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FIRST COMMISSIONED OFFICER TO REFUSE DEPLOYMENT TO UNLAWFUL IRAQ WAR OFFICIALLY CHARGED BY U.S.ARMY


Friends and Family of Lt. Ehren Watada www.thankyoult.org

FIRST COMMISSIONED OFFICER TO REFUSE DEPLOYMENT TO UNLAWFUL IRAQ WAR OFFICIALLY CHARGED BY U.S. ARMY

Ft. Lewis, WA-Today, July 5, 2006, First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada was formally charged with three articles of the Uniform Code of Military Justice: missing movement (Article 87), contempt towards officials (Article 88), and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman (Article 133). If convicted of all charges by a general court-martial, Lt. Watada could be sentenced to four years in a military prison.

Lt. Watada's lawyer, Eric Seitz, said this morning: "We expected the missing movement charge, but we are somewhat astounded by the contempt and conduct unbecoming charges. These additional charges open up the substance of Lt. Watada's statements for review and raise important First Amendment issues. We are delighted that the Army has given us the opportunity to litigate these questions." Most previous prosecutions of Article 88 took place during the Civil War and World War I, and the last known prosecution was in 1965 (Howe vs. U.S.). Lt. Howe was protesting the Vietnam War.

Supporters of Lt. Watada across the country are being called on to again show their support, and planning for a comprehensive educational and action campaign is underway. Puget Sound groups will hold a rally at 5:00pm tomorrow, July 6, at the Interstate 5, Exit 119 overpass adjacent to Ft. Lewis. Last week, on June 27, people in over 30 cities rallied in support of the National Day of Action to Stand Up with Lt. Watada.

Lt. Watada first attempted to resign quietly in protest over the illegality of the Iraq war and occupation in January 2006. In a videotaped statement on June 7, Lt. Watada declared: "It is my duty as a commissioned officer of the United States Army to speak out against grave injustices." On June 22, Lt. Watada became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment orders when he refused to board an Iraq bound plan with the 3rd Stryker Brigade.

"It is my conclusion as an officer of the Armed Forces that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong but a horrible breach of American law. As the order to take part in a illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must, as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order," explained Lt. Watada.

Lt. Watada joins a growing number of high ranking military officers, West Point graduates and current and former members of the armed services who have expressed their opposition to the actions of the United States in Iraq.

People available for comment include: Eric Seitz, attorney for Lt. Ehren Watada; Bob Watada and Carolyn Ho, Lt. Ehren Watada's parents; Judy Linehan, of Military Families Speak Out, is the mother of a soldier who deployed to Iraq with Lt. Ehren Watada's Stryker Brigade in their first mission to Iraq.

Press Contacts: Cindy Sousa (206) 734-5040, David Solnit (510) 967-7377

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Although we should not be surprised if it doesn't at least initially turn out that way in George W. Bush's Fascist America.

There are four conditions for the unrestricted free speech of active members of the military:

They must be off duty, off base, out of uniform and within the borders of the United States.

That's why we saw Lt. Watada in a suit and tie when he made his announcement on June 7th.

Re - Contempt toward officials:
Not that the officials deserve it, but I saw and heard nothing but respectful disagreement in Watada's announcement.

Re - Conduct unbecoming an officer and gentleman:
To say nothing of the conduct unbecoming a compassionate human being that is continuously displayed by the neocon warmongers responsible for the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq, or the vast moral wasteland from which these scumbags emerged to hijack our country.

Ehren Watada is an American patriot of the highest order, deserving the full support of all who truly value our freedom.

John Perry

Demand accountability.
http://www.johnperryonline.com

John:
But the most significant aspect is the prospect of Watada being allowed to indict the war as a means of defense in a court of law.

This being allowed to unfold publicly, said court would be put in the position of convicting Watada or convicting...

---The Bikemessenger

They'll probably try to get him to cop a plea in exchange for a general discharge, in an effort to make it all go away. Last thing these morons want is more people learning how the UCMJ requires that unlawful orders must be ignored, and that since the "war" is illegal, so is every order relating to it.

