My name is Ricky Clousing. I am a Sergeant in the United States Army and one of the many soldiers who are beginning to speak out about the appalling conditions of occupation in Iraq. I am writing to you today to tell you my story and ask for your support.
I joined the army soon after the September 11th attacks and in November of 2004 I deployed to Iraq. While there I was an interrogator attached to tactical infantry units during daily patrol operations. In the course of my work, I witnessed abuses of power that ranged from daily physical and psychological harassment to baseless incarceration of innocent civilians, including children. I spoke out about what I saw but was told to stay quiet.
After I returned from Iraq, I struggled with my objections concerning what I had seen and experienced in Iraq. Ultimately, I decided that staying in the military was a contradiction to my personal, moral and spiritual beliefs. I left the military without official authorization in June of 2005. In the following months I deeply considered my moral obligation to speak publicly about what I saw while in Iraq. After holding a press conference I returned to military custody on Friday, August 11th, 2006. On August 31st 2006, I was charged with desertion, which carries a maximum sentence of two years in jail.
Although my story is personal, I am part of a larger movement of soldiers who are speaking out and resisting this war by refusing to participate in the military under the false pretense of fighting for freedom. Collectively, we are beginning to have an effect. For instance, because of the coverage during my surrender, the United States Army has opened two parallel investigations into my allegation of abuse of power.
Please support me and my stand against this war by donating to my campaign defense fund. Your tax deductible donation will go towards my legal fees and other expenses.
For more information or to donate online please go to www.sdmcc.org/rickyclousing. Checks can be mailed to: Seattle Draft and Military Counseling Center - P.O. Box 25681, Seattle, WA 98165-1181