Attorney Rees Lloyd
April 16, 2016
Bernie Sanders, a draft-dodging self-proclaimed "Socialist" who evaded service in the Vietnam War by seeking "conscientious objector" status as an alleged "pacifist opposed to all war," now seeks to be elected Democrat President and Commander-in-Chief, empowered to send other Americans to war although he refused to serve himself. His perfidy in the Vietnam War, if not perjury, disqualifies him from being elected to serve as President and Commander-in-Chief now.
Oddly enough, although television anchors "moderating" the 2016 presidential campaign debates refer to Sanders as "authentic," they have failed to question him about, or investigate, his evasion of military service in Vietnam by claiming to be a "pacifist" opposed to all wars as required for conscientious objector status. He wasn't believed then-- he was denied c.o. status — and the excuses he offers now for his non-service should not be believed.
Indeed, the excuses offered by Sanders and his campaign for his claim of being a committed "pacifist" opposed to all war in order to evade the draft just cannot withstand scrutiny.
First, he claims that while he is still a sincere Socialist, as he was then as a college radical, he is no longer a "pacifist" as he was then. How does one stop being a committed "pacifist," if it is a "sincerely held belief," as he claimed in order to evade military service and have someone else serve in his place in Vietnam? Did he stop being a "pacifist opposed to all war" when the Vietnam War or Draft ended and he was safe from service?
His campaign admits that Sanders sought conscientious objector status when his Draft number came up. They also admit that his claim of being a "pacifist" was rejected as a back then and he was denied c.o. status. But, they explain, he appealed the ruling against him, and the process dragged out so long that he became "too old” to be drafted.
How does that work? Sanders doesn't say when he received his draft notice to which he responded by claiming c.o. status as a "pacifist." But he had to receive draft notice, as otherwise there is no reason to file for c.o. status.
Sanders was born in 1941, and the draft age cutoff was "35," in the Vietnam era. He would not have been age 35 until 1976 -- three years after all troops came home. So, the excuse that he was "too old" to be drafted by the time he was drafted appears as false as his "pacifist" claim.
Significantly, Sanders doesn't claim he had a college deferment. He graduated from college in 1964, when he was 23. In 1966, he married his first wife, “Honeymooning” in the Soviet Union. Both Jews, they lived in a kibbutz in Israel for a time. As far as is known, Sanders did not volunteer to serve in the kibbutz in Israel on condition that, as a pacifist, he would not fight to defend the kibbutz if it was was attacked, as many were, or if Israel was again invaded.
So, how is it that Sanders was young enough and healthy enough to volunteer to serve on a kibbutz in Israel and potentially have to defend it if attacked, but not young enough to volunteer for, or be drafted into, military service to defend his own country during the Vietnam War?
Many, many, Vietnam-era Americans were opposed to the Vietnam War. Many people drafted were opposed to that war--but they served when the country called, not being so arrogant as to believe that someone else should serve in their place because they disagreed with the particular war to which they were called to serve.
Many others opposed to the war agreed to perform alternative service. Many fled the country, most heading to Socialist sanctuaries like Sweden. (One of former Democrat President Jimmy Carter’s first acts was to issue an Executive Order granting all such draft dodgers them immunity from prosecution, regardless of the impact on those who did serve.) Others opposed to the Vietnam War went to jail rather than serve. Many simply lied to evade service.
The most well-known of those Vietnam War draft-dodgers proven beyond a reasonable doubt to have lied to avoid service when their draft number came up is, of course: Bill Jefferson (“BJ”) Clinton, later Democrat President, sexual satyr and seducer of 21-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office, and husband of Hillary Clinton, Sanders’ Democrat opponent for the 2016 Democrat Nomination for President.
Regarding Hillary Clinton, as Bernie Sanders’ acts claiming to be a “pacifist opposed to all war” in Vietnam to avoid the Draft should disqualify him, Hillary Clinton, too, should be disqualified as Commander-in-Chief by her actions, non-actions, and utter lies in the Bengazi, Libya, scandal. Indeed, the blood of the American Ambassador and three other Americans murdered in Benghazi by Islamic terrorists is on Hillary Clinton’s hands, and the hands of Barack Obama. (See, e.g., “13 Hours In Benghazi: The Inside Account Of What Really Happened” by Mitchell Zuckoff and the members of the Annex Security Team who survived the Islamic terrorist attack of 9-11-2012, fighting terrorists for 13 hours waiting for help that never came due to Hillary and Obama. See also the movie based on the book, “13 Hours.”)
Was Sanders one of those, like Bill Clinton, who lied his way out of service? Was Sanders really a “pacifist,” who was “sincerely” opposed to all wars? Or was Sanders merely one of the many who opposed the Vietnam War, but not all wars, and evaded service and caused others to serve in their place?
