Demand Army drop charges and accept Lt. Watada's resignation now! Next step following mistrial victory: Demand that the Army respect the constitutional prohibition on double jeopardy by not attempting to court martial him again. Also: "How Lt. Watada and GI resistance movement beat the Army"
We (heart) "Augie"U.S. Army Spc. Agustin Aguayo is a Iraq War vet facing court martial in Germany on March 6 for refusing to return to Iraq. Send him a Valentine's Day support greeting!
Mark Wilkerson refused to redeploy, sentencing Feb. 22"There comes a time in a person's life when they must do the right moral decision for themselves, doubtless of how popular," he told the media in Crawford, Texas last August. (link only)
Ivan Brobeck, Iraq vet and war resister, released from brig!Marine L/Cpl Ivan Brobeck was released from the Marine Corps brig at Quantico, Virginia on Feb. 5, three months after returning to the United States from Canada with a letter to President Bush asking him to "Bring the Troops Home Now!" (link only)
The above is from an e-mail Brad forwarded from Courage to Resist. We'll pair that with Eli Sanders' "Tactical Failure" (Seattle Stranger):
With military prosecutor Capt. Scott Van Sweringen looking frustrated and defeated, Judge Head then declared the stipulation inoperative, announced that he would be telling the jury to disregard it, and asked the prosecutors if they would like to ask for a mistrial. The prosecutors, who had rested their case the previous day and would have faced a daunting task in opening it back up and trying to rescue the proceedings, immediately took him up on the offer.
It was not the end that anyone at the court-martial had expected when it began on Monday, and it remained a mystery why Judge Head had suddenly become so concerned about the stipulation, particularly since the judge was very familiar with the document and two days earlier had questioned Watada in court about his understanding of it—and received essentially the same answers.
A spokesman for Fort Lewis said the judge's actions on Wednesday were "further evidence" that the Army could conduct a fair court-martial that protected the rights of the defendant. Watada's lawyer, Eric Seitz, said the judge had been no friend of his client's and that he was baffled by the judge's decision. But he added that in granting a mistrial at the request of the prosecutors (and over the objections of the defendant), the judge had provided him grounds for a motion to dismiss the case whenever it is reconvened.
"In this case, it is my opinion that Lt. Watada cannot be tried again because of the effect of double jeopardy," Seitz said at a press conference shortly after the trial.
The judge seemed to think otherwise, scheduling the case to begin again on March 19. But it's highly unlikely the case will reopen then, if at all. Seitz plans to ask for a delay because of scheduling conflicts, and if the judge at the second trial (it could be Judge Head again or a new judge) doesn't grant the request for dismissal, Seitz said he would immediately appeal that decision to a higher court.
That's one of the things that should have made the snapshot and kept getting pushed back. Another thing that hasn't (it's a really busy week) is the student strike tomorrow. This is from Tanya Schevitz's "Students joining national protest against Iraq war" (San Francisco Chronicle):
It hasn't reached the level of the campus peace movement during the 1960s, but students at more than a dozen colleges from San Francisco State University to Columbia University in New York will stage strikes and rallies Thursday to protest the war in Iraq.
The anti-war demonstrations come as President Bush prepares to send more troops to Iraq and are timed to coincide with the fourth anniversary of the massive protests staged in the weeks before Operation Iraqi Freedom began on March 20, 2003.
"Me and my roommate were hearing all these stories about the war, and we said we can't just sit around anymore. We really need to bring it back to the protests of the '60s," said Alysha Higgins, 19, a freshman at UC Berkeley, where a rally is planned on Sproul Plaza at noon. "We just need to target this war and start this movement."
The national effort came after students at Columbia heard of plans by anti-war activists at UC Santa Barbara to stage a strike against the war on Thursday and decided to have their own. From there, a national campaign was launched with the help of the World Can't Wait, a political group that opposes the Bush presidency and urges resistance to his policies.
"There are a lot of students who are really looking for a vehicle for this. ... World Can't Wait saw that and was really inspired," said Ben Rosen, an organizer for the World Can't Wait. "These groups of passionate kids are ready to make a difference."
The campus movement has attracted the attention of schools across the country from Sarah Lawrence College and Fordham University in New York to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and in the Bay Area at UC Berkeley, San Francisco State, Mills College, Sonoma State University and UC Santa Cruz. Students at several high schools in the Bay Area, including Lowell High in San Francisco, Fremont High in Oakland and Berkeley High, are getting involved, too. The actions will vary from strikes where students skip class and refuse to patronize any stores or restaurants to informational rallies and marches.
