By Catherine Donaldson-Evans
One of the young filmmakers behind a controversial 9/11 conspiracy documentary was arrested this week on charges that he deserted the Army, even though he claims he received an honorable discharge.
Korey Rowe, 24, who served with the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan and Iraq, told FOXNews.com that he was honorably discharged from the military 18 months ago — which he said he explained to sheriffs when they pounded on his door late Monday night.
“When they came to my house, I showed them my paperwork,” Rowe said. “The cops said, ‘You’re still in the system.’”
Rowe is one of the producers of “Loose Change,” a cult hit on the Internet espousing the theory that the U.S. government and specifically the Bush administration orchestrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
The movie is set to be released in about 40 British theaters in late August, according to Rowe and fellow filmmakers Jason Bermas and Dylan Avery.
Police arrested Rowe at his house in Oneonta, N.Y., about 10:45 p.m. on Monday and took him to the Otsego County jail, where he spent a day-and-a-half before he was released, he said.
Rowe was turned over to officials at Fort Drum — the closest military base — who then booked him on a flight to Fort Campbell, Ky., where his unit is based, to try to straighten out why the military issued a warrant for his arrest.
“A warrant for my arrest came down and showed up on the sheriff’s desk,” Rowe said. “Where it came from and why it showed up all of a sudden is a mystery to me.”
A spokeswoman for the 101st Airborne said Rowe is in the system as an Army deserter.
“He was listed as a deserter in 2005,” said Lt. Col. Rumi Nielson-Green, public affairs officer for the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). “What we show is that he was absent without leave in June of 2005 and was dropped from the rolls in July 2005. … He has been apprehended for being a deserter.”
Rowe said he believes it’s an administrative error on the part of the military. Nielson-Green conceded that could be the case, but said it was all speculation at this point.
“Anything is possible,” she said. “If this is an administrative error, then that will come out in due process. … It may be as simple as that, or it may be more complicated than that. Errors sometimes happen.”
Rowe said he was sitting in his living room watching the show “Cops” and drinking a beer Monday night when police banged on the door.
“I thought it was the TV,” he said. “There was f—–g mad cops out there. I thought, here we go.”
There were at least five sheriffs on hand for his arrest, Rowe said. They told him he had an active-duty warrant from the military.
“They pulled a whole operation. They cut my phone lines. They came from the woods. It was crazy — it was ridiculous,” he said.
Otsego County Sheriff Richard Devlin said his understanding was that the arrest was much less dramatic and more routine than Rowe described, though he hadn’t confirmed the details with the officers involved.
“Two deputies went to the house and arrested him,” Devlin said. “There was no cutting of phone lines or anything like that. … There’s nothing to indicate there were any issues. It was a standard arrest.”
Rowe speculated that he might still be in the system because he didn’t update his address, and characterized the military’s record-keeping databases as ineffective and disorganized. He doesn’t, however, believe his work on “Loose Change” was a factor in his arrest.
“I don’t think there’s any nefarious purpose or political stunt, or that anybody’s trying to shut me up,” Rowe said. “At the same time, I can’t be sure about that.”
Asked whether Rowe’s arrest has anything to do with his involvement in “Loose Change,” Nielson-Green said “absolutely not.”
“We’ve never even heard of this guy,” she said, adding that she wasn’t aware of the movie until Rowe was arrested and reporters and bloggers picked up on the story.
“Loose Change” initially had a prominent American distributor behind it — Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban of 2929 Productions — but he has since backed out, apparently because of nervousness surrounding the film’s inflammatory claims.
Actor Charlie Sheen had signed on to narrate the theatrical version of the film, but he recently said he’s taking a wait-and-see approach to whether he’ll remain a part of the project.
“Loose Change” makes the shocking claim that the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers were brought down on Sept. 11, 2001, by the U.S. government in a controlled demolition. It also contends that the military flew a missile into the Pentagon.
Source URL: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,290942,00.html
Editor’s Note: Originally reported 7/25 in the New York Daily Star , and followed up with another story on 7/26, Loose Change producer Korey Rowe was arrested Monday night at his home in Oneanta, NY. “Rowe was arrested on a ‘military warrant’ that [the Sheriff] said was brought to the attention of deputies by the Oneonta Police Department, who received information from a source outside of that department.”911truth.org contacted Dylan Avery to ask how we could best help, and were asked, like everyone, to keep this relatively quiet until they figured out “what was going on.” Korey has since been released, and posted a video statement at the LooseChange blog.
Almost daily, we learn of more troops being prosecuted for various reasons relating to their resistance and speaking out against the war, including attempts to “re-discharge” them at less than honorable status after previously having been honorably discharged, courts martial, and detention. Many of these soldiers’ stories are being told by Courage To Resist , and this week’s newsletter from them included information about Korey Rowe. Iraq Veterans Against the War ( IVAW.org ) members have particularly come under harassment–they have a good section at the IVAW site on this.
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, “President of the Hip Hop Caucus , and an officer in the United States Air Force Reserve, received notification from the Air Force that they were taking action to honorably discharge him on the basis of ‘behavior clearly inconsistent with the interest of national security’ a week after he announced the launching of a national ‘Make Hip Hop Not War’ tour at a press conference on Capitol Hill. After anti-war activists, including Cindy Sheehan, began organizing a protest outside the gates, the military later postponed their July 12th hearing at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia.”
Clearly, it is very important that we support these GI resisters who are willing to risk saying, ” Sir, No Sir “, as much as possible. Rev. Yearwood’s powerful statement, “Now is the time for us to stand up and stand together,” is posted in full at the end of this article.
Interesting that Foxnews.com picked up Korey Rowe’s story, and mentions the UK theatrical release of Loose Change Final Cut … when is the last time we’ve seen something this “fair and balanced” from them?
