BAD Responds: COs Who Backed Conscription

December 13, 2013

Larry Marshall Sr of the anti-conscription group Bermudians Against the Draft responded to the recent press statement from backing conscription from eight former Commanding Officers of the Bermuda Regiment.

The letter said “conscription does not violate human rights and it does not enslave anyone” and asked “Are the moves towards recruitment solely by volunteers the response to an action group advocating to abolish conscription?”

It was signed by eight of the eleven living former Commanding Officers: Lt Col Michael Darling, Lt Col CE Raynor, Lt Col Gavin Shorto, Lt Col Allan Rance, Lt Col Patrick Outerbridge, Lt Col David Gibbons, Lt Col William White and Lt Col Brian Gonsalves. The remaining COs whose names did not appear on the letter are Lt Col Brendan Hollis, Lt Col Edward Lamb and Lt Col David Burch.

In response, Mr Marshall said, “The timing was most revealing as this fight against freedom and basic human rights came on Human Rights Day. How incredibly ironic that on the day the United Nations set aside to celebrate the importance of human rights “the eight” came out in support of maintaining a system that blatantly violates so many fundamental rights.

“To put this in perspective consider that of the 30 Articles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human rights 14 are violated by conscription. This graphically illustrates how wrong this current system is but yet according to “the eight” conscription does not violate human rights. That is an incredulous statement.

“The question can then be asked, Who is right? “The eight” or the United Nations? I think we can all agree that the latter is indeed correct,” continued Mr Marshall.

“As a matter of fact for the former officers to make this incredulous statement further illustrates why we need to abolish conscription as the products of this most oppressive regime are irreparably damaged having been conditioned to accept human rights abuse. That is sad.

“Yet only ten days after the Governor has ‘requested’ that the Police Commissioner launch an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct in the Regiment “the eight” insult the intelligence of the Bermudian public by acting as if everything is normal when it is not. Their collective silence on this significant development is deafening.

“The hypocrisy is nauseating especially considering four of the officers were actually in charge when the infamous and recently convicted Glenn Brangman was alleged to have committed thirteen acts of sexual assault. [Shorto, Outerbridge, Rance, and Gibbons] For the record there were no reports of sexual assault when David Burch was in charge from 1994-1997.

“So considering all that it is rather audacious for “the eight” to say the anti-conscription movement has no credence. It is equally audacious to assert that we have made “outlandish claims.”

“For years we said there was abuse at Warwick Camp and that has been proven in a court of law on two occasions. So who has no credence? Those who say one thing out of court and another thing under oath or those who consistently say the same thing over and over again and are vindicated in court.

“If that were the case then many laws which egregiously violate human rights would still be in existence. Slavery was once legal. Did that make it right? Apartheid was once legal. Did that make it right? Concentration camps in Germany during Hitler’s reign of terror were legal. Did that make them right? Because the 1965 Defence Act allows the government to trample on the rights of young men in this country does not make it right!

“So it is foolish to suggest that because Bermudians Against the Draft have lost all of our cases before the courts we have no credence when in fact our just cause remains just as it is not contingent on winning or losing but on what is right and what is wrong,” said Mr Marshall.

Mr Marshall’s full statement follows below:

” Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.” Isaiah 5:20; ” But let justice run down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.” Amos 5:24

On Tuesday 10, December 2013 a group of former officers of the Regiment issued a press release declaring their opposition to the abolition of conscription. This came as no surprise as the document which they received and were scripted from was also received by us only days after it was printed.

However the timing was most revealing as this fight against freedom and basic human rights came on Human Rights Day. How incredibly ironic that on the day the United Nations set aside to celebrate the importance of human rights “the eight” came out in support of maintaining a system that blatantly violates so many fundamental rights.

To put this in perspective consider that of the 30 Articles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human rights 14 are violated by conscription. This graphically illustrates how wrong this current system is but yet according to “the eight” conscription does not violate human rights. That is an incredulous statement.

The question can then be asked, Who is right? “The eight” or the United Nations? I think we can all agree that the latter is indeed correct. As a matter of fact for the former officers to make this incredulous statement further illustrates why we need to abolish conscription as the products of this most oppressive regime are irreparably damaged having been conditioned to accept human rights abuse. That is sad.

