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Video Interview | Ehren Watada's Parents Speak Out

Truthout's Geoffrey Millard interviews Lieutenant Ehren Watada's parents on the eve of his court-martial. They spoke about their son and his courage as he faces the fight of his life. Watch video.

Retired Navy Veteran Sentenced, unwilling to "split the difference"

By Lori Perdue

Leah Bolger has been sentenced in a D.C. Court to five days of Incarceration, Suspended and to six months of Probation with a verifiable 100 hours of Community Service within that six months. Leah will serve out that sentence in Oregon. She has also been ordered to make a $200 contribution to the Victims of Violent Crimes Fund of D.C. .

Following the reading of the guilty verdict earlier today, Leah addressed the Judge, explaining that she would refuse to pay a fine into the judicial system. She stated that she would serve jail time rather than fund the system that allows the Military Commissions Act to stand as the Law of the Land.

Veteran Convicted of Using Free Speech

By Lori Perdue

Leah Bolger, a 20 year retired Navy Commander was convicted today for speaking out in the House of Representatives against the passage of the Military Commissions Act.

Leah and I served at Camp Democracy together. She is the epitome of what an American Military Officer should be, in my opinion. She chose to act on behalf of EVERY American, and I dare say every citizen of the world to dissent against the MCA. Leah has earned the right to dissent against legislation that she feels undermines the very principals of our Democracy, and she could use our support, NOW!

Military judge: objector can't raise questions about war legality

By Associated Press

An Army officer cannot try to justify his refusal to report for duty in Iraq by questioning the legality of the war because that is a political issue, a military judge has ruled.

Citing federal court precedents in a ruling issued Tuesday, Lt. Col. John Head also rejected the claims of lawyers for 1st Lt. Ehren Watada who said the his First Amendment rights shielded the 28-year-old native of Hawaii from charges stemming from his criticism of the war.

Military Members to Congress: End Iraq War

By Rick Maze, Army Times

A letter from about 1,000 active-duty, Guard and reserve members calling for Congress to end the war in Iraq was delivered to Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., who accepted what in legal terms is known as an appeal for redress - because service members are prohibited from petitioning Congress - said the call for an immediate end to U.S. military operations in Iraq will be turned over to the clerk of the House of Representatives and published in the Congressional Record so it can be read by all members of Congress.

Military Personnel Present Iraq Petition at Capitol

By David Welna, NPR
Photo and audio.

All Things Considered, January 16, 2007 · Active-duty members of the U.S. armed forces visit Capitol Hill to present more than 1,000 signatures demanding that lawmakers cut off funding for the Iraq war. They say that most of the people who signed the Appeal for Redress have served in Iraq, while others expect to be sent there. Two House Democrats received the petition and promised to urge the entire House to consider it.

Fort Lewis punishes soldier for exposing sexual assault

By Wally Cuddeford, Works in Progress

On Wednesday, Dec. 15, sexual assault survivor Suzanne Swift appeared before a hastily assembled court-martial. She was charged with going Absent Without Leave from her unit at Fort Lewis, on the eve of their deployment to Iraq. Swift's court-martial wasn't going to happen until January, but it was hastened when she agreed to make a deal with the military. The terms of Suzanne Swift's deal are as follows:

Service members to Congress: End Iraq war

By Rick Maze, Navy Times

A letter from about 1,000 active-duty, Guard and reserve members calling for Congress to end the war in Iraq was delivered to Capitol Hill on Tuesday.

Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., who accepted what in legal terms is known as an appeal for redress — because service members are prohibited from petitioning Congress — said the call for an immediate end to U.S. military operations in Iraq will be turned over to the clerk of the House of Representatives and published in the Congressional Record so it can be read by all members of Congress.

50 Active Duty Officers to Deliver Iraq Pullout Petition to Congress

by Brian Beutler, RAW STORY

Just before noon today, a petition signed by about a thousand members of the military will be delivered to Congress by about 50 active-duty officers. The petition calls for the withdrawal of all troops from Iraq.

