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Commentary :: Politics
BTL:Military Families Campaign to Bring U.S. Troops Back from Iraq Now
11 Sep 2004
Interview with Charlie Richardson, co-founder of Military Families Speak Out, conducted by Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus
Military Families Campaign to Bring U.S. Troops Back from Iraq Now

Interview with Charlie Richardson, co-founder of Military Families Speak Out, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

In the fall of 2002, Nancy Lessin and her husband Charlie Richardson attended an anti-war rally in Washington, D.C. Their son was a Marine who would soon be deployed to Iraq. They met another military family opposed to the war and co-founded the group Military Families Speak Out to give voice to the families who would bear the brunt of U.S. policy in the Middle East. Since then, 1,600 families have joined, including 30 whose loved ones died in Iraq and at least one family whose son committed suicide upon his return from the war. The group states that while many die on the battlefield, there are many more who die in their souls. MFSO has supported the family of Camilo Mejia, an army reservist who served in Iraq and refused to return there when ordered, citing crimes and abuses committed against the Iraqi people. He is currently serving a year in prison for desertion. Lessin and Richardson have spoken at rallies and conferences non-stop for the past 22 months, condemning the war and demanding that the troops come home now.

More than 1,000 U.S. troops have now died in the Iraq war, while an estimated 10,000 have been injured. The death toll of 66 in August was the highest monthly toll since May, while the 1,100 injured in August is the highest monthly total of the entire war. Estimates of the number of Iraqi civilians who have died so far range from 10,000 to 40,000. Military Families Speak Out says the war is a tragedy for all who have been put in harm's way.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with MFSO's Charlie Richardson soon after the Institute for Policy Studies announced that his group would receive the Letelier-Moffitt human rights award, named after two human rights champions assassinated by the regime of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. Richardson talks about the rationale for the war in Iraq, and how families who felt they needed to support the war in order to support their own sons and daughters fighting in Iraq have come to change their views.

Call Military Families Speak Out at (617) 522-9323 or visit their website at: The Letelier-Moffitt human rights award will be presented Sept. 30 to Military Families Speak Out -- as well as to journalist Seymour Hersh for exposing the Abu Graib prison scandal -- at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Related links:

Iraq Veterans Against the War

Veterans for Peace

Voices in the Wilderness

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:
"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: httC://
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Q&A" which features a RealAudio link and weekly transcript to one of the interviews featured on Between The Lines, send an email to btlqa-subscribe (at)
betweenthelines (at)
Distributed by Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc.
(c)2004 Squeaky Wheel Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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