1. #1
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    Question US Army Officer Up For Court Martial

    This may have popped up somewhere else, but anyhow....

    My only question is: In the current age of volunteer military service in most Western countries, USA in particular, WHAT WAS THIS GUY doing in the Armed Services to begin with?

    Court-Martial Looms For War Objector

    POSTED: 8:30 pm EST February 4, 2007

    SEATTLE -- The court-martial for an Army officer who refused to go to Iraq is set for Monday in Fort Lewis, Wash., south of Seattle.

    First Lt. Ehren Watada, who was denied a chance to debate the legality of the Iraq war in court, is hoping to at least minimize the amount of time he could serve if convicted.

    The 28-year-old faces four years in prison if convicted on one count of missing movement and two counts of conduct unbecoming an officer. He had refused to ship out with his unit, the Third Brigade, Second Infantry Division.

    Watada has spoken out against U.S. military involvement in Iraq, calling it morally wrong and a breach of American law.

    Anti-war activists consider Watada a hero, but the Army accuses him of betraying his fellow soldiers.

    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.
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    If you signed the dotted line and raised your hand then you are committed to following orders. If you did not like the war then you should not have joined the military. I would not want this guy leading me.

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    They call them "orders"for a reason.You do not have to like them but you do have to carry them out even so.
    There is a process to get orders changed but involving the press or outright refusing orders that no one else has a problem with obeying isn't the way to go about doing it.
    I didn't like some of the orders I received in the Navy,but carried them out.The reason I didn't re-up had top do with a petty officer who I knew was not unique to the service.
    No matter what I felt about the guy,I did what I was told and just counted the day til my EAOS date came up.

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    Thumbs down

    You are in the military to preserve democracy, not practice it. The guy should spend some time in Leavenworth breaking rocks. This guy is also an embarrassment and disgrace to the uniform.

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    Of course he should have the choice of where to serve. Either Ft Lewis, WA or Ft. Leavenworth KS.
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    Default Object, but then follow orders

    I served before the volunteer days but as a young lieut. I was taught to object and state your case. Once a decision was reached you supported it as if it were your own.

    I used to argue with the boss a lot, but when he made a decision, I supported it. That's what I stuck my hand in the air for and AGREED to do.

    The military's mission is to "close with and capture or kill the enemy". If you don't agree with that, then don't join. You have the option in today's world.
    He will be convicted and do time.

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    Lawyer: War Objector Will Take Stand

    POSTED: 10:44 pm EST February 6, 2007

    FORT LEWIS, Wash -- The first U.S. military officer to be court-martialed for refusing to go to Iraq will testify on his own behalf.

    Army Lt. Ehren Watada of Honolulu will appear before a military panel of officers at Fort Lewis in Washington.

    An Army captain who's known Watada for about two years has been brought back from service in Iraq to testify as a character witness.

    The military judge ruled Monday that Watada's attorney could not debate the legality of the Iraq war in court. Watada has said the war is illegal and based on lies. He also accuses the Army of war crimes.

    Army prosecutors have argued that Watada's behavior is dangerous to the mission and morale of soldiers serving in Iraq.

    He's charged with conduct unbecoming an officer. If convicted, he could be sentenced to four years in prison, and dishonorably discharged. In 2005, Army Sgt. Kevin Benderman, an enlisted man, served 13 months in prison and was given a dishonorable discharge after refusing to go to Iraq.

    Watada joined the Army in March 2003, the same time U.S. forces invaded Iraq.

    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Lawyer: War Objector Will Take Stand
    The military judge ruled Monday that Watada's attorney could not debate the legality of the Iraq war in court. Watada has said the war is illegal and based on lies. He also accuses the Army of war crimes.

    Army prosecutors have argued that Watada's behavior is dangerous to the mission and morale of soldiers serving in Iraq.
    Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

    Maybe Cindy Sheehan,Hanoi Jane Fonda or that Washington Post hack that called US troops mercenaries will give this guy a job or a cot in the garage after this is done.He seems to be quoting them just like the Veterans for Peace people did during Viet Nam.Most of them hadn't ever been in the military or were never assigned to Viet Nam.
    For sure he won't ever get a promotion if he avoids getting booted from the Army.

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    I say let them all go live with Hugo Chavez !
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    I do not agree with the war nor the so called reason we invaded Iraq. True Saddam was a terrible person for sure. However, I do believe that this guy is wrong for disobeying his orders no matter how he feels about the war. He is in the military and that is one of the jobs people in the military are trained to do. If he feels that war crimes are being commited then it is his duty to prevent them from happening and to report them. He can not do that by not going. We are there now and if we pull out it will be worse than before, we are stuck for now. We must support those who are over there even if you don't agree with the reason we are there.
    Vintage Firefighter: The older I get, the braver I was.