According to Liam Madden, spokesman for the affiliated group Iraq Veterans

Why They Fight -- From Within

Two Navy Men Create an Outlet For Military Protests on the Web
By Linton Weeks, Washington Post

NORFOLK, Jan. 15 -- For Jonathan Hutto and David Rogers, life has become something of a surreality show. The two Navy men, comrades in arms, are waging a war against a war.

Working from within, Hutto, Rogers and others have established AppealforRedress.org , a Web site that enables active-duty, reserve and National Guard troops to appeal directly to Congress to withdraw military personnel from Iraq. On Monday, the group held its coming-out news conference in Norfolk, announcing that more than 1,000 people have signed appeals. On Tuesday, the pleas will be presented to Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio) on Capitol Hill.

25 service members urge Iraq pullout

Group to present Congress an anti-war petition with names of 1,031 active-duty personnel
BY ANDREW PETKOFSKY, Richmond Times Dispatch

NORFOLK -- About 25 U.S. service members held an unusual news conference here yesterday to call for the withdrawal of this country's military forces from Iraq.

On day honoring pacifist, troops join in dissent of war

By LOUIS HANSEN, Virginian-Pilot

NORFOLK - On Monday morning, Seaman Javier Capella traded his blue jacket for blue jeans. He also traded his role as a Navy photojournalist to speak out against the Iraq war.

"Somehow this madness must cease. We must stop now," Capella recited from a speech given by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in April 1967. "The initiative to stop it must be ours."

Warriors rally against Iraq war

Active-duty personnel join activists in Norfolk to ask for an end to the conflict.
BY JOHN M.R. BULL, Daily Press

NORFOLK -- Sgt. Jabbar Magruder spent 11 months in Iraq and turned into one angry soldier.

No weapons of mass destruction. Shifting rationalizations for a mismanaged war. Now a civil war among Iraqis.

1,000 U.S. troops urge Iraq pull-out

By UPI

WASHINGTON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- More than 1,000 active-duty U.S. military personnel are said to have signed a petition calling for a full U.S. withdrawal from Iraq.

Some 50 active-duty officers and other troops, including veterans of the current Iraq war, announced Tuesday that they would hand-deliver their petition, entitled an "Appeal for Redress," to Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and other members of Congress, AppealforRedress.org said in a statement Tuesday.

Iraq Vets Call on Congress to End War

By Stacy Bannerman, www.truthout.org

As a patriotic American proud to serve the nation in uniform, I respectfully urge my political leaders in Congress to support the prompt withdrawal of all American military forces and bases from Iraq. Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price. It is time for US troops to come home.
- Appeal for Redress

An anti-war organization launched by a 22-year-old Marine and a 29-year-old sailor has accumulated 1,028 signatures from active-duty and Reserve troops calling for an end to the war in Iraq, which has lasted nearly four years. The signatures will be delivered to lawmakers on January 16th.

BRING A PAIR OF SHOES TO WASHINGTON DC J27

PLEASE DISTRIBUTE WIDELY

Dear Friends,
WE NEED 6,550 PAIRS OF SHOES to build a "Walk in their Shoes" installation for J27 - Bring or mail one or more pairs of shoes for January 27th March on Congress. www.unitedforpeace.org.

If we each bring just one pair we will have enough for this installation and others around the city. We especially need baby, toddler, young girls and boys shoes, and women's sandals and heels. Label them if you can. Go to www.walkintheirshoes.org for details. We also need volunteers to help with logistics in DC . To volunteer go to www.codepinkalert.org/modinput4.php?modin=68

Breaking Ranks: Troops Call for Iraq Withdrawal

By Charles E. Anderson
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor
Sunday 14 January 2007

Norfolk, Virginia - On Wednesday, January 10, President George W. Bush announced that he would be sending 21,500 more troops to Iraq as early as Monday. "The escalation of this war is very disappointing," said Mass Communications Specialist Third Class, Jonathan Hutto, 29, a sailor stationed aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt. Ironically, as the additional troops begin arriving in Iraq Monday morning, Hutto and other active duty troops will hold a press conference at a church in Norfolk. On Tuesday morning, the group will travel to Washington to present the Appeal for Redress of Grievances from the US Congress to US Representative Dennis Kucinich.

