrasz on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 11:05:13 PM
Do have to draw the line somewhere, and you bring ... by Kim Cassidy on Friday, Jan 25, 2013 at 11:45:03 PM
With the ideas of being a killer, or murderer. Mos... by Ethan Mccord on Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 10:01:58 AM
There is way too much advertising which glorifies ... by Ralph Lopez on Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 12:49:52 PM
The word "most" is unjustified.  We don't kno... by Richard Pietrasz on Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 at 3:04:53 PM