Jeremy Hall is the Army specialist who has filed suit against the Pentagon claiming that a superior officer violated his rights by threatening him with retaliation for forming a group of atheists in his unit (with permission from the chaplain, one might add). CNN has a story about Hall that has some new details, including some about the harassment he faced after this incident took place:
Hall was in Qatar when the lawsuit was filed on September 18 in federal court in Kansas City, Kansas. Other soldiers learned of it and he feared for his own safety. Once, Hall said, a group of soldiers followed him, harassing him, but no one did anything to make it stop.
Which means every one of the soldiers who harassed him and the superior officers who refused to do anything about it ought to be up on charges as well. And here’s the most disturbing part to me:
The Army told him it couldn’t protect him and sent him back to Fort Riley. He resumed duties with a military police battalion.
So the Army brass says they can’t protect him. That means they know that there was harassment and possible retaliation going on within his unit. But rather than deal with those within the unit, they transferred Hall. Are you seriously going to tell me that a direct order from the unit commander that Hall is to be left alone would not solve the problem? If that’s the case, the army has serious problems.
You bring down the ranking colonel in the chain of command and he issues an order that says if this crap continues he’s gonna start throwing guys into the brig and that problem would be fixed in a heartbeat. And if that wouldn’t fix it, then it’s time to blow up that unit and start from scratch because those assholes don’t belong in the military.
The New York Times also has an article about it that contains some specific quotes from the complaint. Like this:
When Specialist Jeremy Hall held a meeting last July for atheists and freethinkers at Camp Speicher in Iraq, he was excited, he said, to see an officer attending.
But minutes into the talk, the officer, Maj. Freddy J. Welborn, began to berate Specialist Hall and another soldier about atheism, Specialist Hall wrote in a sworn statement. “People like you are not holding up the Constitution and are going against what the founding fathers, who were Christians, wanted for America!” Major Welborn said, according to the statement.
Major Welborn told the soldiers he might bar them from re-enlistment and bring charges against them, according to the statement.
Welborn denies the charges, but since there was more one soldier present to hear him say this it shouldn’t be difficult to convince a jury that he did. A brief look at Welborn’s Myspace page doesn’t contain anything that would cast doubt on it.