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Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent


Rules of Disengagement examines the reasons men and women in the military have disobeyed orders and resisted the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It takes readers into the courtroom where sailors, soldiers, and Marines have argued that these wars are illegal under international law and unconstitutional under U.S. law.

Through the voices of active duty service members and veterans, it explores the growing conviction among our troops that the war is wrong. It then examines what they have done-and what readers can do-to resist and end the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

Praise for the book:

"In Rules of Disengagement, Marjorie Cohn and Kathleen Gilberd chronicle the inspiring resistance of GIs to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. Such resistance proved vital in helping bring an end to the war in Vietnam and is still urgently needed today. Rules of Disengagement is a clear, bold, and timely call to action."
-Anthony Arnove, Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal

"Rules of Disengagement describes acts of dissent from men and women who’ve served in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan, providing an urgently needed guide to GI resistance. A must read for everyone in today’s military and for all those who support disengagement from illegitimate wars and occupations."
-Camilo E. Mejia, Road from ar Ramadi: The Private Rebellion of Staff Sergeant Camilo Mejia

"The horrors of Abu Ghraib would have been concealed were it not for the courage of a single principled American military guard who released photos on the Internet. That one incident reveals the vital importance of protecting and expanding the right to dissent among those who serve in our military. Marjorie Cohn and Kathleen Gilberd have provided heroic service in this book."

-Tom Hayden, The Tom Hayden Reader and The Long Sixties
"Future generations will point to the words and actions of the courageous military resisters who held the line in protecting our nation’s dignity and democracy. This remarkable record of soldiers’ stories is evidence of strident opposition to the crimes of the U.S. government and to the effort by those in uniform to reclaim their own humanity and tell their truth."

-Aimee Allison, conscientious objector, and producer/host, The Morning Show, KPFA

About the Authors:

Marjorie Cohn has been a writer, teacher, and scholar for more than 15 years and a practicing attorney since 1975. She authored Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law (PoliPointPress 2007) and coauthored Cameras in the Courtroom: Television and the Pursuit of Justice. Her columns have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, AlterNet, Common Dreams, and The National Law Journal. She’s a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the U.S. representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists. Marjorie Cohn lectures worldwide and does frequent interviews for national and international media.

Kathleen Gilberd has worked as a military counselor for over 30 years, assisting conscientious objectors, soldiers fighting sexual harassment and racial discrimination, GI whistleblowers, soldiers and sailors accused under "Don’t Ask Don’t Tell" policies, and veterans unfairly denied benefits after "bad paper discharges." Her writing and cases have made her a nationally recognized expert in military administrative law.

Ms. Gilberd is co-chair of the National Lawyer’s Guild’s Military Law Task Force and a frequent contributor to its legal publication, On Watch. She is co-author of Fighting Back, which was for many years the only legal manual on military policy on homosexuality, and a contributing author for the respected legal manual, Sexual Orientation and the Law. She serves on the national advisory committee of the GI Rights Network and has been involved in both national and local work in the National Lawyers Guild since 1977. She received a degree in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

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