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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.
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 tell lies, for example that the war is nearly over and
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 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?
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.
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.
By Mark Jensen
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. -- "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. -- 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. -- "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." -- Indybay had also posted an earlier report on the die-in. -- 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." ...
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."
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
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
2 blocks from FARRAGUT NORTH METRO STATION
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.
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.
'Peace-in' starts in Rep. Doris Matsui office; peace advocates say protest is a matter of 'life or death' for those in Iraq
Contact: Sacramento Coalition to End the War 916-996-9170
SACRAMENTO - At 8:41 a.m. Monday morning, peace advocates entered the office of Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento) in the downtown Federal Court Building to begin a "life or death" protest - a "peace-in" - designed to help end Iraq war and occupation.
They are expected to remain in Rep. Matsui's office Monday until they are informed by the lawmaker as to whether she will agree to not vote for any further funding, including supplemental measures, to continue or expand the war and occupation in Iraq.
By Mike Ferner
Passing the grim marker of 3,000 U.S. troops killed in Iraq briefly focused Americans’ attention on the war. But we live in a big country with lots of malls.
To be sure, the death of 3,000 soldiers is tragic and sickening, yet we are a nation of over 300 million and most families have not lost a loved one. Even with some 32,000 G.I.’s requiring medical evacuation for wounds, most Americans still do not personally know a casualty of this war.
By Linton Weeks, Washington Post
Carolyn Ho is a mother on a mission.
She came to Washington, D.C., in mid-December to build support for her son, Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq.
Barring some kind of miracle, he will be court-martialed Feb. 5 at Fort Lewis. If convicted, he could be sent to military prison for six years.
Like many Americans, she believed she could come to the capital and change the world. Or at least her small part of it.
The coming weeks and months are our window of opportunity to end the war and impeach Bush and Cheney. Our best moments for action may be improvised in response to changing events. But planning out our schedule will help. You can find local events in your area, or post them yourself for others to sign up and attend at:
Here are some national events to plan for:
1st Lt. Ehren Watada's lawyer likens his client's comments against the war and the administration to those of retired military officials.
By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
Do military officers have the right to publicly voice dissent about their commander in chief and U.S. war policy?
That question highlighted last week's pretrial hearing at Ft. Lewis Army base near Seattle for 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, the nation's first commissioned officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. Watada faces a court-martial and six years in prison for failing to deploy with his Stryker Brigade last year and for making four public statements criticizing President Bush and the Iraq war.
By Dennis Kyne, www.denniskyne.com
www.ivawdeployed.org has arrived at the gates of Fort Lewis.
Please support this move....as troops are gathering to support Ehren Watada in his stand against the lies that have gained our nation nothing more than death and despise.
Purple Heart, 'Winner' Darrell Anderson returned from 18 months in hiding when he heard that Lt. Watada had refused to deploy. Anderson would have deployed to his third tour had he not gone north. Anderson asked me to get on the www.ivawdeployed.org with him and get to Fort Lewis to open up Camp RESISTANCE!!!
By Jeeni Criscenzo
I was surprised to see this interview with Lt. Watada on “Kevin Sites in the Hot Zone on Yahoo! News today. It was a fair and thoughtful interview and Watada’s responses are intelligent and exceptionally brave. Then to read the comments just breaks my heart that there are so many people out there who don’t have any idea what true courage of convictions is all about. See: http://hotzone.yahoo.com/b/hotzone/blogs19056
National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance
A retired school teacher and a seminary student were each
sentenced this afternoon to eight hours of community service for
their part in a nonviolent protest at the Raytheon Missile Systems
Plant south of Tucson last March 20, the third anniversary of the
U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. Pima County Justice Court
Judge Maria Felix accepted their pleas of no contest to a charge of
By Christian Hill, The Olympian
Fort Lewis - Army prosecutors might have unwittingly aided the defense of the Fort Lewis officer they're trying for his refusal to deploy to Iraq.
Attorneys for 1st Lt. Ehren Watada want his jury to hear next month from experts that the war violated U.S. and international law in their effort to win his acquittal.
During a four-hour pretrial hearing Thursday, one of Watada's attorneys, Eric Seitz, requested that the judge hold an evidentiary hearing about allowing that defense.
"My fellow soldiers are fighting and dying in Iraq and their families are suffering because of the lies and deceptions crafted by the Bush Administration. The Iraq war is not only a crime against domestic and international law but [it] is a terrible moral injustice against the Iraqi people." - Lt. Ehren Watada
As the first Army officer to publicly speak out against the war and refuse deployment to Iraq, Lt Watada will be punished by the U.S. Army with a maximum six years in prison. The military's intention IS to SILENCE VOICES OF RESISTANCE and make an example out of Lt. Watada.