This is why Dona, Jim and I are speaking this week. We hadn't planned to but we're trying to get the word out. Jim says this is a "triple time" schedule and it is faster paced than we're used to (and we're used to rushing). So if you're wondering about the entries here, that's what's going on.
Kyle notes Elayne Boosler's "Take Your Hand Off the Bible" (The Huffington Post) and we'll provide a linke but no excerpt. The point being made (not by Boosler, by a candidate) is an obvious one and we made it here back in January when John Howard came out in support of the escalation -- in support of it for the United States -- he wasn't sending anymore Australian troops to Iraq. He believes it's a battle that must be fought, an important battle, as long as he doesn't need to send more troops. And where do Australian troops go? Where are they injured? Mortars landed where? Howard's interested in cozying up to Bully Boy and has been the whole time. The laughable number of troops Australia has in Iraq doesn't make a difference on the ground but it does allow Bully Boy to cite Australia (a large country) and make it seem like he has "support." He doesn't. Australia won't send more because Howard can't, the war's too unpopular and to send more would be to risk the next election cycle, he knows that, his party knows that.
Another thing that Kyle sent that we can note (again, no offense intended to Boosler but this isn't a campaign site so a candidate doesn't interest us unless they're doing something regarding Iraq -- besides hot air -- that's why we didn't give space to John Edwards' blogger issues -- that and the fact that like John Kerry, he would -- and did -- buckle) is Janis Karpinski's "Sen. Lindsey Graham and Ghosts of Abu Ghraib" (The Huffington Post):
Tuesday night's private screening of Rory Kennedy's Ghosts of Abu Ghraib in Washington may serve to haunt Senator Lindsey Graham for many days to come. It was such a great opportunity and Senator Graham was such a great target, but he has only himself to thank. It is so sad and unfortunate for him to say the things he said, not so much because he thought he could simply say what he did against me not knowing I was there, but because it made everybody painfully aware of his inability to comprehend what he saw in the movie and his ignorance of the big picture.
He condemns the complicity of Miller, Sanchez, Rumsfeld et al., including a remark against the President, but sidesteps his responsibility in pinning medals on each one of them and letting them retire.
His first comment was about me -- his dismay over not having the chance to court martial me. Did he read even one page of all of the investigations, or perhaps not even bother because he was well aware it was a sham and a farce from the get go. The movie is so good at tying all of the parts and the real evidence together. He just refuses to get it, or maybe he is just not intelligent enough to get any of it.
I stand by my remarks about him being a coward.
Getting back to things that should have made it into the snapshot and I meant to add, this is from last week and Shonna e-mailed to note it, Arianna Huffington's "My Six-Point Reaction to Joe Klein's Seven-Point Response:"
I agree with Joe Klein's assessment that there are "far more important things going on in the world" than a clarification of his position on the war in Iraq. But I can't resist reacting to his seven-point response to my post on him:
1. Klein kicks off his seven-point defense (did I say seven-point?) of his pre-invasion stance on the war by saying, "Arianna Huffington, the doyenne of the Hollywood left, has taken time from her busy schedule to attack me for something I said on Meet the Press three years ago." Actually, Joe, I was taking you to task for something you wrote on your Time blog two days ago, namely that you opposed the Iraq war from the beginning. I wasn't trolling around in Lexis Nexis looking for "stupid" remarks prominent journalists made in support of the war. There aren't enough hours in the day for that (hell, there aren't enough hours in the decade for that). I only did my quick Internet search after reading your attempt to rewrite history. Again.
2. Speaking of "the doyenne of the Hollywood left" (one of six times in his post Klein spits out a reference to "the left"), isn't it time for him to stop looking at the world through his musty right/left glasses, where triangulation between the two is seen as "delicious" and the height of political sophistication?
Real journalists don't lie about a bestseller they wrote. Lying about it, when there were real standards for the press, would've gotten a 'reporter' kicked to the curb with no hope of any future job offers other than at some weekly shopper. Joe Klein plays a journalist on camera. Even there, he's unconvincing. I meant to note that last week and time ran out. Shonna noted it today.
The e-mail address for this site is firstname.lastname@example.org. (Also no offense to Kyle. I explained why we wouldn't highlight candidates who think 2008 is the time to start addressing Iraq -- candidates currently serving in Congress.)