Should This Woman Be Jailed By The U.S. For Resistance to Iraq War?

kimberly rivera

Kimberly Rivera could face 2 to 5 years in prison for her resistance to the Iraq war.

In the next 48 hours, Kimberly Rivera will have her moment of truth: she will find out whether she will be deported to the US., where she will be immediately jailed for her resistance to the Iraq War.

While in Iraq, Kimberly began to seriously doubt the justification of the war, her participation in it, and being part of the US army. Coupled with her study of the Bible, she decided as a matter of moral conscience she could no longer participate in the war. Now she may be jailed for this decision.

She should not be.

Amnesty International believes “the right to refuse to perform military service for reasons of conscience is part of freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as recognized in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

While on leave in the United States in 2007, Kimberly Rivera went to Canada with her children to avoid being sent back to Iraq. She researched options for officially leaving military service, but decided that going absent without leave (AWOL) was the only way to be sure she would not have to continue fighting in the war.

Canada rejected her application for refugee status and was ordered to leave the country. After an appeal, she now faces deportation to the United States, where Army officials have reportedly confirmed that she will be detained and court-martialled. If Kimberly Rivera were imprisoned solely because of her conscientious objection to participating in the armed conflict in Iraq, Amnesty International would consider her a prisoner of conscience.

An application to delay her deportation on humanitarian and compassionate grounds based on the best interests of her four children is currently pending.

Take Action

Urge Canadian authorities to cease deportation proceedings against Kimberly Rivera or, at a minimum, defer her deportation until her pending application to remain in Canada on humanitarian and compassionate grounds has been considered.

Please contact Canadian officials (Stephen Harper stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca and Minister@cic.gc.ca) and ask them to stop the deportation!

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

62 thoughts on “Should This Woman Be Jailed By The U.S. For Resistance to Iraq War?

  1. Did she knowledgeably & willingly sign a contract on joining the forces? If so then she should take the consequences of "her" actions I'm afraid

    • Nonsense! In that case there would be no guilty Nazis because they all signed up. The Nuremberg trials made it clear that all soldiers have a duty of consience to refuse immoral orders. Participating in the illegal war in Iraq is indeed, immoral.

  2. This article is obviously self serving … which it should be. But would it kill you to put up some more facts. Was she enlisted, officer, etc. As Andy stated if she signed a contract well tough cookies. She could have done alot more then running away. If she went to her command and said I quit. They would have had her discharged in record time. But she ran. Stupid move. She had to have enlisted herself.

  3. I hope she faces a Courts-Martial for AWOL/Desertion. When you have voluntarily chosen to join the Army you don't get to pick and choose your duty. There are procedures in place for conscientious objectors — she fled and abandoned her duty her unit and fellow Soldiers and team. Shame on her.

    • She did what was right, not her duty. US soldiers have received pathetically weak sentences for the murder, rape and torture of Iraqi citizens. What would you suggest she get for refusing to participate?

      • Was she ordered to "murder" "rape" or "torture" Iraqi citizens? Did she participate or witness any "murder" "rape" or "torture"? No – she was a gate guard. Argue facts niel schubert.

  4. She deserves to be deported and face the consequences of her actions. She voluntarily enlisted in the Army. What did she think it was going to be, a vacation? She should be ashamed of herself. She deserted her country. What a disgrace.

    • No, YOU should be ashamed to judge people. Who are you to judge ? No one. Every single war is durty, she knew it so she has to assume but you and few others who are using words like '' disgrace or shame " should step out and stop judging so easily. This situation is tragic even if she may deserves this in a way. Cruel world. Cruel People. You all pissing me off. (english not perfect as im french.)

      • There is no judgement here. Going AWOL is a crime. If Kimberly was being court-martialed for actually refusing to kill, it would be a different matter. Why didn't she simply refuse to return to Iraq? As pointed out, Kimberly WAS NOT drafted!

