Monday, December 06, 2004
Hinzman refugee hearing in Canada - Day 1
Hinzman presented his own testimony today.
Hinzman said he began having doubts about what he was being taught to do soon after enlisting in the military.
During training, he and his fellow soldiers would chant, "Train to kill! Kill we will!"
He said at first he thought it was "all in good fun," but it gradually gnawed at his conscience.
"We were taught to dehumanize our enemies," he said.
"You have to find ways to dehumanize them to make it as easy as shooting a beer can."
But it was after the birth of his son that he finally decided he could no longer live with his conscience.
"He cemented in my mind that I did not want to kill babies."
Seems like a plan to me.
Hinzman is arguing that American soldiers are guilty of war crimes and that forcing him to fight in Iraq would have likely made him a war criminal.
For his claim to succeed, Hinzman must convince Goodman that he has a well-founded fear of mistreatment by the U.S. government or military if he is returned to face prosecution for leaving his regiment.
Only a madman could conclude otherwise.
His lawyer, Jeffry House, planned to call former U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Jimmy Massey as a witness to support the claim.
Massey is expected to say how he and other soldiers shot more than 30 unarmed Iraqis, including women and a 6-year-old child, at a U.S. military checkpoint, House said.