Skip to comments.Soldier who wouldn‘t deploy faces court
Posted on 08/20/2006 7:12:11 AM PDT by Valin
SEATTLE - An Army officer who refused to serve in Iraq because he believes the war is illegal was steadfast in his resolve ahead of a military court hearing, saying the decision was "my obligation to this country."
"I made this decision a long time ago," Watada said during a telephone interview. "It is my obligation to this country. Im not happy about it and I didnt want to do it, but I had to."
His lawyer, Eric Seitz, said he has lined up two witnesses to support the soldiers claim that the war violated domestic and international law: University of Illinois professor Francis Boyle, an international law expert, and Denis Halliday, a former United Nations assistant secretary-general.
"You dont join the military just to blindly follow whatever orders youre given," he said. "An order to go to an unlawful and immoral war based on false pretenses is no different than to kill innocent civilians."
....aimed at the bridge of his nose.
"An order to go to an unlawful and immoral war based on false pretenses is no different than to kill innocent civilians."
Gotta throw in the moonbat talking points.
If you think that is your call to make, you have no business in the military. Whatever they do to this scumbag mole it too good.
I'm watching Band of Brothers right now on the History Channel. I can only imagine this guy's fate if he pulled this crap back then.
I want that dolt bagging groceries, cutting - splitting and delivering firewood, refinishing wooden furniture, mowing lawns and shoveling snow for all the Fort's residents getting a dime a day, at Fort Leavenworth for a long loooonn looooooooooooooong time. Methuselah Time length would work.
"you don't join the military just to blindly follow whatever orders you're given"
This guy is getting used. His lawyer is working overtime to get him a maximum sentence.
Arguements about the legality of the war aren't going to go anywhere, and his lawyer knows it. Congress could end the war tomorrow if they wanted to, and the Courts all know it. Even the 9th has never made any findings to suggest the war is illegal - so does the lawyer think a military court will?
NO! He knows it won't - but he is less concerned with his client than with getting headlines.
And then there is this:
"There, Watada voiced what he called "a radical idea. It is one born from the very concept of the American soldier. It became instrumental in ending the Vietnam War -- but it has been long since forgotten. The idea is this: that to stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers can choose to stop fighting it."
Watada spoke of the "wholesale slaughter" of Iraqis and said he did not want to be a party to war crimes by serving there."
Apart from the Lt's incredible ignorance of history, there is absolutely no doubt that he is actively encouraging other soldiers to disobey orders - orders that every court to date have held to be legal.
"Boyle, who said he studied at Harvard under the man who wrote the Army field manual concerning land wars, said the war constitutes "a war against peace" because the U.N. Security Council did not authorize it."
Again, this is testimony that can only get the LT in DEEPER trouble with a military court.
My prediction? The LT gets nailed for a near maximum term, and the lawyer goes around getting even more money by giving speeches about how the LT got screwed. The difference is that the LT will actually be serving time while the lawyer cries crocidile tears.
It is as though the LT doesn't understand that this isn't a game, and that the ending won't be a triumphant return to Hawaii.
What an IDIOT!
But a useful idiot to the anti-war movement.
Talk about a prison sentence for Watada is a bit premature.
The traditional penalty for cowardice is being hung with a placard around the neck advising the public that the individual declined to defend American women and children.
A prison sentence is totally too lenient, considering the facts of the case.
There is something called contract law. He signed a contract. There is another thing called an Article 15 Discharge. Just strip him of his rank and kick him to the curb. Spare us the noise.
For what it's worth
6,000 men ended up in prison during WWII for refusing to register for the draft.
My prediction? The LT gets nailed for a near maximum term, and the lawyer goes around getting even more money by giving speeches about how the LT got screwed.
Could not agree more.
I filed this man under "Unclear on the Concept" and moved on.
What does he think war is? Playing post-office with the enemy?
Nope. As Rush says....it's to kill the enemy and break things.
Thank God this moral coward is not deployed in our war theaters any more. He's going to have many years in the brig to read about real men in our nation's history who bequeathed the freedom to him to be a holier/smarter-than-thou elitist jerkoff.
"His lawyer, Eric Seitz, said he has lined up two witnesses to support the soldiers claim that the war violated domestic and international law"
I want to see them prove this one!
