I've blogged this episode before, and I saw today an update.
There's this American guy....Army guy....who deserted the US back in 2007 ( I know it's almost 10 years ago). The guy....Andrea Sheppard....enlisted originally in 2004. He did one single deployment into Iraq....an entire year.
He came to the end of his contract, and he had some will to re-enlist but he didn't ever want to go back to Iraq. Somehow, at least he says that....some recruitment NCO said that this was possible. It's hard to imagine some idiot from the Army swearing up and down that you could be in the Army and never go to a particular hostile zone.....but Sheppard claims this. I have my doubts about this part of the story.
So, he re-enlists, and gets sent to Germany, and in 2007.....the unit is notified that they will deploy to Iraq. He tells his commander that he was promised that he didn't have to deploy. The story is a bit humorous.....but they just won't buy into it.
Sheppard walks out the post gate and goes to a Bavarian office (his next big mistake) to ask for asylum. He gets some help from various groups, and the paperwork is put into the system.
Here is the next issue.....the German law from the 1960s/1970s.....changed. In the old days, it just said that anyone could ask for asylum in this case of American military individuals and Germany would accept the paperwork. Well...the law was changed. It now says because the US is a volunteer force now.....you need to show that your unit would have committed war crimes. Did his unit commit war crimes? So far, no one has ever proven a single episode.
So the case went back and forth. I personally think that he would have been much better off submitting the paperwork in Hessen or NRW. Locals outside of Bavaria might have bent over backwards. But this is Bavaria and they just don't see his logic in this.
No one in Bavaria will sign off on this. So last year (in the spring) a EU court was dragged in and asked if he had the right to be examined for such-and-such asylum procedure. Well....yes of course. Oddly, all that did was shuffle the paperwork back to Bavaria. The EU court didn't want to order Bavaria to sign off (this is readily apparent).
The Berlin crowd? I get the impression they really don't want to sign this paperwork either.
Today, it comes up in Bavarian news that the court in Munich. It may take weeks.....maybe months now....but it's on their calendar.
The odds? I hate to suggest this, but I think they will decline because he simply doesn't fit the profile that the law was built for. Oddly, had he just stayed on the post and refused to deploy.....the most he would have likely gotten from the Army is maybe six to twelve months in some disciplinary situation, and then they would have discharged him. Now? He's wasted almost a decade of his life in Bavaria in some wait-and-see episode, and the Bavarians may say by spring of 2017.....he has to leave.
My suspicion is that he'll use another delay tactic and ask for another EU court to render another verdict and drag this out to 2018, with another Munich court getting the case back by 2019, and then repeating this again in 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023, etc.
Will Sheppard ever leave Germany? No. I just don't see it happening. Oddly, he could go to Syria today....apply for some citizenship there....sit there for two weeks and get a passport, and then walk to Turkey and cross over.....to ask the Germans to allow him to stay as a Syrian. Yeah, it could be that simple, and because he's mastered the language by now.....they wouldn't even bother testing him.
A script for a movie? I was thinking so, but it's hard to believe that Germans would allow this to just drag on and on and on.