        • So what? Why is it that some people think the law is the be all and end all of everything? Why is there such confusion about the difference between law and morality? I don't doubt that she made some mistakes, I just don't think she should be jailed for them. IF you don't bother to turn up to work you get fired, why does the military always have to get so uppity about things? And as for saying there is no judgement, that is a bare faced lie. If you said that going to jail is where she stands legally then maybe there would be no judgement. But s/he said she DESERVES it. That's a judgement. Would you think it alright to jail someone who wasn't in the army for not going to war? Let me be clear what I'm saying is:spot the difference, person who never was in the army, and person who was, and then changed her mind. So we should jail people who change there mind about doing a certain job? No. The military isn't special. Whatever the law says is wrong. If she breached her contract in any other job they'd cut her loose and her p45 would be in the post (or the american equivalent thereof.) Anyone who wants to fill a comment with "duty" or "fellow soldiers", "deserted her country" let me answer your comments now. Military action is a fools game, and one that the human race should have out grown centuries ago. Patriotism is the last refuge of bland people with nothing to discern themselves from everyone else. The country you come from is chance. Please note the difference between chance and devine providence. I'm not saying that you shouldn't preserve your national identity. I'm saying you should remember that it doesn't make you better than anyone else. Serving your country above all things and without conscience leads to holocausts, Guantanamo bays, and the neremberg defence. "I was only following orders." Well a dog can follow orders. Takes a human to follow conscience.

  5. If a human gains the insight that all killing is wrong it is for the greater good ! Punish those who kill instead.

    • Absolutely, so many people enter a contract blindly to find out later what that entails. Did the military explain to her that she would be required to kill, and kill indiscriminately without justification? Falsely led into an illegal war? I think George bosh should be court martialed for Crimes against Humanity for lying about the WMD's remeber those days? LIES!

      /end rant

      • Learn some facts why dontcha? She enlisted in 2006 – we invaded Iraq 3 years prior to her enlistment. She knew we were at war and the likelyhood of her requiring to deploy. Your drivel about being required to kill and kill indiscrimenately without justification??? Where does this come from? Is there a shred of evidence that supports your ignorant statement? What was she ordered to do? Did she ever "indiscriminately without justification" kill anyone? Was she ordered or required to do this? This garbage about lying about WMDs is so old. Review history and what both sides of the political aisle were saying ref: WMD. Saddam and his own henchmen declared WMD —- and then turned inspectors away. Learn some facts and back up your claims.

  6. This post is twisting words. If she is jailed, it will not be for resisting the Iraq War. It will be for violating the contract she signed with the United States Armed Forces, and for abandoning her duties illegally rather than working within the confines of the circumstances she created for herself.

  7. Try to fight back with right of her constitution as human right base on constitution in america had been broken by military law, constitution right is above all law. Good luck

  8. I can understand how something might sound good (or ok) from a distance but then when one is faced with it and learns everything, it becomes clear that there may be a lot of not-so-good aspects. I have to ask, however, did she receive benefits, such as having college paid for or something, and then backed out afterwards? If so, it seems to make more of a case for some sort of prosecution. We can't have people reaping rewards but not following through with what they promised to do to "pay" for them.

  9. As citizens we do not get to determine what wars are 'worthy' – she violated her contract with the government – she joined military service by her own free choice – she was not drafted. Then she did not work within the legal channels available to her in this country – she took her children and left the country. She went AWOL. She should be court-martialled. It sounds like she just wants a 'do-over'.

    • Well said!
      No matter how much we may sympathize with Kimberly, this kind of precedent cannot be condoned. She faces prison for going AWOL, not refusing to kill. If the court-martial was for refusing to kill, it would be a different matter.

  10. If you read the longer document linked to from the post, it details how she arrived at the decision. If she went through the "proper" channels she may have been sent back to the war while she awaited a decision. And that was against her moral conscience.

    The post explains that under international law she has a right to refuse to perform military service. Hence she decided the best way to adhere to her conscience was to go AWOL.

    I would say that human rights and moral conscience trump an employment contract.

