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by Jay Shaft
Friday, Jul. 14, 2006 at 7:27 PM
Interview with Christopher Gorman, a religious Conscientious Objector who is refusing to return to Iraq.
Published and Audio Broadcasted by Coalition For Free Thought In Media
Interview conducted by Jay Shaft: Editor-In-Chief/Executive Investigative Editor
THOUGHT BOMB RADIO - SHOCK AND AWE FOR THE MIND RADIO HOUR (C) 2003-2006 Jay Shaft/Coalition For Free Thought In Media
This is an interview with Pfc. Christopher Gorman who is home on leave from Iraq. He has just been stationed at F.O.B. (Forward Operating Base) Kalsu in Iskandariya, Iraq with Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division.
Chris is supposed to get on a plane on Monday, July 17th to fly back to Iraq. He is not getting on the plane, or returning to Iraq, despite the Army’s order to do so. He plans to go in the battalion Rear Detachment office and directly report that he is refusing to go back for the rest of his combat tour.
Audio archived at San Francisco Indy Bay Media Center
Part One: Chris talks about what he has witnessed in Iraq and how it has affected him. He explains what a C.O is, and why he considers the war to be wrong and injust.
Part Two: Chris goes over the reasons why is refusing to return to Iraq. He also explains why he is religiously opposed to serving in combat.
Part Three: Chris details his plans for filing a new C.O. application with his unit. He discusses the consequences of reporting that he is refusing to return to Iraq.
Part 4: Interview with Heather Gorman, wife of Chris Gorman.
Heather talks about the joy of having Chris at home, and discusses how their children feel about Chris refusing to go back.
Pfc. Gorman is already on record as a Conscientious Objector and has taken every legal step to be granted a discharge under the legal guidelines. Because his original Conscientious Objector application packet was denied at the Pentagon level, he is going to file a new statement with his chain of command.
He says he will not let the military send him back, because they have already promised him a discharge after the 4th ID redeployed back the US and returned to stateside duty. He states that he refuses to go back and is demanding an immediate discharge.
At this point he is still the only C.O. on record who has filed paperwork, and then been sent to combat in Iraq while his application was being reviewed. I do not know of any other soldier who has publicly spoken out while serving with a combat unit. I have been in contact with several other soldiers who were deployed after filing for C.O. status, but none of them have been willing to go public with any details.
For those of you who do not know what a Conscientious Objector is, please go and take a look at the Department of Defense Directive on C.O. Status and the different kinds of C.O. status’ and designations.
The Army regulations relating to C.O. status are available at http://www.usapa.army.mil.
The main Army discharge regulation, AR-635-200, can be viewed in PDF format at
A full copy of the Uniform Code of Military justice can be found here:
This is the type of C.O. status that Chris Gorman has filed under. He is supposed to have every legal right to claim and use it as grounds for discharge.
3.1.1. Class 1-O Conscientious Objector. A member who, by reason of conscientious objection, sincerely objects to participation of any kind in war in any form.
3.2. Religious Training and Belief: Belief in an external power or being or deeply held moral or ethical belief, to which all else is subordinate or upon which all else is ultimately dependent, and which has the power or force to affect moral-well-being. The external power or being need not be of an orthodox deity, but may be a sincere and meaningful belief which occupies in the life of its possessor a place parallel to that filled by the God of another, or, in the case of deeply held moral or ethical beliefs, a belief held with the strength and devotion of traditional religious conviction. The term "religious training and belief" may include solely moral or ethical beliefs even though the applicant himself may not characterize these beliefs as "'religious" in the traditional sense, or may expressly characterize them as not religious. The term "religious training and belief" does not include a belief which rests solely upon considerations of policy, pragmatism, expediency, or political views.
Please listen to the audio interview to hear all the details in Chris’s own words. I can type up facts and quotes all day long, but it doesn’t have the same impact as hearing it directly from Chris.
A press conference is tentatively being scheduled on Monday to cover the issue of Chris Gorman’s case as a C.O. and his refusal to return for duty. I will interview Chris on Monday afternoon, or in the event that he is taken into custody by the Army, I will interview his wife Heather.
Please write to Chris Gorman at firstname.lastname@example.org. He welcomes any comments, support, or prayers. He has asked everyone to pray for his continued safety and well being in this time of trial and trouble.
CFTM has released two previous interviews in print/audio format.
Live from Iraq-PFC Chris Gorman: This is an Ungodly War Based on Lies and Sin
This article contains background information about other soldiers who have filed C.O status or gone AWOL or refused to report for deployment to Iraq.
The Army Is Religiously Persecuting and Harassing My Husband
Interview with Heather Gorman, Wife of Army Specialist Christopher Gorman
This article contains facts about my investigation into the 4th Infantry Division, and some other incidents of soldiers being denied C.O. status.
You can find a timeline of the events leading up to this point, and the background behind Chris Gorman’s reasons for declaring himself a Religious C.O. at http://www.soldiersrights.com/index.html
ABOUT THE INTERVIEWER:
Jay Shaft is a freelance investigative writer and the Editor-In-Chief and Managing Investigative Editor of the independent news group Coalition For Free Thought In Media.
He has conducted many interviews with soldiers who have served in Iraq, in which service members exposed the issues of the military's failure to provide proper equipment and training to US troops, and he has been on the forefront of investigating the price that soldiers are paying as a result.
He is currently involved in interviewing soldiers who have returned from war with PTSD or traumatic injuries. An ongoing expose and series of troops/vet interviews and articles highlighting the failure of the VA system to adequately take care of the soldiers and vets is in current publication at this time. There is an ongoing series of letters from soldiers serving in Iraq that is being published as well.
Contact Jay at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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