Lt Cmdr Charles SwiftThis season there are some reluctant heroes who bear special mention and our utmost appreciation. Lt Cmdr Charles Swift whose successful handling of Hamdan v Rumsfeld helped bring habeas corpus to the forefront of the news and will some day save the lives of our own troops. Swift was passed over for promotion for his valiant and heroic efforts but shall remain a hero in the hearts and minds of his nation for generations to come.

Lt WatadaThanks must also go to Lt Ehren Watada, whom I had the privilege of meeting this summer and hearing his thoughtful and articulate speech to the Veterans for Peace National Convention in Seattle.

The American soldier must rise above the socialization that tells them authority should always be obeyed without question. Rank should be respected but never blindly followed. Awareness of the history of atrocities and destruction committed in the name of America – either through direct military intervention or by proxy war – is crucial. They must realize that this is a war not out of self-defense but by choice, for profit and imperialistic domination.

The army is continuing with the court martial of this exemplary young officer.

Last but not least, give thanks to the valiant efforts of Suzanne Swift and her family for paving the road for other women, victimized while in the military to have protection and a voice. Suzanne’s story has not ended well but as she nears the end she and her exhausted family know that they have cleared the way for the future of women in the military.