    • Zeke,,, I as a member of the military totally concur with this statement from you.
      "The post explains that under international law she has a right to refuse to perform military service.",

      No one forced her to join the military, she willing joined and took advantage of the wages and benefits that were afforded to her. She had other options such as declaring her CO status, she did not do that, she deserted, she just easily could of made the decision back home where she had a established community network to help her out, but she didnt, we reap what we sow my friend, she is reaping right now. She made a tac error and now she has to face the ramifications of it.

  11. PLEASE, use your time to judge BAD people, not her. Looks like you are all outraged for the wrong issues.

  12. l guess some of you would be happy if she had to go back and kill some innocent children. god knows the us and UK have slaughtered enough already. best of luck to the woman

  13. Was she ordered to torture people? To rape or sexually humiliate them? If you sign up for military intelligence or the military police and end up posted to death camps/torture camps like Auschwitz-on-sea Guantanamo or Abu Graib should you just comply with your orders – Mr Assange you signed on the dotted line that said, as part of your patriotic duties, crushing a man's testicles in a vice was okay with you. You signed a contract not to tell. You're so immoral in taking that college scholarship and then not keeping to your part of the bargain. Sorry, but if it didn't work for German or Japanese war criminals then it shouldn't work for the Americans, British or French either. She's already a war criminal simply for wearing that uniform.

  14. A contract should not take precedence over conscience. I applaud this woman for her conscience.

  15. I agree with Zeke Johnson. It was a war started from a lie–so it was an illegal and immoral war. I wish her safety and God bless.

  16. Lets get right down to basics. War is an illegal and unlawful practice under UN Law. Problem is the warmongers; lie, cheat, set up false flag operations, covertly fund non government organizations to get war happening… etc.
    The USA represents War as a Patriotic duty. Patriotism to what? To the USA? What is the USA? Is the USA 316 million people who freely associate in the geographic region on the Nth American Continent? Or is the USA a narrow set of interests which profit from spreading neo-liberal economic doctrine around a globalized World at the point of a gun.
    The USA's great general Smedley Darlington Butler, through his experience of being in China half a World away from continental Nth America to protect the private interests of Standard Oil, came to the conclusion that he was no more than the corporation's policeman. He Smedley was a fine man and he spoke truth to the Authority he served in his professional career as a soldier.
    He Smedley would now be supporting Kimberly Riviera in her fight to maintain her position of principle.
    You are so wrong to deny another their stand on questions of principle. In fact the more people who stand on well founded principles of 'doing no harm to others', the closer we get to the truth of living in a 'Humane World.'
    The Lie is that this decade of Wars was launched on the back of the 9/11 theatre event. Those who want to chase legalism down the rabbit hole ought chase the real perpetrators of that heinous crime; the same 'private interests' who profit from the 'Endless War' now known as the 'War on Terror.'
    Last year in the run up to the New Zealand elections I wrote this; http://gregfullmoon.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/new-ze
    People if you indeed are human beings, listen to the inner being, that soulful part of you which cries in anguish at the carnage we create with our non-thoughtfulness, our crass ignorance, our inhumanity… our lack of compassion.
    In peace, greg.

  17. In 1964, I joined the US Navy to avoid the Army draft. Well, I ended up in Vietnam anyway. We killed almost 3 million of those people. Blew them up in their own front yard. Children, parents, brothers and sisters. So where are we now? Favored trading nation. I see these silly kids who think they will be a hero and I advise them against joining the military. Many of them discover the truth after they join but it is too late. You cannot just quit that job. The Iraq war was not a war, it was a turkey shoot. An unnecessary slaughter. So was Vietnam but we still have our brave Vietnam vets and they are proud of their license plates. Disgusting.

  18. If more military did the same, maybe the wars would come to an end, but I doubt it. She did what she thought best, and if Canada wasn't in the pocket of the US, they would not deport her.

  19. Fact: The right to refuse and/or withdraw from an illegal or unlawful contract – that is, one that does not clearly benefit all parties, or (worse yet) detriments any party per its terms as-represented – is basic to ones' keeping with the Rule of Law.

