The first court-martial for refusal to go to Iraq

Officer Faces Court-Martial for Refusing to Deploy to Iraq (from AOL news, sicne NYT is behind the wall):

On Jan. 25, "with deep regret," he delivered a passionate two-page letter to his brigade commander, Col. Stephen J. Townsend, asking to resign his commission. "Simply put, I am wholeheartedly opposed to the continued war in Iraq, the deception used to wage this war, and the lawlessness that has pervaded every aspect of our civilian leadership," Lieutenant Watada wrote.
Lieutenant Watada said that when he reported to Fort Lewis in June 2005, in preparation for deployment to Iraq, he was beginning to have doubts. "I was still prepared to go, still willing to go to Iraq," he said. "I thought it was my responsibility to learn about the present situation. At that time, I never conceived our government would deceive the Army or deceive the people."

He was not asking for leave as a conscientious objector, Lieutenant Watada said, a status assigned to those who oppose all military service because of moral objections to war. It was only the Iraq war that he said he opposed.
Lieutenant Watada conceded that the military could not function if individual members decided which war was just. But, he wrote to Colonel Townsend, he owed his allegiance to a "higher power" -- the Constitution -- based on the values the Army had taught him: "loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage."

"Please allow me to leave the Army with honor and dignity," he concluded.

Read the whole thing....


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A man with independant though and decision-making skills in the US army, whowoudathunkit?

The US Army is a hotbed of independent thinking, initiative, and insightful thought.

Lt. Watada was fully aware of the potential to go someplace he didn't want to when he entered ROTC. Since the President and Congress have authorized military deployment to Iraq, he is disobeying a lawful order - after all, he thinks Afghanistan is a fine theatre, and it has no difference than Iraq as far as orders are concerned.