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US Army charges soldier objecting to Iraq redeployment

[JURIST] The US Army has charged Sgt. Kevin Benderman for refusing to return to Iraq for a second tour of duty because he now objects to war, an Army spokesman from Fort Stewart [official base website] Georgia said late Thursday. Benderman, an Army mechanic with 10 years in the military and eight months in Iraq in 2003, has been charged with desertion and intentionally skipping his deployment flight. Army investigators must choose whether to prosecute Benderman in a court-martial or handle his case administratively; if court-martialed, Benderman faces up to seven years in a military prison, reduction in rank and a dishonorable discharge. Military courts can also opt for a finding of guilty with no punishment. AP has more. Earlier this week Sergeant Benderman published a column entitled A Matter of Conscience that has been widely republished. On January 14 he gave an interview [MP3; 38 minutes] to IMC Radio's John Canal.

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