    Fact: The invasion of any nation by any other for the purpose of aggregating any manner of profit or gain of any kind is still a crime. All the globalized globe around. Aggressive War of Choice is still "The supreme crime against humanity" per the Nuremberg Declaration. Not to mention the Rome Statute.

    Suggestion to the Intelligent Reader: PLEASE read BOTH those laws. An hour spent doing so can save much ignorance-driven waste and stupidity all up and down the Line. Use ixquick.com if you maybe can't afford the increasingly-likely sociopolitical price of using the Google Monster. Ixquick is TOTALLY private, you see, quite unlike the Bug-Eyed Beast from Privacy Hell. (Try it, you'll LIKE it.)

    Fact: The NeoLooters of Iraq used the Ninesey-'Levvensey Two-Plane Three-Building Controlled Demolition Exercise as their own fine-scented excuse to Just Go Charging In with guns blazing.

    Fact: Not a one of that NeoLooter krue ever even bothered to stop looting Iraq, once they got there (media-hoodwinked hordes of savaged-up US troops and all) long enough to even try to change even the smallest part of any such laws in order to even try to legalize themselves nor their aggressive actions. Instead, they legalized domestic spying plus aggressive invasion, torture and murder all around the globe – civilians and all – and Kept Right On Keepin' On. At a blared-all-over-the-lot as-purported "Pay For Itself Within Six Months" PROFIT.

    Fact: Even to the present hour. Over a DECADE LATER! Even while STILL DEAD BROKE. And going INSOLVENT.

    Fact: Instead of paying the first jot nor tittle in damages to the dispossessed and dismembered of their dirty warmaking, the criminal USAn "leadership" instead to this day insists on making the grunts pay the price in their own blood, liberty and clean-conscience sanity – especially if ever any ever should, despite all the Media Programming, become even the least bit wise to the Royal Scam Dimension of their reasons for being there in the first place.

    Fact: Witness the recent maltreatment of Staff Sgt. Brandon Raub USMC over his Facebook communications. The Bad Guys evidently do not care to distinguish between Direct Threat Speech and Online Game Speech; instead, wacky-ward commitments are dealt out every day for all who even appear to dissent.

    Fact: This infandous manner of approach is now known as the NWO Gang's SOP. See http://www.rutherford.org for the Rest of That Story. But there are 20000 more at minimum in Virginia alone who have been far less fortunate than Sgt Raub.

    Fact: When signing *any* contract with *any* organized corporate entity – be it bank, phone company, or military samesame, one Lawful Key Line shines as a beacon of Lawful Self-Protection to be inscribed above ones' signature at signing: "ALL RIGHTS RESERVED AND NONE WAIVED". Directly above the signature. No space for such a declaration? Then DO NOT SIGN. (Find a better way to get the same thing done, instead.)

    Fact: By so declaring Inalienable Human Rights under Common Law (the *human* Law that is UNIVERSAL) at signing, the signer has in fact cut themself the Emergency Exit that is their genuine right under Heaven, legally and Lawfully avoiding all manner of otherwise-legan and decidedly unpleasant-to-deadly repercussions that might otherwise issue from the Criminal Party to any such contract post-Awakening in a manner that every Lawful court readily recognizes on sight.

    Fact: Failure to so do (thus "signing blind" as most poor neo-diseducated American schlubs, sadly, will hasten to do with little urging) automatically makes the signer a SLAVE of the other party under Admiralty Law, which these days is widely considered to be the "Law of the Land" in absence of any assertion of Common (ie "Human") Law.

    Fact: Admiralty Law is the Law of the SEA and has no rightful effect onshore absent full-disclosure-based Lawful Mutual Consent. Else the contract be tainted with FRAUD and is of NO EFFECT.

    So hey guess what, military-age Young People: YOU are HUMAN and the Military is NOT. Assert your own humanity and consequent inalienable rights IN WRITING if ever you must stoop to signing-on in these criminally-overtaken times! You have a fighting chance of getting out alive, then – or at least gaining a transfer to non-combat support duty, as me own father did prior to landing at Anzio.