The human rights violations and abuses are well documented so there is no need to again highlight them. Suffice to say that over the years an innumerable amount of young men have been subjected to emotional, physical, and even sexual abuse while serving at Warwick Camp.

Yet only ten days after the Governor has “requested” that the Police Commissioner launch an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct in the Regiment “the eight” insult the intelligence of the Bermudian public by acting as if everything is normal when it is not. Their collective silence on this significant development is deafening.

The hypocrisy is nauseating especially considering four of the officers were actually in charge when the infamous and recently convicted Glenn Brangman was alleged to have committed thirteen acts of sexual assault. (Shorto, Outerbridge, Rance, and Gibbons) For the record there were no reports of sexual assault when David Burch was in charge from 1994-1997.

So considering all that it is rather audacious for “the eight” to say the anti-conscription movement has no credence. It is equally audacious to assert that we have made “outlandish claims.” For years we said there was abuse at Warwick Camp and that has been proven in a court of law on two occasions. So who has no credence? Those who say one thing out of court and another thing under oath or those who consistently say the same thing over and over again and are vindicated in court.

Our credibility remains intact as we continue to wage a just war against an unjust system irrespective of whether or not we have always failed in the courts. See “the eight” must realize that right or wrong cannot always be determined by the law of the land as they assert.

If that were the case then many laws which egregiously violate human rights would still be in existence. Slavery was once legal. Did that make it right? Apartheid was once legal. Did that make it right? Concentration camps in Germany during Hitler’s reign of terror were legal. Did that make them right? Because the 1965 Defence Act allows the government to trample on the rights of young men in this country does not make it right!

So it is foolish to suggest that because Bermudians Against the Draft have lost all of our cases before the courts we have no credence when in fact our just cause remains just as it is not contingent on winning or losing but on what is right and what is wrong.

We continue to fight for freedom, justice, and equality and therefore join a long list of human rights activists including Mahatmi Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Muhamad Ali, and the recently departed Nelson Mandela. All vehemently opposed the draft as we do because it violated so many human rights. So fiercely opposed to the draft was Mr. Mandela that only months after coming to power in April 1994 that despicable system was abolished in South Africa.

Then there was the conservative Ronald Reagan who later became president of the United States who wrote the following in 1979 in the magazine Human Events, ” Conscription rests on the assumption that your kids belong to the state. If we buy that assumption then it is for the state- not for the parents, the community, the religious institutions or teachers-to decide who shall have what values and who shall do what work, when, where, and how in our society. That assumption isn’t a new one. The Nazis thought it was a great idea.

America was founded on the principle of individual freedom-that the government exists to serve, not enslave the people. Yet conscription is a form of slavery, a horrible and costly exception to America’s founding principle. It is morally repugnant to a free society.” That’s what these former officers want to keep.

So “the eight” can come up with all the reasons they want to in an attempt justify conscription it is still wrong and will always be wrong irrespective of how clever and deceitfully they frame their arguments. Irrespective of how many silly reasons they come up with as to why we can’t make the transition from a conscript army to one consisting entirely of well paid, well trained, well treated volunteers.

Right is right and wrong is wrong! The woes pronounced in the days of the prophet Isaiah remain intact and that should serve as a warning to those who deliberately misrepresent an institution. Conversely, we continue fighting with a clear conscience to ensure that justice does run down like waters. Our cause is just.

Larry Marshall

Bermudians Against the Draft

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Comments (57)

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  1. watchfuleyes says:

    Bermuda indeed should be ashamed.

    • swing voter says:

      I disagree….do you get out of the house frequently and see what I see? do you see the quality of young males some parents rear? do you see the indiscipline, the anti-social behaviors, the out right anarchy displayed by some youth? do you see the lack of structure, ideals, direction of some? Now do you see the need for a fully functional Bermuda Regiment with conscription being the method of bringing misguided young men to experience something positive in their life, some for the very first time?

      • Maven says:

        Regiment conscription does not in an way fix or relieve the mislead youth. Neither does it fix home issues or give personal responsibility. Your Really shooting for the moon there…

        • Black Soil says:

          BAN conscription!! If the regiment has to WORK for its recruits it will be a better outfit.

      • Bermyluv says:

        So the Bermuda Regiment is a glorified reform school? Bermudian’s society’s mechanism to right the wrongs of negligent parents?

