Judge refuses to consider legality of Iraq war

On January 16th, a Fort Lewis military court ruled that Lt. Ehren Watada cannot present defense arguments relating to the legality of the Iraq War. The effect of this ruling is that the court martial proceedings scheduled for February 5th will be a mere formality, and Lt. Watada still faces up to six years in prison for his courageous stand against the Iraq War.

The ruling:

-- DENIES the defense motion to allow Lt Watada to testify that he refused to go to Iraq because he would be participating in an illegal war of aggression and crime against peace.

-- DENIES the defense motion to dismiss charges of conduct unbecoming an officer based on Lt. Watada's right to free speech. These charges stem from his public criticism of an illegal and immoral war.

The ruling runs counter to the will of the American people. The 2006 elections are proof of the public's objections to the Administration's failed policies in Iraq. And in response to the Administration's recent announcement of a 20,000 troop "surge" in Iraq, a group of service members has submitted a petition signed by more than 1,000 military personnel imploring Congress to oppose this escalation and bring troops home. Clearly, the administration refuses to listen to the American people.

So why is the military court so focused on punishing Lt. Watada for fulfilling his moral obligation? Because of its blind loyalty to the Bush Administration - they don't see that the Emperor has no clothes!

Citizens Tribunal, Jan 20-21

The military may consider the legality of the Iraq War a political question that cannot be settled in court, but other legal minds disagree. The Citizens Tribunal -- this weekend, January 20 & 21, at the Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus - is an opportunity to bare the truth that the military refuses to address regarding the illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.

In addition, supporters of Lt. Watada are poised to mount a nationwide campaign to demand the U.S. Army acknowledge resisters of conscience and accept Lt. Watada's resignation.

Lt. Watada is doing his part. Now it's your turn. Take action! Sign the petition of support and receive Action Alerts so you can participate in the nationwide mobilization.