Why is the Seattle University School of Law Aiding Anti-Military Law-breakers?

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Why is the Seattle University School of Law Aiding Anti-Military Law-breakers?

Last week or so I was contacted by a veteran who is attending the Seattle University School of Law.   Anyway, he told me about something that was going on at the school, and I asked him to draft me up something.  Here is what he wrote, followed by some more info that I've found in my research:

Seattle University dishonors veterans by organizing protestors on campus and actually asking students to volunteer their time to help!

After being asked by student veterans to not bring war protestors on campus, Seattle University School of Law employee Diana Singleton did just that.  Last month she disregarded student veterans and invited members of the Seattle Draft and Military Counseling Center (SDMCC) to give a presentation on campus which asked students to volunteer their time for the organization. 

In a misleading email to the entire student body Ms. Singleton wrote:

“Passionate about issues facing veterans in our community? Interested in educating active service members about their rights? Looking for a concrete way to support the men and women who join the military?

“The training covers rights and resources for active service members and their families such as types of discharges (Conscientious Objector, Hardship, etc), Family Plans (for caring for children while service members are deployed), and Court Martial and AWOL procedures.”

The paid school employee then used university classrooms conducted a two day conference in order to train student volunteers to “help” veterans and military personnel by volunteering for the organization.  In reality the school employee and the SDMCC were recruiting unwitting students to volunteers for a thinly disguised war protesting organization which routinely participates in illegal activities. 

The SDMCC is its sister organization to the Iraq Veterans Against the War were responsible in 2007 for attempting to block shipments of military gear for an Army Stryker brigade that returned to nearby Fort Lewis from Iraq, over forty members of the organization were arrested by police. 

Today the anti-military, Vietnam era organization (SDMCC) operates a hotline which encourages teenagers to not register for the Selective Service and active duty military personnel to go AWOL. 


Although I haven't ever heard of anyone being prosecuted for it, there is a federal statute on the books which would seem to implicate what they are doing, it is 18 U.S.C. § 2388 : Activities affecting armed forces during war:

(a) Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully makes or conveys false reports or false statements with intent to interfere with the operation or success of the military or naval forces of the United States or to promote the success of its enemies; or Whoever, when the United States is at war, willfully causes or attempts to cause insubordination, disloyalty, mutiny, or refusal of duty, in the military or naval forces of the United States, or willfully obstructs the recruiting or enlistment service of the United States, to the injury of the service or the United States, or attempts to do so - Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than
twenty years, or both.

(b) If two or more persons conspire to violate subsection (a) of this section and one or more such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be punished as provided in said subsection (a).

(c) Whoever harbors or conceals any person who he knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe or suspect, has committed, or is about to commit, an offense under this section, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

The SDMCC really is a rather wacky group, with the usual ties to organizations like "Military Law Task Force" of the "National Lawyers Guild" which itself has some seriously shady ties to terrorist groups.  But most of SDMCC's stuff really doesn't rise to that level.  Take this pamphlet for instance entitled: Getting Out: A Guide to Military Discharges (pdf) .

They are also tied in with "Coffee Strong" which bills itself as Pro-GI, Anti-War, Veteran Owned Coffee shop:

 Veterans provide a safe place for soldiers to share the effects of disastrous wars, within 300 meters of the gates at Ft Lewis. The unique coffeehouse welcomes soldiers with a free cup of coffee. There is access to the Internet, an informative library, and many referrals are available to community resources, including GI Rights counseling and Veterans Benefits. Free legal and educational resources are available.

Among the "Pro GI" Board are folks like:

Noam Chomsky, who of our all volunteer force once stated:  "In my view, if there's going to be an army, I think it ought to be a citizens' army. Now, here I do agree with some people, the top brass, they don't want a citizens' army. They want a mercenary army, what we call a volunteer army. A mercenary army of the disadvantaged"

Marjorie Cohn: Former President of the National Lawyers' Guild, and the author of the worst book I ever read: Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent 

Eva Golinger: Avisor to Venezuela President Hugo Chavez,

Anyway, you get the idea.

It's just sort of baffling that a private, Jesuit Law School would purport to want to help veterans by bringing in a group that actively fights against the military.  Maybe if it was part of some larger program wherein they brought in folks who could train the law students on how to represent veterans with claims before the VA, or sought to provide free legal aid to deployed troops and their familes (as my law school does) or even just tried to help homeless veterans.

Instead they apparently felt the best thing they could do for veterans was help those who want to avoid having to complete their contracted service.  It truly is a shame, but hopefully at some point someone will suggest a correction of course, and they'll start representing all veterans, not just ones who think the military is some evil patriarchal vehicle of oppression.

Posted in the burner | 17 comments
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Even if nobody's been prosecuted for it, it does seem on the face of it to violate the Federal Statute to support actively encouraging members of the military to desert or otherwise flee from duty in a time of war. What are the implications to a law school for supporting the teaching of illegal activity from a Bar Association standpoint? Is there any possibility of a loss of accreditation? Are there other ramifications?

The name says it all "Seattle". I remember coming home from Viet Nam and walking through SeaTac wondering if we would safely get to the boarding gate. The DOD needs to leave Washington and move all activities to another friendlier state. If Washington State and Seattle in particular get any farther to the left they will need a red flag as a state symbol.