        Do you see the quality of young females some parents rear?

        If the regiment turns around the lives of 1 or 2, I could find 10 that it had no impact on. How many now serving time in our prisons have been through the gates of Warwick Camp. I guess it didn’t quite work out for them.

        Your emotive arguments lack substance.

      • jt says:

        Certainly.
        I also see the possibility of developing something new, with the potential for it to be better for the young men you speak of (and let’s not forget womeon), and better for Bermuda. It is a big assumption that the regiment in its current form is a positive experience for all these young men, or even for a majority of them. Nothing will suit all, but can we do better? It requires an open mind and willingness to try.

        • 'nuff sa-d' says:

          Why don’t we first try by improving the education system to meet the needs of ALL of our children and not just the academic children so that the various school can boast about the high scores achieved on exams…Let’s start with the preschools.

          Use the Mickey Mouse Army Base as the New Bermuda Technical Academy. 5th through 12th grade. Graduating students that have been taught well and can find ready employment upon graduation, provided we recover from the employment SLUMP!

      • Sisu says:

        Some. Some. Some. You said it numerous times. Why should ALL men be conscripted due to the failures of SOME? What about women? Some are bad so let’s conscript them too? Didn’t think so. But wait. Conscripting them into the regiment should give them discipline and order. You said it. But where is that discipline and order? Surely not up at warwick camp! I have spent the past few years up there and never seen more disorder and lack of discipline in my life. Hurry up and wait…I’m sure you know of it. If there were order we wouldn’t sit around doing nothing half of the time. And shooting guns, being trained to kill, and marching…some amazingly positive stuff there. Why is it the governments job to give me positive experiences anyway? Oh wait, it isn’t. I’d much rather them ‘conscript’ me into an overseas university and pay my tuition (along with 250 other people) instead of wasting $7,000,000 a year giving me the positive experiences above.

      • Anon Omus says:

        If this is your rationale for why conscription is beneficial to society then shouldn’t all the problems you listed be fixed or in the process of being mended as conscription has been around for ages. Obviously conscription is not the answer to any of the problems that you listed because all these problems are STILL HERE!

      • LOL(original tm and all that) says:

        Have you seen the quality of some of the young women? Raunchy and foul-mouth, surely in need of discipline yeah? Why don’t we conscript them? Because only males are conscripted? Oh I see, well that’s called discrimination and can’t be spun any other way. What about the young men conscripted who are law-abiding and not in need of the ‘discipline’ that you think the state is obliged to provide through this antiquated tactic?

        It’s comical to see all the ‘reasons’ why conscription is needed, yet no-one can provide an argument that it ISN’T discrimination. Discrimination is against the Human Rights Act!

  2. jt says:

    I said last week that I believed the 8 ex-officers should use their experience to help move us forward. I think at this point Mr. Marshall should tone down their statments. BAD should put forth ideas on how the regiment can be modernized and on how Bermuda’s young people can be encouraged to provide service to their country.
    If it is about what is right and what is wrong – then help to form what is right. Getting rid of conscrition is only part of that equation – then what?

    • Clear as Mud says:

      simple. BAD can’t come up with any. its just a little bitch session

    • neb says:

      some things just don’t require replacement. Some of us can actually think for ourselves and don’t rely on a limited span of information to survive..stop panicking about something that is just customary and not urgent!There are people out here that have been forced to quit work at a certain age, this is also discriminatory, we have a lot of issues in this country so we can ease our burden thru eliminating non-priority items such as young men been chased , hunted down to walk, run the island with backpacks, shoot rifles march in an army for a twenty one gun salute that came from Egypt when Napolean was shooting off the noses of the Gods, that look like most of the men in the army! do they really understand why they are there being forced to be loyal to their oppressors? really?If they knew more about their own history, we wouldn’t need an army! Lets start with education!Truth of history not concocted brainwash education that leads them to a place of fantasy,..