In related news, Courage to Resist picked up Rowe’s story in their newsletter today:
Army Spc. Korey Rowe
Afghanistan and Iraq Wars veteran Korey Rowe turned war resister/video producer was arrested in his hometown of Oneonta, New York this week. Local police arrested Korey on an outstanding military warrant for allegedly “deserting the Army.”
Korey has played a high-profile role in the “9-11 truth movement” since leaving the Army in June 2005. He co-produced the movie Loose Change, the central premise of which is that “the United States Government was, at the very least, criminally negligent in allowing the attacks of September 11th, 2001 to occur.”
On the Loose Change web site, Korey explains, “At 18 for no apparent reason I joined the Army. I guess for a way out of my home town. Joined and not even six months later I found myself in a fox hole in Kandahar, Afghanistan (1/14/02 — 7/15/02). Served six months there before returning stateside for a hellish seven month full out training cycle before being shipped back across the Atlantic to Kuwait were we staged for a nice long year in Iraq (2/28/03 — 1/16/04)…As for the future, only life can tell. My life to date has been very interesting.”
© Associated Press. All rights reserved. © 2007 FOX News Network, LLC
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Now is the time for us to stand up and stand together
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. July 2, 2007
My Fellow Americans:
The power of our voices against the U.S. occupation of Iraq is reaching the top echelons of the military and the administration. Our government is persecuting Americans who speak out against the U.S. military presence in Iraq. The U.S. military has launched politicized attacks on its own military members and moral leaders who oppose the war to discredit their voices of dissent.
We have seen them target Cpl. Adam Kokesh to stop him from exercising his freedom of speech, after risking his life in Fallujah, Iraq. We have seen them threaten Sgt. Liam Madden for publicly stating the legal fact that the U.S. invasion is a war crime according to the Nuremberg principles. They have targeted Cpl. Cloy Richards, a soldier put in the media spotlight when his mother Tina Richards worked to get him the health care he needs after returning from Iraq eighty percent disabled. These are not happenstance targets. These young men are leaders of the Iraq Veterans Against the War and they are speaking out in a strong and coordinated way.
And now I have been targeted.
Who am I? Many of you know me as a reverend, an activist, an architect of Hip Hop politics and a freedom fighter, but I am also an Officer in the United States Air Force Reserve. I have long been in the struggle for peace and freedom and I serve proudly as a leader of faith. I joined the military as part of the “poor peoples draft” – to help pay for my education. In May 2000 I was commissioned as an Officer in the U.S. Air Force Reserve and was accepted into the Chaplain Candidates program. In 2002 I graduated from Howard University School of Divinity, Magna Cum Laude. I was ordained a Reverend and Elder in the Church of God in Christ shortly after my graduation and today I remain in good standing in the Church. In May 2003 I completed the Chaplain Candidates program, but I decided not to pursue a career as a Chaplain in the Air Force. I have been in the Air Force Reserve Individual Reserve program ever since.
On March 26th of this year I received notification from the Air Force that they are taking action to honorably discharge me on the basis of “behavior clearly inconsistent with the interest of national security.” Ironically, this letter arrived six days after I announced the launching of a national “Make Hip Hop Not War” Tour at a press conference on Capitol Hill.
On July 12, 2007, when I leave Robbins Air Force Base after my discharge hearing, whether I remain an Officer or not, I will be a leader always, and a patriot evermore committed to ending this immoral war.
In February 2003 I felt the sense of urgency many felt in the lead up to the invasion of Iraq to speak out. Even though I was only a Chaplain Candidate and a 2nd Lieutenant, when I had the opportunity to preach at Andrews Air Force Base, the home of Air Force One, the message that I preached was “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” Since then hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Americans have lost their lives and we now face a state of permanent warfare in our world.
This moment in history is our generation’s lunch-counter moment – Iraq is our Vietnam and New Orleans is our Birmingham. Our generation could be the generation to defeat racism, poverty and war, but only if we come together as people of conscience. In the movements of the 60’s, solidarity among the civil rights movement and the anti-war movement was never truly achieved. As the “Hip Hop generation” – a generation where the sons and daughters of former slaves work side by side with the sons and daughters of former slave owners – we have the ability to bridge the gap and link movements for peace, justice, civil rights and the environment in true solidarity.
We will not make the world safer – or achieve true national security – by starting wars that put our humanity at risk and we are certainly not making our country safer by intimidating veterans who courageously speak out. Policies that address the issues of poverty, racism, climate change, the economy and jobs are at the core of national security. I will continue to speak out against the war, seek justice for Katrina survivors, fight against racism, struggle for equality and advocate for a healthy planet. I hardly think that this sort of behavior is “inconsistent with the interest of national security.”
My brothers and sisters, opposition to this illegal war and occupation is not a cause – it constitutes a response to a state of emergency. It is our urgent responsibility to stop this war. According to the Book of Psalms, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” I know it looks bad now and our hope seems to wane and sometimes we want to give up. But, if we can all come together – black and white, brown and yellow, rich and poor, male and female, straight and gay, republican and democrat – whether you still love this country or are withdrawn in anger, not only can we defeat this war and restore justice and democracy, there will once again be joy in the morning.
My mother in the movement, Cindy Sheehan, will be with me on July 12th at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia and I urge you to join me on the 12th as well. I also urge you to continue to increase your activism. This is our lunch-counter moment.
For Future Generations,
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr.
Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. is President of the Hip Hop Caucus.
Much needed online donations to his legal defense fund can be made at: www.hiphopcaucus.org
You can also mail a donation via check to:
Hip Hop Caucus
1112 16th St. NW, Suite 600,
Washington, DC 20036
You can contact the Hip Hop Caucus at 202.787.5256 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.