FAYETTEVILLE, N.C., Jan. 17 (UPI) -- A U.S. soldier who opposed the Iraq War and was jailed for desertion says he stands by his decision.
Cliff Cornell was released Saturday after spending less than a year in prison on desertion charges. He told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. he would do it again because he is opposed to "killing innocent people."
The CBC said Cornell, 28, spent four years in British Columbia starting in 2005 after deserting the U.S. Army's 3rd Infantry Division as it was readying to deploy to Iraq. The Canadian government in February denied him asylum as a war objector and he was imprisoned at the U.S. Marine Corps base at Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Despite that, Cornell said from Fayetteville, N.C., "I still stand behind my decision 100 percent," adding, "I am going to spend a few months with my family and then try to head back to Canada. I have friends up there and a whole community for me to come back to."
"Canadians successfully campaigned for the U.S. military to reduce Cliff's sentence," Michelle Ribidoux of the War Resisters Support Campaign said in a release issued Saturday.