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US soldier who disputed Iraq war legality released early from military prison

[JURIST] Former US Army Sergeant Ricky Clousing [advocacy website; JURIST news archive], a paratrooper and interpreter who disputed the legality of the war in Iraq, was released Saturday from a military prison where he was serving a three-month sentence after pleading guilty [JURIST report] to going absent without leave for 14 months. Clousing was released 15 days early for good conduct and is headed home to Washington state.

In October, a court-martial [JURIST report] in Fort Bragg, NC, sentenced Clousing to 11 months' confinement, with all but three months suspended, under a plea agreement that allowed him to avoid a finding of desertion [JURIST report]. Clousing abandoned his post at Fort Bragg [official website] after reporting abuses committed by fellow soldiers during his five-month stint in Iraq. Clousing refused to request conscientious objector status [Selective Service backgrounder] to receive a discharge because he said he does not believe all wars are wrong. After 14 months AWOL, Clousing turned himself in [JURIST report] at Fort Lewis, WA. AP has more.

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