Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Feb 5th Set for International Solidarity With Lt Ehren Watada

The mother of Lt Ehren Watada, a US Military Officer refusing to go to Iraq has appealed for support for him on the day set for his Court Martial. I post the appeal and other info below.

Appeal for International Support from Carolyn Ho,
Mother of Lt Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer
of the US Army to refuse to go to Iraq

Dear Friends,

As the first commissioned officer in the US Army to refuse deployment to Iraq, Lt. Watada speaks for all men and women in uniform who oppose this illegal and immoral War. His courage and will to defend the US Constitution, uphold the rule of law, and stop the wanton loss of life poses a threat to the powers that be. They are intent on putting him behind prison walls hoping that people will forget his message and that the so-called “surge” in troops will continue unabated.

His court martial scheduled for Feb. 5, 2007 promises to be a mockery of justice. In disallowing the Nuremberg defence and declaring the movement order to deploy to Iraq legal, the judge has in effect found Lt. Watada guilty. In addition the judge’s refusal to dismiss the “conduct unbecoming…” charge signals the military’s intent to prosecute him despite his constitutional right to free speech. It is ironic that higher ranking officers, both retired and active duty, have spoken out but have not been charged. Yet, Lt. Watada, a junior officer farthest from the top, is being made an example to suppress dissent among other officers and the rank and file

Lt. Watada faces a maximum of six years in a military prison. Although officials claim that they do not care what the public thinks, they are certainly tuned in to the pulse of the national and international community. Public opinion is a critical part of the defence and the prosecution must know that the world is watching.

You can help to build international support for Lt. Watada by contacting people in your personal, professional, and religious networks. Please forward the attached email alert with a brief explanation. Ask people to go to: http://www.thankyoult.org/ to learn more about Lt. Watada's case. Under “Take Action”, supporters can click on SIGN THE PETITION & GET ACTION ALERTS by email. There are suggestions that can galvanize support and perhaps change the course of the court martial. Write, demonstrate, demand justice and no punishment for Lt. Watada. His voice of resistance to this heinous war cannot be silenced!

In Solidarity,

Carolyn Ho (Lt. Watada’s Mother)



About Lt. Watada

My moral and legal obligation is to the Constitution and not
to those who would issue unlawful orders.
Lt. Ehren Watada

U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq. On June 22, 2006, Lt. Watada stated that he believes the war and occupation in Iraq are illegal, and thus participation in the war is also illegal. He now faces court-martial on Feb 5, 2007.

Lt. Watada was initially charged with missing movement, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentlemen, and contempt toward officials, and on August 24, the Article 32 (of the Military Code) pre-trial hearing investigator recommended a general court martial on all charges.

For the first time since 1965, the military is prosecuting an objector for his opinions. On September 15, an additional charge of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman was added based on Lt. Watada’s speech to the Veterans for Peace convention in August. Following US elections which showed overwhelming rejection of the war in Iraq, the Army dropped the charge of contempt towards officials.

At a second pre-trial hearing on Jan 4, the military court refused to drop conduct unbecoming an officer charges and ruled that Lt Watada cannot present arguments relating to the legality of the Iraq War. If found guilty, Lt. Watada could be sentenced to up to six years in a military prison – four years for First Amendment speech alone.

A born leader, friends and family in Honolulu, Hawai’i were not surprised at his determination to pursue a military officer career after college graduation in a post-9/11 era. Lt. Watada also inherits his dedication to community service. His parents have been and are well-known public servants in Hawai’i and Ehren was an exemplary Eagle Scout at age 15. He graduated magna cum laude from Pacific University in Hawai’i with a degree in Finance.

Not one to jump to conclusions or act on whims, Lt. Watada researched how and why the Iraq War had begun. It was after a year of study and discernment and of a one-year tour of duty in Korea – where he served with distinction – that he came to the courageous decision to refuse deployment to Iraq.

By refusing to participate in the ongoing Iraq war and occupation, 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. These brave men and women are standing with Lt. Watada.

Lt. Watada is also supported by families of service members killed in Iraq, faith-based organizations, peace groups and grassroots people across the country and around the world

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3 Comments:

At 6:47 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lt. Watada is a brave man and following the path all American servicemen and women need to take. He has served with honor and is not being bullied into serive for a illegal war..
The song from the Vietnam era, The Universal soldier, says it all.. Without each individual soldier agreeing to participate , Hitler would have stood alone. We cannot pretend or claim, as Nazi soldiers did, that we are "just following orders" any more.Bush has oil projects to complete in Iraq and needs another year to do so. Most of the "rebuilding" money is being used to make permanent American military bases in Iraq, not rebuild the country. This info all comes from watching the Military channel on tv and reading. WE were attacked by men from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq or Iran...We, as Americans, must decide what is more important,being moral human beings of the whole planet earth or earth consumers.. God protect us, and Lt Watada, who is speaking up . It is past time to impeach Bush and remember Eisenhower's message about beware the military machine. I am ashamed of this war and saddened for the lives lost on both sides. Mrs. Johnson

 
At 7:05 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disloyal F--- is all this is and if he doesn't like it get out. He took an oath and he needs to stand up like a man and not some lame a--
democrat wanting to give everything away that Americans had fought and died for in this country. I hope they drum his sorry a-- out of the Army and he gets a bad time for the rest of his life. And this goes for anyone other anti-American if you don't like it get OUT!!! Lets fight these people over there instead of on our soil. Everything is fine and dandy until a plane fly's into a tower full of people, or train blows up, or even a stadium everyone wants to play the blame game but no one wants to take action. There are two types of people in the world Marines and those that wish they where Marines.
Remember if you can read and right thank your teacher. If you can speak english and are free Thank a Marine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 
At 7:45 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous who THINKS I'm free because of marines....think again. We WERE free until our country let a dictator take over. Now we are no more free than Iraq. Now lets talk about fighting them on their soil. Um...exactly who are we fighting in Iraq that was trying to come over here? Gee, I thank teachers for my ability to read and for you my illiterate "marine" (if you even in fact ever served) it was Bin Laden, remember him and Afganistan ruled by the Taliban that were and still are hiding him. So tell me now, Mr.Marine where exactly did Iraq get into this. Oh...my mistake, of course, I read that too, our illustrious dictator said so. That simple. He said so, it therefore is so and by golly he is going to take his little texas six shooter and kill him somebody. BUT not Bin Laden, oh no that was just too tough for him. He can't find him so he went in search of someone he had a PERSONAL beef with at the cost of OUR AMERICAN SOLDIERS no matter what service they served in. We the American people were lied to by a sniffling sissy from texas who hasn't paid an ounce of blood in this war. Shame on him and shame on you. KUDOS TO Lt. Watada for showing true bravery against the real criminals, GW Bush and his entire administration of lying, sneaking murderers.

 

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