INDEX - JUSTICE
www.islandbreath.org ID# 0611-17
SUBJECT: REFUSAL TO SERVE IN ILLEGAL WAR
SOURCE: DICK MAYER firstname.lastname@example.org
POSTED: 21 December 2006 - 8:00am HST
Watada Faces Court-Martial Next Month
Lt Ehren Watada, Hawaiian soldier attached to Stryker Brigade, speaks out on war
by Peter Haley on 20 December 2006 The Hawaiian Channel
Soldier Explains Reason For Refusing Deployment
President George W. Bush's announcement on Tuesday to increase troops in Iraq did not prevent Hawaii soldier Lt. Ehren Watada from speaking out at a packed public forum. Watada faces a court-martial next month. Watada will leave Hawaii to return to Fort Lewis, Wash., for his military trial.
Supporters waging their own campaign against the war in Iraq flocked to the Church of the Crossroads on Tuesday night to hear him speak.
The 28-year-old Hawaii-born Army officer became known across the country after he became the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq.Join the discussion on Watada's refusal to deploy to Iraq.
Watada said he believes the war is illegal. He told the packed house that he realized it only after he signed up for the Army.
"I fell for it," Watada said. "I believed in our leaders and like many other Americans, I asked 'What could I do for my country?'"
While in training, he said he realized that the soldiers "were used and defrauded manipulated."
Watada said he was in turmoil about what to do.
"I looked at the consequences for both. To challenge the system was to stand up against insurmountable odds," he said. "I felt I had no choice."
Watada said that he is willing to pay the price for his decision, and he wishes others would stand up with him.
"I hated to leave my troops, but something had to be done to stop this insanity," he said.
Watada is charged with missing a troop movement and for conduct unbecoming of an officer. The artillery officer is the first objector since 1965 to be prosecuted by the military.
He faces a maximum of six years in prison and a dishonorable discharge.
Reporters were not allowed to ask Watada what he thought of the president's plan to increase troops in Iraq.
National Day of Action Feb 7th, 2007
Rally at the gates of Ft. Lewis, Washington or in your local community
US Army Lieutenant Ehren Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq. For refusing to participate in an illegal and immoral war, Watada is facing 6 years in prison and a military court martial on Feb. 5, 2007.
Actions You Can Take Now
1) Begin organizing in your community. Mark your calendar for January 4 and February 5. Apply for a day off from work to join us at Fort Lewis or rally in your local community.
2) Write to Commander Dubik. Ask him to dismiss all charges against Lieutenant Watada and honor his resignation.
Lt. General James Dubik
Commanding General Fort Lewis
1 Corps Building 2025 Stop 1
Fort Lewis, WA 98433
3) Forward this email to all your friends.
4) If you received this email from a friend, register to receive campaign updates and action alerts. If you are already on our list, check your record to ensure your information is accurate.
5) Donate online to Lt. Watada's Defense Fund.
Check the website for event details.
for more infor contact: email@example.com
Lt Watada website: www.thankyoult.org/
Lt. Watada was formally charged with missing movement, and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. Additional charges of contempt towards President Bush were dropped on November 11. Watada still faces 6 years in prison for the other charges.
"I think as the recent elections show more and more Americans are opening their eyes [about the Iraq War], but we aren't there yet. I hope that actions such as mine will continue to help expose the truth behind the fundamental illegality and immorality of the war."
Lt. Watada's parents have been crossing the country, speaking in support of their son. Supporters have rallied outside the gates of Fort Lewis and across the continent. Recent community events to raise awareness and support for Lt. Watada's case have brought out standing room only crowds and gained more support for the lieutenant's stand against the illegal and immoral war and occupation of Iraq. Lt. Watada's pre-trail hearing is scheduled for January 4, 2007. A public support rally will be held at the gates of Fort Lewis, Washington that morning from 8-11am. Another rally will be held during his court martial, which begins on Feb. 5, 2007.
January 20-21 Citizens' Hearing
The "Citizens' Hearing on the Legality of U.S. Actions in Iraq" will be held on January 20-21, 2007, in Tacoma, Washington, two weeks before the February 5th court martial trial. The hearing will present the case that Lt. Watada would, if allowed, make at his court martial. His defense attorneys maintain that the war on Iraq is illegal under international treaties and under Article Six of the U.S. Constitution. Further, Lt. Watada's defense argues that the Nuremberg Principles and U.S. military regulations require soldiers to follow only "lawful orders." In Lt. Watada's view, deployment to Iraq would have made him party to the crimes that permeate the structure and conduct of military operations there.
TAKE ACTION TODAY!
Island Breath: Support Lt Watada 11/13/06other KITV articles about WatadaNov 9. 2006: Army Orders Court-Martial For Hawaii Soldier
July 27, 2006: Groups Show Support For Soldier Who Refused Deployment
July 13, 2006: Hearing Set For Soldier Who Refused Iraq Deployment
July 6, 2006: Army Charges Soldier Who Refused To Deploy
June 26, 2006: Hawaii Soldier Who Refused Deployment Is Reassigned
June 23, 2006: Hawaii Soldier Refuses To Leave With Unit For Iraq
June 8, 2006: Soldier Receives Death Threats Over Refusal To Go To Iraq
June 8, 2006: Soldier Ready To Face Jail For Refusing Deployment
June 7, 2006: Hawaii Soldier Refuses To Deploy To Iraq