IF he had gone to his commander and said, "I understand the war is legal, but I believe it is immoral and I cannot go. I will plead guilty to any charges and accept my punishment.", I would agree with you.
However, he has gone around giving speeches, like ""There, Watada voiced what he called "a radical idea. It is one born from the very concept of the American soldier. It became instrumental in ending the Vietnam War -- but it has been long since forgotten. The idea is this: that to stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers can choose to stop fighting it."
Watada spoke of the "wholesale slaughter" of Iraqis and said he did not want to be a party to war crimes by serving there."
He not only is guilty, but there is nothing he could do to make himself any guiltier. Therefor, I'd give him a maximum sentence. And my guess is that a military court will think along the same lines.
And once he is in prison, his 'friends' in the 'peace' movement will forget him and Move On to the next cause. I think he is going to be a VERY lonely prisoner...
Then you should never have taken the oath:
I swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic. I also swear that I will obey the orders of the Commander IN Chief and those appointed over me by the authority of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.
There ya go. I love it when some dingbat makes a statement like "...not having to blindly follow orders...". You bet you do, sorry, that's life.
****"An order to go to an unlawful and immoral war based on false pretenses is no different than to kill innocent civilians."***
Yep, Watada has a point. Coffee Anus said the war was illegal.
In hindsight I guess we should have waited for the Foreign Minister of Toga to give the go ahead.
If he wasn't on an ROTC scholarship then I would suspect his sole purpose in getting a commission was to refuse deployment to Iraq.
with alll the anti-American loonies out there...he has only 2 witnesses?
My question is, what are they 'witness' too?
Him being a coward and a traitor?
Ok. Bring 'em on.
I guess they were a little short in the 'looney left' pool this week!
Actually, you can and should disobey illegal orders.
The Lt's problem is that there is absolutely no reason to believe the order illegal.
It was given by the President, and fully supported both with votes and funding by the Congress.
The SCOTUS has ruled a vote for funding a war is the same as a vote authorizing a war. So all of this 'defense' about it being an illegal war is a waste of time. And while the Lt may be too stupid to understand that, his lawyer does.
But for the war protestors and his lawyer, this isn't about the Lt. It is about getting a stage to make an ineffective protest, and the price will be the time the Lt spends in prison.
His prison sentence.
But he deserves them...
Army 1st Lt. Ehren Watada took a break yesterday with father Bob Watada, stepmother Rosa Saka- nishi and lawyer Eric Seitz at Fort Lewis, Wash.
Watada has said he did not apply for status as a conscientious objector because he isn't opposed to war in principle, just the war in Iraq.
If he made this decision "a long time ago"; why did he not resign his commission at that moment? Instead he took the pay checks and refused a lawful order to deploy.
Watada's statements to reporters, in which he said he felt the Bush administration deceived Americans in order to initiate the war.
In the final video, taken at the Veterans for Peace convention last weekend in Seattle, Watada said it is up to military personnel to stop the war.
"It is time for change, and change starts with all of us," he said. He went on to offer the veterans a "radical idea."
"To stop an illegal and unjust war, soldiers and service members can choose to stop fighting it," he said.
Watada's statements against the war, as well as his refusal to go to Iraq, could adversely affect the morale of his fellow soldiers now serving in the Middle East.
Watada asked to be sent to Afghanistan instead of Iraq, and on two occasions asked to be allowed to resign. All requests were denied.
University of Illinois Professor Francis Boyle, an international law expert, said the Iraq war was not authorized by the United Nations Security Council and was approved by Congress under false pretenses.
He said Congress approved going to war only after being lied to by the Bush administration about Iraq having weapons of mass destruction and Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
"This constitutes ... a conspiracy to defraud the United States government," Boyle said.
After researching the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Watada has said he decided it was an illegal and unjust war.
if Watada had deployed he would have been facilitating a crime against peace.
Further testimony on international law came from defense witnesses Denis Halliday, a former United Nations assistant secretary general, and retired Army Col. Ann Wright.
I think he's come to realization that it's an unjust war. It's an illegal occupation of another nation and he refuses to play a part in it, Daniels said. The fact that we have this lieutenant who says, I'm not going to Iraq, that says a lot. That's a good start.