Navy Vet Charged for Civil Disobedience needs moral support

By Lori Perdue

Leah Bolger, USN Lt. Cmdr (ret) and a Camp Democracy Alumnus needs your support on Tuesday morning in Washington, D.C..

Leah is a 20+ year veteran of the US Navy, a retired officer and the founder of her local Veterans for Peace Chapter.

Leah was arrested this fall for disrupting a session of the House of Representatives as they were preparing to vote on the Military Commissions Act. The MCA nullifies Habeas Corpus and deprives us all of our Constitutional Rights. Leah stood in the House and yelled out her opposition to the legislation prior to the vote in an attempt to preserve the rights of all Americans. She was bodily removed from the People's Chamber, arrested, held overnight in jail and charged with disrupting Congress. After several delays, requiring her to travel to D.C. from her home in Corvallis, Oregon at her own expense, her jury trial has been held in D.C., and a verdict rendered but not announced. She has been held over in D.C. until Tuesday for the reading of the verdict.

Public Inaction Dismays Watada

Published on Saturday, January 13, 2007 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Officer faces court-martial for refusing Iraq deployment
by Paul Nyhan

Less than a month before his court-martial begins, Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada turned to the public Friday, urging it to get involved in the discussion about the Iraq war.

Seven months ago, Watada made headlines when he refused to deploy to Iraq with a Fort Lewis-based Stryker Brigade, saying the war was illegal. His decision drew the attention of the anti-war movement, and eventually charges for conduct unbecoming an officer and missing a troop movement.

Detroit School Board OKs Anti-Recruiters

Finding Alternatives to Military Enlistment (FAME) now at DPS
By Diane Bukowski
The Michigan Citizen

DETROIT - The Detroit school board voted unanimously Dec. 14 to
allow speakers from "Finding Alternatives to Military Enlistment"
(FAME) full access to the public schools to present the facts about
military service and counter high-pressure tactics used by
recruiters.

"Recruiters tell lies, for example that the war is nearly over and

Report on Fourth Day of “Peace-In” at Rep. Doris Matsui’s Office

By Dan Bacher
Here is my report on day four of the Sacramento Coalition to End the War's "peace-in" at Rep. Matsui's office in Sacramento.

Sacramento for Democracy Organizes Fourth Day of “Peace-In” at Rep. Doris Matsui’s Office

By Dan Bacher

Sacramento For Democracy, a chapter of Progressive Democrats of America (PDA), has played a key leadership role in organizing a series of “peace-ins” and other protests at the office of Representative Doris Matsui over the past week.

Condi at Congress

Condi got some tough questions and accusations (finally!) from Senators today, and some citizens made their voices heard as well. Apparently the police took our buddy Zool out of the room, and maybe others. Who's got reports?

Happy Birthday Dr. King!

By Pete Perry, http://www.beltwaybeast.blogspot.com

Tomorrow I will be risking arrest as we enter a motion in the Federal Court on behalf of the nearly 500 men and boys held illegally and immorally, many tortured, at Guantanamo Bay. Dr. King warned us from his jail cell in Alabama: "An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." Sadly, this injustice at Guantanamo and several "black sites" operated around the world by the CIA is being carried out and diligently expanded by our own government. I am morally shocked and totally opposed to this policy of extraordinary rendition, suspension of habeas corpus and torture. And I am glad to learn that Code Pink and Cindy Sheehan are arriving in Cuba as I write this.

More Subpoenas Come Down in Watada Case

By Aaron Glantz, Inter Press Service

San Francisco - In a case that could have repercussions for free speech and press freedom in the United States, the U.S. military has subpoenaed two peace activists and a journalist in its case against Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to be court-martialed for refusing to serve in Iraq.

