Archive for March, 2010

Press Release- Afghanistan War Resister Travis Bishop Released From Fort Lewis Brigade

Posted in Press Releases on March 25, 2010 by James M. Branum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Afghanistan War Resister Travis Bishop Released From Fort Lewis Brigade

Media Contact: Seth Manzel, Director, Coffee Strong 253-228-8912

A celebration of Bishop’s release with local supporters will take place at Coffee Strong in Lakewood, WA on Sunday, March 28.

March 25, 2010
Fort Lewis, Washington – War Resister and conscientious objector Travis Bishop was released from the stockade at Fort Lewis Thursday morning.

Bishop originally was sentenced to 12 months in prison during his court-martial at Fort Hood, Texas for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan for reasons of conscience. He later received a three-month reduction in sentence due to a successful clemency application to the Commanding General at Fort Hood, as well as receiving extra time off for good behavior. Bishop served a total of seven months and 12 days of confinement. He also received reduction of rank from Sergeant to Private and a pending Bad Conduct Discharge.

While under confinement, Travis Bishop was recognized by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience and updated his blog from the Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility. He also received support from hundreds of people from around the world who wrote letters of encouragement for him and also to military authorities calling for his release.

Bishop spoke out about the inhumane conditions at the Fort Lewis stockade, which produced some reform in treatment of prisoners at the facility. Bishop was placed on the facility’s “most difficult” prisoners list for these efforts.

Local supporters of Bishop are planning a celebration to take place at Coffee Strong, beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 28. Coffee Strong is located at 15109 Union Ave SW, Lakewood, SW, next to Subway. Staff will provide refreshments and Bishop will speak at that time for public comment only. He will not be available prior to 3 p.m. on March 28.

For more information or to schedule an individual interview with either Bishop or his defense team, please contact Seth Manzel at 253-228-8912 or attorney James Branum at 405-476-5620.

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Celebrate the soon-to-be liberation of Afghan War Resister Travis Bishop!

Posted in Press Releases on March 23, 2010 by James M. Branum

You are invited to a celebration of the release of war resister
TRAVIS BISHOP
from the Fort Lewis Stockade

Friends and local supporters of Travis Bishop are invited to a celebration starting at 3 p.m. On Sunday, March 28th at Coffee Strong, (15109 Union Avenue Southwest, Lakewood, WA, near Fort Lewis).

This event will be Travis’ first public speaking event since his release from the stockade at Fort Lewis.

Local supporters are encouraged to come and show your support. Admission is free but donations are welcome to help Travis with his legal fees and to help him get reestablished in his civilian life.

BACKGROUND: In 2009, Travis Bishop received a 12 month sentence in a court-martial at Fort Hood for refusing to deploy to Afghanistan for reasons of conscience. He was sent to the notorious NWJRCF (Northwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility) at Fort Lewis to do his time.

While in the brig, Travis Bishop was recognized by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience and wrote a blog from jail.
He also received support from hundreds of people from around the world who wrote both letters of encouragement to him but also wrote letters to the Fort Hood Commanding General asking for Travis to be released from prison. Bishop also spoke out about the bad conditions at the Fort Lewis brig, which resulted in some reforms at the facility as well as Travis being placed on the facility’s “most difficult” prisoners list.

In February 2010, Travis Bishop was granted a 3 month reduction in his sentence by the Fort Hood Commanding General as a result of a successful clemency application. He is scheduled to be released this week from the stockade.

Following his release, Travis hopes to continue to speak out about conscientious objection, as well as to pursue a career in country
music.

PRESS: Members of the press are encouraged to come to the celebration. Individual interviews with either Travis or his defense team can be scheduled by contacting Coffee Strong at (253) 581-1565 or James Branum at (405)476-5620.

For more information:

Lt. Colonel (Chaplain) Ron Leininger’s Testimony at the Travis Bishop court-martial

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on March 9, 2010 by James M. Branum

In celebration of Travis’ soon-to-be release (we expect by the end of the month), I wanted to share this extra special excerpt from the record of trial. This excerpt is the transcript of Chaplain Leininger’s testimony at Travis Bishop’s court-martial.

What is worth noting is towards the end, where in my cross-examination, I got Chaplain Leininger to say that civil law is God’s law, that is was “sad” that people break the law in civil disobedience to injustice and that those who broke the law during the civil rights era for the sake of justice “thought they were doing the right thing.”

LIEUTENANT COLONEL (CHAPLAIN) RON LEININGER, HHB, 69th ADA Brigade, U.S. Army, was called as a witness for the prosecution, was sworn, and testified as follows:

DIRECT EXAMINATION

Questions by the trial counsel:

Q. Sir, have you ever met the accused, Sergeant Bishop before?

A. Yes, I have.

Q. What the purpose of that meeting?

A. As part of his conscientious objector packet, per the regulation, he’s required to meet with a unit chaplain, an Army chaplain, for a conscientious objector interview by the chaplain, and that was the only time that I’ve met him.

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