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    Tim,we could be laying seige to Baghdad until the insurgents stacked arms and started waving white flags.Or even flatten every neighborhood where troops took fire and wonded from.
    But that wouldn't help the cause of securing peace and freedom from those that just want an entire country to cower before them.
    I'm not saying I know exactly what to do here but we are NOT doing wrong by getting Hussein out out power and keeping his cronies from retaking it.
    I do not see why this officer is trying to use the double jeopardy rule to get out of another trial.That is only for murder,not disobeying lawful orders.
    Besides,show me in the Uniform Code of Military Justice where there is anything about a service member only being at risk of trial for the same offense only one time.I don't think it's in there.
    I served from 1984 to 1988 under the UCMJ and never understood one of my parents' neighbors gripes about when he was in and the system changed from Rocks and Shoals to the "coddling you boys get nowadays".I'm thinking that I do now.

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    Orders are orders. Thats all there is to it.

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    I'm not saying I know exactly what to do here but we are NOT doing wrong by getting Hussein out out power and keeping his cronies from retaking it.
    Starting wars for regime change is illegal. World history will ultimately judge the invasion of Iraq (and the "Bush Doctrine" in general) as deceitful, immoral, illegal, and needless.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    Starting wars for regime change is illegal. World history will ultimately judge the invasion of Iraq (and the "Bush Doctrine" in general) as deceitful, immoral, illegal, and needless.
    Hmmm no. I doubt it. Everyone knows that "History" is written by the Victors..... I have yet to read anything in any book that would paint the United States in such a light - and that comes from a Canadian soldier who has an interest in world history - more than just the history of my own country.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    What I find interesting is that History is there to teach us and for us to learn about and presumably not make the same mistakes over. The trouble is that History just keeps repeating itself.

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    Sadly yes, it does repeat. Here is something that was given to me by my grade 12 English teacher.... ooohhhh soo long ago. But it stuck with me and I actually carried the original copy in my wallet for many years - until it became illegible. **See Rule# 4:

    The Rules for being Human

    When you were born, you didn't come with an owner's manual; these guidelines make life work better.

    1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's the only thing you are sure to keep for the rest of your life.

    2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called "Life on Planet Earth". Every person or incident is the Universal Teacher.

    3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation. "Failures" are as much a part of the process as "success."

    4. A lesson is repeated until learned. It is presented to you in various forms until you learn it -- then you can go on to the next lesson.

    5. If you don't learn easy lessons, they get harder. External problems are a precise reflection of your internal state. When you clear inner obstructions, your outside world changes. Pain is how the universe gets your attention.

    6. You will know you've learned a lesson when your actions change. Wisdom is practice. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.

    7. "There" is no better than "here". When your "there" becomes a "here" you will simply obtain another "there" that again looks better than "here."

    8. Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another unless it reflects something you love or hate in yourself.

    9. Your life is up to you. Life provides the canvas; you do the painting. Take charge of your life -- or someone else will.

    10. You always get what you want. Your subconscious rightfully determines what energies, experiences, and people you attract -- therefore, the only foolproof way to know what you want is to see what you have. There are no victims, only students.

    11. There is no right or wrong, but there are consequences. Moralizing doesn't help. Judgments only hold the patterns in place. Just do your best.

    12. Your answers lie inside you. Children need guidance from others; as we mature, we trust our hearts, where the Laws of Spirit are written. You know more than you have heard or read or been told. All you need to do is to look, listen, and trust.

    13. You can remember any time you wish.

    14. You will forget all this.


    (From the book "If Life is a Game, These are the Rules" by Cherie Carter-Scott)
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    Quote Originally Posted by MalahatTwo7 View Post
    Hmmm no. I doubt it. Everyone knows that "History" is written by the Victors..... I have yet to read anything in any book that would paint the United States in such a light - and that comes from a Canadian soldier who has an interest in world history - more than just the history of my own country.

    I disagree. For example: you'd be hard pressed to find a history book in Iran which mentions the Holocaust. That is, that hasn't been banned. All it takes is a few ignorant students, and a teacher with an agenda can easily erase or edit any chapter of history that doesn't suit their taste.
    "Yeah, but as I've always said, this country has A.D.D." - Denis Leary

