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Veteran Could Serve 10 Years For Checking a Wrong Box

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Veteran, Passport, Clerical error, jail, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida, Iraq )

- 2819 days ago -
A Navy reservist and decorated Army combat photographer who served in Iraq, is in jail, charged with passport fraud, for simple clerical mistake. It's time for this senator to start asking questions," U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson., D-Fla., said.


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Jae A (316)
Friday July 1, 2011, 5:52 pm
Well who would expect them to do the right thing....after all it's the Corporate Military and we know how those CEO run money in it for them to straighten this out and do what's right. This kind of shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit just makes my anger button go into orbit.

Sheryl G (359)
Friday July 1, 2011, 7:03 pm
We must continue to bring Light to these injustices. If they can do this to a decorated Iraq Veteran they can do it to anyone of us. A misunderstanding on a document that was a simple clerical error should not land one in jail. An explaination, yes, jail, no.

Steven Walle (38)
Friday July 1, 2011, 7:27 pm
What a travesty. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Dandelion. Be Blessed.

Carrie B (306)
Friday July 1, 2011, 7:37 pm
Thanks for the post Sheryl.

Nancy C (806)
Friday July 1, 2011, 7:38 pm
Speedy freedom and peace to him...ridiculous. Thanx Dandelion

Lynda G (8)
Friday July 1, 2011, 7:53 pm
How utterly ridiculous! I have no understanding of US laws being an Aussie but surely this will be dismissed the instant it goes before an intelligent judge? I don't understand how an incomplete form (I assume discarded by the applicant?) came to be in the hands of the authorities, it doesn't make sense to me. Complete reinstatement, written apology and compensation for time spent in gaol
is necessary.

Patricia W (94)
Friday July 1, 2011, 7:54 pm
Thanks Dandelion. If there's anything else we can do, please let us know.

Lisa H (180)
Friday July 1, 2011, 8:02 pm
Here is the contact site for Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, if someone could activate the link? Glad to hear that the Senator is already looking into it, but perhaps we could encourage him along... Just one more groovy example of just how sick our government really is!

Sheryl G (359)
Friday July 1, 2011, 8:31 pm
Thank you Lisa for the link and here is the hotlink to it. That is one way to do it by contacting Senator Nelson to tell him thank you for looking into this issue and to keep his thumb on it. We had two good fighters in this State Alan Grayson was one, although a big campaign to get him gone was done, he was too good if you know what I mean. Thankfully (D)Senator Nelson still is here and he is a voice of reason in the State but his vote is usually negated because of how the other Senator votes.

I'd also contact the local Veterans groups in your area and State and let them know of what is going on with one of their own. Wouldn't hurt to place a call to the local newspaper and say, "gee have you heard." Get this a talked about subject. Be careful out there applying for a passport, I'd heard things had changed on it, but of coarse again it goes to real Stupid. But stupidity is putting people behind bars for extended time and this is the real tragedy of it.


Eileen Novak (444)
Friday July 1, 2011, 8:39 pm
Oh heavens! What an obsence travesty of justice. I am appauled and sending a "nice" letter to Sen. Nelson. How could this happen?

Susan L (150)
Friday July 1, 2011, 8:45 pm
Truly an unnecessary over-reaction by the State Dept. and an unfortunate mistake by the veteran - should have been cleared up as soon as they saw what had actually happened and listened to his friends and colleagues who know him personally. If that weren't enough, they should have looked at his military record. Surprising how many officials have sand in their heads instead of the brains they were born with.

Susanne R (236)
Friday July 1, 2011, 9:21 pm
A decorated veteran has already served two months in prison for a clerical error regarding his passport? That is outrageous! What's ironic is the fact that soldiers aren't required to have passports when the government ships them off to fight in foreign countries --yet they are such sticklers when an honest mistake is made. This situation needs to be corrected ASAP!

Thanks for sharing, Dandelion!

Bruce H (9)
Friday July 1, 2011, 9:33 pm
How come the illegals get better treatment than a real hero?

