Atheists in Foxholes: Part II

27 September 2007

In August, I wrote about atheist soldier Jeremy Hall, who attempted to hold a meeting with like-minded soldiers at his Forward Operations Base in Iraq. The flyers for the event were continually torn down, and a rather angry Major disrupted the actual meeting itself. Army Major Freddy Welborne threatened the group that they were "going down," and that he would block Hall's reinlistment if the meetings continued.

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation has filed suit against the Pentagon on behalf of Hall, and the predictable threats have begun to come in.

"Because of the frequent occurrences of 'fragging' and what happened to Pat Tillman’s and other “friendly fire” occurrences, Hall has every reason to fear for his safety. After word got out that he was a plaintiff in a landmark lawsuit that named Secretary of Defense Robert Gates as a Defendant, alleged postings of messages on military and civilian based blogs, such as, apparently threatened Hall with 'fragging,' a colloquial expression used by the military in which an unpopular soldier could be killed by intentional friendly fire during combat. Weinstein indicated he has not yet been able to verify the authenticity of the blog postings threatening Hall with 'fragging.' "
Hall wrote in a series of e-mails to Weinstein that he feared for his safety after being "hallchecked" -- being shoved against the wall in a hallway -- by fellow soldiers who objected to his lawsuit. Bloggers on the Internet have also referred to "fragging" Hall, or killing him by friendly fire.

"I hope I am not the victim of a hate crime while I sleep tonight. I do not want to die for my country this way," wrote Hall, who said a non-commissioned officer was threatening to beat him. "I'm doing my best right now. But I am still afraid that I might be harmed or worse."

In an apparent response to the lawsuit, Hall just sent an urgent email message to Mikey Weinstein, informing him a fellow soldier is goading him with a variety of threats and slurs, threatening to "beat his ass," calling him an "atheist ass pirate," "a faggot," and gathering a posse of bullies to intimidate Hall because of the allegations Hall made against the military in the landmark lawsuit.

Oh, and it turns out that Army Major Freddy Welborn has a Myspace page. Here's a picture of the Major with his old lady:

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