The new underground railroad 

Carl Rising-Moore, an Indianapolis-based Vietnam-era veteran of the U.S. Army’s finance and administration corps and co-author of Freedom Underground, a newly published manual about fleeing to Canada, is smuggling U.S. soldiers across the Canadian border. One of his missions, in which he smuggled Brandon Hughey, a former U.S. soldier then slated to go to Iraq, was documented by the Canadian Broadcasting Association. Rising-Moore realizes that his efforts are illegal, and told the Independent that he is prepared for possible jail time.

A dual U.S.-Canadian citizen, Rising-Moore says the Montana-British Columbia border was penetrated by draft dodgers during the Vietnam War, and may now see renewed action, though he says he isn’t using this route.

The United States and Canada signed a Smart Border Declaration in the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001. The primary thrust of the agreement is to prohibit would-be terrorists from crossing through border stations such as the one located at Sweetgrass, Mont., but its “action plan” also calls for more stringent refugee and asylum processing and a crackdown on “irregular migration,” according to the website of the Canadian embassy in Washington, D.C. Still, the border remains porous enough to sneak people through, Rising-Moore says, noting that he advises soldiers to leave the country only as a last resort.

“I ask them to apply for conscientious objector status or to follow the path of Henry David Thoreau and just resist, but if they tell me that they’re going to commit suicide rather than return to war, I’ll help get them out of Dodge like our president did during Vietnam,” he says.

In touring Canada, Rising-Moore says he’s found that citizens in most locales, including Montana’s northern neighbor British Columbia, have expressed willingness to aid soldiers fleeing war or hypothetical draft dodgers, should the United States begin conscription. The U.S. Selective Service System (SSS) says a new draft isn’t planned, maintaining that the recent hiring of new draft board members nationwide is merely the result of older members reaching their 20-year term limits.

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