January 2, 2007 - Democracy Now! Interview: U.S. Army Tries to Force Sarah Olson and Dahr Jamail to Testify Against Ehren Watada
Lt. Ehren Watada, for those who don't already know, became the first
commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to the unlawful war
and occupation in Iraq. While doing this on June 22, 2006, Watada said,
"As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as
PLEASE do YOUR part in supporting the courageous stance of Lt. Ehren Watada against this illegal and immoral war.
The time is now!!!!
"The war in Iraq is in fact illegal. It is my obligation and my duty to refuse any orders to participate in this war. An order to take part in an illegal war is unlawful in itself. So my obligation is not to follow the order to go to Iraq." - Lt. Ehren Watada
Umm Salamuna Villagers face the bulldozers
By Najib Farag, Palestine News Network
Twenty Israeli military vehicles stormed Umm Salamuna Village south of
Bethlehem to protect four military bulldozers. The bulldozers were
massive and there to bulldoze Palestinian land for Wall construction.
What they needed protecting from was the nonviolent demonstration that
farmers and residents began in order to save their land.
By Jason Leopold, www.truthout.org
A pre-trial hearing is scheduled to take place Thursday in Tacoma, Washington, in the court-martial of Ehren Watada, the 28-year-old Army lieutenant who is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse to deploy to Iraq on the basis that the war is illegal.
Watada's court appearance comes on the same day the new Democratic-controlled Congress returns to work and begins to investigate one of the lingering questions surrounding the nearly four-year-old war. It's the same question that Watada said led to his decision to publicly challenge the legality of the war and refuse deployment - whether the intelligence that led to the US-led invasion was cooked by Bush administration officials.
Interview with the Citizens’ Hearing on the Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq
“Civilian citizen's have an obligation to do more especially so in time of 'war'”
By Kevin Zeese
Below is an interview of Dr. Zoltan Grossman who is a Member of the Faculty in Geography/Native Studies at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. For more information on Dr. Grossman see http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz. Also interviewed is Lietta Ruger who is the coordinator of the Washington State Chapter of Military Families Speaks Out. Her blog, Dying to Preserve the Lies, is located at: http://dyingwarriors.blogspot.com
Dear Friends and fellow Guantanamo activists,
Last year at this time, Witness Against Torture had just ended its march
and vigil at the gates of Guantanamo and the US military reported that a
long-running hunger strike among detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison
underwent a “very significant increase.” Now, as January 11th -- the
fifth anniversary of the arrival of prisoners in Guantanamo,
By Colonel (Retired) Ann Wright
On New Year’s Day, sixty peace activists organized by Codepink Women for Peace gathered on both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge to walk across one of America’s great landmarks in vigil for the 3,000 US servicemen and women killed in Iraq and for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died since the US invasion and occupation.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers blocked the pedestrian walkway on the San Francisco side of the bridge saying that we did not have a permit for a demonstration. We responded that we were not demonstrating but only wanted to walk peacefully across the bridge to commemorate the 3,000 deaths. Initially the CHP allowed tourists to pass through our group and begin their walk on the bridge. We complained that this was our bridge and we could not be denied access. The CHP then stopped all walkers.
Dear supporter of peace,
I'm sorry to announce that 3,000 U.S. service members have died in Iraq.
Every life counts, whether it's one of 3,000 U.S military deaths or one of the 500,000+ Iraqi deaths estimated by the Johns Hopkins/MIT study. So, while the 3,000th death is no more or less important than the 2,999th or the 3001st, it is only natural to pause and think about the human cost of war when we reach such a grim milestone.
But we cannot give into despair. There is hope for peace in Iraq -- and together we can turn our hopes into a change for the better.
Please join with thousands of people across the country in a memorial vigil or other event tomorrow to commemorate those lost and call for peace in Iraq. A calendar of "Not One More Death, Not One More Dollar" memorial events is on our web site at www.afsc.org/3000 to help you find or list an event near you.
Plan now for vigils after the "official" 3000th death of US service members in Iraq... Register to organize a memorial event in your community or find one near you. Visit AFSC's "Not one more Death - Not One More Dollar"...
American Death Toll in Iraq Hits 3,000
Dec 31, 5:47 PM (ET)
By STEVEN R. HURST
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - The U.S. military announced Sunday the deaths of two soldiers, pushing the number of Americans who have died in the Iraq war to the grim milestone of at least 3,000. On the final day of an exceedingly bloody year, Saddam Hussein was also buried in the town where he was born. The White House said the resident mourned each death but would not issue a statement in reaction to the 3,000th in a war now 46 months old...