Past Member (0)
Friday July 1, 2011, 9:54 pm
The terrorists won...
Now terrorists are running our country.

Barbara W (342)
Friday July 1, 2011, 9:57 pm
While this hero faces 10 years for a mistake who hurt "No One", BP, Halliburton, Enron, Exxon, Monsanto et al, get away with mind boggling crimes.

Shelly Peterson (213)
Friday July 1, 2011, 9:59 pm
If the Stae Dept. is saying there is more to this than the passport application, what is it?????....just unreal!!!
Thankyou for the hotlink!

Sheryl G (359)
Friday July 1, 2011, 10:01 pm
John and Barbara you got that one. Shelly you are welcome and thanks for taking the next step.

Michael Carney (217)
Friday July 1, 2011, 11:56 pm
That's the thanks he get's for serving his Country, in an honorable way...This is F**king ridiculous, and someone needs to come to his aid, and help him...This Senator Nelson needs to stop asking questions, and needs to go to wherever the Deptartment is, that's in charge of this, and demand his release...I just can't stand what's happening in this Country anymore...

Star S. (54)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 12:04 am
this is dreadful- what can I say?? Apparently character reference no longer serves purpose- is that what they are trying to tell us..- that we are all potential criminals??

H Nick H (1826)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 12:10 am
It upsets me because I'm a disabled Vietnam Vet, and any ijustice against our troops is terrible. Senator Bill Nelson in Floirda is a good guy and a good one to help Vets, which he does all the time. Not like our republican senator Ribuo, which just goes with party lines and can't think for himself, nor does he seem to care about Florida citizens.

Shirley S (187)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 12:26 am
What a complete waste of time & taxpayer's money! Hasn't the State Dept. got better things to do than persecute an innocent Vet.over such an insignificant thing.

Lika P (130)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 12:58 am
He didn't complete the application before. So he never actually applied, because the unfinished app never got turned in. They're in the wrong for arresting him in the first place.

So, if you're a famous guy, say a federal legislator or a professional QB, you can sext, nothing happens. Supreme court judges can strangle each other, and they only get investigated. Put your life on the line as a soldier, get arrested for making an honest mistake, because he didn't actually APPLY... yet because he half finished it before, they're considering that as intent.

Maybe we should fire our government, and put our veterans in there.

T. A. H (39)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 1:11 am
What next? The news is getting more jaw-dropping by the day.

Sharon Balloch (127)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 3:13 am
Sad... sad.... sad..

Jeanne J (55)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 4:00 am
I agree with Dandelion and Linda.. Thanks..

Lena Neff (16)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 5:10 am
I'm like Jeanne, I agree with Dandelion

Rinie Cassteele (47)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 5:47 am
All i can say is wow.
Is there no end to the things we will do to the people who're willing to saxrifice their life one way or another, because even if you don't die in combat your life will never be the same again.
How civil are we really as a civilisation??

Barbara K (61)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 5:55 am
He didn't apply before, as he didn't finish the application. So how do they figure that he "applied" before? Did he turn in the partially finished application? Do they consider an unfinished application as finished and applied? In any case, it is a stupid reason to put this war veteran in prison. Is that how our returning war vets going to be treated now? There are real criminals out there walking the streets, even a rapist, yet they put this guy in jail because he thought the first unfinished ap didn't count, what are they thinking?

tracey p (81)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 6:02 am
This is a horrendous situation for this brave young man. Aren't there some real criminals out there who could keep the police busy and the jails full. I hope he is freed instantly.

Patrick Donovan (344)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 6:46 am
My god, this is what happens when we, the government (that's us by the way) start down the path of paranoia. I hope he gets out and sues them.

patricia lasek (317)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 6:58 am
"A federal indictment states that Dawkins started to fill out a passport application in 2004, didn't complete it, then filled out a new application two years later.
On that new application, he checked a box "no" for the question, "Have you ever applied before?" according to the indictment."

But Clarence Thomas lied on his financial disclosure forms and simply said he made a mistake and got off scott-free. Justice??? More like a travesty of justice.

