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German soldier wins software right of conscience

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A German court has backed an army officer who had a conscientious objection to developing software he thought might be used in the Iraq war.

Reuters reports that a major in the Bundeswehr’s IT arm refused to work on an IT project that he felt might concievebly aid the US-UK war in Iraq.

While the German government was dead set against the war from the start, the army didn’t see eye to eye with the major, promptly demoting him and seeking to expel him from its ranks.

The uniformed peacenik then sought legal redress. Those right-on German justices came through for him with an administrative court deciding that German soldiers were guaranteed freedom of conscience, and that his superiors had been unable to guarantee the offending software program would not be used in a war which he argued violated constitutional and international law.

While Germany may no longer be the West’s Frontline in the battle with Communism, it is definitely the frontline in the battle to create a more sharing, caring kind of military. This week also saw German troops win the right to war their hair in any style they choose, including ponytails and the dreaded mullet. ®

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