[saymaListserv] Lt. Watada refused Iraq deployment today

free polazzo freepolazzo at comcast.net
Thu Jun 22 22:29:34 JEST 2006

HI Friends in SAYMA,

This may not have made your local paper.   I received on the AFM list 
server and wanted to make sure it went to the "hinterlands" of our 
Yearly Meeting.

This article is about a crack in the wall of silence that has been 
imposed on our military personnel whenever they speak about the war 
in Iraq.     I wish that there were more soldiers like Lt. Watada, 
who won't follow orders that violate international law.

Hold Lt. Watada and his family and friends and even his commanding 
officers and those who served under him in the Light.    By taking a 
public stand, he forces everyone who knows him to question what they 
are doing in Iraq.

He is one of the heroes that Chuck Fager talked about in his 
wonderful workshop at SAYMA's 2006 yearly meeting.    We need to know 
who these brave men and women are and to hold them up to others in 
our communities and to provide support to them.


Free Polazzo
Anneewakee Creek Friends Worship Group
Atlanta Friends Meeting

>Lt. Watada refused Iraq deployment today; Under complete restriction 
>and gag-order without charge
>BREAKING NEWS - Fort Lewis, Washington (June 22, 2006) - U.S. Army 
>First Lieutenant Ehren K. Watada reported to duty at 2:00 a.m. early 
>this morning 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. At this time he has been restricted to base 
>and has been ordered to have no communication with non-military personnel.
>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, that that 
>they have the power to turn the tide of history: to stop the 
>destruction of a country and the killing of untold numbers of 
>innocent men, women, and children. It is a message that states 
>unequivocally that blindly following orders is no longer an option. 
>My son, Lt. Watada's stance is clear. He will stay the course. I 
>urge you to join him in this effort."
>Judy Linehan, of Military Families Speak Out said, "As the mother of 
>an officer who deployed to Iraq with Lt Ehren Watada's Stryker 
>Brigade in their first mission, I know the human cost of war 
>intimately. I stand in solidarity with Lt Watada as he breaks ranks 
>with a Commander-in-Chief who has flouted international law with 
>impunity in the prosecution of this illegal war and occupation of an 
>unarmed country. The lieutenant's quiet resolve and quest for truth 
>facing into our government's fabricated deceptions carry hope to a 
>world that trusts in the rule of law. Thank you, Lt Watada, for your 
>courageous stand."
>Debbie Clark
>Veterans For Peace
>Greater Atlanta Chapter 125
><mailto:dclark%40antiwar.com>dclark at antiwar.com
>"Sow Justice, Reap Peace -- Strategies for Moving Beyond War"
>2006 VFP Annual Convention
>August 10-13, Seattle, WA
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