Sanders may have had a "sincere belief" that the Vietnam War was wrong, as did so many others. But opposition to a particular war does not give Sanders, or anyone else, a license to claim to be a “pacifist" opposed to all war -- a claim of Sanders which was not believed then by Selective Service as other than phony -- while another American was drafted to serve in his place.
If Sanders did what he did because of his opposition to the war, then he should have had the integrity to pay the price that his lifelong hero, Eugene Debs, Socialist and Pacifist, did. Debs went to jail, as did other socialists, communists, and pacifists in Debs' era in WWI.
Sanders did not declare his opposition to the Vietnam War, as Debs declared his opposition to WWI, and go to jail for refusal to serve in that war. Instead, he apparently lied, on a phony claim that he was a pacifist, opposed to all war. He had to claim to be a pacifist opposed to all war in order to try evade the Draft because, as far as is known, no court has ever found that “sincere” opposition to a particular war, rather than all war, provides a basis for conscientious objector status.
Why did Sanders do what he did? What are all the facts, including about the manifest fiction that he was "too old" to be drafted? Those are questions which he has not answered and which the media has neglected to probe, while advising and assuring Americans that Sanders is “authentic” in his claims. Really?
When Sanders' draft number came up and he lied his way out of service on a claim being a "pacifist opposed all war,” was that “authentic”? When Sanders did what he did, the draft number of next American on the draft list came up. That American was drafted to serve in the Vietnam War because “authentic” Bernie Sanders filed a phony claim of being a sincere “pacifist opposed to all war”? Did the draftee who served because Sander’s didn’t survive the war? Was he wounded? What was the impact on the life the person who was drafted because Sanders was not? How does this evidence “authenticity” in Bernie Sanders?
Seven per cent of Americans of Sanders' generation served in Vietnam, whether or not they believed in the Vietnam War. Fifty-eight thousand of those Americans who served when called died. Several hundred thousand were wounded. As veterans say, "All gave some; some gave all." Not Bernie Sanders, who lied his way out of service, and caused someone else to serve in his place. What is "authentic" about that?
Sanders today dodges questions about his draft-dodging in the Vietnam War on his claim of being a sincerely believing "pacifist" opposed to all war. Instead, he assures Americans that he is no longer a “pacifist” (“His thinking has evolved,” his campaign claims, without explanation.” Sanders, notwithstanding prior “pacifist” claims, now claims he is ready, willing, able to wage war if necessary as Commander-in-Chief, if elected in what he says is his "history making campaign” to become “the first Jewish President," not to mention “first Socialist” and “first (allegedly former) pacifist” President. Is Sanders’ dodging of questions about his draft-dodging in Vietnam, his obviously false excuse that he became “too old” to be drafted as his c.o. appeal dragged on, evidence that Sanders is “authentic”? If so, an “authentic” what?
It must be asked: If Sanders' claim of being a "sincere" pacifist in the Vietnam War was true, then how was he able to so easily betray and abandon his alleged "sincere belief" as a "pacifist opposed to all war"? If Sanders could betray his alleged "sincere" belief in pacifism, how is it that he can be trusted not to betray his "sincere" representations now that he is not a pacifist and will wage war, including all-out war, if necessary, as Commander-in-Chief?
I respectfully propose that anyone who claims to a true "pacifist" in one war, is forever disqualified to be President and Commander-in-Chief.
This is especially true now, when we are at war with fanatical Islamic terrorism bent on conquering America, and the world, for Islamic rule under the Muslim Caliphate and Sharia Law. Islam is a religion, but it is also a political ideology, and that ideology is a form of totalitarian fascism. Islamofascism, because it is also a religion, is no less a totalitarian threat to American freedom today than was Adolph Hitler's National Socialist fascism in WWII. The Commander-in-Chief must be prepared to wage war against Islamic terrorists who are waging war on “the Great Satan,” us, the United States, not appease it by pretending it is other than what it is and refusing to name it for what it is, i.e., Islamic terrorism. No pacifist can wage that war if necessary.
Therefore, anyone who evades military service by claiming to be a "pacifist" in one war should be disqualified to serve later as Commander-in-Chief. Period.
In sum, If any candidate’s claim to be a "pacifist is true, then he or she must be disqualified because sincerely held pacifism means opposition to all war, and would prevent that candidate from taking the military action necessary to protect the American people as Commander-in-Chief, the chief duty of the President being the defense of America and Americans.
If a candidate’s claim to be a "pacifist" in a former war turns out not to have been true but a dodge to evade military service, then that candidate should be disqualified to be Commander-in-Chief for lack of integrity and trustworthiness, a person capable of changing core principles like changing clothes, a liar about supposed core values.
Therefore, Bernie Sanders should be disqualified on either ground. Further, Sanders’ candidacy to be President and Commander-in-Chief is an insult to all who did serve in the Vietnam War era when called to defend American freedom.