Jim et al.....when did Congress close the designation of war from August 2, 1990? Because I don't believe that period of hostilities has ever been closed, which is why the Legion, being a WAR TIME VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATION can sign up folks who serve today, because the period of war never closed.

Even assuming that isn't controlling for you, when people get blown up by triple stacked Russian rounds in A-stan, as the guys in my unit are, you would be hard-pressed to explain to me or there loved ones that we in a period of peace, and not war.what is normal blood pressure

As a veteran of my country, The United States of America, and as a member of the American Legion I am speechless. The Federal Statute 18 U.S.C. § 2388 mentioned above is a relic. Why? The United States has been engaged in armed actions SINCE 1775! Congress has officially declared war 11 times, declared military engagements 12 times, and has authorized military engagements through UN resolutions 11 times, with the last being Libya. So the statute that begins, "Whoever, when the United States is at war...." cannot possibly be an accurate quantifier. Furthermore, this is AMERICA. Why are we talking about censoring dissent or opposing viewpoints? Isn't a free country one that facilitates and provides a safe-harbor for free speech and a citizens right to trump government decisions in a peaceful and nonviolent manner? Directing someone to the recruiting office is just as legal as telling them why not to join the military in times of war and peace (but we haven't really known peace).

The National Lawyers Guild in their own analysis of this statue and a Florida case cite the realities:

"Theoretically, yes, although it is extremely unlikely that the state or federal government
would press charges against an individual for “persuading” a potential recruit not to enlist,
etc.—nor is it very likely that such charges could withstand modern First Amendment
scrutiny. "

They go on to say,
"U.S.C. § 2388 are obsolete and would be found unconstitutional were they to be reviewed
by a court today. The best evidence of this is the fact that no one has been charged by the
government (state or federal) under either statute since the 1940s."

The GI Rights Hotline, Military Law Task Force, SDMCC, National Lawyers Guild, Coffee Strong, IVAW, etc are all operating in the interests of military members who just have questions about their rights as service members or who feel they are being asked to perform unlawful orders.

As long as talking and information isn't a crime, why is this of interest to the Burn Pit? The military is in no direct threat from all of the pro-peace/pro-GI groups mentioned above combined and multiplied by 100.

***Full disclosure, I am a former board member and active member of Iraq Veterans Against the War. We are holding our national conference on the campus of Portland State University so you might want to add that institution to the blacklist.***

I for one do not like your filthy pig latin.
"The GI Rights Hotline, Military Law Task Force, SDMCC, National Lawyers Guild, Coffee Strong, IVAW, etc are all operating in the interests of military members who just have questions about their rights as service members or who feel they are being asked to perform unlawful orders."

Your actions, and the actions of your affiliates are un-American and disgraceful. None of the above are operating in the interests of the military - only their own. Congress should add another 1st Amendment right to the bill. Freedom to punch anti - American zealots.

Student veterans can avoid such inappropriate treatment from the Seattle University School of Law by getting their rn to bsn online degrees. I don't consider that the university staff should be conducting such activities especially using the school's resources. Students should be motivated to learn rather than participate in protest activities. It seems to me that someone in that university is abusing his position.

I fully support the overall discontent about how and where these organizations operate and what they are doing. But as far as breaking the law that is meantioned from my understanding we are not technically at war. So this law does not apply.

The liberals hate the military, and the USA. They love everything that goes against the grain of America, and they vote, even when they are dead.

This is an interesting story and interesting comments as well. As a veteran and a pro-life Catholic I certainly must question actions that threaten and take human life in the name of "justified war" only later to learn that the war was not indeed justified. We soldiers were told during basic training that it was our duty to question what we felt were unlawful commands, and yet how many were "brave enough" to do that. Who ever questioned the OMNISCIENT chain-of-command? And more to the point, who ever questioned the few politicians who command our armies? I support the need for a military force, that's why I served in my youth. I served the old men in the capitol who did not wear the uniform but who sent us to kill and "win" wars that had no winners. Now, I ask you hard hearted fellow old men, who see all disagreement with you as being un-American. How many wars did we fight in the last 60 years and how many wars were just old men's pissing matches that killed the youth of the world? Isn't it ironic that my tennis shoes, bought at Sears, are made in Viet Nam?

I got my masters in health administration four years ago at this university and, although I was a veteran, I was treated different than any other student. Maybe the management has changed and whoever is in charge now is allowing such protests to happen on campus or even supporting them by offering classrooms as a meeting place for the protesters.

First, we're not at war. The Title 18 citation does not apply because the Congress of the United States, the only body authorized by the U.S. Constitution to declare war, has not declared any wars lately. The U.S. Justice Department would never prosecute because there is no crime.

As for another "burn pit" right-wing rant- I resigned by Legion membership earlier when the current Legion Commander went off the right-wing deep end. I suggest you all review the meaning of the Legion's creed which we recite at the opening of each meeting- and you'll find there isn't any partisanship in there anywhere.