Watada's lawyer, Eric Seitz, said he expected the missing movement charge, but was somewhat surprised by the other charges, because they raise free speech issues.
"What he said about the war and the way the war began and the misrepresentations by the Bush administration are all true.
"Not only does he have a right to make those statements, he has an obligation to make those statements."
It seems he has teamed up with the Sheehan bunch.
Watada believes he is taking a stand against an illegal war. He joined the military after the Iraq war began, believing that the Mideast nation had weapons of mass destruction and was linked to al-Qaida.
"I did not believe at that time that the president would betray the trust of the American people."
Watada graduated from Hawaii Pacific University and reported to boot camp in June 2003.
Later, however, he began to have doubts about the war, he said.
"Within a year, I wanted to find out everything I could about the war's effect," he said. "I concluded that the war is not only morally wrong but is in fact illegal."
In January, he asked his commanding officers at Fort Lewis for the Army to allow him to resign. His request went through in April, and the Army denied it in mid-May. So he decided to refuse to go to Iraq.
"There was a lot of turmoil within me," Watada said. "It was a very tough decision to make."
"I can't be true to myself and apply for something that I wasn't," he said. "I joined the military to fight wars when they are just."
Military Families Speak Out and Veterans for Peace, crammed the small Associated Ministries hall in Tacoma at the first news conference to voice their opposition to the war and support of Watada. Many held signs that said, "Thank You Lt."
Sounds like Watada is fomenting a mutiny. He should be tried and executed for that.
"The wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of the Iraqi people is not only a terrible moral injustice but a contradiction of the Army's own law of land warfare. My participation would make me party to war crimes," said Watada in a taped statement played at a Tacoma news conference.
Joe Colgan (war protestor), whose son Benjamin was killed in Iraq, said sending sons and daughters to Iraq was "unpatriotic."
"I ask that we all think about our moral conscience and what we have done in God's name," said Colgan.
What gives this IDIOT the idea that HE can second-guess his COMMANDER-In-CHIEF?
Other than that the 'unlawful', 'immoral war' part is your unsupportable opinion....
This guy disgusts me.
Civilians certainly have a right to say such things,but I'll wager that the UCMJ forbids uniformed members of the Armed Forces from so doing.
It is not up to the service member to decide on his or her own what constitutes an illegal order or command; we are instructed through both UCMJ and the Rules of Land Warfare and the Geneva Conventions on what orders are legal and what are illegal to give.
Illegal orders, as defined, are NOT in fact ORDERS, and no service members are obligated by law or oath to follow them.
For example: Your commander tells you to give him $500 for a 30-day leave request. That is not an order and you are not only under no obligation to obey him, but you are obligated to report him.
What constitutes a lawful order by a superior is not normally complicated. Anthing outside of those parameters is not an order, per se.
I learned within the first 10 minutes of boot camp - with no uncertainty about it - that the military is not a democracy.
Well said. He can't have it both ways. The proper response of an officer to doubts about his cause is to resign his commission. Instead, this officer decided to be a "cafeteria commando" and pick and choose what he believed in.
Here is the technique I have used a couple of times in my career:
I receive an order I think is illegal.
I respond, "Sir, please put that in writing."
He responds, "Why?"
I reply, "So I can run it by the legal office."
He turns and walks away.
That will do the trick; pretty interesting approach. Works every time from what I've seen.
Yes, I was going to bring up the point of disobeying illegal orders but like you said, it does not apply to this situation, matter of fact, it very seldom applies.
So... he's returning all his paychecks? Deploy him to Leavenworth.
Damn right! Why, if you don't want to defend yourselves or buddies while being attacked, hey kick back! If you have to storm a beach, hey relax and sit down, suck a brew! Todays Army.....in only for the collage benefits, not the service to country!~
Interesting phrase; never heard that one while I was in the USAF.
What really ticks me off is this guy is an officer. I'm willing to bet if one of his troops had refused a valid order he'd be pretty quick to go for an article 15 or courts martial! Even though the enlisted troops can't "resign"; they don't have that luxury!
He should be charged with inciting to mutiny also after some of the statements he is quoted as making./p>
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