Ms. Underestimated has the 60 Minutes video if you didn't see it.
First things first, Appeal for Redress is founded on a lie. Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette has done his usual brilliant investigative work and shows how this group is an astroturf creation of the anti-war movement that recruited it's two "founders".
I feel no animosity toward any of those who serve and choose to do this, but I question the importance beyond it's use by the media to attempt to lose the war in Iraq. Esprit de Corps is what makes a soldier move forward into gunfire rather than retreat. That is a bond that says we will stand firm together and part of that is not throwing red meat to the jackals of the press.
One of the appealers said that he wanted to send a message to his Congressman as a constituent that he thought the mission was wrong. And there you have it, as a constituent is not how you are acting when you join an anti-war group and send your message specifically as a military member, not a constituent. You are gaming the system, using a whistle-blower provision to play anti-war games that you are not supposed to be doing. It may be legal, but it is still weak and sad.
The math would show that these people represent tenths, maybe thousandths of a percent of the total military strength, but their value as propaganda ensures they get exposure far beyond their unimportant opinions on US foreign policy or war-fighting. Opinions are like bungs, everybody's got one. Doesn't mean that it's important. Sgts, and Majors, and PFCs don't get a vote on policy or "which war they will fight" as one of the non-appealing Cav troops noted. They get to serve and they are definitely not supposed to be on 60 Minutes disagreeing with their superiors by using a program designed to protect whistle blowers. That there are some who oppose the war, even in the military was not news to anyone. That they could sneak on 60 Minutes to pour salt in the wounds all Americans feel from this war, was unsurprising. They have not committed any crimes and should suffer no punishment other than the disdain of those who understand the need for good order and discipline in a fighting unit, something the appealers have shown to be sorely lacking.
The timestamp will show that this was more or less liveblogged, so I reserve the right to revise my opinions. Buuuuuuut, this sounds to me like a bunch of the usual suspects who we're always whining about how the system screws them, and were looking for ways to game regulations. Now I've gamed many myself, but there is a difference between cheating for a good time and cheating to aid the anti-war efforts. An eye-opener only for anyone who never served, the rest of us have seen these wankers in every unit.