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The Status of My Case
By Diedra Cobb
1. I began my conscientious objector (CO) case in early April 2003 with the 203d MI BN, after having tried to begin it for three straight months prior to that time with the 687th QM BN, which was my original unit.
2. I made it clear to my command at the 203d MI BN that I would not fire my weapon nor take the anthrax shot.
3. As a result I was not deployed, but instead my command decided that I was a hazard to the unit and left me stateside in the rear detachment of the unit to do paperwork and finish my conscientious objector case.
4. Throughout my case and time in the rear detachment I received administrative harassment, but was treated rather well by my fellow soldiers.
5. As a result of the harassment, I hired a civilian lawyer from Washington, D.C. who is highly experienced with military law.
6. I spoke against the military and government in New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C. whenever I had the opportunity, in addition to helping soldiers on my post that were encountering different forms of harassment.
7. Much of the harassment stopped after I hired the lawyer, but not all of it.
8. For example: I was denied education money; after receiving an approval from the investigative officer in one hearing, it was done again and a disapproval was rendered; after a written agreement was made that I would not have to fire my weapon or take the anthrax shot, they reneged and I was given five days to do so or I would face three very serious charges.
9. I was assaulted (not related to my CO case, I don't believe ... ) and pressed charges and filed written testimony with the Criminal Investigation Division (CID).
10. My CO case was denied and I was released to go home.
11. I was told that the man against whom I pressed charges was going to be handled "administratively" (which is a hugely ambiguous generalization to me) and I heard nothing else about what that meant in terms of the outcome of my case.
12. I lost my security clearance, which means that I no longer have a job (or in military wording, I am no longer MOS-qualified) in the military, which means that I cannot be mobilized.
13. I am currently waiting to be contacted by a lawyer who has volunteered to represent me in a writ of habeas corpus case, which is a federal appeal to the denial of my conscientious objector case.
14. Due to losing my security clearance and not being qualified to be an intelligence analyst (or 96B) any more, my unit is trying to figure out what to do with me.
15. I am classified as a pending loss in my unit right now and am not required to show up at my unit for weekend drills because I live over 100 miles away.
16. In the meantime, I am volunteering, preparing for school and working to pay off the several thousands of dollars of debt that I have incurred from the expenses of my CO case.
Diedra is a member of VVAW.