"I'm alarmed," said Olympia-based activist Phan Nguyen, who moderated a Jun. 7th press conference that marked Lt. Watada's first public opposition to the Iraq war.

WATADA WATCH: 28 arrested at SF Fed. Bldg. Jan. 4 in Watada support protest

By Mark Jensen
http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/5555/

Indybay reported Tuesday on last civil disobedience on Jan. 4 at the Federal Building in downtown San Francisco in which 28 persons were arrested, coinciding with the pretrial hearing taking place 650 miles to the north, at Fort Lewis, Washington, south of Tacoma.[1] -- "This action was the first civil disobedience in support of Lt. Ehren Watada," the Watada Support Committee said, noting that "Organizers say that it demonstrates that support for Lt. Watada is escalting as his court-martial approaches. Nationally, supporters are gearing up for a Day of Action to Stand with Lt. Watada on February 5, 2007 to coincide with the beginning of his court-martial." -- The San Francisco Chronicle noticed the arrests briefly in a page B10 story Friday.[2] -- A CBS Bay Area TV station posted a report and videolink about the protests, noting that protesters also intended send a message to Nancy Pelosi, the Bay Area representative who was sworn in that day as speaker of the United States House of Representatives.[3] -- "She was elected to defund the war and bring the troops home," said demonstrator Nancy DeStefanis. -- An NBC Bay Area TV station reported on the arrests Thursday afternoon, noting that "Many of the protesters being arrested were lying on the ground and were covered by white sheets."[4] -- Indybay had also posted an earlier report on the die-in.[5] -- Indybay posted separately four photos and a four-minute QT video of remarks by Marilyn Saner, mother of an Iraq soldier. -- See also an irreverent account of the San Francisco protests accompanied by 31 photos on a blog maintained by "SFMike," called "City Center." ...

Veteran Faces Trial for Protesting Military Commissions Act

From Leah Bolger, Veterans for Peace member, Corvallis, OR:

"On Sep 27th, I was charged with "Unlawful Conduct—Disrupting Congress" after I stood in the gallery of the House of Representatives and vocally objected to Republican support of the Military Commissions Act. Because I had been arrested less than a week prior as part of the Declaration of Peace group in front of the White House, they decided to keep me overnight in "lock-down" in the DC jail. The maximum penalty is 6 months in jail and $1000 fine, so I am entitled to a jury trial, which I have asked for."

Active Duty Troops to Announce Opposition to War on MLK Day in Norfolk, Virginia

WHAT: Public Press Conference by Active Duty, Reserve and Guard, US military personnel and www.appealforredress.org to raise community awareness about the urgency of ending the war in Iraq, bringing the troops home now and taking care of them when they get here.

Protest Bush's Call for Surge this Thursday Evening

Protest Bush's Call for Surge this Thursday Evening
Vigil at Lafayette Square Park - across from the White House

Time and date: Thursday, January 11, at 6PM.
Pennsylvania Ave and Jackson Pl, NW Washington, DC 20006

map: http://tinyurl.com/yduw8w
http://www.stationmasters.com/System_Map/FARRAGTN/farragtn.html
http://www.visitingdc.com/neighbor/lafayette-park-washington_dc.htm

2 blocks from FARRAGUT NORTH METRO STATION
http://www.wmata.com/metrorail/Stations/station.cfm?station=4

The event will be simple: a few brief speeches, a reading of the names
of casualties in the DC metro area, and a candlelight vigil.

Death to Ehren Watada

By John Calvin Jones, virtualcitizens.com

Dear President Bush,

Please execute Ehren Watada. Though the Hawaiian native supposedly earned the rank of Lieutenant in our military, it is obvious that he does not deserve the honorific. Watada has committed a cardinal sin – he refused to accept orders to ship out to Iraq. I surmise that for at least three reasons, Watada is the worst that the U.S. military can offer.

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