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Full text of Watada charges

Post by News Tribune Staff on Feb. 23, 2007 at 12:00 am |
February 23, 2007 12:00 am

UPDATE, Feb. 23: The Army refiled the charges today. The original count of missing movement, and the four counts of conduct unbecoming, are back on the table following the Feb. 7 mistrial — meaning the two counts that had been dropped are now revived.


UPDATE: I’m moving this one up near the top so that you all don’t have to search too hard to find it, being as how this is the news lately and all. (I first posted this back in January during Watada’s pre-trial motions hearing.) MG


NOTE: Charge II, Specifications 2 and 3 were dismissed in a stipulated agreement between the Army and Watada. MG


Charge I: Violation of the UCMJ, Article 87

The specification: In that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, U.S. Army, did, at or near Fort Lewis, Wash., on or about 22 June 2006, through design miss the movement of Flight Number (redacted), with which he was required in the course of duty to move.


Charge II: Violation of the UCMJ, Article 133

Specification 1: In that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, U.S. Army, did, at or near Tacoma, Wash., on or about 7 June 2006, take part in a public press conference in which he communicated the following disgraceful statement, to wit: "It is my conclusion as an officer of the Armed Forces that the war in Iraq is not only morally wrong but a horrible breach of American law. … As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order. … The wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of Iraqis is not only a terrible and moral injustice, but it’s a contradiction to the Army’s own law of land warfare. My participation would make me party to war crimes," or words to that effect, his statement bringing dishonor to the Armed Forces.


Specification 2: In that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, U.S. Army, did, at or near Tacoma, Wash., on or about 7 June 2006, give a public interview in which he communicated the following disgraceful statement, to wit: "I could never conceive of our leader betraying the trust we had in him. … As I read about the level of deception the Bush administration used to initiate and process this war, I was shocked. I became ashamed of wearing the uniform. How can we wear something with such a time-honored tradition, knowing we waged war based on a misrepresentation and lies? It was a betrayal of the trust of the American people. And these lies were a betrayal of the trust of the military and the soldiers. … But I felt there was nothing to be done, and this administation was just continually violating the law to serve their purpose, and there was nothing to stop them. … Realizing the President is taking us into a war that he misled us about has broken that bond of trust we had. If the President can betray my trust, it’s time for me to evaluate what he’s telling me to do," or words to that effect, his statement bringing dishonor to the Armed Forces.


Specification 3: In that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, U.S. Army, did, at or near Tacoma, Wash., on or about 7 June 2006, give a public interview in which he communicated the following disgraceful statement, to wit: "I was shocked and at the same time ashamed that Bush had planned to invade Iraq before the 9/11 attacks. How could I wear this honorable uniform no knowing we invaded a country for a lie?," or words to that effect, his statement bringing dishonor to the Armed Forces.


The additional specification: In that 1st Lt. Ehren Watada, U.S. Army, did, at or near Seattle, Wash., on or about 12 August 2006, take part in the Veterans for Peace National Convention in which he communicated the following disgraceful statement, to wit: "Today, I speak with you about a radical idea. … That to stop an illegal and unjust war, the soldiers can choose to stop fighting it. … Now it is not an easy task for the soldier. For he or she must be aware that they are being used for ill gain. … They must know that resisting an authoritarian government at home is equally important to fighting a foreign aggressor on the battlefield. … This administration used us for rampant violations of time-tested laws banning torture and degradation of prisoners of war. Though the American soldier wants to do right, the illegitimacy of the occupation itself, the policies of this administration, and the rules of engagement of desperate field commanders will ultimately force them to be party to war crimes. … If soldiers realized this war is contrary to what the Constitution extols – if they stood up and threw their weapons down – no President could ever again initiate a war of choice. When we say, ‘Against all enemies foreign and domestic,’ what if our elected leaders became the enemy? … To support the troops who resist, you must make your voices heard. If they see thousands supporting me, they will know. … We must show open-minded soldiers a choice and we must give them courage to act. … I tell this to you because you must know that to stop this war, for the soldiers to stop fighting it, they must have the unconditional support of the people. … Convince them that no matter how long they sit in prison, no matter how long this country takes to right itself, their families will have a roof over their heads, food in their stomachs, opportunities, and education. … Now, I’m not a hero. I am a leader of men who said enough is enough. … Never again will we allow those who threaten our way of life to reign free – be they terrorists or elected officials. The time to fight back is now. The time to stand up and be counted is today," or words to that effect, his statement bringing dishonor to the Armed Forces.


Videos of the press conference and the Aug. 12 speech are posted at the Watada supporters’ web site.

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