  3. neb says:

    I agree with Larry Marshall, duh…how can they question the people that administered the army on its human rights when they got paid to violate them,…human rights is an issue for the people affected!!!!!United Nations needs to have machinery in place so that various countries can be put in check! Also there are many many other rights that have been violated under laws ei slavery—-no one wants to talk about it and some say cause it was legal!! well torture, murder, kidnapping are all illiegal and so is servitude under the present system !!!!there are so many inequalities I also have to question CURB citizens uprooting racism in Bermuda!? how do they intend to uproot racism?! Racism was created by caucasions,and whenever a survey is done they distinguish blacks, whites and others , whenever there is a form to fill it is colour based! If I say other than what is EXPECTED I am challenged, I am sick of the old regime not recognizing their own flaws due to greed and temporary prestige! WAKE UP PEOPLE,,.. Larry, I hope you continue your struggle I enjoy reading your articles also in letters to editor!

  4. Scoalsy says:

    I bet he would gladly except the help from the Regiment should the occasion present it’s self in time of need.

    I think he just likes the attention h receives while making a FOOL of himself.

    I for one am tired of his self centered egotistic crap (and sure many like are also)

    SO O.Y.B.

  5. Its a fact says:

    Whether you like it or not it is a violation of human rights!
    When your forced to join the regiment against your will and beliefs then it is a violation!!! The regiment is a joke and this coming from someone who volunteered with an open mind!Boy was I wrong! That place is a… haven. Just look at the history and some of the people that were in charge!! Enough said!!

  6. Hmmm says:

    YOu lose all credibility quoting from religious texts…Those same religious texts include servitude and slavery. Also one persons religious text is different from anothers. Why would you want to splinter?

    Please can we separate the assaults from conscription. Conscription is being dealt with and the elimination thereof by the government.

    The assaults are being investigated by the police.

    On a side note: Why do you identify a particular CO. Surely the victims of sexual assault need to be able to speak up regardless of who was CO. Just because you say no report record is there (you didn’t state your source for this?), doesn’t mean it did not happen. Let us support the victims and give them the courage to come forward.

    • Bermyluv says:

      Historical figures are quoted all the time. Why do quotes from religious sources lack any credibility? What makes those quotes less credible than those of other individuals.

    • Hmmm says:

      You Dislikers are booing supporting the victims!!!!!!! Utterly disgusting. You should be ashamed

  7. Investigate says:

    Keep the Regiment,and investgate to see if there are any more sexual deviants in its midst,past and present.

  8. kat says:

    I said it over 20 years ago. Why teach a bunch of young men how to use a weapon an then put them back on the street? It is were all the shooter learn from if not directly from the army from someone that went. So in fact they are part of the problem. THe ARmy

    • 'nuff sa-d' says:

      They might even be the source of guns coming into the country on their way back from their overseas vacation called jungle training; like Bermuda has a jungle…ooppsss Tom Moore’s Jungle. forgot that acre of walk about jungle.

  9. Clear as Mud says:

    I support the regiment, It didn’t hurt me in anyway and if I am truthful it probably saved me from going the wrong direction. It may be tough,loud,rude and even the language may be off but you can learn from the experience. Sorry but I for one as insignificant as I may be don’t buy BAD,s take on it.

    • Free-DUM says:

      It isn’t about buying Bad’s take it’s about accepting reality, and the reality is that regardless of whether you, or anyone else enjoyed their regiment experience or whether or not is saves people is irrelevant when it comes to violating the human rights of otherwise law abiding citizens.

      Do people really not get that it’s wrong to criminalize people in 2013 because they don’t conform to forced labor? really?

      • Clear as Mud says:

        I accepted reality! and ass**** it didn’t infringe upon MY human rights The DUM part sums it up!

    • neb says:

      you said probably saved you–that means you are not sure—can anyone testify to actually being saved thru the army? or was it somethingelse inside you? the army like the churches include people in our community who will willingly assist during times of need.where is the war to justify the army… we are in a mental and religious war, can they teach proper lifeskills for survival of fittest against corruption in high places? impeding their progress to live in own country? can they teach expanding the mind beyond fighting with guns to fighting with knowledge?

    • If you needed the Regiment to save you from going the wrong way as a full grown man then I guess your parents should be commended for doing such a wondeful job.

