Lt. Watada refused orders this morning to deploy to Iraq
ThankYouLT.org June 23, 2006
Please Visit www.thankyoult.org
Now under confinment and complete gag-order without charge
U.S. Army First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada reported to duty at 2:00
a.m. early this morning at Fort Lewis, Washington, and refused orders
to move to the adjacent McChord Air Force Base to prepare to fly to
Iraq. Lt. Watada believes that the war and occupation in Iraq are
illegal, and thus participation in the war is also illegal.
Lt. Watada's attorney Eric Seitz said, ?This morning Lt. Watada has
been restricted to base without any actual charges or proper process.
By placing a complete gag order on Lt. Watada, the military has again
shown that their first concern is silencing Lt. Watada's speech in
opposition to the illegal war in Iraq. We will immediately challenge
these highly questionable and improper restrictions." Mr. Seitz is
currently the only non-military person authorized to have any contact
with Lt. Watada.
Lt. Watada is the first commissioned officer to publicly refuse
deployment to the war in Iraq. By refusing to participate in the
on-going Iraq war and occupation, Lt. Watada joins a growing number of
high ranking military officers, West Point graduates, and current and
former members of the armed services who have expressed their
opposition to the actions of the United States in Iraq. Lieutenant
Watada's refusal comes in the wake of a series of charges and
convictions against lower ranking soldiers for participation in
war-related crimes: 9 Marines charged with premeditated murder
yesterday, charges of a massacre in Haditha, Iraq and convictions at
Abu Ghraib Prison.
Lt. Watada faces possible court-martial charges for refusing to
participate in the Iraq war and occupation and intends to defend
himself based on the illegality of the Iraq war and occupation. Lt.
Watada, age 28, was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii where he
enlisted in the Army and was obligated to serve on active duty as an
Army officer for a term of three years concluding on December 3,
2006. Lt. Watada was stationed at Ft. Lewis in January 2006, when
he first asked to resign his commission because as he stated, "I am
whole-heartedly 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."
On June 27, a national day of action in support of Lt. Watada and
coordinated through the website www.ThankYouLt.org will take place in
dozens of US cities, including: Ft. Lewis, WA; Tacoma, WA; Honolulu,
HI; Charlotte, NC; Cleveland, OH; Harrisburg, PA; San Francisco, CA;
Oklahoma City, OK; Atlanta, GA; Corvallis, OR; Medford, OR; New York
City, NY; and Pittsburgh, PA.
Lt. Watada's mother, Carolyn Ho, who flew in from Honolulu, Hawaii to
support her son, said today, "My son's decision to refrain from
deploying to Iraq comes through much soul searching. It is an act
of patriotism. It is a statement to all Americans, to men and women in
uniform, that they need not remain silent out of fear"