As the house of cards that was constructed to lead us into Iraq continues to fall down, City on a Hill Press salutes US Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, who is courageously standing atop the most solid of foundations--the United States Constitution.
The first active-duty soldier to refuse deployment in Iraq and publicly speak out against the war, Lt. Watada has joined the growing group of brave dissenters whose voices and rights are being repressed after questioning the unjust decisions of the Bush Administration. With the war in Iraq escalating toward more violence and chaos each day, and Bush's preparations to attack Iran, this country desperately needs the likes of Lt. Watada to fulfill duties as soldiers, as Americans, and as humans.
This quasi-democratic government is slow to respond to the post pressing of their constituent's demand--to end the occupation of Iraq. It is in this day that those of Lt. Watada's stature must be allowed a voice to question why their superiors keep sending them to die in a war that the American public was fooled into supporting and now clearly opposes. Lt. Watada is leading the way straight into that which our country holds most sacred--the rule of law.
Last summer, Lt. Watada was arrested for refusing to board a plane headed for a tour in Iraq and telling the press that he believed the war was illegal. Lt. Watada said that it was his duty under the military's code of conduct to refuse orders to serve in what he deemed an illegal war.
"An occupation violating the very essence of international humanitarian law and sovereignty is a crime against humanity," Lt. Watada said in a speech following his decision. "Our duty to the Constitution is an obligation, not a choice."
Lt. Watada faces a court marshal and up to four years in prison. He signed a stipulation agreement (a deal with the prosecution) mandating that the prosecution drop two counts for speaking against the war to the press, in exchange for Lt. Watada acknowledging that he refused to deploy and that he spoke out against the war--illegal acts for military personnel. On Feb. 7, during the third day of Lt. Watada's trial, Lt. Col. John Head, in a moment of confusion, declared a mistrial due to procedural misconceptions.
The above is from City on a Hill Press' "We Stand Behind You, Lieutenant Watada." Now if you see the idiot of the day, Jim's already called dibs on noting her at The Third Estate Sunday Review. She really is an idiot and her words are offensive. That someone sutdying journalism would think that kind of homophobia could play is just shocking. That she doesn't know the first thing she's talking about is less shocking. But that'll be dealt with on Sunday.
There is another entry going up this morning, we had trouble finding a New York Times (yes, across the country, there are many places who never get the Times -- lucky!). For now, we'll again note this from Courage to Resist:
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)
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