Thursday, July 6, 2006

Watada Charged By The Army

A little while back I posted about US Army First Lieutenant Ehren Watada, who refused orders to fight in Iraq not because of religious objection, but because he disagreed with the President, and the church that tried to give him the archaic Right of Sanctuary.

The US Army has just charged Lt. Watada with missing movement, contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer.

"Officers are held to a high moral and legal standard. Acts contrary to this standard may be tried by court-martial," said an Army statement.

Lt. Watada's lawyer said that although he expected the missing movement charge, he did not expect the latter two, because it raises free speech issues.

Any readers who were/are in the Service feel free to correct me here, but while one is in the military, one is held to different standards than civilians, including speech, right?

My gut tells me that this is some B.S. lawyer maneuvering.
"What he said about the war and the way the war began and the misrepresentations by the Bush administration are all true. Not only does he have a right to make those statements, he has an obligation to make those statements," said Eric Seitz, Watada's Honolulu-based attorney. "The reasons why they are going after him for the things he said is because they want to muzzle him," Seitz said.

Watada did not apply for conscientious objector status when he joined the Army, and freely admits that he will not go to Iraq because he considers the war to be illegal. He says that he would be willing to go to Afghanistan.

What, I ask you, is the point of being in the military if one gets to pick and choose which assignment one will accept?

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