Appeal for International Support from Carolyn Ho, Mother of Lt Ehren Watada, the first commissioned officer of the US Army to refuse to go to Iraq

Dear Friends,


As the first commissioned officer in the US Army to refuse deployment to Iraq, Lt. Watada speaks for all men and women in uniform who oppose this illegal and immoral War.  His courage and will to defend the US Constitution, uphold the rule of law, and stop the wanton loss of life poses a threat to the powers that be. They are intent on putting him behind prison walls hoping that people will forget his message and that the so-called “surge” in troops will continue unabated.


His court martial scheduled for Feb. 5, 2007 promises to be a mockery of justice.  In disallowing the Nuremberg defense and declaring the movement order to deploy to Iraq legal, the judge has in effect found Lt. Watada guilty. In addition the judge’s refusal to dismiss the “conduct unbecoming…” charge signals the military’s intent to prosecute him despite his constitutional right to free speech. It is ironic that higher ranking officers, both retired and active duty, have spoken out but have not been charged. Yet, Lt. Watada, a junior officer farthest from the top, is being made an example to suppress dissent among other officers and the rank and file


Lt. Watada faces a maximum of six years in a military prison.  Although officials claim that they do not care what the public thinks, they are certainly tuned in to the pulse of the national and international community.   Public opinion is a critical part of the defense and the prosecution must know that the world is watching. 


You can help to build international support for Lt. Watada by contacting people in your personal, professional, and religious networks. Please forward the attached email alert with a brief explanation. Ask people to go to: to learn more about Lt. Watada's case. Under “Take Action”, supporters can click on SIGN THE PETITION & GET ACTION ALERTS by email. There are suggestions that can galvanize support and perhaps change the course of the court martial. Write, demonstrate, demand justice and no punishment for Lt. Watada.  His voice of resistance to this heinous war cannot be silenced!


In Solidarity,


Carolyn Ho (Lt. Watada’s Mother)


For a photo report of East Coast tour of Carolyn Ho and Washington Post article about her lobbying efforts on behalf of her son,
go to and


"The war in Iraq is in fact illegal. 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. Ehren Watada


Feb. 5, 2007 – Lt. Watada Military Court Martial

Rally at the gates of Ft. Lewis, Washington or in your local community 

For updates, see Family and Friends of Lt. Watada website:


5 Actions to Support
Lt. Watada

 1. Send letters or call the Fort Lewis Commander, and send a copy to the Secretary of the Army, Secretary of Defense, and your US Embassy (if outside the US) or members of Congress and local officials (see addresses below). 
Urge them to:

  • Dismiss all charges
  • Honor Lt. Watada's resignation

See addresses below.  Please also cc and  A model letter is available on


2. Spread the word about Lt. Watada’s court-martial and International Day of Action on Feb. 5, 2007. Forward this email and post on blogs, MySpace, student, activist, social justice and media websites.
Register for campaign updates.


3. Encourage your organization to endorse the International Day of Action and take action on Feb. 5, 2007. Please specify country, state/province, city, chapter/local, and contact person, and send to


4. Organize a student walkout, rally or vigil on Feb. 5, 2007.  If you live outside the US, vigil at a US embassy. For US embassies and consulates see Tell us about your action so we can include your event on the website

5. Donate online to Lt. Watada's Defense Fund.  Or send US funds to mailing addresses below.



About Lt. Watada


My moral and legal obligation is to the Constitution and not

to those who would issue unlawful orders.

                                                    Lt. Ehren Watada


U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse deployment to Iraq.  On June 22, 2006, Lt. Watada stated that he believes the war and occupation in Iraq are illegal, and thus participation in the war is also illegal.  He now faces court-martial on Feb 5, 2007.


Lt. Watada was initially charged with missing movement, conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentlemen, and contempt toward officials, and on August 24, the Article 32 (of the Military Code) pre-trial hearing investigator recommended a general court martial on all charges.   


For the first time since 1965, the military is prosecuting an objector for his opinions.  On September 15, an additional charge of conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman was added based on Lt. Watada’s speech to the Veterans for Peace convention in August.  Following US elections which showed overwhelming rejection of the war in Iraq, the Army dropped the charge of contempt towards officials. 


At a second pre-trial hearing on Jan 4, the military court refused to drop conduct unbecoming an officer charges and ruled that Lt Watada cannot present arguments relating to the legality of the Iraq War. If found guilty, Lt. Watada could be sentenced to up to six years in a military prison – four years for First Amendment speech alone. 


A born leader, friends and family in Honolulu, Hawai’i were not surprised at his determination to pursue a military officer career after college graduation in a post-9/11 era.  Lt. Watada also inherits his dedication to community service.  His parents have been and are well-known public servants in Hawai’i and Ehren was an exemplary Eagle Scout at age 15.   He graduated magna cum laude from Pacific University in Hawai’i with a degree in Finance. 


Not one to jump to conclusions or act on whims, Lt. Watada researched how and why the Iraq War had begun.  It was after a year of study and discernment and of a one-year tour of duty in Korea – where he served with distinction – that he came to the courageous decision to refuse deployment to Iraq.   


By refusing to participate in the ongoing Iraq war and occupation, Lt. Watada joins a growing number of high ranking military officers, West Point graduates, and current and former members of the armed services who have expressed their opposition to the actions of the United States in Iraq.  These brave men and women are standing with Lt. Watada.


Lt. Watada is also supported by families of service members killed in Iraq, faith-based organizations, peace groups and grassroots people across the country and around the world.


Address letters of support for
Lt. Watada to:

Commanding General

Fort Lewis and I Corps

Lt. Gen. James M. Dubik

Bldg 2025 Stop 1

Fort Lewis WA 98433

Phone 253-967-1110

Fax: 253-967-0612 


and copy to:

The Honorable Francis J. Harvey

Secretary of the U.S. Army

101 Army Pentagon

Washington, DC 20310-0101

Fax: 703-697-8036



The Honorable Dr. Robert Gates

Secretary of Defense

1000 Defense Pentagon

Washington, DC 20301-1000

Fax: 703 697 8339



For US embassies and consulates see


To contact members of US Congress,
click here and type in your area code.

To make a non-tax-deductible donation, please make checks payable to:

P.O. Box 235511
Honolulu HI 96823


To make a tax-deductible donation by postal mail, please make checks out to "Hawaii People's Fund" and note "Lt Watada Defense Fund" on the memo line. Please send to:

Hawai’i People's Fund
Attn: Lt. Watada Defense Fund
810 N. Vineyard Blvd.
Honolulu HI 96817-3590  


Lt. Watada with mother Carolyn Ho

(photo credit: Jeff Paterson)


Watada Index