Stelizan L (258)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 7:14 am
'passport fraud, for a simple clerical mistake' - how disgusting!! Can only happen in the US of A, for sure; thank goodness I live in South Africa! At least our politicians have a bit more intelligence - hopefully!!! There's more than enough REAL criminals out there if you perhaps think you must 'fill' your prisons up!!!

Sheryl G (359)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 7:59 am
You are so correct Patricia the pick and choose who to punish seems to be directed towards the average citizen, those who have money, position, or power get to do what they want and if they are caught a simple I'm sorry seems to be fine, if they even say that.

This is correct Patrick, the propaganda machine has done so well they have the citizens looking for a so called "terrorist" under every rock, and the paranoia as you so correctly point out, has USA citizens being their own worst enemy towards each other.

No one using common sense anymore, check a wrong box, a dying Elder in a wheelchair that set off an alarm gets her adult diaper taken off of her, children being arrested and given life sentences on flimsy evidence, the Un-Patriotic Patriot Act that gives permission to have you pick up and detained for unlimited amount of time with all rights taken from you, torture being acceptable, this is not your Parents and GrandParents Country anymore.

It is going to take a lot of clawing back to get our Rights and Liberties Restored.......If you haven't already done so please sign on to a Rebuild the Dream Movement to either Host a meeting or to attend a meeting on the weekend of July 16 and 17. Here is the links below.





Terry King (113)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 8:21 am

Michela M (3964)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 8:48 am
Noted!! Thanks, Ciao!! Michela

Lisa N (204)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 9:54 am
How petty & ridiculous! This is how we treat the people who serve our counry????

David C (80)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 11:13 am
even if he wasn't a veteran this seems like a silly mistake to serve such a punishment...anyone who has NEVER made such a simple error please step forward you are the only one(s) able to truly judge this issue....

Robert T (62)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 12:20 pm
When he is cleared I hope Senator Nelson will make sure that the vet is paid for the time he spent in confinement.

Mark H (44)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 1:36 pm
I can't believe he's still in jail on this.....something is amiss!

MmAway M (522)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 2:16 pm
Thank you Dande for this....Barbara, Michael, Mark, Tracey, John....Goodness can't say anything after what all of your guys wrote...#@#@ is all I can say!

Mandi T (366)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 2:28 pm
OK, I'm boiling reading this!!
Thank you Sheryl, interesting to read though.

Joan for Peace (413)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 2:46 pm
oh my, this is wrong, so wrong, just makes me want to scream.

Sheryl G (359)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 3:33 pm
Thanks for the links and I guess the end of the article summed my feelings up concerning this. I'll place it here.

Its president, Rick Trump, of the Knob Hill Property Owners Association of Augusta did however send his "regrets" by email. (Those who prevented this man from getting a home)

To which all I can add is:

"You effing bastards!

This man served your country, fought in the wars to which he was sent by George Bush, wars no doubt you supported. Maybe you even had one of those "Support the Troops" magnetic ribbons attached to your fat ass SUV's Fighting over there. Well Sgt. Gittens suffered immeasurable harm "fighting for your freedoms" and instead of allowing him to live with dignity and honor as your neighbor, you did everything in your power to keep him out of your precious subdivision. Then not one of you had the decency to show your cowardly faces at the Gittens' family press conference held because of your relentless opposition to having a wounded veteran live among you.

You people are classless, mean and ugly specimens of whatever type of insect eats bull shit. I deeply regret we live in the same country. May you all rot in hell. Steven D


. (1)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 3:53 pm
Noted. Thank you.

Shirley A (96)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 6:12 pm
This is over the edge INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ALL MIGHTY CREATOR HELPS US. This kind of ALL OUT STUPIDITY defies words. The ignorant MORON that made the decision to arrest him needs to be sent for psychiatric observation and put in a friggin rubber room. WHO THE THE HELL IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would call for the arrest of this man in the first place for THIS mistake. BIGGEST BUNCH OF BS I'VE EVER SEEN and considering the goings on of the last few years that's say A LOT.