    Don't get it yet, Kid? Well, you might want to study-up awhile until you do – or oh heck what the whatever, just go ahead anyway and sign blind. Join your peers in the line of fire amid that fine billowing cloud of funny-smellin' Depleted Uranium smoke over thattaway. (Good luck; you could just return RADIANT.)

    But maybe it's better to avoid a snafu NOW than to try to opt out later? THINK! And that is all. 0{:-)o<

    • You have made an important point here Walking_Turtle – do not sign up in order to avoid to simply avoid consequences inherent in doing so. Evidently Kimberly Rivera was either ignorant as to exploring her enrollment or just totally uneducated regarding the purpose of the mission. It is hard for me to believe in both scenarios (I do give people more credit sometimes than they deserve, mushy me).

      I also believe that the Military would have given her a way out of this predicament she created, had she decided to pursue other venues instead of AWOL? 0

      Whether one agrees with the War in Iraq or totally opposes it from the start, let's shift the responsibility to where it fully belongs – Kimberly Rivera – who had enough time to learn about the War prior to enlisting but chose not to use her conscience than.

  20. It would serve no purpose to imprison her for refusing to kill Iraqi civilians. And since the Iraq army was disbanded so soon after the US-led invasion, then yes, the Iraqis killed were civilians taking up arms to defend their homeland from the invading forces.

    How dare the federal govt seek to imprison soldiers for refusing to kill in an illegal and immoral invasion of a sovereign country. In re: her military contract – so what? The Bush/Cheney/Rice regime outright lied to the US and the world about WMDs rather than admit the imposition of democracy with bombs and bullets was really punishment for switching from petrol-US Dollars to petrol-Euros for Iraq oil trading, the neo-con-artists in the Bush admin lied so one might reasonably consider that those people who signed up for patriotic reasons were misled and the contracts should be nullified.

    Discharge her, deny her benefits but prison -no way. Not until they arrest and imprison some of the sociopathic felons on Wall Street for financial crimes.

  21. Wow. I couldn't read through past the first several posts. What an ugly country full of mean spirited people I find myself living in these days. Shame on all of you talking about contracts and "tough cookies." How easy to sit in front of the computer and yammer on with such nonsense.

  22. BJO – I don't speak for all – just myself… but I've done more than sit infront of the computer and yammer nonsense. I'm guessing you never were a member of the military and therefore it is YOU that find it easy to do nothing but sit in front of the computer and yammer on with nonsense. She is a disgrace and a deserter — no conscientious objection to the war (legitimate or not) changes that fact. Much of this drivel about being ordered to kill innocent women, children, people are from people who never served the military a day in the life — and only know what "news" is spoonfed to them. 99 percent of those that serve this Nation are Honorable and would never give or follow such orders. 99 percent of those taht serve this Nation understand Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Self-Less Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Kimberly Rivera is not among those 99 percent.

    • Sorry i dont understand the meaning of your first sentences Brian .. Do you mean that if we are not member of the military we do nothing ?
      Stop wasting your time talking to us honor and nation. come with me to Madagascar, come with me to help the poorest families and children of the world, I think it will do you much good ..

      • Gaeile – I was confronting "BJO" with his assertion that those who haven't fall in lock and step with AI on this issue havent done anything. For what it is worth – I think your work in Madagascar must be remarkable and I salute you for that. I'm no stranger to humanitarian efforts and volunteerism. Doesn't change that Rivera is a D-Bag and those that have never served enlisted or taken an oath can comment all they want and quickly come to her defense – but know little to nothing about this particular issue. God bless you and your work in Madagascar.

        • Yes, I understand that most of the people who comes to her defense doesnt know anything about this issue, they are just humain Brian and you can't blame us for being human. What i know is you are no one to tell she's a douche bag. You don't know her, it is too easy.. you might be one D bag too but i am no one aswell so i won't tell you such a thing. You sould not speak like that, it's not good. And thank you but i don't need the blessing of god to do my work, there is no god overthere, just poor people :) Good luck to you.

