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Watada’s pre-trial hearing for court martial begins today

January 4th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

Back in June 1st Lieutenant Watada (Army) publicly refused to deploy to Iraq for the Iraq War, saying that he believed the war to be illegal and that it would make him party to war crimes. His court martial is set to begin in February, but the pre-trial hearing begins today.

Recently, journalist Kevin Sites attempted to understand Watada’s decision in a phone interview. Below is an except in which Watada discusses the punishment he faces in his court martial:

SITES: Tell me about the repercussions you face in this court martial.

WATADA: Well I think with the charges that have been applied to me and referred over to a general court martial, I’m facing six years maximum confinement, dishonorable discharge from the army, and loss of all pay and allowances.

STES: Are you ready to deal with all those consequences with this decision?

WATADA: Sure, and I think that’s the decision that I made almost a year ago, in January, when I submitted my original letter of resignation. I knew that possibly some of the things that I stated in that letter, including my own beliefs, that there were repercussions from that. Yet I felt it was a sacrifice, and it was a necessary sacrifice, to make. And I feel the same today.

I think that there are many supporters out there who feel that I should not be made an example of, that I’m speaking out for what a lot of Americans are increasingly becoming aware of: that the war is illegal and immoral and it must be stopped. And that the military should not make an example or punish me severely for that.

Transcript from the Hot Zone Team

I am not one of those supporters. I think that the 1st Lieutenant should take responsibility for what he has done, and accept his punishment.

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