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    Starting wars for regime change is illegal. World history will ultimately judge the invasion of Iraq (and the "Bush Doctrine" in general) as deceitful, immoral, illegal, and needless.
    Thank God you weren't around in the 30s.Hitler would be a lot farther along on his"Solution to the Jewish Question"than he got because no one would have wanted to fight the Axis powers on grounds that "Germany didn't attack us,Japan did.The President is going in the wrong direction..."
    Hussein had been in violation of the UN mandates that stopped the bombs and invasion back in 1991 for humanitarian reasons.
    He refused to allow UN inspections to make sure he wasn't building nukes or upgrading his chemical weapons which he'd used on Kurds back in the 80s.
    Try doing that when the police come to your door on a gun complaint from a neighbor that doesn't think you should have one.You'd be in worse trouble than he was when he got dragged out of that rathole.
    As to not attacking the US directly,what were you doing in May 1987?In the wee hours,I got dragged out of my rack in Norfolk Va because USS Stark(FFG31) had been hit by two Exocet missiles.Attacking a military ship of ANY flag is an act of war.The plane that fired the missiles was from Iraq and did so in international waters.No reparations for the 27 dead sailors was ever made.
    There's a lot Hussein could have done to avoid being invaded,and a lot the UN and Clinton could have done to avoid having to invade Iraq that was never done.
    We're there and we shouldn't leave until the Iraqis can stand on their own without fear of being gunned down or blown up for supporting the new government or for not praying the "right"way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tfdping1018 View Post
    Orders are orders. Thats all there is to it.
    Not true. No soldier is obligated to follow orders that are illegal. i.e. Shooting non combatants.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Thank God you weren't around in the 30s.
    There is absolutely NO comparison to then and now. You guys know this...quit bringing it up again and again.
    He refused to allow UN inspections to make sure he wasn't building nukes or upgrading his chemical weapons which he'd used on Kurds back in the 80s.
    BS. Numerous inspections over the years did their jobs. Even as late as 2002 nothing had been found...and nothing has yet to be found. It is becoming clearer and clearer as time goes by (even to those with thick heads) that the evidence used to justify the invasion of Iraq were bogus.
    As to not attacking the US directly,what were you doing in May 1987?
    Umm...that was 20 years ago???
    There's a lot Hussein could have done to avoid being invaded,and a lot the UN and Clinton could have done to avoid having to invade Iraq that was never done.
    Under George W. Bush and Co., there was absolutely NOTHING Iraq could have done to prevent an invasion. These PNAC wet dreams were in effect LONG before Bush became president. They were going into Iraq, consequences be damned and you know it...even if they had to lie to do it.
    We're there and we shouldn't leave until the Iraqis can stand on their own without fear of being gunned down or blown up for supporting the new government or for not praying the "right"way.
    We should leave immediately. Our puppet government will never be able to stand on its own. Do you people ever study even the slightest bit of world history? Imperialism never works...the people will always fight it and the corrupt leaders we prop up there to protect our "national interests" (ie; OIL). I mean, the plan is working so well, right? Thousands upon thousands of people dead and maimed for life, for what? I'll tell you what...the lies and greed of our corporate driven government and its oil thirsty militaristic ideology, and guys like you that buy into the insanity.

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    Not true. No soldier is obligated to follow orders that are illegal. i.e. Shooting non combatants.

    You are correct, however, a courts-martial often follows to determine if that action was appropriate.
    Just because one person thinks that an order is illegal, that doesn't mean that it is.
    Last edited by jasper45; 02-11-2007 at 04:23 PM.

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    Well the Lt., can object to going to Iraq. My opinion is probably in the majority so I will refrain from any additional comment. I have been in the military, and yes I did know what I was getting into.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasper45 View Post
    You are correct, however, a courts-martial often follows to determine if that action was appropriate.
    Just because one person thinks that an order is illegal, that doesn't mean that it is.
    I agree. And it usually puts a tremendous burden upon the defendant to show why they believed the order to illegal.

    Even here, there have been times I have been given "direct orders" to do something questionable. Like establishing a position in a chimney during a wildland fire. I have to be on rock solid ground with procedures and SOP's at the ready in order to validate why I did NOT follow that order. While we may be making life and death decisions, we are fortunate to never have to make them under the same type of duress one finds in military operations. I've never been scared of anyone purposely trying to kill me during a fire or other incident.
    Politics is like driving. To go forward select "D", to go backward select "R."

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    Quote Originally Posted by ThNozzleman View Post
    Starting wars for regime change is illegal. World history will ultimately judge the invasion of Iraq (and the "Bush Doctrine" in general) as deceitful, immoral, illegal, and needless.

    I, _____, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." (Title 10, US Code; Act of 5 May 1960 replacing the wording first adopted in 1789, with amendment effective 5 October 1962).

    "I, _____ (SSAN), having been appointed an officer in the Army of the United States, as indicated above in the grade of _____ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God." (DA Form 71, 1 August 1959, for officers.)



    As someone in the Military, I took the first oath. He took both oath's. As a volunteer service, this Lt. CHOSE to join the Army. I CHOSE to join the Navy. Privately, do I agree with the United States forgien policy? That is for me to decide. As a United States service member, I follow the orders of those appointed over me. It is not my job to decide forgien policy.

    He decided to take a stand. If he TRUELY believes in his stand, he will plead guilty and take the punishment handed down.

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    As a soldier, I can not quite fathom why any person, in a voluntary system, would choose to take up military service at any time. When I was going through my final interview prior to being sworn in (I made a similar oath to those above other than being to Queen and Country ) but before I did that the Air Force Captain made all possible attempts to ensure that I understood:

    1) I was joining an ARMED service

    2) I was likely to be given orders I may not like, from people I might like even less {pretty strong statement from an Air Force Officer LOL}

    3) there was always a possibility of getting into an armed conflict (although in 1987 there didnt seem to be much chance of that)

    4) by being sent into an armed conflict, there was a possibility that I may either become wounded or dead because of it.

    I dont know the look on my face, but I recall saying something like "Sir, those are all hazards of being the army. Every soldier knows those things and you either accept them, or you dont take the job."

    That all said and done, I will give some modicum of respect to the Officer IF he truly believes what he is preaching. Everyone has the right to an opinion, however I think that he chose the wrong profession from the get-go. And as such, has brought upon himself any and all punishments for refusing Command Orders. In this instance, discipline is paramount and it must be enforced.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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