If your not familiar with the Benderman story about a year and a half ago he decided it was more important to apply for conscientious objector status due to “viewing too many bodies stored in mass graves and children’s burned limbs” (A patent lie) than do the job he volunteered for. (see related posts here, here, and here)
Just like clockwork, just as his unit is to be deployed to Iraq, a Benderman “clone” steps up in the name of one Lt. Ehren Watada. As expected he’s using the tired old “the Iraq war is ‘illegal’ line of tripe.” The major difference that sets him apart is his rank. He’s the first commissioned officer to pull this despicable stunt. Although that seems to be in dispute. Paul Boyce, a spokesman in the Army’s national public affairs office, said Watada is “not the first officer, not the first enlisted, nor the first soldier” to refuse to deploy.
Watada’s lawyer issued this statement, as written by Watada, during a Wednesday news conference. Watada was barred from attending because it occurred during his duty hours from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PDT. (How ironic is that? Guess he didn’t want an addition to his charge sheet.)
“It is my duty as a commissioned officer of the United States Army to speak out against grave injustices. My moral and legal obligation is to the Constitution and not those who would issue unlawful orders.”
“Although I have tried to resign out of protest, I am forced to participate in a war that is manifestly illegal. As the order to take part in an illegal act is ultimately unlawful as well, I must as an officer of honor and integrity refuse that order.”
“The wholesale slaughter and mistreatment of the Iraqi people with only limited accountability is not only a terrible moral injustice but a contradiction to the Army’s own Law of Land Warfare.”
Well OK guy. Whatever, but regurgitating the talking points of International A.N.S.W.E.R and Code Pink will get him no where during his much deserved court martial.
But if he thinks for a hot second trotting out the “Iraq war is illegal” as a defense for his actions, he and his lawyer are sadly misguided. The first Army rebuttal will be offering into evidence the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq. (As an aside to the “rushed” into war crowd, that authorization took almost a years worth of work by the Bush administration to get through the Congress.)
To cover the International Law side of the equation the second and third evidentiary exhibits offered by the Government will be a copy of United Nations Resolution 686 that demanded “Iraq accept relevant SCRs, cease hostilities, and release POWs.” and United Nations Resolution 687 that set out “Iraq’s int’l obligations following ceasefire.” Saddam didn’t comply with either resolution and was subject to the resumption of hostilities at any time.
Sorry Watada it won’t fly and I presume your lawyer is knowlegable enough to realize it as well.
One thing I’m puzzled about, (not really but I’ll explain) why make this charge and official announcement he intended to disobey an Army order in such a public forum? At this point all the published reports I’ve read note Watada first addressed the issue with his command in January. In a letter to the Command he stated he had serious reservations about the Iraq war and felt he could not participate in it.
Why not keep it that way? The answer is simple. First, any trial concerning his guilt or innocence isn’t open to the public. And secondly he has been latched onto by the Barking Moonbats starting with Momma Sheehan supporter Jeff Paterson of Not in our Name (H/T Michelle) Michelle notes “Paterson is ‘a former Kane’ohe Bay Marine who refused to board a transport in 1990 heading to the Gulf War and now works as an anti-war activist with the organization Not In Our Name.'” For those unfamiliar with the organization it is front group for the Revolutionary Communist Party. (Nice crowd Watada keeps)
In a confirmation the “apple never falls far from the tree” his father, well known in Hawaiian political circles, is a former Vietnam War protester who supports his son. It’s also obvious his father is suffering from a case of terminal BDS
With that background I won’t say this is a plan hatched, either alone, or in concert with his father but I do find the cronology of events suspicious. All reports indicate Watada joined the Army in June 2003, after we had invaded Iraq, and ends December of this year.
A couple final words: Sgt Benderman, who I noted at the beginning of this piece received 13 months prison time for his refusal to obey orders. I fully expect Watada will also be modeling the latest in “Levenworth fashion” when this story comes to it’s inevitable conclusion.
I would also point to this open letter to Pablo Paredes, another “refuse-nik,” on the final consequencies of refusing to live up to a contract that was signed under no duress, disobeying lawful orders and the impact these actions have in the long term.
Lots a luck Watada. Hope you have a nice life picking pineapples in your home State after serving your 1 to 2 year sentence in Levenworth.