          • She is a deserter and in my book = DBag. I know her better then you realize. There are other avenues she could have gone — rather then run and hide from her responsiblity — and leave it up to someone else to carry her weight while she fled to Canada. She is playing you all — playing the woman card, the mom card all for sympathy. There are thousands of women (moms, single moms etc…) that deployed and experienced much greater hardship then her. They didn't abandon the unit and run to Canada with two kids and have two more ANCHOR babies — and stay in order to shirk from responsibility. The first honorable thing she has done in a long time was cross back into the U.S. and peacefully turn herself in. Now she can argue her case to the appropriate authorities and if it goes that far have her day in court. Good luck to you as well and your work in Madagascar and I hope you get right with your God.

  23. I join the voices here that call for a Court-Martial and proper punishment. An objector she could have been by not joining the Armed Forces. Does AIUSA claim that this woman had no idea what she was getting herself into? And, can one not follow orders and endanger the mission and fellow soldiers by not adhering to protocol. AIUSA is once again standing on the wrong side of logic. Civil obejctors may have some protection but once a person signs up for the military, there is an implied understanding (which of course is reviewed by the enlisting officer) of what the service entails. No one held a knife to this woman's throat to sign up. AIUSA is on a slippery slope here by placing the blame on US Military (SEMPER FIDELIS!!!) and not on the woman herself for her fully premeditated actions of signing up and then bailing out.

  24. We should start marching against killing of human beings, it being an insult to our humanity, by these fractured egos.

  25. How can folks rise up their children when the tools of killing are in vending machines telling that life is cheap as the next gun?

    • We rise up our children by buying trampolines! We also taken them on aeroplanes! No more Louis Profeta posts please!

  26. Gaeile – I was confronting “BJO” with his assertion that those who haven’t fall in lock and step with AI on this issue havent done anything. For what it is worth – I think your work in Madagascar must be remarkable and I salute you for that. I’m no stranger to humanitarian efforts and volunteerism. Doesn’t change that Rivera is a D-Bag and those that have never served enlisted or taken an oath can comment all they want and quickly come to her defense – but know little to nothing about this particular issue. God bless you and your work in Madagascar.

  27. According to the law she will be jailed – “the right to refuse to perform military service for reasons of conscience is part of freedom of thought, conscience and religion, as recognized in Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 18 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

    But seriously, we are all aware that war is wrong, the government can force a draft upon us because no one would cooperate, why jail us?

  28. ok im a member of the millitary myself and ill tell you this when we enlist we are told that if we go AWOL then we will more then likely be discharged and arrested so she was warned very early there is not a person serving in the military that has been in for a month even that doesnt know going AWOL will get you sent to jail. so with that stated she knew going AWOL would get her arrested so its her own fault hell she could have failed her PT test a few times and for you that dont know a PT test is a physical fitnes test witch is push up, sits ups, and a 2 mile run failing that often enough can get you discharged or she could have punched her CO or a few other things going AWOL and leaving the country are things every service member knows will get you arrested so honestly she was being retarded

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  30. If Kimberly Rivera were a male soldier would sending her to prison for breaking the law be an issue?
    If men and women are equal then they must adhere to the same protocol – no special treatment, after all this is war were are talking about.
    Not only should Kimberly Rivera go to prison for 2-5 years but she must serve prison in the same jails as the male deserters – in prison with men. This is equality.

  31. Dbag = Dirtbag its slang look it up professor "Fart" You clearly have me beat on the use of sophisticated diction.

  32. It is not my logic but one that Our great Military adheres to when looking at AWOL issues. This means, Ms. "Julia" that this absconder will not have to answer to Rykala but to a Court Martial if she surrenders. We are the blacksmiths of our destiny. To blame the military for this phony objector's run is the obsure logic you refer to. I sincerely hope that Ms. Rivera is fully court-martialed and that the Military also garnish any and all of her wages for al of the great benefits she afforded her while enlisted.