Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Every Soldier has a Right, a Duty to Disobey Illegal Orders

Today, in Fort Lewis, Washington, the court-marshal of First Lt. Ehren Watada begins (see interview with Watada). He is charged with "missing movement" and "conduct unbecoming an officer" including the "use of contemptuous words for the President." Ehren, from Hawaii, has questioned the legality of the war in Iraq, and refused deployment.

His defense includes all the lies Bush has fed to us about the war : the fraudulent basis for the war, the absence of a formal declaration from Congress (which has no constitutional authority to transfer its war-declaring power to another branch), the war crimes, and the flagrant violations of international treaties such as the United Nations Charter. However, prosecutors told the presiding judge that Watada's truthfulness is irrelevant to the case. They do not mean to allow Watada to prove what he has said about the President is true.

"The war in Iraq is in fact illegal," Watada told "It is my obligation and my duty to refuse any orders to participate in this war. An order to take part in an illegal war is unlawful in itself. So my obligation is not to follow the order to go to Iraq."

Lt. Col. Head, the presiding judge at Watada's trial has already stated that he will uphold a motion "to prevent the defense from presenting any evidence on the illegality of the war."

Via Alternet

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