John Perry

Demand accountability.
http://www.johnperryonline.com

I can't see how he could be charged with conduct unbecoming of an officer and a gentleman. The way we got into this war, and the way things are going over there, I probably would've done the same thing...(yes, I signed the petition in support of him)

Phil

I find this case interesting, when you join the army you temporarily yield some rights. The right to unlimited free speech is one of them. Obviously you can’t go around giving out sensitive information, but it goes deeper than that. The army is very structured and orderly, with a defined hierarchy. Any one who has had any dealings with it knows this. Lieutenant Ehren has gone outside this hierarchy by speaking publicly about things in direct conflict with the goals of the armed forces and think he would not be punished, if that is indeed what he thought, then he was vary naive. When you join the army the army owns you. You are no longer a civilian you’re a piece of army equipment to be used as they see fit, if you didn’t figure this out in basic you’re a very slow learner. The army is a old club that is very set in its ways, if you don’t want to play by its rules don’t join.

I know that none of this is a vary libertarian thing to say, but the army was one of the few things that the constitution created the federal government for. I believe in the constitution and I believe in the foresight of the founders. The American army is a modern interpretation of the most successful army on earth, the Romans. To be effective the army needs to play by a different set of rules, if you don’t like these rules then don’t join.

I find the notion of an “illegal” war amusing; there is no such thing as a “legal” and “illegal” war. There is no international “law”, there are only treaties that most break in secret and some ignore all together. In general most of these treaties are not worth the paper they are written on.

Instead of sending good Americans to that wasteland I would much rather lay a 10 mile wide mine field around the Middle East and deal with them in 100 years or so when the are a little more civilized, but unfortunately they have something we need, Oil! As long as we need oil we are forced to meddle in their affairs to keep it coming.

With all due respect, your attitude as expressed above is a major part of the problem in the United States today. I found your reference to the Roman Army quite revealing as well. I have great concern that the consequences which befell the Roman Army and hence the Roman Empire are soon to befall the United States. As in history, such a fall will be the result of a self inflicted wound couched in fraud, deceit, greed and conceit.

If you truly believe in the Constitution as you profess, you are duty bound to honor all of it. This includes the provisions making treaties part of the supreme law of the land. This country set a high standard after WWII and the war trials. The current administration has a record of dubious distinction and I applaud Lt. Ehren for his courage and true American conduct. He refuses to be a war criminal and for that he deserves hero status.

Clearly the Lt. is a true American soldier by not following the orders of a criminal cabal that defiled the Constitution of the United States of America. The laws, protocols, principles & morals of civilized peoples against war crimes are the precedents upon which this honorable officer's defense is based. Godspeed to him!

IMPEACH PNAC> "OUT" THE CABAL !

http://tinyurl.com/a8uz9

Watada is clearly a hero along the lines of Tim Predmore, or those who founded this country, for that matter.

But what puzzles and intriques me is the question of how far and to what extent can his defense serve as a vehicle for the indictment of the Iraq war?

Bear in mind that Watada's objections are only to the Iraq war. He does not oppose war per se; he has alluded to finding service in Afganistan justifiable.

He is not a pacifist, or one of us Libertarian extremists who want all U.S. military personnel back on U.S. soil yesterday at the latest.

So, given the indictment as it stands, how might his defense expand in scope to encompass the White House?

Am I being too optimistic?

---The Bikemessenger

dare we think that encompassing WH is a possibility?

The fact that the honorable Lt will go to a legitimate war of defense on the actual perpetrator of 9/11 (OBL & Al Quaeda in Taliban-protected Afghanistan) gives more hope than ever to an indictment of the PNAC cabal in the White House that surreptitiously planned the Iraq invasion & occupation even BEFORE 9/11 .

Optimism or realism, either way there just might be hope!

