Monday, February 05, 2007

Lt. Watada's Courtmartial Trial Begins Today

Last summer, the headlines were ablaze with the first military officer who refused deployment back to George Bush's Bloody Adventure in Iraq. From June 2006:

In a rare case of officer dissent, a Fort Lewis Army lieutenant has refused orders to head out to Iraq this month to lead troops in what he believes is an illegal war of occupation.

1st Lt. Ehren Watada was scheduled to make his first deployment to Iraq this month. His refusal to accompany the Stryker brigade troops puts him at risk of court martial and years of prison time.

"I feel that we have been lied to and betrayed by this administration," Watada said Tuesday in a telephone interview from Fort Lewis. "It is the duty, the obligation of every soldier, and specifically the officers, to evaluate the legality, the truth behind every order — including the order to go to war."

Today, Lt. Watada's courtmartial trial begins. I encourage you to check out for the latest information on the support he is receiving. In my opinion, this trial is central to the future of the debate in this country with respect to George Bush's Bloody Adventure in Iraq. It touches on what it really means to have 1st Amendment Rights, how the military is not really "All-Volunteer" in the pure sense of the word, and whether or not the elephant in the room is finally going to get its star power - Iraq was a mistake and the Commander in Chief abdicated his responsibility by lies and manipulation.

Lt. Watada's courage to stand up against the corrupt system is one that I am proud to support - along with groups such as Veterans for Peace, Iraq Veterans Against the War, and CODEPINK.

Archbishop Tutu has also weighed in:
I reiterate what I said briefly on the telephone that I admire your courageous and moral stand. In Christian tradition, ethicists insist on the absolute primacy of obeying one's conscience. It is a categorical imperative.

Many of us salute your stand and want to assure you of my personal support as you face a courtmartial. Your name will be emblazoned in the annals of all the stalwarts who have taken a similar conscientious stand.
Amen to that.

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