Watada Court-Martial Stopped
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Author:  dori [ Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:20 am ]
Post subject:  Watada Court-Martial Stopped

This is from the first story on the page.

The Whole World Will Be Watching
By Bill Simpich
t r u t h o u t | Perspective

Saturday 06 October 2007

Until today, the story about the impending second trial of United States v. Lt. Ehren Watada was how the Army was planning on a proceeding with very little publicity and almost no witnesses.

It almost worked. In a last-minute ruling at 4:48 pm on Friday, the Hon. Benjamin Settle stayed the Watada trial from beginning on Tuesday, October 9 and set a hearing for Friday, October 19. His ruling also states that the trial cannot begin until at least October 26. The bigger question is whether it will ever happen at all. Now there is no chance that this case is going to escape strict international scrutiny. None.

This poor man has been through his own war--because he believes in our Constitution.

What a sign of our times...

Author:  Channel Zero [ Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

The Watada lawyers are claiming double jeopardy.
Defense counsels claim a second trial would violate Watada's constitutional rights against double jeopardy since he was previously tried on the charges, and the mistrial was declared over the objections of the defense.

Author:  dori [ Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:44 am ]
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The Army Court of Criminal Appeals in late August rejected that argument and said the court-martial could proceed.

The military judge, Lt. Col. John Head, presided over the first trial and ended it after questioning whether Watada understood a pretrial agreement he had signed.

The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has so far failed to rule on the double-jeopardy issue, and that prompted the Wednesday filing, according to Ken Kagan, a defense counsel.

Good piece, CZ. This is certainly an interesting point that is being argued. Watada did the right thing, but this country wants to punish him for it. After all, what would our country come to if everybody went around doing the right thing?

Author:  Channel Zero [ Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:50 am ]
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Amnesty International on Watada conviction:

USA: Conviction of war objector would violate international rights
Press release, 10/05/2007

Amnesty International today expressed serious concern that US Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada could face up to six year's imprisonment solely for his conscientious objection to participating in the Iraq war. Ehren Watada is due to face US court-martial on 9 October for refusing to deploy to Iraq.

“It is unacceptable that Ehren Watada should face punishment for peacefully expressing his objections to the war in Iraq. His internationally recognized right to conscientious objection must be respected,” said Susan Lee, Amnesty International's Americas Programme Director today.

Ehren Watada refused to deploy to Iraq in June 2006, based on his belief that the Iraq war is illegal and immoral. Amnesty International believes that his objection to the war is genuine and that, if found guilty, he would be a prisoner of conscience who should be immediately and unconditionally released.

The right to refuse to perform military service for reasons of conscience, thought or religion is protected under international human rights standards, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the US has ratified.

Author:  dori [ Wed Oct 10, 2007 5:04 am ]
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Amnesty International. Great organization. So glad they gave an opinion on this!

Author:  Channel Zero [ Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:25 pm ]
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The Army continues to push for a court marshal, and they keep getting rejected in the courts.

Big Win for Watada: A Study in Courage and Honor

By Bill Simpich | t r u t h o u t | Perspective | Sunday 11 November 2007

On Thursday, November 8, Hon. Benjamin Settle, a federal court judge, issued a preliminary injunction halting any further court-martial proceedings of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada and effectively ruling against the Army on virtually every issue in the case. This injunction not only extends the stay until the conclusion of the habeas corpus proceedings, but also addresses the specific request for relief from further legal proceedings, stating, "the remedy sought by Petitioner, while rare, is appropriate."

Although the Army issued a press release claiming to "look forward to the opportunity to further explain to the District Court judge the full extent of the protections and safeguards that are afforded to a military accused," (Seattle Times, 11/9/07), anyone who glances at the court ruling will agree that the Army's only lingering hope is to appeal this ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Judge Settle wrote "for several reasons ... it is likely that [Lt. Watada] will succeed on the merits of his double jeopardy claim" (Order, p. 22; a copy of the order is attached). The court held that the military judge acted "irrationally, irresponsibly, precipitately" (Order, page 31) in failing to consider feasible alternatives to a mistrial, and there was no good reason to stop the proceedings.

This ruling came after the repeated refusal of the military appeals courts to free Lt. Watada of the burden of a second court-martial. Lt. Watada's attorneys have consistently argued that the military should not be allowed a "do-over." The military judge halted the first court-martial in the wake of admissions by prosecution witnesses regarding Lt. Watada's integrity and statements that Lt. Watada's decision not to deploy was an act of conscience.

Author:  Channel Zero [ Sat Nov 07, 2009 7:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Watada Court-Martial Stopped

By the way, Mr. Watada has been allowed to resign. A victory for him.

Author:  Catherine [ Sat Nov 07, 2009 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Watada Court-Martial Stopped

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Good; guess the Army figured they might as well give up, anyway. Thanks for keeping this thread updated, CZ!

Author:  Channel Zero [ Sun Nov 08, 2009 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Watada Court-Martial Stopped

Lew Rockwell, though not my favorite reading, made a comment I (and I'm sure countless others have made) regarding the Fort Hood shooting:

But Hanan had other options. He could have refused the deployment for religious reasons (Conscientious Objector status), or simply the reason that he refused to obey an order he believed to be an unlawful order. Lieutenant Ehren Watada refused to deploy to Iraq in 2006. Watada said he believed the war to be illegal and that, under the doctrine of command responsibility, it would make him party to war crimes. The Army lost the initial court martial ruling, dropped the second court martial in 2008 and discharged him from the Army.

Author:  Catherine [ Wed Nov 11, 2009 10:50 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Watada Court-Martial Stopped

I wonder if Hasan's problem with a Concientious Objector type of stance was his financial obligation to the Army. :? He had agreed to serve for an amount of time...not sure for how return for his education and medical training, which the Army had paid for.

Maybe Hasan didn't read the fine print. I doubt if he had a choice as to whether or not he was "deployable." Many years ago, a doctor who came to my area set up a practice, bought a home, and was living a very good life when the Navy came calling. Seemed she owed the Navy several years of service time in return for her medical training. This woman, who was a good doctor and many of her patients were very sorry to see her go, had to pull up stakes and do her military hitch, which must have amounted to quite a few years. She never returned to my area, either. I don't know what ever became of her.

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