IMPEACH PNAC> "OUT" THE CABAL !

http://tinyurl.com/a8uz9

Well, they say some of troops defected to Syria, this guy has the courage to stand up to one of the most powerful forces in the world, I say hats off. A group of soldiers tried suing the government for LSD tests done on them, a drug originally designed to enhance a soldiers performance in war and were fruitless since when you sign the dotted line Uncle Sam owns your butt. "Thou shall not kill," the number one commandment, but I guess Jesus goes out the door when you win an election based on faith. I also said this way back when on my web page www.bdogmania.com, the war is bogus. Ego and adults acting like children, kinda like what happened with the Philadelphia Eagles and Owens and Mcnab it hurt the whole team, no one responsible wants to admit they are wrong and that is the real travesty.
The democracy we have and it's ineffectiveness, the people are not getting what they want. Then we want to spread democracy in a land where the majority are religious fundamentalists, sure stupidity. The British tried to control Baghdad in the 50's and got massacred, why should anyone else die in vain? As a resident of California we are more concerned with North Korea and not Iran, the bias is so clear, just watch the last John Stewart daily show! peace out.

For those of you ignorants/traitors supporting this loser. Here is a bit of information.He took an Oath and has broken the rules. By refusing the Orders of Our President, and by abandoning his troops,he has earned the most severe punishment coming to him.
Article 85 in the Uniform Code of Military Justice states Any person found guilty of desertion or attempt to desert shall be punished, if the offense is committed in time of war, by death or such other punishment as a court-martial may direct, but if the desertion or attempt to desert occurs at any other time, by such punishment, other than death, as a court-martial may direct.”
By refusing to be deployed, he has most definately desert our country and our military. He took an oath that says.... "I,Ehren Watada do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God."
What makes this man believe that he should receive exceptions? We have no place for cowards in our military. Agree or not with the Middle East situation, he should go just as thousands others have done. I am 100% positive that not ALL our fine soldiers deployed agree with the War, but they have had the courage to obey their Oath. Hooray for those faithful ones.THEY ARE THE ONES THAT MAKE ME PROUD TO BE AN AMERICAN.

It is my belief that the Lt. is absolutely 100 per cent accurate in his assumption. Even the Supreme Court (in a divided opinion) appears to agree that the war is a violation of national and international law. The U.S. is in violation of the U.N. Charter and the attack did not meet the requirements of the Congressional Resolution. Having said that the Defense Dept cannot allow Lt Watada to walk away from the assignment by quoting his oath and precedent. If they were to fail to severely repremand him, the consequences throughout the military could be extreme. Imagine the panic if even one General Officer refused to order troops to murder Iraqi civilians because it would be illegal.

DonP If this is a repeat I apologise but it appears that my previous post was held. Lt Watada is exactly 100 per cent corrct in his stand. However the Defense Dpt must make an example of him. How would it look to the nation if one General refused to have American troops kill Iraquis just because the Supreme Court has ruled (in a split decision) that the invasion and occupation is in violation of national law, international law, the United Nation Charter and the Resolution passed by Congress. Imagine the outrage that the right wing would express then.

I had attended the rally held tonight on the overpass overlooking Interstate 5. It was rather surreal, as this rally was held almost in the belly of the beast, about thirty yards away from the gates which lead into Fort Lewis, Wa. I was holding one end of a banner which was unfurled over I-5 and a woman next to me said she had been on the highway down below and had taken a tally of the cars which were driving by and she thought, gauging the reaction of the drivers, that it was running 3 to 1 in favor of the lieutenant. I had spoken to another woman who said she wanted me to meet someone who was next to her and it turned out to be Lt. Watada. He struck me as a self-effacing, humble type of person. I told him that I admired the position that he had taken and gave him a piece of paper, upon which I had written the name of a film , Sir! No Sir!, which chronicles the underground movement which sprang up during the Vietnam War on military bases which inspired those in the military to speak out against the war. I had also written down a book which is very relevant to what he is going through- Mission Rejected- U.S. Soldiers Who Say NO to Iraq. I hope that he will read this so that he may prove to be an inspiration to help him perserve in the path that he has taken.

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