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US soldier disputing Iraq war legality to face desertion charge

[JURIST] An attorney for US Army Sgt. Ricky Clousing [advocacy website], an Iraq war veteran, said Thursday that his client will face a desertion charge at a special court-martial stemming from his June 2005 defection from Fort Bragg [official website]. Clousing, who has said he refuses to participate in a war with "no legal basis to be fought," could face up to six months confinement, forfeiture or reduction of salary, and a bad-conduct discharge if convicted of desertion. Clousing eventually turned himself in [JURIST report] at Fort Lewis [official website] August 11.

In related news, another soldier, US Army Spc. Mark Wilkerson, reappeared and turned himself in to authorities Thursday at Fort Hood [official website] after absconding from military service a year and a half ago just prior to his second scheduled deployment to Iraq. Wilkerson was joined by anti-war protestors, including Cindy Sheehan [Wikipedia profile]. Wilkerson's application for conscientious objector status [Selective Service backgrounder] after his first tour in Iraq was denied. AP has more.

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