My memory forgets the specifics, but Franklin Roosevelt, sometime during his presidency made a comment regarding Seattle. I don't remember if it was during one of his fireside chats or in other conversation, but he made a comment about, "The Soviet of Seattle and the forty-seven states". As you know, back in the 1930's and 1940's, we had forty-eight contiguous states. I've lived in Washington State from 1974 to 1981 and from 2003 to 2010, and the Seattle area has always been a hotbed of Marxist/Leninist agitation. The Wobblies did just fine there in the 1920's & 1930's, continued with anti-Trident sub base protests in the 1970's and now with this continuing crap. The 1960's was also a fertile breeding ground for anti-American sentiment that tried to outdo the Peoples Republic of Berkeley. The center of the Univ. of Washington campus is named, "Red Square", supposedly due to the light red color of the bricks that pave the large area, but I believe that it was for other reasons. The political culture there breeds corrupt, incompetent and arrogant machine politicians that can't run an honest election, replace an obsolete/deteriorating highway viaduct and are always trying to deny honest citizens their right to keep and bears arms. "Birds as a red feather flock together".

This is an organization that encourages young people to not register for the selective service. That would make the young man ineligible for federal student loans. This is a serious issue. Saying that this law school is breaking the law is probably a stretch, but their actions seem pretty radical for a Jesuit law school. I also wonder why the school is organizing this? Most war protests are organized by students. Why is this law school having employees organize this?

SSG Preston Anderson: I love your honesty! What is anti-Americanism anyway? If you are pro-life and abortion is legal, aren't you being un-American? These petty discussions fail to address the larger issue. This is after all a blog and one should expect that. My brother, in the end this life is ours to make. This country has potential. Whether you are a libertarian, republican, communist, democrat, socialist, anarchist - all these views are individual choices. Remember we are fighting extremism, not breeding it domestically.

Dan: Just like gays and lesbians, liberals are all around you. If one of your soldiers has a slightly different viewpoint on, let's say, welfare programs and entitlements by is a conservative in all other things, he/she is indeed "liberal" in your eyes. There is a whole bunch of grey in between black and white.

Ron: I respect your beliefs and connections of pro-life to include "war." Still, the American economy cannot grow at the rate it demands if those sneakers aren't made in countries other than America. So the answer is further from domestic manufacturing and is closer to overall macro economic philosophy.

Jim in MI: I won't resign my membership b/c there needs to be a differentiated viewpoint no matter how right-winged leadership becomes. After all, the AL motto is all over the place and I suppose, like the Constitution, can be interpreted many ways. Such lines as,

"To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism." That sounds like a working and evolving task to me.

"To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses." Sounds like democratic sensibilities against class separation/oppression but I'm not sure what the autocracy of the masses is exactly referring to? Is an autocratic mass a public majority who demands something against an oppressed minority?

"To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to mutual helpfulness." Yikes! Makes me feel like I'm back in Catholic boys school. And mutual helpfulness? Sounds like a Communist plot to me. Joking.

After all, we do not live inside creeds but carry them out in our actions. That is the proving grounds of this world yet our actions first need to be crafted in thought and reflection. I question the creed to improve it, to understand what it means.

Ed: You have lived in "the belly of the beast" and I'm sure that you were able to live a fine armed life. Not all "red feathered" folks want to do away with guns. Rather, there needs to be a debate over why our country is so violent with those guns when defense is rarely the cause for use.

Lexington (are you in KY?) Jesuits are radical. That's the entire purpose of their order. Employees of public and private universities are able to rent and utilize campus buildings for events just like the public. The content of the event is reviewed by the administration and is either approved or denied. This is the way private/public property rules work. If the content is disagreeable, protest or hold your own alternative event.

If you do not like someones free speech (as long as it's not hate speech) , combat it with your own words and deeds, don't just silence. After all, you might learn something.

To my knowledge congress has not declared war. I am nearly 65 years old and since I was born we have been fighting in one place or another, however they have seldom declared any of them wars. From my experience those military actions have not served to make our country a more honorable place. They have however helped to enrich several corporations excessively. Nobody likes to think they were taken advantage of. If I admit that our VA hospitals do not truly have the resources to honor the needs of all of our fighting men and women; well that only forces me to face up to it. To some degree I was taken advantage of. People can love their country and still not like what it does. I love the idea of our military, but I just don't like those industrial lobbyist who seem to be controlling it.

Jim et al.....when did Congress close the designation of war from August 2, 1990? Because I don't believe that period of hostilities has ever been closed, which is why the Legion, being a WAR TIME VETERANS SERVICE ORGANIZATION can sign up folks who serve today, because the period of war never closed.

Even assuming that isn't controlling for you, when people get blown up by triple stacked Russian rounds in A-stan, as the guys in my unit are, you would be hard-pressed to explain to me or there loved ones that we in a period of peace, and not war.

This is the most bigoted article ever.

Someone doesn't agree with an unjust war so that makes them "anti-American."

Seriously, fuck you.

It's people like you who give the military a bad name and you wonder why people think you are meat-headed welfare Queens who fight in phony wars in the name of "freedom."

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News from the World of Military and Veterans Issues. Iraq and A-Stan in parenthesis reflects that the author is currently deployed to that theater.