Amena Andersson (187)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 6:27 pm
Horrible. Noted with anger and sadness.

Saturday July 2, 2011, 8:44 pm

John Kirkby (23)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 9:57 pm
That is plenty ridicules. I wonder what happened with the 1st unfinished application?...kept on file?..destroyed at the time? Post 9/11 'passport fraud' is serious if it had been done to acquire a passport for criminal/terrorist purposes. You would think the original unfinished application should have been destroyed by him at the time..and that answering no the second time (to have you applied for a passport before?) would be correct. Which makes me wonder what did happen with the first one? If they kept it on file, in their files physically..then it wasn't being used to get a passport. And if he wrongly answered no the next time...that is worthy of a possible 10 years in jail?!?!

Lika P (130)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 10:03 pm
I blogged, and so I'm leaving this link here, maybe the governor could do something too. Highlighted words are hyperlinks that go to the appropriate places... I did redirect back here also.

Hartson Doak (39)
Saturday July 2, 2011, 10:40 pm
How did the government get the uncompleted application? He must have turned it in. If it was incomplete then he could not have gotten a passport. If he did not get a passport then he must have thought the incomplete application was discarded. Therefore, no is the box that should be checked. Who are these f***ing idiots who persecute our veterans?

l L (1)
Sunday July 3, 2011, 3:26 am
Hmmmmm who has him on their radar and for how long? Who has he pissed off unknowingly? Who has made him a pawn? We have all these people running around working for different agencies doing what? It is said their are more independent contractors and sites all over the nation who work for the government under the patriot act. What that means exactly I don't know.
However I agree with you all about every point you make. i still have to go read about the veterean and his blight about the house built for him and his family.
This present things about this veteran makes no sense at all, no matter which way you view it. If they make this stand under these premise, it shows you what we all are up against. I surely will follow this pattern of behavior by the powers that be,
As far as governor rick scott of florida; the opinon of him that is formed in me cause of the things he says and does; I doubt he would lift a finger to help this veteran. If he did I would be surprised.
It will surely take a great showing on the part of all of us to get things moving and a good changeof course for this vet.
The things, haliburton, blackwater, all the repug governors across america and of course the nortorious ex president Have and are doing was dismissed and never treated as crimina is just plain wrong. Shows who is above the law.
What is right has become the wrong. Thx dandelion.

l L (1)
Sunday July 3, 2011, 4:39 am
I tried to to access the article about the other vet. I was not successful. Can anyone place a direct link to that article? I will come back and check in here.

Sheryl G (359)
Sunday July 3, 2011, 7:48 am
Lyn here is the hotlink to the other Veterans article you asked.
I'd like to think that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida would help this Veteran with the passport issue, but I highly doubt he would. He is too busy kissing the Koch brothers butt and other Corporate overlords to help someone who can't line his pocket with more gold. While he slashes and burns our schools and anything else he can do to make life worse for the average Floridian I can't see how he'd jump in on this one. No doubt will be a new body to add pocket money into the new privatized prisons the Gov. Scott is going for as he has laid off State Prison guards.

Marilyn M (145)
Sunday July 3, 2011, 4:56 pm
Noted. Thank you for posting, Dandelion. According to the article,

"A federal indictment states that Dawkins started to fill out a passport application in 2004, didn't complete it, then filled out a new application two years later.

On that new application, he checked a box 'no' for the question, 'Have you ever applied before?' according to the indictment."

He is now in jail charged with passport fraud and facing 10 years in prison. Checking the no box was not a clerical error. He, in fact, checked the correct box. He simply interpreted the meaning of the question as a rational person would and apparently differently than the so-called authorities. Partially completing an application in the past which did not result in receiving a passport does not to a rational mind constitute having applied before.

The State Department has implied to Senator Bill Nelson that there is something more to this case. Unless that is true, this has to be among the most ludicrous and meritless prosecutions in U.S. history.

