Army officer refuses to serve in Iraq on grounds that Bush has committed war crimes - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Army officer refuses to serve in Iraq on grounds that Bush has committed war crimes

A real patriot. with real guts:


Army charges officer for refusing to fight in Iraq

By Daisuke Wakabayashi

Updated: 8:19 p.m. ET July 5, 2006
SEATTLE - The U.S. Army filed three charges on Wednesday against an officer who refused to fight in Iraq due to objections over the legality of the war.

First Lt. Ehren Watada, who supporters say is the first commissioned U.S. officer to publicly refuse to serve in Iraq and face a military court, remained at Fort Lewis base in Washington state when his unit shipped out to Iraq on June 22.

Watada called the war and U.S. occupation of Iraq "illegal" and said participation would make him a party to war crimes.

In a statement, the Army said it had charged Watada, 28, with missing movement, contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer.

"Officers are held to a high moral and legal standard. Acts contrary to this standard may be tried by court-martial," said the Army statement.

If found guilty of all charges, Watada could face several years in confinement, dishonorable discharge and forfeiture of pay, according to the Army. The missing movement charge carries the heaviest punishment of confinement of up to two years.

Watada's lawyer said he expected the missing movement charge, but was somewhat surprised by the decision to charge the officer with contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer, because it raises 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," said Eric Seitz, Watada's Honolulu-based attorney.

"The reasons why they are going after him for the things he said is because they want to muzzle him," Seitz said.

Watada's objection to the war sparked rallies in support and protest near Fort Lewis, Seattle and in other U.S. cities.

Watada, who had said he did not apply for conscientious objector status because he isn't against war in general, now faces a pre-trial investigation and will continue to work at the base, Army officials said.

He first attempted to resign in protest over the war in January, but the Army refused to accept his resignation, according to his supporters. Watada has said he would be willing to serve in Afghanistan, but not Iraq.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:13 PM
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"with missing movement" WTF is that a bowel thing? I want my tax money back! What in the hell did he get paid to do anyway? The military is a service for our nation not a center for ideology; the dude should have resigned instead of playing games while in uniform.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:17 PM
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Under the UCMJ, the man has a valid case.
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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:21 PM Thread Starter
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It's going to be a hell of a case. He is going to put the war itself on trial, even if it means prison for him. He's got real USA patriot guts.
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:26 PM
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This could get real interesting, but since it's a military trial, are they obligated to produce public trial records? A full frontal assault on the war's legality could be the final nail in the coffin of this national disgrace. I hope his legal team has the time and resources to mount an effective case.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:30 PM
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I believe a court martial of this type would have to be public. His grounds, that the war is illegal, is a valid defense, and the court would have to consider it. I am surprised they did not just kick him out of the service.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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Here's your own handy program guide:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Courts-..._United_States
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveByPoster
I believe a court martial of this type would have to be public. His grounds, that the war is illegal, is a valid defense, and the court would have to consider it. I am surprised they did not just kick him out of the service.
That's an interesting point. There's a lot of unhappiness in the service. I can't see BushCo being happy with this becoming a public trial. Maybe the guy's commander is in on it.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeitgeist
This could get real interesting, but since it's a military trial, are they obligated to produce public trial records? A full frontal assault on the war's legality could be the final nail in the coffin of this national disgrace. I hope his legal team has the time and resources to mount an effective case.
Let's look at the original Nuremberg Indictment against Nazi Germany:


Count 1 - CONSPIRACY to commit crimes alleged in the next three counts.

Count 2 - CRIMES AGAINST PEACE including planning, preparing, starting, or waging aggressive war.

Count 3 - WAR CRIMES including violations of laws or customs of war.

Count 4 - CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY including murder, extermination, enslavement, persecution on political or racial grounds, involuntary deportment, and inhumane acts against civilian populations.

How many of those do you think Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld-Rice could be charged with?
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 07-06-2006, 05:58 PM
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Er, ah, all of them.
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