Christopher Lee Gardner deserted his post at Joint Base Lewis-McChord after being targeted and continuously harassed by personnel from the JBLM Anti-Terrorism Office (JBLMATO), because of his political beliefs and statements opposing deployment of additional troops to the Middle East.
The JBLMATO stated that Gardner was a potential homegrown violent extremist (HVE) because he had expressed disagreement with government policies and potential upcoming deployments. JBLM officials sent out a state-wide bulletin claiming that Gardner was armed and dangerous - a common practice to get civilian police agencies to apprehend military deserters - although there was not any evidence that Gardner actually posed a threat to himself or others.
Gardner was taken into custody without incident on January 9th in Lincoln County, Oregon. Gardner has not been charged with any crimes in Oregon.
Because of massive corruption within the JBLM Police department and the frequent use of false reports to civilian police departments to get them to target individuals who oppose JBLM policies and actions, we ask that communities throughout Oregon contact their elected representatives to put a stop to apprehension of any person for military desertion or AWOL who has not otherwise violated Oregon law.
Illegally gathering information about American citizens, maintaining unauthorized records and databases, conducting illegal investigations, manufacturing false evidence, and submitting false police reports and perjured testimony is an on-going problem at JBLM, and we must not allow that corruption to spread to our civilian communities.