Caitlin M (104)
Monday July 4, 2011, 12:36 pm
We've got to get thinking people in charge instead of computers and their clones (those who do what they're told without the ability to think for themselves). We don't have complete information in this article, but on its surface it certainly sounds like semantics has caused this poor man to be in jail. What a travesty! I hope his Senator takes up his cause and gets him out of jail at least. What happened to "being on one's own recognizance" before a trial??

Sheryl G (359)
Monday July 4, 2011, 12:42 pm
Like everything else with the Un-Patriotic Patriots Act probably a right gone out the window too, if they choose to do so. I'm sure he can't go far, they no doubt have his passport. For a Senator to get involved it seems like he would of checked it out a bit before doing so. I'll be looking for some updates on this one.

Deborah B (71)
Tuesday July 5, 2011, 12:30 am
Thanks for posting this article, Dandelion. I am outraged and my blood is boiling to read of such a travesty.

MarietteAWAY G (175)
Tuesday July 5, 2011, 3:50 pm
Thanks Dandelion for posting. I agree with everything you've said. Thanks Shelly for this forward.

Tania K (112)
Wednesday July 6, 2011, 5:43 am
Thanks dear Dandelion,for the port and for your always clear and fair words.Jee,the Guerena case,this one.Henriette posted the Anthony woman case.What is happen to the world?At least we can talk about all these issues(until we get arrested,lol)Hugs.

Sheryl G (359)
Wednesday July 6, 2011, 8:24 am
Yes, for now we can still talk about it and try to do something about it. For how long, I hope I'm not around to see that, but my thoughts are, that might not be too far down the road. Has gotten real scarey in a short time.

l L (1)
Wednesday July 6, 2011, 3:07 pm
Hi dandelion; it is 7/6/2011. I used your link. It goes to a blank page. I tried to type it in up there on the page and care2 takes me to a page that says no. findings. I later say a news snippet of this incident on Msnbc, current or cnn. One of the. Dasnde- the man is black. Do we realize what is going on all over this nation? the klan and the skin heads/ nazi's are on the rise and in training in the woods. As we know; they hate everyone. As far as i can tell they are raising hell in germany, mass recuitment in russia and on the rise and doing God knows what in America. I described them as skinheads/nazi's, klan and nazi's cause this is how they advertise. Different people and orgs have been covering them and writing reports on them. So what I am repeating is what I have read or saw videos on this effort. So-- there is much going on right now. You know; the blacks are not welcomed in some places. I think that when good hearted people are building stuff out of the goodness of their hearts, check out to see where the problems are and choose areas that would be proud to honor any vet who has given their all and all. This is so morally wrong. But will it change?

Sheryl G (359)
Wednesday July 6, 2011, 6:04 pm
Sorry about that, it was working, but went to blank page for me too. Basically lay down your life for us but we do not want you in our neighborhood.

Pirana X (12)
Friday July 8, 2011, 7:20 am
Why does Florida have so many stupid laws?

Alison Baker (25)
Friday July 8, 2011, 10:47 am
"A federal indictment states that Dawkins started to fill out a passport application in 2004, didn't complete it, then filled out a new application two years later. On that new application, he checked a box 'no' for the question, 'Have you ever applied before?' according to the indictment."

It sounds like he submitted an "incomplete" application. To them, he submitted before. Complete or not doesn't matter. It's also an obvious judgement call. Whatever federal attorney got a federal judge to sign the arrest warrant is trying to make a fast name for himself. He did. He proved he's a idiot with no judgement & in the wrong career field.

Sheryl G (359)
Friday July 8, 2011, 9:45 pm
As this is a passport this isn't just a State law but a Federal law. Oh if it was only limited to one State, but I hate to tell you, stupidity on not using common sense in this Country is everywhere.

Freya H (345)
Saturday July 9, 2011, 8:34 am
This is ridiculous! One tiny mistake that anybody could make. We all have occasional lapses of memory, for crying out loud.

Nelu Dumitriu (14)
Sunday July 10, 2011, 1:38 am
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