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Saturday, May 06, 2006

West Pointers Get Cease & Desist Letter From West Point

A group of US Military Academy alums formed a group called West Point Graduates Against The War.

These distinguished alums of West Point specifically cited the lessons they learned as students in the Academy and announced specifically that the new group's purpose is (quoting form the press release)...

To convert the disgrace of governmental lies and evasions about the assault on Iraq into a force to redeem the honor of their country. At issue--which directly assaults the West Point honor code which forges the character of all graduates--are the falsehoods by administration officials, culminating in Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the United Nations on February 5, 2003, which catapulted the United States into a preventive war.

"This fraudulent war has done such enormous damage to the reputation and prestige of the United States and its military forces," said co-founder James Ryan. "Unless remedied, this will prove catastrophic to our country's interests over the longer term."

"The West Point honor code, which mandates cadets will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do, defines honor and duty," said Joseph Wojcik, co-founder of West Point Graduates Against the War. "And this provides us with a lifelong sense of duty, a shared responsibility for graduates to do the right thing, even if that means admonishing our country's leadership."

Can you believe this? West Point Graduates Against the War received a cease-and-desist letter directly from the Academy, demanding that they remove the term, "West Point"; the use of the terms...

"West Point", "United States Military Academy", "USMA", and "U.S. Army" without the express permission of the Department of Army [sic] constitutes a violation of Title 17 of the United States is deeply important to protect the valuable trademarks that enhance the image and standing of the United States Military Academy in [sic] the national and world stage."

The group, in its public response, points out that businesses such as West Point Pizza, West Point cleaners, and the West Point Motel all operate nearby. And that they, as legitimate grads of West Point, should have every right to use the name.

West Point is far more than some mere product or "valuable trademark" to us. What is deeply important to us is the "image and standing of the United States Military Academy." This is precisely what we members of West Point Graduates Against The War are trying to uphold. Our organization's opposition to the policies of the Bush administration promotes the very Constitutional First Amendment rights all military officers swear to protect and defend.

To these courageous veterans, I have only a one-word response: Bravo!


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