Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Court-Martial of Principled Officer Ends in Mistrial

Mistrial ends Watada court-martial:

FORT LEWIS, Wash. (AP) — FORT LEWIS -- The court-martial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada ended in a mistrial Wednesday.

The case's judge, Lt. Col. John Head, declared the trial over after a day of wrangling over a stipulation of facts that Watada had signed before the trial and that would have been part of the instructions to the jury. The judge decided that Watada never intended when he signed the stipulation to mean that he had a duty to go to Iraq with his unit.

Again the issue was Watada's views on the Iraq war -- opinions that kept him from going with his unit to the conflict and that the judge didn't want brought up at the court-martial.

Head is woefully incorrect when he insists that the illegality of the Iraq Occupation is not the issue. It is the central issue. For the Army to insist that its officers and enlisted soldiers follow orders, despite their conscience, is criminal. I'm in danger of invoking Godwin's Law, but one must remember that the Nazis' defense was that they were just following orders.

Watada could have easily filed for conscientious objector status. He didn't because he isn't a pacifist and he is an honorable man. He strongly believes in serving his country by defending it. He sees that serving in an illegal occupation is not defending his country.

According to USA Today, a new trial date has been set for March 12.

1 comment:

Onizuka said...

A true American Soldier!

a True brave, to stand against a government who is sinking fast.

The news that his public announcement to his deployment in Iraq is not "protected" by the first amendment, shocks me to the core.

He is no terrorist spewing filth, and racism.
He is no revolutionist, chanting chaos and destruction of the fovernment.

No, he was only sticking to his principles, and standing for his belief that the war in Iraq, internationally ILLEGAL by the UN & all it's members (just because "we" the US government deem us not included in the "international" or acknowledge we should act like a UN member, doesn't make mean the people will look away)

We should be hunting the terrorist in our mist, not hunting down our own soldiers for not following ILLEGAL orders.

Because in the end, saying "I'm just following orders" will not save you from the crimes you commit.