  10. watchfuleyes says:

    @jt how do you know BAD hasn’t?
    why not conscript bad parents then if you are making that argument.
    @sisu… ditto
    @swingvoter… so you have never seen or heard aboaut the antisocial behaviour at the Regiment? take a trip with them to Jamaica, I’ll leave it at that.
    @It’s a fact… they won’t even listen to those men who are speaking from experience, that tells me that facts do not matter and that the regiment will ignore, distract and con the public with nonfacts in order to keeps this system alive.
    @Investigate… and in the mean time lets continue to put our young men in harm’s way. Would you have that attitude if girls were accusing the Officers of rape? But the conversation is really not about keeping or getting rid of the Regiment, it’s about abolishing ‘conscription’. And if the only way the regiment can exist is by incarcerating young men into Warwick Camp then so be it… it will have to go. Well if the men are not free to leave and get locked for not showing up then they are ‘doing time’ at the Regiment. Wake up Bermuda and see this for what it really is.

  11. Rockfish#2 says:

    “The remaining COs whose names did not appear on the letter are Lt Col Brendan Hollis, Lt Col Edward Lamb and Lt Col David Burch.”

    I understand Lt.Col Hollis has retired to the USA.

  12. john doe says:

    its funny how ppl tryna blame the regiment for teaching these wanna be gansters how to shoot. They go to Canada and go to a shooting range and learn how to shoot.

  13. islandguy says:

    Really tired of hearing about this whole situation!!The country has a bigger problem then joining or not joinning the regime

  14. islandguy says:

    Sorry for the spelling mistakes!I will rewrite for the ones that dont understand it.

    Really tired of hearing about this whole situation!!The country has bigger problems then joinning or not joinning the regiment.

    • Sisu says:

      Like allowing pit bulls? Or gambling? Or legalizing weed? Violations of human rights are a pretty big problem, especially for those (un)lucky enough to be conscripted into the Bermuda regiment. Or did you mean the economy? Or our lack of money? Both of which could be improved through the elimination of the regiment. We have many problems, yes, and ones arguably ‘bigger’ than whether or not I am forced to serve in our military, but we should never bypass a ‘big’ problem in favour of dealing with ones ‘bigger’. We have numerous elected officials for a reason. Let’s hope the milkman does us right.

      • islandguy says:

        Not sure if you have done time in the regiment, but i have and really its not that bad.If you need a reference for a job,they can provide,it teaches us pride in our appearance and time management.Really not that bad. Some people have even mad e afull time career of it.

        • more than enough says:

          really? your last post was embarrassing enough….didn’t your parents or maybe common sense show u that?

  15. Nuffin but da Truth says:

    Ya got my support Larry!

    End Conscription,it’s a complete waste of time and disrupts people’s life and sometimes their jobs.

  16. Southampton says:

    Larry Marshall, get a life, grow up!
    Are you afraid that your little boys will have to take time out
    and do a little Army life? It will probably make them grow up
    as well.
    Southampton

    • Free-DUM says:

      Maybe you should get a life and stand for something. Mr. Marshall should be commended for taking a stand for his sons regardless of their age. In a time when many complain that fathers are missing, he is a prime example of what any father should be doing.

      Furthermore, this isn’t about Larry Marshall or his sons, this is about an outdated law that criminalizes otherwise law abiding citizens by violating their basic human rights.

      Grow up, and educate yourself on human rights, or be comfortable being fed historic BS and be a happy slave.

    • Sisu says:

      Larry Marshall is more ‘man’ for fighting the system than you or most others ever could be. How does standing up for what you believe in – something that is so clearly outdated/discriminatory/against human rights and something that affects all Bermudian men – get one ridiculed and outcast? We need more ‘no’ men to fight the status quo if we are ever to grow as a nation. You are clearly a ‘yes’ man who could never bring about meaningful change. So the government tells you to march and ye shall march? How about to kill? Shall you kill as well? Such a grown-up way to live your life…not thinking and acting for yourself. Let’s hope your ‘little boys’ are nothing like you.

      • Southampton says:

        I think you are stupid as Larry Marshall is.
        Where and what would this island be or do without
        the Bermuda Regiment.
        If the Bermuda Regiment had to rely on volunteers only,
        it could not survive.
        Both you and Larry Marshall are asking Bermudian men and
        women to be selfish with their time.
        Is their time so important that they can not give 2 or 3
        years to their country?
        I feel so sorry for both of you.

