The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part V: Sentences

Word today of Robert Semrau’s much-delayed sentence: reduction in rank (to Second Lieutenant) and dismissal from the Canadian Forces (but not dismissal with disgrace). Semrau has thirty days to appeal, but my guess is he won’t. This sentence is remarkable considering that only a few months ago there was plenty of speculation that Semrau might […]

Gerard Kennedy’s “Criminals”

I’m unconvinced that Citizenship and Immigration Canada is up to anything devious with the announced of new centralization of military deserter cases, as described in the Globe and Mail yesterday. Nevertheless, I think that MP Gerard Kennedy’s response to the changes gets to the heart of the matter. The G&M quotes Mr. Kennedy as saying […]

The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part IV: Shoes

In a recent article in the Life section of the National Post, Cristina Alarcon, a pharmacist, ostensibly attempts to wear the shoes of Captain Semrau on that dusty battlefield in Afghanistan. I take the opportunity to suggest that the author is slipshod and should try again: Greetings Ms. Alarcon, I read your thoughtful attempt to […]

The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part III: Memories

Back in 1998, I was called as a witness in a military Summary Trial. I had spent the summer as an instructor teaching Basic Training in Dundurn, Saskatchewan. Basic Training is only slightly less exhausting for the instructors than for the students. Even though I was young and at my peak physical condition, an understrength […]

The Lumpless Deserters

I’ve discussed the proposed amnesty for “war resisters” before, but the issue continues to drag on: A federal court has sent Jeremy Hinzman’s immigration application back for reconsideration. Regardless of the circumstances, it’s a bit disheartening to hear that our immigration system works so slowly. Back in 2004, Hinzman was the first of a trickle […]

The Court Martial of Capt Semrau, Part II: Small Mercies

The coverage story on a recent issue of Macleans takes an in-depth look at what is currently known about the circumstances surrounding the murder trial of Captain Semrau. It is an interesting read and includes a brief look at several similar cases in the United States, all of them seemingly motivated by a sincere sense […]