Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by letthecatoutofthebag, Jan 31, 2007.
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Well you got this one totally wrong.
As I recall he was CMd for some variant of Wilful Dis, since he'd failed to turn up for pre-deployment courses.
The whole issue about how to respond to what one perceives as an illegal order is fraught with difficulty. Things like shoot that man in the back of the head and push him in that pit is pretty clear cut, but participation in an oeration where very experienced and well paid legal minds can't reach a conclusion means that someone refusing to carry out the order takes a huge risk. If he was claiming to be a contientious objector then I'd agree with you, but service in one theatre of many strikes me as different.
He can probably find legal people to argue his case, and it'll probably be pretty compelling; equally as compelling is the legal case that can be made about it being legal.
However I'd agree that it should result in a Court Martial, that way the issues can be dealt with in a reasonable manner.
Care to expand?[/quote]
Yes..I will. I didn't mean to be quite so abrupt but I read your original message on the run. There is a lot more to this officer's story than is immediately obvious. I will try and post a more balanced observation later today.
A few facts;
The officer that you are referring to is Lieutenant Ehren Watada - Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.
He has consistantly claimed that the invasion of Iraq was illegal. The UN, most of the world and many in the USA agree with him on this.
He told the US Army that he considered the invasion was illegal under the UN Charter, The Geneva Convention and the Nuremberg Principles and that he had a legal and moral obligation to refuse to participate.
He explained that he was not a Conscientious Objector and offered to resign his commission or to serve in Afghanistan. The US army refused to accept his resignation or to let him serve in Afghanistan.
In June 2006 he refused to mobilise to Iraq. He has been charged with:-
1. Conduct unbecoming on officer
2. Refusing to deploy
3. Contempt towards officials - specifically GW Bush
He has asked to be court-martialled and his trial is set for February 5th 2007.
This case has as much to do with GW Bush's personal interpretation of the US Constitution than a simple refusal by an officer to participate in an illegal war.
These are the simple facts and I am not sure whether you were serious in your statement that this war is now legal because the USA and UK are now in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraq government. That's a little like saying that the German occupation of Norway became legal immediately that Quisling became head of the Norwegian government. We can argue that one all day but your argument becomes doubly redundant when you consider that Prime Minister Maliki has twice requested that US and UK occupation forces leave Iraq.
Double his pay and give him a Make & Mend!
Nah mate , make it a ELWE , :lol:
Watanada received an order that he considered illegal and refused it; he obviously did not consider that the illegal invasion had been carried out in his name, in the same way that the great majority of the UK and US voting populations do not consider that the invasion was carried out in their names.
I remain puzzled by your insistance that the government of Iraq is legal and that coalition forces are there at the request of this government. If Prime Minister Maliki's government is legal and is recognised why have the US and the UK governments refused to comply with his request to remove their occupation forces from his country??
Assuming the UCMJ isn't in your area of expertise Bergen, got a source, especially since the Court Martial is pending?
Excerpt from a speech delivered in 1933, by Two-Time Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient: Major General Smedley D. Butler, USMC [Retired]
Full version can be found here http://lexrex.com/enlightened/articles/warisaracket.htm
It would appear nothing has changed, my Dad told me something very similar when he left the Royal Marines after 22 years, on the day I told him I was joining the Navy, I expect I will soon be telling my son something similar!
There is some breaking news on one of the links that the US Army is dropping 2 misconduct charges which will reduce Watanada's potential maximum sentence from 6 years down to 4 years.
Thanks Bergen, first link was enough.
This case is getting strangerer and strangerer. The Presiding Judge at the Court Martial refused to accept a defence based on the illegality of the Iraq War, deeming it irrelevant.
This confounded most lawyers and constitutional scholars but of course the Pentagon and the Administration simply couldn't afford to allow this defence to proceed and were stuck in a quandary.
The Presiding Judge managed to back himself into a corner with his own legal shennanigans and was eventually forced to declare a mistrial last week.
Although the US Army has now stated that it will set a date for a new trial it seems almost certain that Lieutenant Watada will not be tried and will therefore not be found guilty of any offence because such a trial would be illegal due to Double Jeopardy.
It seems likely that this result was engineered by the US Army as the only way to avoid the trial and continuing public scrutiny of the full facts of the case.
If the US Army were to remand him in custody in Guantanemo Bay until the retrail, I'm sure he'll change his plea by the time he re-appears in court... :twisted:
He's a US Citizen and therefore detention at Guantanamo Bay is a complete no-no. Of course if he changed his nationality to Australian, Belgian, British, Canadian, German et al then he could be tortured until the cows come home and I am sure you would be correct in supposing that he would change his plea to whatever the men in hoods deemed appropriate.
:evil: :twisted: :evil:
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