        Southampton

        • Sisu says:

          Stupid because we don’t support conscription? And stupid because I don’t think Bermuda needs a military? Fair enough, opinions are like a***** after all… But to honestly ask “where or what would this island be or do without the Bermuda regiment” shows who the stupid one really is. I’ll spell it out for you though as I don’t think you actually know: in the Exact. Same. Place. We. Are. Now. The regiment has done what in the last 40 years? One riot and two hurricanes? Holy f***** s***. Stop the presses! The regiment has saved the day. We would be lost without them! Oh, and also taught 5,000+ men how to march in circles and shoot a gun, sorry riffle. Hoorah! And what difference does it make if the regiment couldn’t survive on volunteers alone? You don’t actually believe we have an external threat do you? Oh s***, you probably do. But I’m the stupid one, right? And fyi it is the regiment who are making “women to be selfish with their time”. They could conscript them if they wanted to. I support mandatory community service for all men/women. Just not in the military.

        • neb says:

          name just one thing that the army does that we really need…conscription is against will, volunteering for anything is free…if its soi important why cant these young men become our policeman , why fly in people who don’t know us to patrol us as though we are in some sort of war think about it, whats really being said, the army makes criminals out of innocent young men fresh from high school who donlt comply.. Instead of getting branded on their foreheads they are being thrown in jail and hauled before the courts! if that is what is know as being a man than that is torture rather than being taught.. people were also tortured into believing in the bible and now they have becime fanatics and the world is not a better place for any of it! there are only certain people doing this torturing of souls and we need to look at them!

  17. Attention! says:

    LM you can GFO. You need military life. I am proud to have been conscripted and be man enough to perform my duty for MY COUNTRY. Disruptive yes at times but in the end GREAT I learnt a lot!!

    • Yes you are backward enough to be proud to be conscripted and your filthy language is testament to what the Regiment teaches.

    • 'nuff sa-d' says:

      And what duty was that? March for de queen, governor, parades. Did you work during the hurricane to clear to roads? OK I’ve given you a few answers as to your SERVICE to YOUR COUNTRY. Can you supply any more Please?!

  18. watchfuleyes says:

    @Attention…what self respecting person could learn anything from being locked up at the regiment? obviously you had little self respect, discipline, confidence and pride. What do you know about Human Rights? Do you even know or ever studied our ‘Constitution’ or are you a scholar like those in charge at the regiment. The regiment have little regard for freedom and even less regard for young black men in this island. Maybe the regiment should have taught you some manners then you would not have started your blog off in the way you have. Is this what you learn in the Regiment?

  19. Come On Man says:

    Those regi-mental fanatics need to realize it is a form of modern day slavery. When you order some one around and abuse them to the point where you break their spirit and they become submissive to do whatever you tell them.

  20. Come On Man says:

    @attention you obviously lack self esteem and enjoy being controlled you are the perfect puppet..

    • Well put. It’s amazing how many people are brainwashed into believing that being controlled by the state somehow equates to “serving your country.” Unfortunately as long as we have people with low self esteem the powers that be will continue to manipulate the masses.

      • Come On Man says:

        @sanityisback. I couldn’t have said any better. Exactly my point.

  21. JONO says:

    The regiment could certainly be a better place if some of the instructors were more human. I refer particularly to the FTI’s and a CSM. Some of these men live in yesteryear….bullying…shouting…screaming…trying to “convert the converted”. However, most of these don’t have a life other than being in uniform. The regiment could easily be a very positive influence on many of our young citizens (male and female)..The middle management has been holding back progress in this area. Some Commanding officers’ have tried but some WOs’ enjoy the status quo..

  22. Come On Man says:

    if being told what to do and when to do it after being called every bad name in the book floats your boat then go on being a tool. But there are many free thinking people out there who wanna control their own destiny.

  23. Interesting comments.

  24. Guest says:

    Larry Marshall says conscription violates 14 of the articles in the UN Declaration on Human Rights but does not say which ones. No government can rightly rule out conscription because there may be times (national defence, national emergency etc) when it is needed. Larry Marshall would be better served if he made the case that conscription is not needed in Bermuda now because the need for a unit of the BR’s size is no longer there. But simply to declare conscription is somehow immoral weakens his overall argument. He is also wrong to tie this so closely to Glenn Brangman. Some of those colonels worked extremely hard, within the law,to expose that sexual predator and he defames them by inferring they did nothing.