Watada hearing succeeds in placing war on trial
During the August 17 Article 32 pre-trial hearing at Fort Lewis, the defense for Lt. Watada has succeeded in placing the war in Iraq on trial setting the stage for the court martial later this fall.
We appreciated the opportunity to lay the groundwork to prove that the war in Iraq is illegal and that Lt. Watada, coming to this conclusion after much research, was duty bound to refuse to participate, Eric Seitz, civilian counsel for Lt. Watada said. This case is really about the duty of individual soldiers to look at the facts and fulfill their obligation to national and international law, he said.
Investigator recommends court martial on all charges
In a report released by the military on August 24, Investigating Officer Lieutenant Colonel Mark Keith found that the army has reasonable grounds to pursue its case against First Lieutenant Ehren Watada on all pending charges of missing movement, contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman. Complete Article 32 report with hearing transcript (PDF).
Friends and Family of Lt. Watada is moving forward with plans for a regional mobilization near Ft. Lewis in support of bringing the troops home, a "people's hearing" on the legality of the Iraq War, and many other events "to help Lt. Watada put the war on trial leading up to an expected court martial in the fall.
Lt. Watada addresses national veterans convention
With over 50 members of Iraq Veterans Against the War standing behind him, Lt. Watada offered the following to the Veterans for Peace national convention recently held in Seattle:
"Today, I speak with you about a radical idea. It is one born from the very concept of the American soldier (or service member). It became instrumental in ending the Vietnam War - but it has been long since forgotten. The idea is this: that to stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers can choose to stop fighting it."
A few days later, the video of this statement was presented into evidence against Lt. Watada at his pre-trial hearing.
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